National Geographic: The Battle for Midway


This is what I looked like back then.

This was taken before

the Pearl Harbor attack.

I think this is what saved my life.

This is the hat I was wearing

at the time.

Very brave, very brave.

A little older, a little wiser.

Pearl Harbor, 1942.

Yorktown sailor Bill Surgi hears they

are headed for a place called Midway.

The word Midway was a mystique,


an awesome word to banter about.

We were not fully aware of

what actually was going on there.

So all we knew was that

we needed help at Midway.

Yorktown will rendezvous

with her sister ships,

Hornet and Enterprise,

at a point approximately 325 miles

northeast of Midway.

Their mission:
to ambush the Japanese.

At the same time,

four Japanese carriers,

Akagi, Kaga, Soryu, and Hiryu,

under the command

of Admiral Chuichi Nagumo,

are steaming for Midway.

These are the same machines

and men who bombed Pearl Harbor.

The Japanese know nothing of

the American trap awaiting them.

Many of the American airmen

and sailors headed toward Midway

have never faced enemy fire

including Yorktown radioman

and gunner Lloyd Childers.

Childers was attached

to a torpedo bomber squadron.

He can't forget an intelligence

briefing he attended with other crews.

They said, if a 15-plane squadron

of TBD's makes torpedo runs...

...against a determined Japanese fleet

if three of you get through

to deliver torpedoes,

you will have considered that

you have accomplished your mission.

I immediately became alarmed,

because the odds were not good.

Lloyd Childers will soon find out just

how bad the odds really are.

It's the seventh day of the expedition

Time to part the waves and

take the first glimpse of the bottom

three miles down.

Ballard's eyes will be the U.S. Navy's

remotely operated robot explorer

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "National Geographic: The Battle for Midway" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 1 Dec. 2020. <>.

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