05 June 2010

This day in history: 5 Jun

1942: The Battle of Midway continued. USS Yorktown (CV 5), damaged by Japanese air attacks the previous day, was taken under tow by Pearl Harbor survivor USS Vireo (AM 52) in an attempt at returning her to Pearl Harbor for repairs. Yorktown, however, would be sunk, together with USS Hammann (DD 412), on 7 June by the Japanese submarine I-168.

At 0215 Cruiser Division 7 (heavy cruisers Mikuma, Mogami, Kumano and Suzuya), retiring from an aborted mission to bombard Midway, was spotted by USS Tambor (SS 198). They in turn spotted the lurking submarine, and Admiral Kurita ordered a simultaneous 45-degree turn by his ships. In the confusion, Mogami rammed Mikuma amidships. The force split, with the undamaged cruisers continuing ahead while Mikuma and Mogami limped along behind. B-17s, SBDs and Vindicators from Midway attacked during the day, with no luck, but Mikuma was sunk the next day by aircraft from USS Hornet (CV 8) and USS Enterprise (CV 6).

Japanese carriers Kaga and Soryu had been sunk by US aircraft on 4 June. Two other carriers, crippled but still afloat, sank on the 5th: Hiryu at 0230 and Akagi, scuttled by torpedoes from destroyers Arashi, Hagikaze, Maikaze, and Nowaki, at 0530.

No comments: