04 June 2010

This day in history: 4 Jun

1942: Japanese aircraft attacked Midway Island in the morning, and USS Yorktown (CV 5) in the afternoon. Three bombs and two torpedos hit Yorktown, causing severe damage. Damage-control efforts were successful (though Yorktown would be sunk, together with USS Hammann (DD 412), on 7 June by the Japanese submarine I-168).

USS Nautilus (SS 168) made an unsuccessful attack on the Japanese battleship Kirishima at 0830.

During the period 0925-1025 a series of attacks by aircraft from Yorktown, USS Hornet (CV 8) and USS Enterprise (CV 6) caused severe damage to Japanese carriers Akagi, Kaga and Soryu, despite heavy losses (there was only one survivor from Hornet's VT-8). Soryu sank at 1913, and Kaga (having survived another unsuccessful attack by Nautilus) a few minutes later; Akagi sank the next morning at 0530 after being scuttled by torpedoes from destroyers Arashi, Hagikaze, Maikaze, and Nowaki.

At 1705 dive bombers from Enterprise attacked the Japanese carrier Hiryu, which had been missed by previous attacks. Hiryu finally sank at 0230 the next day.

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