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USN November 24, 1941
USN June 1942
The Battle of Midway
June 4, 1942
78th FS c1943
Google Earth 2016
Midway Airfield is located on Eastern Island in Midway Atoll part of NAS Midway Islands. Also known as "Eastern Island Airfield". After the Battle of Midway renamed "Henderson Field".
During 1939 the U. S. Navy (USN) contracted several construction firms, which formed Contractors Pacific Naval Air Base to build facilities for NAS Midway Islands on Eastern Island and Sand Island. On Eastern Island, Midway Airfield was built with three intersecting runways in an "A" shape with supporting facilities completed by 1941. During the Pacific War, Midway Airfield was further expanded and improved.
On September 5, 1941 B-17 Flying Fortresses departed Hickam Field and landed at Midway Airfield to refuel before proceeding across the Pacific Ocean to the Philippines. The formation included: B-17C 40-3095 and B-17C 40-2072.
On December 7, 1941 enroute to Midway was USS Lexington (CV-2) with USMC SB2U-3 Vindicators from VMSB-231 for delivery to Midway Airfield. After reports of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and Oahu were received, the carrier aborted the delivery. Between 9:31am to 9:54am, Japanese destroyers Ushio and Sazanami bombarded Midway Atoll shelling targets on Sand Island.
On December 17, 1941, seventeen USMC SB2U-3 Vindicators from VMSB-231, led by a PBY of Patrol Wing 1 (Pat Wing 1) departed Oahu and landed at Midway Airfield a flight that lasted 9 hours, 45 minutes. At the time, this was the longest mass flight by single-engine aircraft on record.
On May 17, 1942 the 7th Air Force was placed on alert in anticipation of a possible attack on Midway. For the next ten days, B-18 Bolos were used used on sea search missions to supplement B-17's. During this period, 7th Bomber Command receives an influx of B-17 Flying Fortresses from the 5th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 72nd Bombardment Squadron (Heavy).
Battle of Midway
During the Battle of Midway June 4-7, 1942, Midway Airfield was used by U. S. Navy (USN), U. S. Marine Corps (USMC) and U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) aircraft.
The USAAF at Midway Airfield included nearly every available B-17 Flying Fortress plus four B-26 Maruders: two from the 38th Bombardment Group, 69th Bombardment Squadron plus two from the 22nd Bombardment Group, 408th Bombardment Squadron.
USAAF aircraft at Midway Airfield during the Battle of Midway included: B-17E 41-2397, B-17E 41-2403, B-17E 41-2404, B-17E "Ole Sh'asta" 41-2428, B-17E 41-2437, B-17E 41-2463, B-17E 41-2524, B-17E 41-2525, B-17E 41-2635, B-17E 41-9212 and B-17E 41-9213. Two B-17s were lost on June 5, 1942: B-17E 41-9212 (MIA) and B-17E 41-2524 (rescued, 1 missing). Written off due to battle damage was B-26 "Suzy-Q" 40-1391.
Japanese missions against Midway
December 7, 1941–June 4, 1942
American units at Midway
During 1945, Midway Airfield was abandoned in favor of Sand Island Airfield.
View in Google Earth
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