As you probably know, on Monday we had our 70th Commemoration of the Battle of Midway, which was June 4-6, 1942. It was a great day and went really smoothly. Everybody on the island worked really hard to pull it off. We had 2 US Navy flights which brought about 150 visitors. They had a very long day. They flew in about 3:30 a.m. and left about 9 p.m. We're still having our flights only in the dark, to minimize the chances of hitting any birds. We had 2 veterans who were actually on Midway during the Battle of Midway, and 2 vets who were here later in the war. It was amazing to hear their recollections. Both Battle of Midway vets were 20 year old Privates First Class at the time.
Here's a quick writeup of one of our guests, Col John F. Miniclier-USMC (retired):
Our other Battle of Midway vet, Sgt Ed Fox-USMC (retired) was stationed in a pillbox on the south beach. He thinks that the one that you've seen in my earlier posts, is likely the one he was stationed in. Here's a link to his accounts of joining the marines with a link to the battle story below the text:
Here are more photos that I took of the commemoration:
If you search on Flickr for Battle of Midway 70th, you'll find a lot of photos from other press & photographers that were here.
Here's a good article written up by the Navy reporters that were here with a link to their photos:
Col. Miniclier actually lived in this building for a while. He told his story to the visitors. This was the power plant/command center that I've showed in earlier blog posts.
This photo was taken from the building in the previous photo during the battle. Col. Miniclier is in the tower in the center of this photo. He says you can see his helmet in the original photo. He left that helmet on Midway for our newly remodeled museum in the Visitor's Center.
Visitors stopping by the Ave Maria chapel saw a White tern on its egg in one of the little candle holders.
Other things are still going on here. NOAA has sent out a crew to remove marine debris from the atoll. They've been going out in boats and getting nets that were stuck on the reef. This pile is what they've collected so far.
We took a group of volunteers out snorkeling to thank them for all of the help with the commemoration preparation.