VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The Battle of Midway, arguably the most decisive battle of the war in the Pacific during World War II, was fought from June 3rd through June 7th, 1942, just six months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.
The victorious battle, fought near the island of Midway in the central Pacific Ocean, gave the United States Navy the offensive over the Japanese Imperial Navy and turned the tide of the war in favor of the United States and her allies.
On Monday, June 5, Naval Air Force Atlantic will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Midway in a ceremony at the Naval Aviation Monument Park at 25th and Atlantic Streets at the Virginia Beach oceanfront.
The ceremony begins at 2pm and is free and open to the public.
Seating will be provided and parking is available at the 25th street municipal parking garage at 336 25th street for $2.00 per hour.
The guest of honor for the commemoration will be Captain (Retired) Dexter Rumsey, a veteran of the Battle of Midway who flew patrol aircraft out of the French Frigate Shoals, 560 miles northwest of Honolulu. He would later command two ships, Bomber Squadron 211 and Fighter Squadron 41.
Rear Admiral Bruce Lindsey, Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic, will preside over the ceremony which will include the presentation of a mayoral proclamation recognizing the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Midway from Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms.
Doctor Timothy Orr, Associate Professor of Military History at ODU, is the featured speaker. Orr, and his wife Laura, have authored several books on the Battle of Midway and are considered subject matter experts on both the Battle of Midway and World War II.
Other highlights of the ceremony include a fly over performed by U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornets and Super Hornets followed by a solo T-6 Texan vintage World War II airplane, music by the U.S. Fleet Forces Command Brass Quintet, a World War II re-enactor performing radio newscasts from the era, and a wreath laying ceremony followed by a 21-gun salute from the Navy Region Mid Atlantic Honor Guard and a bugler playing TAPS.