It is hard to believe but it is 15 years since a small band of concerned citizens initiated the creation of a non-profit, tax-exempt organization dedicated to the preservation of the memory of the Battle of Midway. Its name was called the International Midway Memorial Foundation (IMMF). The year was 1992. The Association of Naval Aviation of the Anacostia/Washington Chapter had just sponsored an excellent week of a series of events commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Midway. It was quite apparent that there was a general lack of appreciation of the significance of the Battle of Midway in the country. It was to this end that the IMMF was formed and its mission was to address and remedy this iniquity.
In its tenure, the IMMF developed a quarterly newsletter; a Battle of Midway web page, voted number one by Yahoo; traveled to Pearl Harbor, Midway and Japan to obtain documentary film for the production of "Against All Odds;" formalized the black tie Annual Battle of Midway Night Dinner in Washington, D.C. and later through out the country; succeeded in encouraging Congress to pass legislation that designated the Midway Atoll a National Memorial; created, designed and dedicated Battle of Midway Memorial Monuments on Midway Atoll and on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Academy; succeeded in encouraging the U.S. Navy into inculcating the Battle of Midway into its culture; produced the promotional documentary film "Against All Odds;" created the National Midway Atoll Memorial Flag; held commemorative ceremonies events in remembrance of the Battle of Midway in Hawaii and on Midway Atoll; strongly supported and assisted the Department of Interior in developing a visitor's program for Midway Atoll; and commissioned a British artist to paint a new battle scene of the Battle of Midway entitled "The Battle for Midway Atoll."
During this fifteen period of time the following Battle of Midway heroes who were members of the Foundation have been rewarded by entering the gates of Heaven:
Master Sgt. Floyd T. Bacon, USN - USS Nautilus; Lt. Richard H. Best, USN - USS Enterprise (CV-6); CDR. Thomas F. Check, USN - USS Yorktown (CV-5); CDR. Wilhelm G. Esders, USN - USS Yorktown (CV-5); Lt. George Gay, USN - USS Hornet (CV-8); Captain Scott S. McCuskey, USN - USS Yorktown (CV-5); Captain Jack H. Reid, USN - VP-44; Major J. Douglas Rollow, Jr., USMC - VMSB-241; Carroll G. Stark, USN; AD1 William Surgi, Jr., USN - USS Yorktown (CV-5).
Special mention should also be given to the passing away of another member of the Foundation: author, Walter Lord. His ground breaking book entitled: "Incredible Victory" brought for the first time the Battle of Midway into the awareness of the American public.
In June 2008, the Foundation plans to honor Admiral William D. Houser, USN (Ret.), a member of the Honorary Board of Trustees at a special dinner in Washington, D.C. Formalization of the program is presently being developed and details will in follow in the next issue of the newsletter.