By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Adrienne Powers,
USS Ronald Reagan Public Affairs
WATERS SOUTH OF JAPAN (June 6, 2016) – The arguably most decisive naval battle of World War II began six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Progress in code-breaking allowed the U.S. to anticipate and counter an ambush from the Japanese Imperial Navy. A three-day battle began June 4, 1942. Both sides sustained losses, but the Japanese force was devastated after the sinking of four aircraft carriers and a heavy cruiser. More than 3,000 service members from the U.S. and Japan died protecting their countries’ interests.
Seventy-four years after the Battle of Midway, the crew of USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) gathered June 6 to remember the sacrifices made.
“There’s a boldness that flows through the veins of those who serve in the U.S. Navy — an audacity in the face of adversity and an ingenuity that pushes us to find solutions even when it seems impossible,” said Capt. Michael Donnelly, Ronald Reagan’s commanding officer. “It is in this spirit that we honor and commemorate the Battle of Midway.”
Rear Adm. John Alexander, Commander, Battle Force 7th Fleet, spoke at the ceremony on the strong alliance the U.S. and Japan share today.
“World War II was a horrific chapter in the U.S.-Japan history as well as the history of the Asian-Pacific region,” said Alexander. “Since that time, we’ve opened Japan to change in significant ways. Japan is a healthy democracy and a major contributor to peace and prosperity worldwide. The United States and Japan maintain close bonds of friendship. This shows how much we’ve grown and learned from our past and overcome our differences.”
Ronald Reagan’s diversity committee organized the Battle of Midway remembrance and invited all hands to attend.
“Part of our mission as naval professionals is to preserve and celebrate our rich naval history and heritage,” said Alexander. “Understanding our past is the key to developing strategies to handle the challenges of the future.”