From May 29-June 5 the International Midway Memorial Foundation (IMMF) will be hosting a week of events dedicated to the commemoration of the designation of the Midway Atoll as a National Memorial. The role that intelligence played in influencing the outcome of the Battle of Midway has woven itself into the fabric of the week's events. Beginning with the Battle of Midway Symposium (May 30-31), it will become clear how breaking the JN-25 Japanese code, the search missions of the Catalina PBY planes and the new invention, radar, were invaluable assets to the command decision-making of Admirals Nimitz and Spruance. Panel members Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, USN (Ret.), (former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) and Rear Admiral Donald Mac Showers, USN (Ret.) (a member of the Hypo Unit at Pearl Harbor prior to the battle), will offer valuable insights into role intelligence played in the incredible victory at Midway. LCDR Lee C. McCleary, USN (Ret.) will give a first-hand account of how the PBY flights made on the mornings of June 3-4, 1942 contributed to the victory at Midway. Jim D'Angelo will discuss how the Americans' implementation of radar on her carriers gave the United States an added advantage in protecting her fleet carriers.
On June 1, CINCPAC FLEET Headquarters will be the site of the presentation of "The History of the Pacific Naval Intelligence in World War II" by Admiral Thomas B. Fargo, USN, Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet. The group will have lunch at the Banyan Club where Admiral Showers will give a lecture on "The Birth of Operational Intelligence". Later in the afternoon the IMMF will host a special ceremony near the "Hypo Unit" in honor of Captain Gilvin M. Slonim, USN (Ret.). Gil was on the bridge with Admiral Spruance as his intelligence officer on that fateful day June 4, 1942. Admiral Showers will highlight the ceremony by being its keynote speaker. He will read the bronze plaque dedicated to the 14th Naval District Combat Intelligence Unit by the Foundation on June 30, 1999.
On June 2, Admiral Showers will give a vignette on intelligence during the Commemoration of the designation of the Midway Atoll as a National Memorial Ceremony aboard the USS Missouri.
On June 4, the IMMF will host the Fifth Annual Midway Night Dinner on board the USS Missouri. Admiral Thomas Moorer will make remarks. Admiral Thomas B. Fargo, USN, Commander-in-Chief Pacific Fleet will be its keynote speaker. The theme of the Dinner will be "Naval Intelligence in the Battle of Midway". The President of the Mess, Lieutenant General H. C. Stackpole, III, will make toasts to the "Hypo Unit" code breakers and the PBY pilots who played such a crucial role in the victory at Midway. The Dinner will be followed by a big band playing the strains of World War II music.
As the week ends, all present will once again appreciate how important intelligence was and is in determining the outcome of a battle and a war.
This issue of the "Midway Sentinel" includes a program of the week's events. All those interested in coming should call Robert Folliard at 1-(800) 966-7269.
Admiral Thomas B. Fargo, USN, Rear Admiral Donald "Mac" Showers, USN (Ret.) and Captain James A. Noone, USNR (invited) will receive the Foundation's highest award, the "Midway Medallion", at the Midway Night Dinner on June 4, 2001. The presentation will be made aboard the USS Missouri by the IMMF's president, Jim D'Angelo.
The Midway Atoll National Memorial Commemorative Flag design created by the Foundation is in production by the National Capitol Flag Company in Virginia. This flag will be displayed for the first time on the USS Missouri on June 2, 2001 during the Midway Atoll National Memorial Commemorative Ceremony.
This beautiful sterling silver commemorative coin was designed by the International Midway Memorial Foundation and sketched for production by artist Richard S. Paulus, White House calligrapher. The coin will be produced by the Honolulu Mint in Hawaii and will be presented to the Midway veterans and dignitaries at the June 2 Midway Atoll National Memorial Commemorative Ceremony.
Secretary of Interior Gale A. Norton regretably declined the IMMF's invitation to attend the June 2, Midway Atoll National Memorial Commemorative Ceremony. However, the Secretary would be pleased to attend a Foundation event at a later date and asked that she be "kept in mind" when planning upcoming events. See page 5 for a copy of the letter.
Daniel A. Martinez, Arizona Memorial Historian will participate in the Battle of Midway Symposium at the Moana Surfrider Hotel on May 30-31, 2001. An invitation will also be extended to Dan to attend all the other events of the week.
Senator Richard G. Lugar from Indiana has introduced bill S.508: "To authorize the President of the United States to promote posthumously the late Raymond Ames Spruance to the grade of Fleet Admiral of the United States Navy, and for other purposes". The Foundation has been contacted by the senator's staff to publish the bill and an article written by Senator Lugar in the "Midway Sentinel". A complete copy of the article and the bill will be published in the next issue of the newsletter. The Foundation fully supports this effort and will be meeting with the Senator's staff to offer its assistance. The IMMF has also invited Senator Lugar to attend the Midway Atoll National Memorial Commemorative Ceremony on June 2 aboard the USS Missouri.
The newsflash feature of our webpage is near completion and will be ready for its viewers in the very near future. Do not miss it. It is highly distinctive and artistic. Our call letters are: WWW.IMMF-MIDWAY.COM.
Efforts continue to raise funds for the documentary. Progress is being made. In the meantime the projected time for the completion of the script "Against All Odds" is one year. Stay Tuned and don't touch that dial!
For two or three days we roamed and we tossed,
The high seas of treachery, our enemies to boss.
Day in and day out, we sought to destroy
The enemies subs, cruisers, and carriers with joy.