The balance of power shifted from Japan to America in five minutes on June 4, 1942.  The Imperial Japanese Navy enjoyed victory after victory following the devastating attack on American forces at Pearl Harbor.  Who would have imagined the Americans – outgunned by a ratio of three to one – could devastate three Japanese flattops in five short minutes?


The Americans were clearly the underdogs in this mismatched clash of naval air power.  If the American carriers could just prevent the invasion of Midway Atoll, their sortie from Hawaiian waters would be deemed a success.  But the Americans achieved so much more.


Wave after wave, the Americans kept coming.  The torpedo bombers, medium bombers, heavy bombers and a rag tag group of obsolete dive bombers kept coming.  The Japanese Zero fighters were having a field day – but not without a cost.  As the Japanese carriers zigged and zagged in response to the incessant American attacks, it was impossible for the Japanese to launch an attack on the American carriers whose position had been reported by two Japanese scout planes.


And then it happened.  American Dauntless dive bombers appeared overhead unmolested.  In rapid succession the Kaga, Akagi, and Soyru had their flight decks peppered with high explosive bombs.


Ultimately the Japanese accepted the futility of their position.  The invasion of Midway was off.  The Japanese task force would return to the Empire of the Sun.


The Battle of Midway aerial script by Alan Armstrong honors brave American warriors who fought and died so that we might be free.