Since the Congressional hearing in November 2014 and the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) report in 2016, USFWS has continued its demolition on Midway which now includes the two large fuel tanks, the beginning of the destruction of the NAS Midway Terminal Building, the historic water tower and , most recently the Agency is planning demolition of Bravo Barracks and the Furniture Storage Building. In addition, the historic airstrip on Eastern Island is, for the most part, no longer visible. This symbol of Midway’s great victory has been obscured by the overgrowth of vegetation. The IMMF has sent a letter to Bob Peyton, Midway’s Wildlife Manager, expressing our concerns over the continued destruction of historic structures and buildings both by action and by neglect.
The IMMF had been having discussions with the Deputy Director of USFWS Greg Sheehan, who in December 2017, asked the Foundation to seek out private entities that might have an interest in operating the infrastructure and public visitation program for Midway and report back to him. However, in August 2018, he resigned from the Agency. Jim Kurth is now the Acting Director at FWS. The IMMF at the moment does not appear to have the option of addressing the issue to the Director of USFWS about FWS continued demolition of Midway’s historic structures. Since the 1999 Midway National Memorial legislation, which specifically directs the Secretary of Interior to consult with the IMMF on a regular basis, we are directing our attention to resolve this problem by planning a meeting with the Department of Interior
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On June 3, 2018, the Washington, D.C. Midway Night Dinner was held at Army/Navy Club in Arlington, Virginia. Its guest speaker was the Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John M. Richardson, USN. The Master of Ceremonies highlighted the Foundation’s contributions to the Navy and informed the guests about the publication of my book. After the Dinner, my book “Victory at Midway: The Battle That Changed the Course of World War II was available for sale in the lobby. Overall, it was a very good night and the Dinner was a great success!
The Naval Historical Foundation reviewed my book Victory at Midway: The Battle That Changed the Course of World War II> and stated that “Yes, the author covers the story of the naval engagement between the Imperial Japanese Navy and the U.S. Navy in the waters off Midway, but in this book he offers fresh insights into the decision made by both the Japanese and American high commands. The author also provides a thought provoking investigation and analysis of why LCDR Stanhope Ring and his squadron of aircraft did not find the Japanese carriers of 4 June 1942.
Over all, the author promotes the premise that the Battle of Midway was not just a turning point in World War II but a turning point in history. He contends – correctly, I believe --- that if the United States had been defeated at Midway, the country would have abandoned its European First Strategy and switched its great forthcoming military and naval strength from attacking Germany to attacking Japan. The consequences of such an action would have resulted in a world far different from the one we presently live in
The book closes with two excellent chapters: Analysis of the Defeat and the Significance of the Battle. I am sure that not all readers will agree with the author’s reasoning in the former, but within this chapter he dissects what he considers the strategic and tactical errors the Imperial Navy made in preparing for and in conducting the fight to capture Midway and destroy the remains of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific carrier force. He then goes on to explain how the United States Navy implemented the correct strategic and tactical planning for winning what became known as the Battle of Midway. The last chapter, The Significance of the Battle is an examination of what ifs, such as what would have happened on the world stage if the U.S. navy had been defeated and lost its three Pacific Ocean based carriers at Midway. This is alternative history at its best and is well worth reading and pondering. The author provides two appendices at the end of the book that provide concise technical information on the Japanese and American carriers and aircraft involved in the Battle of Midway.
This book should interest both the novice starting to learn about the Battle of Midway and the naval historian who has examined the battle from all viewpoints. The book was reviewed for the Naval Historical Foundation Book Review by author Charles H. Bogart, a frequent voluntary contributor to the Naval Historical Foundation.
The Washington, D.C. American Legion hosted a lecture on my book, Victory at Midway: The Battle That Changed the Course of World War II, which was given by Captain Jack Crawford, USN (Midway Yorktown veteran) and your president. The lecture was well received and a complete success. A greater understanding of the battle and its consequences were achieved.
The Foundation’s proposed bill on Midway presented to the House is now being reviewed by the House’s legal counsel and has been approved by Congressman John Duncan (TN). Once the bill is reviewed, it will be introduced in the House. Stay tuned!
Progress is being made in the IMMF’s quest to discover Glenn Miller’s aircraft in the English Channel. The Sarasota Herald Tribune is featuring an article and photographs on the Glenn Miller project which will be published in mid-November 2018. Interviews with your president, IMMF board member Dan Kennedy and James Delgado, Senior Vice President for Search, Inc. will be made by Earle Kimel, staff writer for the paper. The foundation has contacted influential foundations and corporations for financial support for the project. In addition, the ongoing National Glenn Miller Band has been contacted to come to Sarasota for a fund raising concert in January 2020. Stay tuned!!
Chris and I wish all a happy fall.