Sand and Eastern Islands in the Midway Atoll.
This photograph was made in November 1942.


Vol. 2 The ONI Review No. 5

May 1947

THE JAPANESE STORY OF THE BATTLE OF MIDWAY 3
INTELLIGENCE BRIEFS 73

Security of the ONI Review

The ONI Review is published for the information of the officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps. Although the material is largely confidential, restricted and classified articles (so designated) will frequently be included. The classification of the magazine as a whole remains confidential.

Commanding officers of ships and shore activities on the Review distribution list are authorized to circulate this publication among all commissioned and warrant officers of the Navy and Marine Corps under their command. The restricted and unclassified articles may be copied and given wider distribution, as appropriate.

Security of the publication should be guarded in accordance with its classification: (1) by care in the circulation and custody of the Review itself and (2) by avoiding discussion of its confidential material in the hearing of other than commissioned and warrant officers of the United States Naval services. When not in use, the Review should be kept under lock and key. It is not to be removed from the ship and shore stations to which it is addressed. Old issues may be retained in the confidential files or destroyed.

 

/signed/
Thos. B. Inglis,
Rear Admiral, U.S.N.,
Chief of Naval Intelligence.


The Japanese Story of the
Battle of Midway

With the fifth anniversary of the Battle of Midway approaching, the ONI Review publishes the official Japanese action report of this engagement, only now translated under the supervision of the Naval Analysis Division, United States Strategic Bombing Survey, and here available in English for the first time.

Although this document is not perfectly complete (part IV for example is missing), it is believed that nothing of any importance will be discovered in the future to change the story in any of its essential details. The report was prepared in the first place under difficulties. It must be remembered that the war diaries of many of the ships engaged, their charts and other valuable papers were lost as a result of the ships having become "inoperational," in the Japanese euphemism.

There is nothing to indicate that the Japanese were not perfectly frank in this report. It was intended only for the highest echelons in the Japanese Navy and Government, and was guarded very closely throughout the war. There have been no alterations or corrections, omissions or additions to this report, beyond the supplying of a few clarifying footnotes.


Foreword

During the stay of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey in Japan, shortly after the conclusion of the war, a sizable number of official Japanese naval papers were recovered and returned to the Washington Document Center. The Naval Analysis Division of the Survey, in connection with its studies, arranged for the scanning of most of these documents and the fuller translation of some, but lack of qualified personnel has not yet permitted the complete coverage which a critical historical examination must later demand.

The document here presented in full is the action report by the C-in-C of the First Air Fleet, Admiral Nagumo, who was the commander of the Striking Force at Midway. As its title implies, this force contained the major offensive strength of the Combined Fleet, in its four aircraft carriers, and in fact conducted all the attack effort in this engagement. It was likewise the primary target of the United States forces involved. In the main, therefore, the action report of the Striking Force covers most of the detail of the historic Battle of Midway as seen from the Japanese side.

The Striking Force (variously titled Mobile Force, First Attack Force, and First Air Fleet) approached Midway from the northwest. The Occupation Force with landing troops embarked approached from the southwest. The Main Body, with Admiral Yamamoto, C-in-C Combined Fleet, took no part in the action, remaining to the westward prepared to meet such American threat to the concurrent operations in the Aleutians and at Midway as might develop.

There have been noted a number of obvious typographical errors in the original text, and several minor errors in fact particularly with respect to recognition of American aircraft types. In addition, there is sometimes difficulty in presenting an exact meaning in interpretation due to inherent peculiarities in Japanese naval phraseology.

It is suggested that the reader will benefit by reference to appropriate sections of "Interrogations of Japanese Officials" and "The Campaigns of the Pacific War" which have been published by the Naval Analysis Division of the Survey.

The arduous task of translating this document was accomplished by Mr. Fred Woodrough, Jr., of the Office of Naval Communications. Mr. Woodrough accompanied the Naval Analysis Division to Japan where he served as the Senior interpreter and translator of that group.

R. A. OFSTIE,
Rear Admiral, USN,
Senior Naval Member,
U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey


The Japanese Story of the
Battle of Midway

MILITARY SECRET

(sent on 1 Feb)
(Seal of CinC First Air Fleet)

Copy #7 of 20

Mobile Force's Detailed Battle Report #6.
First Air Fleet's Detailed Battle Report #6.


CINC FIRST AIR FLEET DETAILED BATTLE REPORT NO. 6

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PART I. EXISTING CONDITIONS AND TRENDS:

  1. General Situation of the Enemy.
  2. Situation in the Midway area.
  3. Mobile Force Commander's Estimate of the Situation.

PART II. PLANS:

  1. Fleet Organization and Composition immediately prior to Motivation of this Operation:
    1. Organization.
    2. Organization of Attack Units:
      1. Attack on Midway.
      2. First Attack on Enemy Carriers.
      3. Second Attack on Enemy Carriers.
    3. Organization of Reconnaissance Units.
  2. High Command's Operation Orders.
  3. Preparation for Operation.
  4. Outline of Movement of Commander and Men during the Period of Preparation for the Operation.

PART III. DESCRIPTION OF THE OPERATION:

  1. Direction of Operation by the Commander and his Movements.
  2. Outline of Developments (Excerpts).
  3. Actual Condition of the Enemy:
    1. Actual Conditions in the Midway area.
    2. Enemy Carriers.
    3. Attacking planes of the Enemy.
  4. Conditions and Circumstances which Affected the Operation.
  5. Outstanding Events during the Operation:
    1. Attack on Midway.
    2. First Attack on Enemy Carriers.
    3. Second Attack on Enemy Carriers.
    4. Action of Cover Units.
    5. Action of AA Units.
    6. Enemy Action and Damages suffered by us.
  6. General Situation at Conclusion of Operations and the Commander's Estimate concerning it.
  7. Movement and Action Charts:
    Supplementary Table #1: Track Chart.
    Supplementary Table #2: Action Chart.

PART IV: ORDERS, REPORTS, ETC.:

    War Diary (Abbreviated).
    [This part is missing from the document.- Ed.]

--1--

PART V: RESULTS:
  1. Attack on Midway:
    1. Military Installations.
    2. Aircraft.
  2. Attacks on Carriers.
  3. Action of Air Cover Units (Supplementary Tables 3 and 4).
  4. Action of AA Units (Supplementary Tables 3 and 4).
  5. Recapitulation of Results Obtained during Midway Operation.
  6. Damage Sustained:
    1. Surface Vessels (Outline).
    2. Aircraft (destroyed).
    3. Personnel (killed).

PART VI: RECOGNITION OF MERITORIOUS ACTIONS.

PART VII: REFERENCE MATERIAL:

  1. Battle Lessons (Separate Volume).
  2. Weather Charts.
  3. Mobile Force's Operation Order #34.


    SUPPLEMENT TO FIRST AIR FLEET SECRET FILE # 37 OF 6.
    MOBILE FORCE DETAILED BATTLE REPORT #6.
    FIRST AIR FLEET DETAILED BATTLE REPORT #6.
    OCCUPATION OF MIDWAY OPERATIONS, 27 MAY 1942 - 6 JUNE 1942.

 

PART I.
EXISTING CONDITIONS AND TRENDS

  1. General Situation of the Enemy

    Because of developments during the First Phase Operations, the enemy's outposts which he had relied on to be his first line of defense, collapsed one after another until he began to feel direct threats even to such areas as India, Australia, and Hawaii. The enemy was exerting every pressure to stem this tide by stepping up his submarine strength in the waters controlled by us and by increasing his air strength in the Australia area. He employed these to carry on guerrilla type tactics. Task force thrusts were also made in the Western and Southwestern Pacific.

    These seemed to indicate that the enemy was planning on more positive actions than heretofore.

    Subsequent to the beating he received in the Coral Sea on 7-8 May, the enemy was temporarily subdued, but by the end of May - by the time the Fleet was about to sortie from Hashira Jima - the enemy again began to show considerable life in all areas, particularly in the Australia area.

  2. Situation in the Midway Area

    Midway acts as a sentry for Hawaii. Its importance was further enhanced after the loss of Wake and it was apparent that the enemy was expediting the reinforcing of its defensive installations, its air base facilities, and other military installations as well as the personnel.

    Estimate of existing conditions there were as follows:

    1. Air strength:1

      Recco. Flying Boats 2 squadrons.
      Army Bombers 1 squadron.
      Fighters 1 squadron.

      The above estimated strength could be doubled in an emergency.

    2. Strict Air Patrols were maintained both day and night to the West to a distance of about 600 miles. About three fighters covered the Island at all times.

    3. Some surface vessels patrolled the area and some submarines were active to the West.

    4. Of the enemy's carriers, the Ranger was apparently in the Atlantic. According to some prisoners' statements, the Lexington had been sunk. There were others, however, who claimed that she was under repair on the West Coast.

    5. The Enterprise and the Hornet were definitely placed in the Pacific, but we could get no reliable information as to the whereabouts of the Wasp.

    6. About six auxiliary carriers had been completed and there were indications that about half of this number were in the Pacific. However, they were known to be inferior in speed and could not be effectively employed for positive action.

--2--

    1. Air strength in the Hawaii area was estimated to be as follows:

      Flying Boats About 60.
      Bombers About 100.
      Fighters About 200.

      These could be used for the speedy reinforcement of Midway.

    2. Enemy surface units in the Hawaii area were estimated to be in about the strength noted below. It was likely that these units would sortie in the event of an attack on Midway.

      Aircraft Carriers 2 to 3.
      Special Carriers 2 to 3.
      Battleships 2.
      Type A Cruisers 4 to 5.
      Type B Cruisers 3 to 4.
      Light Cruisers 4.
      Destroyers About 30.
      Submarines 25.

    3. Shore Defense Installations on Midway.

      Large numbers of various types of level and high angle large caliber guns as well as high angle machine guns had been installed. Marines had also been landed and all in all, the island was very strongly defended.

  1. Mobile Force Commander's Estimate of the Situation

    1. Although the enemy lacks the will to fight, it is likely that he will counter attack if our occupation operations progress satisfactorily.

    2. The enemy conducts air reconnaissance mainly to the West and to the South but does not maintain a strict vigil to the Northwest or to the North.

    3. The enemy's patrol radius is about 500 miles.

    4. The enemy is not aware of our plans. (We were not discovered until early in the morning of the 5th at the earliest.)

    5. It is not believed that the enemy has any powerful unit, with carriers as its nucleus, in the vicinity.

    6. After attacking Midway by air and destroying the enemy's shore based air strength to facilitate our landing operations, we would still be able to destroy any enemy task force which may choose to counter attack.

    7. The enemy's attempt to counterattack with use of shore based aircraft could be neutralized by our cover fighters and AA fire.


PART II.
PLANS

  1. Fleet Organization and Composition Immediately Prior to Motivation of the Operation.

    1. Organization:

--3--

    1. Organization of Attack Units:

      1. Attack on Midway

      2. First Attack on Enemy Carriers

      3. Second Attack on Enemy Carriers

--4--

    1. Organization of Reconnaissance Units (see Supplementary Table):

  1. High Command's Operation Orders

    1. Secret Combined Fleet OpOrd #12. Combined Fleet's Second Phase Operation Order.

    2. Secret Combined Fleet OpOrd #13. Communication plans of Combined Fleet for Second Phase Operation.

    3. Secret Combined Fleet OpOrd #14. Co-ordination of Movements of Various Forces involved in the MI (Midway) and AL (Aleutians) Operations.

  2. Preparations for the Operation

    Upon their return to home ports on 22 and 23 April, the ships immediately underwent repair and maintenance operations.

    From the latter part of April, the carrier planes engaged in training at Kagoshima (Akagi), Kanoya (Kaga), Tomitaka (Hiryu), Kasanohara (Soryu), and Iwakuni (bomber leaders).

    Float plane training was conducted at Kagoshima from 6 May.

    Although the flight training program was conducted without any major incident, since there had been a considerable turn-over in personnel, practically no one got beyond the point of basic training. Inexperienced fliers barely got to the point where they could make daytime landings on carriers. It was found that even some of the more seasoned fliers had lost some of their skill. No opportunity was available to carry out joint training, which, of course made impossible any coordinated action between contact units, illumination units, and attack units. The likelihood of obtaining any satisfactory results from night attacks, therefore, was practically nil.

    1. Torpedo Attacks:

      During the middle part of May, mock torpedo attacks were carried out, with judges from the Yokosuka Air Group acting as referees. The records during these tests were so disappointing that some were moved to comment that it was almost a mystery how men with such poor ability could have obtained such brilliant results as they had in the Coral Sea.

      On 18 May, actual tests were made against CruDiv 8 traveling at high speed. In spite of the fact that the speed was 30 knots with only 45-degree turns, the records made by the fliers were again exceedingly poor. With water depth at 40 to 50 meters, about a third of the torpedoes were lost.

    2. Level Bombing:

      Bomber leaders were concentrated at Iwakuni and practiced level bombing using the Settsu2 as a target ship. The men attained a fair degree of skill, but they had no opportunity to participate in any formation bombing drills.

    3. Dive Bombing:

      Since the Settsu was limited to the waters in the vicinity of Naikai Seibu (Western Inland Sea) valuable time was wasted by the fliers in coming and going. The men could not participate in more than one dive bombing drill a day without seriously interfering with their basic training. Even this minimum practice could not be conducted satisfactorily because the men were kept busy with maintenance work.

--5--

    1. Air Combat:

      Men engaged in this phase were able to get no further than to actual firing and basic training for lone air combat operations. The more experienced were employed in formation air combat tactics, but even they were limited to about a three-plane formation.

    2. Landing:

      Since the carriers were undergoing repair and maintenance operations, the only available ship for take-off and landing drills was the Kaga. She was kept busy from early morning to nightfall but even at that the young fliers barely were able to learn the rudiments of carrier landings. The more seasoned fliers were given about one chance each to make dusk landings.

    3. Night Flying:

      Insofar as the weather permitted, men were trained in this phase every day. Due to maintenance needs and because of the limited time, only the very fundamentals were learned by the inexperienced fliers.

      Because of the need for replacements and transfers of personnel, the combat efficiency of each ship had been greatly lowered. Moreover, since most of the ships were undergoing maintenance and repair work until only a few days before departure, the men's efficiency suffered greatly.

      Training in group formations could not be satisfactorily conducted because of the limitation in time. This was particularly true of the newly formed DesRon 10. Some of the units in it underwent training as anti-air-screening ships, while others were assigned antisub duties. The squadron as a whole never had the opportunity to carry out joint drills.

      That was the situation as far as fleet training was concerned. Added to this, we had practically no intelligence concerning the enemy. We never knew to the end where or how many enemy carriers there were. In other words, we participated in this operation with meager training and without knowing the enemy.

  1. Outline of Movements of Commander and Men During the Period of Preparation for the Operation

    Since the Akagi was undergoing repairs, the Flag was transferred to the Kaga during the early part of May after instructions session with the Combined Fleet had been completed. The Flag was moved back to the Akagi during the middle of the month upon her return to Hashira Anchorage.

    Because the Soryu was undergoing repairs, the Flag CarDiv 2 was transferred to the Hiryu at Sasebo during early May. Later the latter ship was permanently assigned as Flagship.

    During the early part of May, CruDiv 8 assembled at Hashira Jima, and then in order DesRon 10, CarDiv 1, CarDiv 2, and the second section of BatDiv 3 arrived at the same anchorage. It was not until only a few days before the force was scheduled to sortie during the latter part of May, that all units were assembled.

    On 24 May aircraft were taken aboard and on the 26th operation plans were agreed upon. At 0600 27 May the force departed for its operations area.

    During this entire time, I3 was at Naikai Seibu (Western Inland Sea), directing training operations and attempting to coordinate intelligence.


PART III.
DESCRIPTION OF THE OPERATION

  1. Direction of Operation by the Commander and his Movements

    The Mobile Force departed Hashira Jima at 0600 17 May. Maintaining strict anti-sub screen and a rigid radio silence, the force headed for the area to the northwest of Midway following course 1 as given in Mobile Force Secret OpOrd 35.

    On 1 and 2 June,4 all ships were refueled.

    Visibility steadily decreased from about 1000 2 June so that by 2300 on the 3d, all ships were being navigated blindly. No visual signals could be employed during this period. Since there seemed little likelihood of the fog's lifting, the radio was used as a last resort at 1030 on the 3d (long wave) to give change of course.

    Shortly after this, the fog lifted somewhat, making visual signals barely possible. By the morning of the 4th visibility on the surface improved greatly, but there were scattered clouds overhead.

    At 1640 the Tone reported sighting about 10 enemy planes bearing 260 degrees. Three fighters immediately took off from the Akagi in pursuit of these but they were unable to sight the enemy. There is some element of doubt in the reported sighting.

    At about 2330 on the same day, the Akagi twice sighted what was thought to be enemy planes weav-

--6--

    ing in and out of the clouds. All hands were immediately ordered to battle stations. There is considerable doubt as to the reliability of this sighting.

    At 0130 on the 5th,5 under command of flight officer of the Hiryu, Lieut. Tomonaga, Organization #5 composed of 36 ship-based fighters, 36 ship-based bombers, and 36 ship-based torpedo planes, took off to attack Midway.

    Between 0130 and 0200, 1 ship-based torpedo plane each from Akagi and Kaga, 2 Type 0 Float Recco each from Tone and Chikuma (distance 300 miles, to the left 60 miles) and 1 Type-95 Float Recco from the Haruna (distance 150 miles, to the left 40 miles), took off in search of enemy task forces to the South and to the East.

    From about 0230, two to three enemy flying boats maintained continuous contact with us.

    Shortly after taking off, the attack unit was contacted by enemy flying boats. When about 30 miles short of the target on Midway, the above mentioned flying boats suddenly dropped illumination bombs over our attack plane units to attract overhead cover fighters.

    Thereafter, while engaging in bitter air combats, bombs were dropped on military installations on Midway between about 0345 and 0410. Fires resulted. All but 2 ship-based fighters, 1 ship-based bomber and 3 ship-based torpedo planes returned to their carriers by about 0600.

    After our attack unit had taken off, enemy flying boats maintained contact with us. At about 0400 the first enemy wave attacked. From then until about 0730, the enemy attacked almost continuously. We counter attacked with fighters and AA fire and were able to bring most of the attackers down by 0645. About 30 carrier-based bombers then attacked us resulting in fires aboard the Akagi, Kaga, and Soryu, forcing them to fall behind and leaving only the Hiryu untouched.

    Prior to this and subsequent to the take off of the initial attack unit, the fleet had Organization Number 4 (ship-based torpedo planes) stand by in readiness to act against any enemy surface vessels. However, at 0415, the command plane of the Hiryu radioed that:

    "There is a necessity for carrying out a second attack (0400)."

    It was decided, therefore, that a second attack would be directed against Midway. Orders were issued for the ship-based attack planes to remove their torpedoes and replace them with #80 land hombs.

    At about 0500, Tone's #4 plane reported:

    "Sighted what appears to be the enemy composed of 10 (ships), bearing 10 degrees, distance 240 miles from Midway, on course 150 degrees, speed 20 knots (0428)."

    Two subsequent reports concerning the weather (0440) and the enemy's course and speed (0455) were received but since we had not been advised of details, the plane was ordered to:

    "Advise ship types."

    At 0530, Tone's plane reported:

    "The enemy is accompanied by what appears to be a carrier in a position to the rear of the others (0520)."

    and again at about 0540:

    "Sight what appears to be 2 cruisers in position bearing 8 degrees, distance 250 miles from Midway; course, 150 degrees; speed 20 knots (0530)."

    Thus, it was definitely established that enemy carriers were operating in the vicinity. The following dispatch was, therefore, sent to CinC Combined Fleet:

    "(Info: CinC 2nd Fleet) At 0500, the enemy composed of 1 carrier, 5 cruisers, and 5 destroyers, was sighted in position bearing 10 degrees, distance 240 miles from Midway. We are heading for it."

    Under orders issued at 0415, the ship-based attack planes were already being re-equipped with #80 land bombs which made immediate take-offs of the ship-based attack planes in Organization Number 4, impossible. It was therefore decided that we would await the return of the Midway attack unit and then carry out a grand scale air attack. The Fleet was advised as follows:

    "After taking on the returning planes, we shall proceed north to contact and destroy the enemy task force."

    This was sent at 0605.

    In reply to this CarDiv 1 advised that its ship-based attack planes (torpedo equipped) would be ready for the take-off at 0730 and CarDiv 2 that its ship-based attack planes (to be equipped with torpedoes upon their return from the first attack), would be ready for the take-off by from 0730 to 0800. Subsequent to this, every effort was made to expedite completing preparations for the take-off of Organization Number 4. (Akagi: 3 ship-based fighters; 18 ship-based attack planes. Kaga: 3 ship-based fighters; 27 ship-based attack planes. Hiryu: 3 ship-based fighters; 18 ship-based bombers. Soryu: 3 ship-based fighters; 18 ship-based bombers).

--7--

    While we were engaged in this, the enemy struck. Communication facilities were knocked out of all damaged ships. There was little likelihood of the fires being extinguished in the immediate future. For these reasons, I decided to direct the operations from the Nagara, and transferred to her at 0830.

    After our ships had been damaged, the commander of CarDiv 2 decided to carry out the attack against the enemy carrier sighted by Tone's float recco plane. At 0758, Hiryu's attack unit (6 fighters and 18 bombers) took off and carried out the attack. Direct hits by 5 #25 ordinary and 1 land bombs were scored on an Enterprise class carrier, inflicting serious damage to her (possibly sinking her).

    Prior to this, at 0530, a type 13 experimental ship-based bomber from the Soryu was ordered to maintain contact with the enemy carrier but due to break-down in radio facilities, it was not known until the return of this plane that, in addition to the aforementioned, there was a task force which had as its nucleus a carrier of the Enterprise class and another of the Hornet class. This task force was operating in waters to the north of the other one.

    With this information at hand, the Hiryu attack unit (4 fighters and 9 torpedo planes, supplemented by 2 fighters from the Kaga and 1 torpedo plane from the Akagi) was ordered to the attack. Three torpedo hits were scored on a carrier of the Enterprise class, seriously damaging her. Heavy damages were also inflicted on a heavy cruiser of the San Francisco class.

    NOTES

    Report of Chikuma's recco plane at 1413, 5th:

    1. Sighted an enemy carrier of the Enterprise class listing and stopped in position 30-15N, l76-50W. (No evidence of fire. No damage to flight deck.) Three cruisers and 5 destroyers were in the vicinity. At about 1420, leaving the carrier on the scene, the others proceeded eastward on course 80 degrees, speed 20 knots.

    2. Sighted 2 enemy carriers (Yorktown or Hornet class) at 1510, in position 30-23N, 176-05W. Each was being directly escorted by 2 cruisers and 4 destroyers. Distance between the two groups, 3 miles; course 270 degrees; speed 12 knots.

    3. Two other carriers (class undetermined) escorted by 5 cruisers and 6 destroyers sighted at 1516 in a position about 4 miles to the south of the others. Course 260 degrees, speed 12 knots.

    4. Since the above sightings were made by the #2 plane while it was proceeding southward on a course of about 180 degrees from about 1500, and were seen one after another along this line, there is no chance of duplication.6 Moreover, sightings described in (b) and (c) above, were from below cloud level, or at about 300 meters altitude.

    Judging from these reports, it seemed probable that the carrier damaged by torpedoes remained adrift until the following morning.

    Subsequent searches failed to locate the carrier damaged by 5 ordinary bombs and 1 land bomb.

    From these evidences, it was possible to estimate that one carrier was sunk by bombing while another was seriously damaged by torpedoes. The damaged carrier was sunk the following day by submarine torpedoes.

    The three attacks resulted in the loss of most of Hiryu's attack unit. At 1240, she only had 6 fighters, 5 bombers, and 4 torpedo planes left. Contact was maintained, however, with Soryu's Type 13 experimental ship-based bomber (the plane which was ordered to the Hiryu because of fire on board the Soryu after returning from reconnaissance). Preparations were pressed for a fourth attack, aimed at the destruction of the Hornet class carrier.

    During this time, the Hiryu had the planes of her air cover maintain constant cover. At 1403, at the very moment when a type 13 experimental ship-based bomber was about to take off, the Hiryu was subjected to dive bombing attacks from 13 enemy ship-based bombers. The Hiryu, also, broke out in flames.

    Damages to our carriers up to this time were as follows:

    1. AKAGI

      The enemy attack unit which carried out a sustained attack from about 0400 was almost totally destroyed by friendly cover fighters. Up to 0650, our surface units had suffered practically no damage and the skies were clear of enemy planes.

      At 0700, the second wave struck. Fourteen enemy torpedo planes, splitting into two groups approached from the northwest. One group carried out a torpedo attack against the Kaga and was followed up with several planes dive-bombing her.

      At 0706, enemy torpedo planes were sighted bearing 118 degrees. To minimize the target area, the Akagi turned to course 300 degrees and stayed on this course. At a time when all of our surface

--8--

      units had maneuvered themselves into maximum defense against the torpedo planes, enemy dive bombers were suddenly noted among the clouds overhead at 0726. Resorting to evasive tactics, every effort was made to avoid the bombs, but one direct hit was sustained on the aft rim of the lift amidship and another on the rear guard of the port flight deck. (Neither were fatal hits.)

      Since the Akagi was at the time preparing to carry out the second attack, the fire spread over the entire hangar area and with induced explosions, the fire gradually moved from the aft quarters, forward with great intensity, spreading even to the immediate vicinity of the bridge.

      Ammunition rooms were immediately ordered flooded, and all hands were ordered to fire-fighting stations. The pump system aboard, however, failed to function and it became apparent that the fire would not be extinguishable in the immediate future. The headquarters, therefore, was moved to the Nagara at 0746. Subsequent to this, every effort was made to bring the fire under control but it became increasingly evident that there would be little hope of success.

      At 1038, the Emperor's portrait was transferred to the destroyer Nowake. By 1620, the situation was deemed hopeless, and the captain of the Akagi decided to order all hands to abandon ship. A report to that effect was made to the commander of the Mobile Force and the order was issued at 1625. Personnel began transferring to the destroyers Arashi and Nowake at 1700. At 1925 CinC Combined Fleet ordered: "Delay disposition." While standing by awaiting further orders, CinC Combined Fleet ordered: "Dispose," at 0150 on the 6th. In accordance with this order, the ship was scuttled at 0200, in position 30-30N, 178-40W.

    1. KAGA

      Against enemy torpedo plane attacks which were carried out after 0400, AA fire and evasive action proved completely successful. While still engaged in evasive action at about 0715 against the persistent enemy torpedo planes, 9 enemy dive bombers were suddenly sighted among the clouds at 0722. Every effort was made to counter these through evasive action and AA fire cover. These efforts were successful against the first, second, and third bombs, but #4 hit starboard, aft, while #7 was a direct hit in the vicinity of the forward elevator. Glass on the bridge was shattered and because of the smoke from the bombs, visibility from that point was reduced to zero. The captain ordered emergency steering apparatus put in operation. Bomb #8 hit in the vicinity of the forward elevator. Practically nothing of the bridge remained after this hit. All persons who were on the bridge at the time, including the captain, were killed in action. Bomb #9 also hit amidship. Fire-fighting was conducted under the direction of the air officer, but since there seemed to be little hope of getting the fire under control, the Emperor's portrait was transferred to the Hagikaze at 1025. The situation became hopeless by 1340 and all hands were ordered to abandon ship. They were transferred to the destroyers Hagikaze and Maikaze. The fire on board spread to both the forward and aft fuel tanks by 1625, causing two great explosions and the ship's sinking. Position of Kaga's sinking: 30-20.3N, 179-17.2W.

    2. HIRYU

      Fire broke out as a result of dive-bombing attacks by 13 enemy dive bombers at 1403. From then until 1803 she resorted to evasive action under battle speed #1, while efforts were made to escape from the battle area and to fight fires. The flames could not be brought under control, however, and the fires killed one man after another in the engine rooms until further operation of the ship became impossible. Telephone communications with the engine rooms were maintained until the last. The manner in which the engine room personnel from Engineer Commander Kunizo Aimune down to the last man, carried on in the face of death which finally overtook them, can only be described as heroic.

      The ship's list, due to shipping water, constantly increased to about 15 degrees.

      At 2058, it seemed as if the fires might be brought under control, but at that time there was another induced explosion and the fierce fires were rekindled. It became evident that further fire-fightng operations were useless and all hands were ordered to prepare to abandon ship at 2330. At 2350 Captain Tomeo Kaki and Squadron Commander Rear-Admiral Tamon Yamaguchi delivered messages to the crew. This was followed by expressions of reverence and respect to the Emperor, the shouting of Banzai's, the lowering of the battle flag and command flag. At 0015, all hands were ordered to abandon ship, His Imperial Highness' portrait removed, and the transfer of personnel to the destroyers Kazagumo and Makigumo put underway. The transfer of portrait and men was completed at 0130.

--9--

      After completion of the transfer operations, the Division Commander and Captain remained aboard ship. They waved their caps to their men and with complete composure joined their fate with that of their ship.

      At 0210 the Hiryu was scuttled by torpedo (1) from the Makigumo. Position of Hiryu's scuttling: 31-27.5N, 179-23.5W.

    1. SORYU

      The Soryu was attacked by 13 dive bombers from 0725. Three hits were scored on her at 0725, 0726, and 0728. By 0730, the fires quickly spread and caused induced explosions from the bomb-storage room, torpedo-storage room, AA and machine-gun-ammunition rooms as well as from gasoline tanks. Fires enveloped the entire ship in no time. By 0740 both engines had stopped. At 0743, attempts were made to steer her, but with the entire ship in flames, she was helpless. "Abandon ship" was ordered at 0745.

      While most of the officers and men, including the Executive officer, had congregated on deck, having been forced to leave their posts due to the flames, a terrific explosion occurred. The explosion sent them flying into the water.

      Every effort was made to pick these men up and put them on the forward deck. Medical aid was given those needing it there. Transfers to the destroyers Hamakaze and Isonami were completed at about 1600.

      As soon as the fires broke out aboard ship, the captain, Ryusaku Yanagimoto, appeared on the signal tower to the starboard of the bridge. He took command from this post and pleaded that his men seek shelter and safety. He would allow no man to approach him. Flames surrounded him but he refused to give up his post. He was shouting "Banzai" over and over again when heroic death overtook him.

      Fires died down somewhat by about 1600, and the air officer who was the acting commander, organized fire fighters with the intention of reboarding the ship. However, the ship sank7 at 1613 and there was a great underwater explosion at 1620.

      Position: 30-42.5N, 178-37.5W.

      At 0828, after the headquarters had been transferred to the Nagara, a plane from the Chikuma reported: "The enemy is in position bearing 70 degrees, distance 90 miles from us (0810)." It was decided that the enemy would be destroyed in a daytime attack. Therefore, the following order was issued at 0853: "We are now going to attack. Assemble." At 0900, our course was set at 60 degrees, speed 16 knots; at 0945, course 0 degrees, speed 20 knots; 1000, speed 24 knots.

      At 1045, the enemy changed its course to 90 degrees and the opportunity for battle seemed to be close at hand. Somewhat later, Tone's #4 plane reported: "The enemy is in position bearing 114 degrees, distance 110 miles from my position of 1230." From this it became evident that the enemy was trying to put distance between himself and us.

      It was deemed that if under these conditions, the enemy chose to strike, we would be at a distinct disadvantage in that we would be unable to carry out a decisive battle.

      We, therefore, turned about and proceeded westward, with the expectation of destroying the enemy in a night encounter.

      Prior to this, at 1120, the following order was issued to the Second Mobile Force:

      "The First Mobile Force is in (grid) position TO E WO 33 at 1100, 5th. After destroying enemy striking force to the east, we plan to proceed northward. The Second Mobile Force will rendezvous with us as soon as possible. Our (grid) position at 1130 will be: YU YU KE 44, on course 285, speed 24 knots. Plan to rendezvous with Landing Force at 1600."

      While thus laying plans for the night attack, the Hiryu also broke out in flames at 1405. That meant that while all four of our carriers had been lost, the enemy had at least one. Moreover, as long as we were in the operational radius of their shore-based air, we would be at a very distinct disadvantage.

      By 1433, the enemy began to retreat to the east on course 70, speed 20 knots, which further reduced our hopes for a night engagement. However, we still were determined to carry it out. Nagara's plane was ordered to prepare for a take-off and all the ships were ordered to assemble in the vicinity of the Nagara. At 1450, CinC Second Fleet, issued the orders for the night battle.

      At 1530, the commander of DesDiv 4 ordered the destroyers under his command to stand by the various carriers assigned to them and to protect them from enemy submarines and task forces.

      At about this time the commander of the Chikuma made the following report:

      "This ship's #2 plane reports that at about 1530 he sighted 4 enemy carriers, 6 cruisers and 15 destroyers proceeding westward in a position about 30 miles east of the listing and burning enemy carrier."

--10--

      This was the first inkling we had of the overwhelming superiority of the enemy's carrier strength. Since we were not able to maintain contact with this task force after sundown, our hopes of a successful night engagement were further reduced.

      At 1615, the following order was received from CinC Combined Fleet:

      "Combined Fleet Secret Despatch #298.
      "Combined Fleet DesOpOrd #158:

      "1. The enemy task force has retired to the east. Its carrier strength has practically been destroyed.
      "2. The Combined Fleet units in that area, plan to overtake and destroy this enemy, and, at the same time, occupy AF (Midway).
      "3. The Main Body was in position (grid) FU ME RI 32 at 0000, 6th. Course 90 degrees, speed 20 knots.
      "4. The Mobile Force, Occupation Force (less CruDiv 7) and Advance Force [Submarine] will contact and destroy the enemy as soon as possible."

      It was evident that the above message was sent as a result of an erroneous estimate of the enemy, for he still had 4 carriers in operational condition and his shore-based air on Midway was active.

      Therefore, the following message was sent:

      "Mobile Force Secret despatch #560.

      "Enemy has a total of 5 carriers, 6 cruisers, and 15 destroyers which are proceeding west from the vicinity of (grid) position TO SU WA 15 (at 1530). While offering protection to the Hiryu we are retiring northwestward. Speed 18 knots. 1830 (grid) position: FU N RE 55."

      Although we had already reported the existing situation, we again sent the following despatch at 1950:

      "Re Combined Fleet DesOpOrd #158.

      "The enemy still has 4 carriers (may include special type carriers), 6 cruisers, and 15 destroyers which are at present proceeding westward. All the carriers of our force have become inoperational. We plan to contact the enemy with float reconnaissance planes tomorrow morning."

      A follow-up message reading: "Mobile Force Secret despatch #562. Re Mobile Force Secret Despatch- #561: 2 of the carriers involved are of the Hornet class, speed 24 knots. Type of the other two are unknown," was sent.

      We were not in contact with the enemy at that time and our destroyers had been assigned to the damaged carriers. Moreover, the enemy was approximately 100 miles away which made a night engagement by us almost out of the question. Every effort, instead, was made to save the Hiryu.

      At 2040, the following order was received from ComOccupation Force:

      "Second Fleet Secret Despatch #761.

      "1. The support for the Occupation Force reached position (grid) TO E WA 12 at 0000, 6th. We plan to carry out searches to the east and to participate in the night attack described in Mobile Force's Secret Despatch #560.
      "2. The Mobile Force (excepting the Hiryu, Akagi, and their respective escorts), will immediately turn about and participate in the Occupation Force's night engagement."

      While complying with the orders issued by the Combined Fleet and the Second Fleet, orders were received from the Combined Fleet to rendezvous, which were complied with.

      The following was received from the Combined Fleet at 0430, 6th:

      "Combined Fleet's Secret Despatch #310.

      "Has the Hiryu sunk? Advise situation and position."

      So, it became evident that the Hiryu's sinking was not as yet certain to CinC Combined Fleet. Moreover, a friendly plane reported that the Hiryu was still afloat. Therefore, a plane from the Nagara was sent out in search for her and at the same time the destroyer Tanikaze was despatched to dispose of her. Neither could sight the target, so it is assumed that she had sunk.

      From about 1500, 6th, the Tanikaze was subjected to attacks from about 50 enemy planes. She fought well without any support from any other units, and managed to down 4 of the enemy planes.

      The carrier of the Yorktown type which had been hurt by our efforts (apparently no damage had been inflicted on her flight deck) was definitely sunk by subsequent submarine action.

  1. Outline of Events (Excerpts).

    3 June  

    0000 Course, 70; speed, 9.
    1030 Despatch from Comdr. Mobile Force to Mobile Force (radio) : "Course, 125."
    1200 Refuelling of DesRon 10 begun.
    1250 Fog gradually lifts.
    1330 Course, 130. Position: 37-1.5N, 171-7.0E.
    1350 Fog bank.
    1530 Message by signal from Comdr. Mobile Force to Mobile Force: "Mobile Force Sig Ord #97. Method one will be employed in

--11--

    3 June  

      the attack on the 5th. There will be seven search lines: #1, 181 degrees, Akagi; #2, 158 degrees, Kaga; #3, 123 degrees; #4, 100 degrees; #5, 77 degrees; #6, 54 degrees; all four to be carried out by planes of CruDiv 8. Search distance, 300 miles and 60 miles to the left. #7, to bear 31 degrees, distance 150 miles and 40 miles to left. Besides the above, the Akagi will have ready a weather observation plane. Times of take-offs will be ordered later."
    1640 Message by signal from Comdr. CruDiv 8 to CruDiv 8, info Mobile Force: "CruDiv 8 SigOrd #28. With regards to Mobile Force SigOrd #97. Tone will supply planes for searches on lines 3 and 4 and Chikuma for lines 5 and 6."
    2350 Fog clears.
     

    4 June

     
    0307 Supply Unit and Akigumo detached. Course, 130; speed, 12.
    0525 Signal message from Comdr. CruDiv 8 to CruDiv 8, BatDiv 3. Info, Mobile Force:
    "CruDiv 8 Sig Ord #29. The following revisions made for antisub air patrol for tomorrow, the 5th:

    "1. Take-off times: Watch 1, 0130; Watch 2, 0430; Watch 3, 0730.
    "2. 1 Plane each from the Kirishima and Chikuma (3-seat float recco's, if needed) will undertake the flights for Watch 2. Kirishima's will be the #1 duty plane, Chikuma's #2 duty plane."

    0615 Screen cruising disposition #5.
    1025 Signal message from Comdr. Mobile Force to Mobile Force:
    "Mobile Force SigOrd #100. Movements of the fleet subsequent to the take-off

Akagi in an early phase of the Battle of Midway.
Photo by Army Air Force.

--12--

    4 June  

     
    of the attack units tomorrow, will be as follows:

    "1. For three hours and 30 minutes following the first wave's take-off, the fleet will proceed on course 135 degrees, speed, 24 knots. Thereafter, if the prevailing winds are from the east, course will be 45 degrees, speed 20; if west winds prevail, course will be 270 degrees, speed, 20 knots.

    "2. Change in plans may be necessitated by enemy actions. Bear this in mind in making preparations for assembling and taking aboard the air control units.

    "3. Unless otherwise specified, the search units will take off at the same time as the attack units."

    1117 Signal message from Comdr. Mobile Force to Mobile Force: "#25. Maintain 26 knot momentary stand-by and maximum battle speed 20 minute stand-by from 0100, 5th."
    1200 Speed, 24 knots.
    1230 Signal message from Comdr. Mobile Force to Mobile Force:
    "Mobile Force SigOrd #101: Disposition #1 will be employed in carrying out float plane antisub patrols tomorrow the 5th."
    1350 Signal message from Comdr. CruDiv 8 to CruDiv 8 and BatDiv 3. Info, Mobile Force:
    "Following changes will be made in the antisub air patrols for tomorrow, the 5th:

    "1. Allocation: For Watches 1 and 3, one plane each from all ships of CruDiv 8. For Watches 2 and 4, one plane each from all ships of BatDiv 3. For Watch 5, one plane each from Chikuma and Kirishima.

    "2. Take off times (from Watch 1 through Watch 5 in order): 0130, 0430, 0730, 1030, 1330."

    1630 Enemy plane sighted. Tone opens fire.
    1631 3 fighters take off from the Akagi.
    1640 Signal message from Comdr. CruDiv 8 to Comdr. Mobile Force: "Lost enemy planes in direction bearing 260 degrees. About 10 planes."
    1654 Fighters return to Akagi.
    2350 Twice sighted, but almost immediately lost, what appeared to be enemy planes.
     

    5 June

     

    0030 Screen cruising disposition #1. Course, 130 degrees.
    0032 Signal message from Comdr. Mobile Force to Mobile Force: "#1. Plan movements for west winds."
    0054 Speed, 20 knots.
    0100 All hands ordered to stations.
    0130 Midway attack units take off.
    0135 Chikuma plane takes off on #5 search line.
    0138 Signal message from Comdr. Mobile Force to Mobile Force: "Chikuma's plane takes off on #6 search line:"
    0138 Tone's antisub direct escort plane takes off.
    0142 Tone's plane takes off on #3 search line.
    0142 Course, 135.
    0150 Chikuma's antisub direct escort plane takes off.
    0150 Speed, 24 knots.
    0200 Tone's plane takes off on #4 search line.
    0220 Signal message from Comdr. Mobile Force to Mobile Force: "Unless unforeseen changes in the situation occur, the second attack wave, in Organization #4 (under command of Air Officer of Kaga), will be carried out today."
    0232 Nagara lays down smoke screen.
    0232 Speed, 26 knots.
    0234 Kirishima lays down smoke screen.
    0242 Sight one enemy flying boat in position bearing 166 degrees, distance, 40 kilometers.
    0243 Fighters take off from all ships.
    0245 Radio message from Tone's #4 plane to Mobile Force: "#1. Sight two surfaced enemy submarines in position bearing 120 degrees, distance 80 miles from my take-off point. Subs' course, 120 degrees. (0220)."
    0251 Tone sights one enemy flying boat bearing 45 degrees to port, distance 32 kilometers, at high elevation.
    0253 Above flying boat lost when he entered a squall zone.
    0255 Radio message from Tone's plane on #4 search line to Mobile Force: "15 enemy planes are heading towards you."
    0300 Message from Comdr. CarDiv 2 to Mobile Force: "Sight enemy planes bearing 90 degrees." Fighters take off from all ships. Sight enemy planes bearing 50 degrees to port (90 degree direction), distance 42.5 kilometers.
    0309 Speed, 28 knots.
    0331 Course, 140 degrees.

--13--

    5 June  

    0336 Radio message from Com. Attack Unit to Attack Unit: "Assume penetration formation."
    0343 Tone sights three enemy planes. Lays down smoke screen.
    0344 Above planes enter clouds.
    0345 Radio message from Hiryu's attack unit to Comdr. Mobile Force: "We have completed our attack and are homeward bound."
    0349 Message from Chikuma's plane of #4 search line to Comdr. Mobile Force: "#1. Because of bad weather, I am returning. Position 350 miles from point of origin (Bearing 11 degrees from Midway) (0335)."
    0349 Several enemy planes sighted overhead by Tone.
    0350 Signal message from Comdr. Mobile Force to Mobile Force: "Assume Air Alert Disposition #1, Method B."
    0355 Three fighters take off from the Akagi.
    0358 Radio message from plane of Hiryu to Mobile Force: "I have been hit and have ordered each squadron to act separately."
    0359 Three fighters return to the Akagi.
    0400 Radio message from Air Officer, Hiryu to Mobile Force: "#2. There is need for a second attack wave."
    0405 Message from Comdr. Mobile Force to CruDiv 8. "Have all planes assume standby disposition #1."
    0405 Akagi sights 9 enemy planes bearing 150 degrees, distance 25,000 meters, elevation 0.5 degrees. Assumed battle speed #5, heading into the above mentioned planes.
    0405 Tone sights 10 enemy heavy bombers bearing 35 degrees to port, elevation 15 degrees, distance, 1800.
    0406 Chikuma sights about 10 PBY's 36 kilometers dead ahead.
    0407 Radio message from Air Officer, Kaga to Comdr. of Mobile Force: "Sand Island bombed, and great results obtained. (0340)."
    0407 Akagi commences firing with her starboard AA gun.
    0407 Tone commences firing her main guns.
    0408 About 10 friendly fighters head for the enemy.
    0410 Three fighters take off from the Akagi. Enemy torpedo planes divide into two groups.
    0410 Enemy flying boat brought down by friendly fighters.
    0411 Akagi heads into the planes to starboard.
    0411 Friendly fighters in air combat with enemy aircraft.
    0412 Akagi notes that enemy planes loosed torpedoes. Counters with AA machine gun fire. Enemy machine gun strafing seriously injures two men manning the #3 AA gun. Revolving mechanism of said gun damaged (repaired about half an hour later). Both transmitting antennas cut. Unable to use port...(?)."
    0412 Akagi makes full turn to evade, successfully, the torpedo to starboard, and another full turn evades another to port. Noted one torpedo to starboard, two to port (of which one exploded automatically) on parallel courses, and other which crossed astern.
    0417 Three planes brought down by AA fire.
    0412 Tone sights a group of enemy planes heading for our carriers. Three planes heading for this ship, bearing 160 degrees to starboard, elevation 10 degrees.
    0412.5 Hold main gun fire. Commence AA gun fire.
    0413 Air battle over the carriers.
    0414 Enemy planes carry out level bombing attack on carriers. No hits sustained.
    0414 Chikuma changes course to starboard of enemy plane formation.
    0415 Message from Cinc First Air Fleet: "Planes in second attack wave stand by to carry out attack today. Re-equip yourselves with bombs."
    0415 Torpedo dropped ahead of the Akagi. No hit sustained.
    0416 Chikuma turns her main guns on enemy planes which were escaping from friendly fighters. Enemy planes cut to three.
    0418 Tone ordered to hold fire.
    0420 Akagi takes one fighter aboard.
    0420 Chikuma sights an enemy flying boat near the horizon. Elevation 0.5 degrees.
    0421 Chikuma holds fire.
    0422 Tone sights one enemy twin-engined plane making a getaway bearing 45 degrees to starboard. Friendly fighter takes after it. Main gun ammunition expended: 54. No casualties to men or machines.
    0424 One enemy flying boat brought down by friendly fighters.

--14--

    5 June  

    0426 Akagi assumes battle speed #4. Ammunition box attached to her #2 machine gun damaged by machine gun fire. (Emergency repairs completed in about 10 minutes).
    0428 Radio message from Tone's plane on #4 Search Line to Comdr. Mobile Force: "#3. Sight what appears to be 10 enemy surface ships, in position bearing 10 degrees distance 240 miles from Midway. Course 150 degrees, speed over 20 knots.
    0431 Chikuma sights enemy flying boat bearing 50 degrees to port, distance 25 kilometers. Recedes, gradually. (Total of six enemy flying boats sighted of which five were shot down.)
    0436 Four fighters return to Akagi.
    0438 Note the return of friendly attack units.
    0439 Tone assumes patrol disposition #1.
    0439 Chikuma on course 100 degrees. Soryu completes taking her planes aboard.
    0439 Course 100 degrees.
    0445 Message from Comdr. Mobile Force to Mobile Force: "Prepare to carry out attacks on enemy fleet units. Leave torpedoes on those attack planes which have not as yet been changed to bombs."
    0447 Radio message from Comdr. Mobile Force to Tone's plane on #4 Search Line: "#1. Ascertain ship types, and maintain contact."
    0448 Chikuma changes course to port and carries out AA combat to port. Message from Comdr. aboard the Soryu to Mobile Force: "Sight 6 to 9 enemy planes bearing 320 degrees."
    0449 Course, 120 degrees.
    0450 Chikuma commences firing on the 6 to 9 enemy planes bearing 320 degrees.
    0453 Chikuma ceases firing.
    0453 Tone sights one enemy flying boat bearing 90 degrees, elevation 1 degree, distance, 24,000 meters.
    0453.5 Tone advises that enemy flying boat disappears into clouds. Bombs dropped bearing 0 degrees.
    0453.5 Kirishima lays down smoke screen.
    0454 Message from Haruna to Mobile Force: "Sight enemy plane bearing 100 degrees."
    0454 Course, 150 degrees.
    0455 Enemy bombs Soryu (9 or 10 bombs). No hits.
    0455 Message from Comdr. aboard the Soryu to Mobile Force: "14 enemy twin-engined planes flew over us at 270 degrees, altitude 30,000 meters." (sic).
    0456 Noted that the Akagi and Hiryu were being subjected to bombings.
    0458 Radio message from Tone's plane on #4 Search Line to Comdr. Mobile Force: "#5. At 0455, the enemy is on course 80 degrees, speed 20 knots. (0458)."
    0458 Hiryu's fighter comes aboard.
    0500 Akagi sights 16 enemy planes bearing 85 degrees, elevation 7 degrees, distance 17,000 meters. She assumes #5 battle speed.
    0500 Radio message from Comdr. Mobile Force to Tone's plane on #4 Search Line: "Advise ship types (0500)."
    0500 Soryu lays down smoke screen. Stopped.
    0504 Chikuma sights a group of enemy planes bearing 30 degrees to port.
    0506 Tone sights a group of enemy planes bearing 280 degrees, elevation 2 degrees, distance 25,000 meters.
    0506 Chikuma reports that enemy planes bearing 25 degrees to port heading for the fleet concentration. (Carrier-based planes. These were the first carrier-based planes noted by this ship.) Main guns, AA guns and machine guns commence firing.
    0507 Three heavy bombers appear over the Soryu.
    0508 Soryu reports sighting 10 enemy planes.
    0508 Three fighters take off from the Akagi. She goes into evasive tactics.
    0509 Radio message from Tone's plane on #4 search line to Comdr. Mobile Force: "Enemy is composed of 5 cruisers and 5 destroyers."
    0509 Chikuma reports shooting down one enemy carrier-based attack plane (torpedo) bearing 100 degrees to starboard, 200 meters distance.
    0510 Maximum battle speed at momentary standby ordered. Bomb hits on Akagi and Hiryu were noted.
    0510 Enemy plane dives on Soryu. Tone's plane hoisted up.
    0510 Course 140 degrees. Chikuma holds fire.
    0511 Chikuma reports dozens of friendly and enemy planes carrying out a great air combat.

--15--

    5 June  

    0511 Radio message from Tone's plane on #4 search line to Comdr. Mobile Force: "The enemy is composed of 5 cruisers and 5 destroyers. (0509)."
    0512 Akagi opens fire on enemy plane bearing 90 degrees to port.
    0512 Bomb falls astern of the Kaga. Miss.
    0513 Sight bombs fall in position bearing 120 degrees to port, distance 500 meters from the Akagi.
    0513 Bomb falls in position bearing 50 degrees to port distance 1,500 from the Tone. Tone counters with port guns.
    0513 Battle speed #1.
    0514 Tone opens AA fire.
    0515 Tone sights 3 enemy planes overhead. These immediately disappear in the clouds.
    0519 Bomb dropped in position bearing 100 degrees to port, distance 4,000 meters from the Tone. Soryu and Hiryu countering with fierce gun fire. Many bombs being dropped in the vicinity of Soryu.
    0520 Radio message from Tone's plane on #4 search line to Comdr. Mobile Force: "The enemy is accompanied by what appears to be a carrier."
    0520 Course, 270 degrees. Bomb dropped astern of the Akagi. Miss.
    0520 Soryu bombed. No hits.
    0521 Akagi completes maximum battle speed, momentary standby.
    0521 Hiryu bombed. No hits.
    0522 Akagi heads into the enemy torpedo planes to port at maximum battle speed.
    0523 Nagara lays down smoke screen.
    0524 Noted that the Soryu was subjected to bombing attack. Tone turns to 270 degrees.
    0527 Akagi goes into evasive tactics. Enemy planes dive on the Haruna. No bomb hits.
    0529 Chikuma sights 3 enemy planes bearing 15 degrees to port proceeding to starboard. Evasive action. Speed, 30 knots.
    0530 Message from Comdr. Mobile Force to Mobile Force: "Carrier-based bombers will prepare for second attack. Equip yourselves with 250 kilogram bombs."
    0530 Radio message from Tone's plane on #4 search line to Comdr. Mobile Force: "#8. Sight two additional enemy cruisers in position bearing 8 degrees, distance 250 miles from Midway. Course, 150 degrees, speed, 20 knots. (0530)."
    0530 10 enemy planes dive on the Haruna. No hits. Friendly fighters engaged in air combat with the enemy.
    0531 Tone ordered to hold fire.
    0532 4 fighters take off from the Akagi.
    0533 Chikuma's main guns commence directional firing.
    0534 Radio message from Tone's plane on #4 search line to Comdr. of Mobile Force: "#9. I am now homeward bound."
    0536 Chikuma holds fire.
    0537 Akagi on Battle speed #3. Commences taking planes on board.
    0539 Akagi sights enemy torpedo plane bearing 10 degrees to port, elevation, 2 degrees. Landing operations halted, and evasive action at top battle speed started.
    0539 Chikuma sights two enemy planes bearing 90 degrees to port.
    0540 Akagi resumes #3 battle speed and landing operations.
    0545 Message from Comdr. CruDiv 8 to Comdr. of Chikuma, info Comdr. Mobile Force: "#2. Have type-0 float recco plane take off and contact the enemy sighted by Tone's plane on #4 search line."
    0545 Radio message from Tone's plane on #4 search line to the Akagi: "Sight what appears to be two additional enemy cruisers in position bearing 8 degrees, distance 250 miles from Midway. Course 150 degrees, speed 20 knots."
    0545 Assumed patrol disposition #1. Course, 160 degrees.
    0548 Course, 120 degrees.
    0548 Radio message from Tone's plane on #4 search line to Akagi: "I am now homeward bound."
    0550 Radio message from Tone's plane on #4 search line to Comdr. Mobile Force: "Sight what appears to be two additional enemy cruisers in position bearing 8 degrees, distance 250 miles from Midway. Course 150 degrees, speed 20 knots."
    0550 Radio message from Tone's plane on #4 search line to Comdr. Mobile Force: "I am now homeward bound. (0540)."
    0554 Radio message from Comdr. (Mobile Force) to Tone's plane on #4 search line: "Go on the air with transmitter for DF purposes."

--16--

    5 June  

    0555 Radio message from ComCruDiv 8 to Tone's plane on #4 search line: "Postpone your homing."
    0555 Radio message from Tone's plane on #4 search line to ComMobile Force (received at 0601): "Orders received. 10 enemy torpedo planes are heading toward you. (0555)."
    0555 Course 90 degrees.
    0555 Stopped.
    0555 Radio message from ComCruDiv 8 to Tone's plane on #4 search line: "2. Maintain contact with enemy until the arrival of four Chikuma planes. Go on the air with your long wave transmitter."
    0555 Blinker from ComMobile Force to Mobile Force (received at 0613): "#10. After completing homing operations, proceed northward. We plan to contact and destroy the enemy task force."
    0555 Blinker from Chikuma to ComCruDiv 8 (received at 0620): "Take-offs planned for 0630."
    0555 Blinker from Chikuma to ComCruDiv 8 (received 0653): "#5. Plane #5 launched (0635)."
    0555 Radio message from ComMobile Force to CinC Combined Fleet, Info Second Fleet (received at 0630): "#336. Enemy composed of 1 carrier, 5 cruisers, and 5 destroyers sighted at 5 A. M. in position bearing 10 degrees, distance 240 miles from AF (Midway). We are heading for it."
    0559 Homing of all bombers completed.
    0600 Blinker from ComCruDiv 8 to Chikuma: "Have your type-0 float recco plane take off and establish contact with the enemy sighted by Tone's plane on #4 search line."
    0602 Chikuma takes aboard two planes.
    0602 Speed, 9 knots.
    0605 #4 battle speed (Akagi).
    0605 Radio from ComCruDiv 8 to Tone's plane on #4 search line: "Maintain contact until arrival of Chikuma's planes. Go on the air with your long wave transmitter."
    0605 Message from Tone's plane on #4 search line to ComMobile Force: "Sight 10 enemy attack (torpedo) planes heading toward you. (0555)."
    0605 Blinker from ComMobile Force to all ships: "Proceed northward after taking on your planes. We plan to contact and destroy the enemy task force."
    0607 Message from Tone to Tone's plane on #4 search line: "Maintain contact until Chikuma's four planes arrive. Use your long wave transmitter. (0555)."
    0610 12 fighters taken aboard.
    0617 Course 70 degrees. #3 battle speed.
    0618 Maximum battle speed. (Noted enemy plane sighting signals from all ships.)
    0618 Completed taking aboard the attack units.
    0618 Chikuma sights 16 enemy planes bearing 52 degrees to starboard, elevation 2 degrees, distance 35 kilometers.
    0618 Speed 30 knots.
    0618 Destroyer lays down smoke screen 30 degrees to port of the Tone. AA action readied. Several enemy planes sighted in position bearing 66 degrees to starboard, elevation 2 degrees; distance 20,000 meters. Smoke screen laid down. (Tone). #4 battle speed.
    0619 Akagi resorts to evasive action.
    0620 Main gun directional firing commenced (Chikuma)
    0622 Firing ceased.
    0622 Speed 30 knots.
    0623 Akagi sights 18 enemy planes in position bearing 122 degrees to starboard, elevation 0.5 degrees, distance 40,000 meters.
    0624 Message from CinC First Air Fleet to CinC Combined Fleet: "At 0500 sighted enemy composed of one carrier, 5 cruisers and 5 destroyers in position bearing 10 degrees, distance 240 miles from Midway. We are heading for it. (0600)."
    0625 So as to bring the enemy torpedo planes astern, the Akagi was swung around.
    0625 18 enemy flying boats sighted bearing 20 degrees, elevation 1 degree, distance 35 kilometers. (Chikuma).
    0625 Chikuma lays down two curtains of smoke.
    0625 Main guns' directional firing commenced (Chikuma).
    0625 Enemy planes bearing 75 degrees to starboard, elevation 1 degree, coming closer. (Chikuma).
    0627 Firing of main guns on planes to starboard commenced.

--17--

    5 June  

    0627 The 6 enemy planes mentioned above proceed to starboard (Chikuma).
    0627 Tone sights 15 enemy planes bearing 115 degrees to starboard, elevation 0.2 degrees.
    0628 Course, 115 degrees.
    0629 Chikuma commences firing her AA guns.
    0629 Tone commences firing her main guns on enemy planes. Kaga's fighters take off.
    0629.5 Radio from Tone's plane on #4 search line to Tone: "My fuel supply is getting low. I am breaking off the contact and am returning home.
    0630 AA guns go into action (Akagi).
    0630 Firing ceased (Chikuma).
    0630 Radio from ComMobile Force to CinC Combined Fleet: "Sighted enemy composed of 1 carrier, 5 cruisers and 5 destroyers in position bearing 10 degrees, distance 240 miles from AF (Midway) at 0500. We are heading for it."
    0630 Radio from Tone's plane on #4 search line to ComCruDiv 8 (received at 0640): "#10. My fuel supply is running low. I am breaking off the contact and returning home."
    0630 Radio from destroyer Arashi to Mobile Force (received at 0610): "Received an enemy submarine's torpedo attack in position (grid) HE E A 37 at 0610. Countered immediately with depth charges, but results unknown."
    0630 Blinker from ComMobile Force to Mobile Force (received 0910): "Battleships in 10-8-3 order. Course 70, speed 12."
    0630 Blinker from ComMobile Force to Mobile Force (received 0915): "Plan to destroy the enemy in a daylight engagement."
    0632 Five fighters take off (Akagi).
    0632 Flying boats to port form a line (Chikuma).
    0632 The planes to starboard go into bombing formation (Chikuma).
    0634 Main and AA guns open fire (Chikuma).
    0634 Two of the enemy flying boats bearing 90 degrees to port, shot down by friendly fighters.
    0635 Planes to port gradually retire (Chikuma).
    0635 Radio from ComCruDiv 8 to Tone's plane on #4 search line: "Wait until 0700."
    0636 Firing halted on seeing that friendly fighters were shooting them down. (Akagi).
    0636 Firing of main and AA guns held up (Chikuma).
    0637 Tone's plane on #4 search line to ComCruDiv 8: "My fuel is running low. I am breaking off contact and returning (0637)."
    0638 Chikuma's plane #5 catapulted off to establish contact with enemy fleet. (To relieve Tone's #4 plane.)
    0638 Blinker from Chikuma to ComCruDiv 8: "Plane off at 0638."
    0638 Tone's plane #4 to Tone: "I can't do it."
    0638 Sight 14 enemy planes in position bearing 142 degrees to port, elevation 4 degrees, distance 25,000 meters.
    0638 Course, 300 degrees.
    0639 From ComCruDiv 8 to Tone's #4 plane: "Wait until 0700. (0630)."
    0640 Sight 14 enemy torpedo planes in position bearing 140 degrees to port, elevation 1 degree, distance 40,000 meters. (Akagi).
    0640 Tone opens fire with her main guns on the above planes. Two directional salvos.
    0641 Radio from Tone's #4 plane to ComCruDiv 8: "I can't."
    0641 Course, 320 degrees.
    0642 Noted that all of the above-mentioned torpedo planes were brought down by friendly fighters. (Akagi).
    0642 Friendly fighters bring down 1 enemy flying boat (Chikuma).
    0644 Same as above.
    0645 Friendly fighters engaging enemy flying boats bearing 40 degrees to starboard. (About 32 enemy flying boats already brought down). (Chikuma).
    0646 Noted that the torpedo plane group to port was attacking CarDiv 2 (Akagi).
    0649 Sight 14 enemy planes in position bearing 24 degrees to port, elevation 1 degree, distance 50 kilometers. (Chikuma).
    0651
    to
    0700
    Took aboard two fighters. Noted that 10 of the torpedo plane group were brought down by friendly fighters (Akagi).
    0652 Chikuma lays down two smoke curtains.
    0652 Sight enemy planes bearing 135 degrees to port. We are their target (Tone).
    0653 Port AA and main guns of Chikuma commence directional firing against enemy planes bearing 75 degrees to port, elevation 2 degrees, distance 45 kilometers.
    0653 Main guns open fire on enemy planes bearing 140 degrees (Tone).

--18--

    5 June  

    0655 Tone ceases main gun firing.
    0658 Radio from ComCruDiv 8 to planes of CruDiv 8: "At 0630, we are in position bearing 137 degrees distance 96 miles from take-off point. We are on a northerly course, speed 24 knots."
    0658 14 enemy planes divided in two groups are heading for us, particularly for CarDiv 1. One section carry out torpedo attacks against the Kaga. Kaga successfully evades. This attack is followed up with dive bombing attacks. Friendly surface units are heading into the enemy planes and engaging them with starboard main gun fire.
    0659 Course, 340 degrees.
    0700 From Soryu's recco plane to ComMobile Force (received 0715): "#1. Fail to sight enemy. I am in position bearing 20 degrees, distance 290 miles from Midway (0700)."
    0700 Radio from CinC First Air Fleet to CinC Combined Fleet, CinC Second Fleet, CinC Sixth Fleet, ComDesRon 2; info (others): "#337. Carried out air attack of AF (Midway) at 0330. Many enemy shore-based planes attacked us subsequent to 0415. We have suffered no damages. At 0428, enemy composed 1 carrier, 7 cruisers and 5 destroyers sighted in (grid) position TO SHI RI 34, on course southwest, speed 20 knots. After destroying this, we plan to resume our AF (Midway) attack. Our position at 0700 is (grid) HE E A 00, course 30 degrees, speed 24 knots."
    0702 Sight a dozen or more enemy planes bearing 150 degrees to starboard, elevation 2 degrees, distance 35 kilometers.
    0704 Holding fire (Tone).
    0705 Starboard AA guns commence directional firing (Chikuma).
    0705 Tone sights enemy planes bearing 60 degrees on the horizon.
    0706 Akagi sights 15 enemy planes bearing 48 degrees starboard (118 degrees), distance 45,000 meters.
    0706 Tone sees enemy planes dropping bombs in position bearing 140 degrees to port, distance 20,000 meters. 7 friendly fighters take off to engage the enemy planes.
    0607 (T. N. in error for 0707?) Tone reports sighting 15 enemy planes bearing 20 degrees to starboard, elevation 9 degrees, distance 29,000, heading for her. Goes into evasive action to starboard then opens directional firing with her main guns.
    0609 (T. N. in error for 0709?) Wigwag from ComDesRon 10 to all units: "Sight a dozen or more planes bearing 60 degrees." (Chikuma).
    0710 Akagi takes three fighters aboard.
    0710 Chikuma opens directional fire with her main guns.
    0710 Course, 90 degrees.
    0711 Akagi swings around to place the starboard group of torpedo planes to her stern.
    0714 Akagi settles on course 300 degrees.
    0714 Chikuma opens fire on enemy planes bearing 100 degrees to starboard, elevation 2 degrees.
    0714 Tone sights enemy planes bearing 25 degrees to starboard, elevation 2 degrees. Bombs drop on both sides of Akagi. No hits.
    0715 Akagi sights enemy torpedo plane group of 12 planes in position bearing 170 degrees to port, distance 45,000 meters.
    0716 Chikuma opens AA fire.
    0717 Chikuma reports that her AA guns shot down 4 enemy torpedo planes.
    0718 Chikuma reports that two enemy planes shot down by friendly fighters.
    0718 Tone sights enemy planes bearing 41 degrees to port, elevation 5 degrees.
    0718.5 Tone opens fire.
    0719 Chikuma reports shooting down one enemy plane by her AA fire.
    0719 Tone ceases firing. Friendly fighters carry on the engagement (2 planes).
    0720 Akagi reports sighting bomber bearing 30 degrees directly over the Kaga and goes into a maximum turn.
    0720 Chikuma reports seeing enemy torpedo planes drop torpedoes. No hits.
    0721 Chikuma reports seeing two enemy planes downed by friendly fighters.
    0722 Akagi sees Kaga being dive bombed. Fighters ordered to take off as soon as readied.
    0723 Tone opens machine gun and AA gun fire on enemy approaching from 40 degrees to port. Several enemy planes suddenly emerge from clouds and dive on Akagi.
    0723 Chikuma ceases firing.
    0723 Course, 350 degrees.

--19--

    5 June  

    0724 Noting that the two torpedo plane groups to starboard of the Akagi were preparing to launch their torpedoes, she goes into evasive action. Then, seeing that she was about to be dive bombed, she makes maximum reverse turn.
    0724 Fires break out aboard Kaga.
    0725 Akagi notes fire aboard Kaga and also that fighters were commencing to take off.
    0725 Chikuma reports dive bombing attacks on Akagi.
    0726 Three bombers dive on Akagi from position bearing 80 degrees to port, altitude about 2,000 meters (angle of dive, about 50 degrees). At about 500 meters altitude, bombs were loosed. First was a near miss about 10 meters abeam of the bridge; second hit near the elevator amidship (fatal hit); third hit the flight deck on the portside, aft (damage: several holes to after deck, 1 emergency personnel killed.)
    0726 Chikuma reports fires aboard the Akagi.
    0726 Tone opens fire with forward machine guns on enemy planes approaching from dead ahead.
    0728 Chikuma sights one enemy plane bearing 16 degrees to starboard on the horizon, and proceeding to port. Soryu sustains bomb hits.
    0729 Induced explosions from torpedoes stored in Akagi's hangars begins (ammunition and bomb storage rooms ordered flooded). The forward groups were successfully flooded immediately, but because of valve damages to those in the aft sections, none could be automatically flooded except the ammunition room for #2 main turret. (They were finally flooded two and half hours later.)
    0730 Chikuma sights 2 enemy flying boats bearing 63 degrees to starboard and proceeding along her starboard.
    0732 Akagi ordered to battle speed #3 and activation of carbon dioxide gas fire fighting apparatus.
    0733 Akagi sights 4 enemy torpedo planes bearing 80 degrees to port, elevation 4 degrees. She goes into a maximum turn and settled on course 0.
    0734 Chikuma opens directional fire with her main guns on the above planes.
    0734 Tone on course 0 degrees.
    0736 Akagi's starboard, aft engine damaged. Able to proceed at cruising speed.
    0737 Chikuma fires her starboard AA guns on 10 enemy planes bearing 70 degrees to her starboard and proceeding along her starboard.
    0737 Tone assumes battle speed #5.
    0740 Akagi sights 1 torpedo plane bearing 20 degrees to starboard, and heads into it.
    0742 Akagi's steering apparatus damaged. Engines stopped (all hands ordered to fire fighting station). By this time, the only guns which could keep up defensive fire were the first and second machine gun groups and 1 AA gun.
    0742 Enemy planes retreat. Chikuma ceases firing.
    0743 Fighter aboard the Akagi to starboard of the bridge catches fire and spreads to bridge. Pumps ordered into action. Engine room ordered to put ship under full speed.
    0745 Destroyer Nowake approaches the Akagi to transfer the headquarters.
    0745 Radio from #5 plane of the Chikuma to ComMobile Force (received at 0818): "#1. Sight 5 additional cruisers and 5 destroyers in position bearing 10 degrees, distance 130 miles from point of origin. They are on course 275 degrees, speed 24 knots. (0745)."
    0746 CinC and other headquarters officers abandon bridge of the Akagi and commence transfer operations.
    0747 Radio from ComMobile Force to CinC Combined Fleet: "Sighted enemy composed of 1 carrier, 5 cruisers and 5 destroyers in position bearing 10 degrees, distance 240 miles from Midway. We are heading for it."
    0749 Tone sights a periscope bearing 45 degrees to starboard, distance 1,000. Turns about and commences evasive maneuvers.
    0750 Chikuma sights 5 enemy carrier-based attack planes (torpedo) bearing 130 degrees to port, elevation 2 degrees, distance 40 kilometers.
    0750 Radio from ComCruDiv 8 to CinC Combined Fleet and CinC Second Fleet: "#40. Fires are raging aboard the Kaga, Soryu, and Akagi resulting from attacks carried out by enemy land-based and carrier-based attack planes. We plan to have the Hiryu engage the enemy carriers. In the mean-

--20--

    5 June  

      time, we are temporarily retiring to the north, and assembling our forces. My position (grid) is TO WA N 55 (0750)."
    0750 Radio from ComCruDiv 8 to ComCarDiv 2: "Attack the enemy carriers."
    0750 Blinkers from ComCarDiv 2 to ComCruDiv 8 (received at 0758): "All our planes are taking off now for the purpose of destroying the enemy carriers."
    0754 Chikuma reports that first wave took off from the Hiryu.
    0755 From Chikuma's #5 plane to ComMobile Force: "Sighted an additional 5 cruisers and 5 destroyers in position bearing 10 degrees, 130 miles from point of origin. They are on course 275 degrees, speed 24 knots. (0745)."
    0757 Tone sights several enemy planes bearing 80 degrees to starboard, elevation 2 degrees, distance 34,000 meters. These were immediately lost in the clouds.
    0757 Course, 80 degrees; basic speed.
    0758 Chikuma reports that take-offs of Hiryu's planes were completed.
    0758 From Hiryu to Tone: "All my planes are taking off now for the purpose of destroying the enemy carriers."
    0800 Radio from ComCruDiv 8 to Chikuma's #5 plane: "Advise position of enemy carriers. Lead the attack unit to it."
    0800 From ComCruDiv 8 to Chikuma's #4 plane: "#15. Advise position of enemy carriers. Lead the attack unit to it."
    0801 Tone sights a group of enemy planes bearing 58 degrees, elevation 10 degrees, distance 35,000 meters.
    0808 Radio from Chikuma's #5 plane to CinC: "Sight additional 5 enemy cruisers and 5 destroyers in position bearing 10 degrees, distance 130 miles. They are on course 275 degrees, speed 24 knots. (0745)."
    0809 Blinker from Hiryu to all ships: "We plan to destroy the enemy carrier which was sighted."
    0810 Radio from Chikuma's #5 plane to ComMobile Force: "#4. The enemy is in position bearing 70 degrees, distance 90 miles from our fleet's position. (0810)."
    0810 Radio from Soryu's recco plane to ComMobile Force (received 0840): "#2. Sight an enemy air force in position bearing 4 degrees, distance 150 miles from Midway."
    0810 Blinker from ComCarDiv 2 to ComCruDiv 8 (received 0840): "#8. Second wave composed of 18 bombers and 5 fighters has taken off. Plan to have an additional 9 ship-based attack planes and 3 fighters take off in one hour. Hiryu plans to proceed towards the enemy on present course."
    0810 Chikuma sights several dozen enemy planes bearing 156 degrees, elevation 2 degrees. Proceeding to port.
    0812 Chikuma despatches her #2 cutter to assist the Soryu (7 men and 1 pharmacist's mate).
    0816 Radio from Chikuma's #5 plane to CinC: "Weather clear in the vicinity. Amount of clouds, 5; altitude of clouds, 800 to 1,000; wind direction, 85 degrees; wind velocity, 5 meters; visibility, 30 miles."
    0820 Commander and others on Akagi's bridge move to forward flight deck.
    0820 Blinker from Hiryu to all ships: "Second wave composed of 18 bombers and 5 fighters has taken off. Plan to have an additional 9 ship-based attack planes and 3 fighters take off in one hour. Hiryu plans to proceed towards the enemy on present course."
    0820 Tone sights 14 enemy planes in position dead ahead, elevation 1 degree, distance 32,000.
    0821 Chikuma takes aboard one plane.
    0825 Radio from Tone's #4 plane to Tone: "I have 50 liters of fuel remaining."
    0827 Radio from ComCruDiv 8 to Akagi: "Is your radio working?" (no reply).
    0827 Stopped.
    0828 From ComMobile Force to Chikuma's #5 plane. "The enemy is in position bearing 70 degrees, distance 90 miles from us. (0810)."
    0830 Akagi's air personnel and wounded ordered transferred to destroyers.
    0830 Blinker from ComCruDiv 8 to Chikuma. "Prepare torpedo Action A."
    0830 Chikuma's plane #4 taken aboard.
    0830 Speed, 9 knots.
    0830 Radio from ComCarDiv 2 to ComCruDiv 8 (received 0848): "#13. Despatching one destroyer to each of the damaged carriers, and to proceed towards the Main Force."
    0830 Radio from ComCarDiv 2 to ComCruDiv 8: #129. Effect measures to maintain contact with the enemy carrier by employment of float recco planes."

--21--

    5 June  

    0830 Radio from ComDesRon 10 to ComCruDiv 8 and Comdr. of Haruna: "#179. CinC has transferred to the Nagara. (0830)."
    0830 Radio from ComMobile Force to CinC Combined Fleet, CinC Second Fleet, info ComDesRon 2: "#289. Akagi, Kaga, and Soryu sustain considerable damage as a result of enemy bombing attack at about 0730. Fires have broken out aboard them, and they are unable to participate in any operations. I (CinC First Air Fleet) have transferred to the Nagara. After attacking the enemy, I plan to lead my forces to the north. Grid position: HE I A 00."
    0832 Radio from Chikuma's #5 plane to Hiryu's bombers: "I will lead you to the target by radio."
    0835 Explosions occur in torpedo and bomb storage rooms in Akagi's hangars. Fierce fires raging on flight deck.
    0837 Radio from Soryu's recco plane: "Sight enemy air force in position bearing 4 degrees from Midway, distance 150 miles."
    0840 Commander and headquarters officers aboard the Akagi move to the forward anchor deck.
    0840 Chikuma's speed, 20 knots.
    0840 Radio from Hiryu's bombers (received 0930): "Enemy air force has as its nucleus, 3 carriers. These are accompanied by 22 destroyers. (0840)."
    0841 Radio from Chikuma's #5 plane to Hiryu's bombers: "The enemy is in position bearing 70 degrees, distance 90 miles from our fleet."
    0843 Blinker from ComCruDiv 8 to ComMobile Force: "Have a part of CruDiv 8, BatDiv 3 and DesRon 10 prepared to go to the attack of the enemy."
    0845 Blinker from ComMobile Force to ComCruDiv 8: "Hold up."
    0845 Radio from Soryu's recco plane to ComMobile Force (received 0854): "Am breaking off contact (0845)."
    0845 From ComMobile Force aboard the Nagara to Tone: "Assemble and wait."
    0845 CinC's flag hoisted on the Nagara.
    0846 From ComCarDiv 2 to ComCruDiv 8. Info, ComCarDiv 5, Akagi, Kaga: "Despatch 2 destroyers each to the damaged carriers and have them proceed towards the Main Body (0830)."
    0847 Radio from Hiryu to Tone, Akagi, Kaga, Soryu: "Leave one destroyer with the damaged carriers, and have the others proceed on the course of attack."
    0847 Planes #1 and #4 (or plane #14?), taken aboard.
    0850 Chief engineer of the Akagi comes to forward anchor deck to report on conditions of the engine.
    0850 Radio from ComMobile Force to CinC Combined Fleet and CinC Second Fleet: "Nagara secret despatch #1. Akagi, Kaga, and Soryu sustained considerable damage as result of enemy bombing at about 0730. Fires have broken out making the ships inoperational. I went aboard the Nagara, and plan to have the entire force retire to the north after carrying out an attack on the enemy. My position is (grid): HE I A 00 (0830)."
    0853 Radio from ComMobile Force: "Plan to take to the attack now. Assemble."
    0856 Radio from ComMobile Force: "Heading for the enemy. Assemble.".
    0859 Radio from ComMobile Force: "Assemble. We are going to attack the enemy. Form in order of DesRon 10, CruDiv 8, and BatDiv 3. Course 170 degrees, speed 12 knots. 0830."
    0859 Basic speed.
    0900 Radio from ComCruDiv 8 to CinC Combined Fleet, CinC Second Fleet: "Great fires broke out aboard the Kaga, Akagi, and Soryu as result of enemy land-based attack planes and carrier-based attack planes. I had the Hiryu take to the attack of enemy carrier. Remainder of Mobile Force retiring to the north to re-form its strength. My position is TO U N 55.(0750)."
    0900 Radio from CinC Second Fleet to CinC Combined Fleet, CinC First Air Fleet, Occupation Force, ComCruDiv 8 (received at 0940): "#2: The support for the Occupation Force is in position (grid) YU MI KU 00 at 0900. Course 50 degrees, speed 28 knots. We are heading for the Mobile Force (0900)."
    0900 Radio from Command Plane of the Hiryu to Mobile Force (received 0951): "#1. We are attacking the enemy carrier. 0900."

--22--

    5 June  

    0901 Radio from Hiryu's command plane to Hiryu. (Received 0952). "#2. Fires break out on carrier. 0901."
    0901 ComMobile Force to ComCruDiv 8 by blinker signals: "Advise enemy position."
    0901 ComMobile Force to ComCruDiv 8 (received at 0955): "Make every effort to retire to the northwest. The enemy was in position bearing 70 degrees, distance 90 miles at 0810."
    0903 Akagi automatically comes alive and starts turning to starboard.
    0906 Second attack wave takes off from Hiryu (heading for enemy carrier). Chikuma falls in behind this ship.
    0910 Radio from Hiryu's plane: "#1. Am bombing enemy carrier 0910."
    0910 Blinker from ComCruDiv 8 to Chikuma: "Put the Type 0's on an instant stand-by."
    0910 Chikuma's #4 plane put on instant stand-by.
    0912 Wigwag from ComCruDiv 8 to CruDiv 8: "Put two two-seater float reccos on stand-by #1."
    0912 Wigwag from ComMobile Force to CruDiv 8. "Take aboard your antisub patrol plane."
    0913 Had Engineer Ensign Akiyama of the Akagi contact the engine room with regard to the ship's movement and learned that the engine room command had been wiped out.
    0915 Radio from ComMobile Force: "Plan to destroy the enemy through daylight engagement. Assemble."
    0915 ComCruDiv 8 to CruDiv 8: "Fall in behind DesRon 10."
    0916 Commander to CruDiv 8 by radio: "Prepare torpedo action."
    0916 Radio from Soryu's plane: "Am contacting the enemy. 0917."
    0917 Blinker from ComMobile Force to CruDiv 8: "Take aboard the antisubmarine patrol plane."
    0917 Radio from Chikuma's #5 plane to ComCruDiv 8: "I was pursued by enemy planes and lost contact. 0905."
    0919 Chikuma's course 165, speed 18.
    0920 Radio from Chikuma to ComMobile Force C and ComCruDiv 8: "We have taken aboard the anti-sub patrol plane."
    0920 From Chikuma's plane #5 to ComCruDiv 8 (received 0940), by radio: "#7. Sight what appears to be two large enemy cruisers in position bearing 15 degrees, distance 130 miles from my point of origin. In addition, I see what appears to be 1 carrier and 1 destroyer. Course, north; speed 20 knots. 0920."
    0920 Blinker from ComMobile Force to CruDiv 8 and BatDiv 3 (received at 0950): "We are now going to the attack of the enemy. Assemble."
    0920 Radio from CinC Combined Fleet to all CinC's and Division Commanders (received 1000):
    "Combined Fleet secret despatch #294. Combined Fleet DesOpOrd #155. All forces will attack the enemy in the AF (Midway) area in the following manner:

    "1. Main Body to be in position (grid) FU TO MU 15, on course 120 degrees, speed 20 knots, at 0900.
    "2. The AF (Midway) Occupation Force, will assign a portion to escort the transports and retire temporarily to the northwest.
    "3. The Second Mobile Force will rendezvous with the First Mobile Force as soon as possible. SubRon 3 and SubRon 5 will assume position along dispersal lines C."

    0922 All hands aboard Chikuma assume battle stations. Course 70.
    0924 Wigwag from Haruna to ComCruDiv 8: "Assume instant stand-by for maximum battle speed."
    0925 Chikuma prepared for torpedo action.
    0925 Blinker from ComMobile Force to Mobile Force: "We plan to destroy the enemy by daylight action.
    0925 Blinker from ComMobile Force to Mobile Force: "We expect to encounter the enemy momentarily."
    0927 Radio from CinC Second Fleet to CinC Combined Fleet, Com Mobile Force, ComCruDiv 8: "The support for the Occupation Force is in position (grid) YU MI KU 00 at 0900. Course 50 degrees, speed 28 knots. We are heading for the Mobile Force."
    0929 Tone completes preparations for torpedo action.
    0930 Radio from ComCruDiv 8 to Chikuma's plane (received at 1030): "#17. We are going to the attack of the enemy. Course 0 degrees. (0930)."

--23--

    5 June  

    0930 Blinker from ComMobile Force to Mobile Force (received 0932): "Deploy to northwest."
    0930 From Comdr of Nowake to ComMobile Force by radio: "From Comdr. of Akagi. All safe except on flight deck. Every effort being made to fight the fires. 0930."
    0930 Wigwag from the Nagara to CruDiv 8: "Advise screening disposition."
    0932 Chikuma on course 45 degrees.
    0937 Radio from Hiryu's plane to ComMobile Force: "I am bombing the enemy carrier."
    0938 Chikuma's main guns trained for surface engagement.
    0945 From Hiryu's plane to ComMobile Force: "#1. Enemy carrier is burning. I see no friendly planes in range of visibility. I am homing. 0945."
    0945 Chikuma on course 0 degrees.
    0958 Tone assumes #1 battle speed.
    1000 Akagi is contacted by one enemy flying boat.
    1000 Radio from ComDesDiv 4 to CinC's Combined Fleet, Second Fleet, ComMobile Force, CinC Sixth Fleet:
    "DesDiv 4 Secret Despatch #140. Statements obtained from prisoner, an Ensign (air), from the Yorktown:

    "1. Carriers involved are the Yorktown, Enterprise, and Hornet. In addition, 6 cruisers and about 10 destroyers.
    "2. Yorktown, accompanied by 2 cruisers and 3 destroyers, acting independently of the others.
    "3. Sortied from Pearl Harbor during the morning of 31 May arriving in the vicinity of Midway on 1 June. Patrolling along a north-south course ever since.
    "4. There were no capital ships in Pearl Harbor up to 31 May. Prisoner had been training at base, and was not cognizant of capital ship movements."

    1000 Blinker from ComMobile Force to Mobile Force: "Make it speed 24 knots."
    1000 Blinker from ComMobile Force to Mobile Force: "Supporting Force will assign float recco's to search between 0 degrees and 90 degrees, distance 150 miles."
    1001 Chikuma's speed, 24 knots.
    1002 Tone's speed, #2 battle speed.
    1003 Radio from ComCruDiv 8 to Chikuma's #5 plane: "We are heading for the enemy. Course, 0 degrees."
    1008 Radio from ComMobile Force to CruDiv 8: "Have Supporting Force's float recco planes search the surface for a distance of 150 miles ahead."
    1009 Have all planes on instant standby with the exception of Tone's #1 plane.
    1010 Blinker from ComCruDiv 8 to ComMobile Force: "#3. Position of enemy at 0825: Bearing 353 degrees, distance 130 miles of the point of origin (MI). He is on course 135 degrees, speed 24 knots. And bearing 2 degrees, distance 260 miles from same. Course and speed same as above."
    1010 Blinker from ComCruDiv 8 to ComMobile Force: "Assuming that the Akagi is unable to communicate, we informed CinC's Combined Fleet and Second Fleet the present situation, and since we were on course 30 degrees at the time, we advised that we were retiring to the north."
    1010 Blinker from ComMobile Force to ComCruDiv 8, BatDiv 3; info, Commander of Chikuma. (Received 1010): "Have float recco's of supporting force search between 0 degrees and 90 degrees, to a distance of 150 miles."
    1010 Radio from CinC Combined Fleet to All CinC's and Division Commanders in Combined Fleet:
    "Combined Fleet Secret Despatch #295. Combined Fleet DesOpOrd #156.

    "1. Employ Method (C) (?) in attacking enemy fleet.
    "2 The Occupation Force will assign a portion of its force to shell and destroy enemy air bases on AF (Midway). The occupation of AF (Midway), and AO (Kiska) are temporarily postponed."

    1010 Blinker from ComCarDiv 2 to ComMobile Force and ComCruDiv 8 (received at 1045): "Attack unit reports that enemy composed of 5 large cruisers and 1 carrier (burning fiercely) is in position bearing 80 degrees, distance 90 miles from friendly fleet at 0940. Reliability of report, excellent."
    1012 Blinker from ComCruDiv 8 to CruDiv 8: "Place all planes on instant standby.
    1014 Radio from Chikuma's plane #5 to Mobile Force: "The enemy is on course 20 degrees, speed 24 knots. I am in position bearing 265 degrees, distance 30 miles from the

--24--

    5 June  

      enemy from whence I am maintaining contact. 1005."
    1015 Blinker from ComCruDiv 8 to BatDiv 3, CruDiv 8, Nagara:
    "#4. Carry out air searches as follows:

    "1. Search line #1, 90 degrees, Tone. Search line #2, 70 degrees, Tone. Search line #3, 50 degrees, Chikuma. Search line #4; 30 degrees, Haruna. Search line #5, 10 degrees, Kirishima.
    "2. Search distance 150 miles, then to left 30 miles.
    "3. Take off when ready."

    1015 Blinker from Haruna to ComCruDiv 8 (received at 1020) : "Three of this unit's float recco planes took off at 1000 to carry out searches. Scope of search, from 40 to 340 degrees to a distance of 180 miles."
    1015 Wigwag from Chikuma to Division Commander: "Preparations completed for instant standby of planes #3 and 4."
    1015 Speed 26 knots.
    1018 Wigwag from ComCruDiv 8 to Hiryu: "Chikuma's plane #5 given radio guidance."
    1018 Course, 0 degrees.
    1020 Radio from Chikumas plane #5 to ComCruDiv 8 (received at 1028): "4 large enemy cruisers have been detached and are proceeding on course 278 degrees, speed 24 knots. 1020."
    1025 Chikuma's course, 45 degrees.
    1030 Blinker from ComCruDiv 8 to ComMobile Force: "Position of enemy carrier and 2 large cruisers is bearing 90 degrees, distance 120 miles, course 0 degrees, speed, 20 knots.
    1031 Second attack wave takes off from Hiryu.
    1035 Chikuma's #4 plane takes off on search mission.
    1036 Chikuma's speed 28 knots.
    1038 Emperor's portrait transferred from the Akagi to the destroyer Nowake.
    1040 Radio from ComCruDiv 8 to Chikuma's plane #5: "#19. Advise revised position of enemy concentration. 1040."
    1040 Radio from Chikuma's plane #5 to ComCruDiv 8 (received 1046): "#11. Bearing 20 degrees, distance 160 miles from point of origin. Course 270, speed 24 knots. 1040."
    1041 Chikuma speed 32.
    1045 Radio from Chikuma's plane #5 to ComCruDiv 8 (received 1050): "#12. Enemy changed course to 90 degrees. 1045."
    1045 Radio from ComCarDiv 2 to Mobile Force (received 1105): "#131. According to report from planes, the enemy's position at 0940 is bearing 85 degrees, distance 90 miles from us. It is composed of 5 large cruisers and 1 carrier (burning fiercely). 1045."
    1045 Radio from ComOccupation Force to Occupation Force (received 1115); info, CinC's Combined Fleet, First Air Fleet, and ComCruDiv 8: "Support for Occupation Force was in position (grid) YU MU KA 14 at 1020, cruising on course 55 degrees, speed 28 knots. (1045)."
    1045 Radio from commander of Nowake to CinC. Combined Fleet, CinC Second Fleet, and CinC First Air Fleet (received 1315): "#404. Fires still raging on Akagi. The Emperor's portrait has been safely brought aboard this ship. (1045)."
    1050 Akagi stops.
    1050 Chikuma's speed, 28 knots.
    1054 Chikuma on course 45 degrees, speed 24 knots.
    1055 Radio from ComCruDiv 8 to Chikuma's #5 plane. "#20. Advise strength of enemy."
    1055 Radio from Haruna's plane to Nagara and Tone: "At 0940 the enemy was in position bearing about 90 degrees to port. It is composed of 5 large cruisers and 5 carriers; the latter were burning." [T. N.: the number '5' for the number of carriers had been underscored and a question mark put alongside it.]
    1100 Radio from ComCarDiv 2 to Mobile Force (received at 1135): "#132. According to reports from our carrier-based bombers, there are three enemy carriers along a north-south line approximately 10 miles long."
    1100 Tone's #3 and #4 plane take off (search).
    1100 Course, 60 degrees. Speed, #3 battle speed.
    1120 From ComMobile Force to Second Mobile Force and all CinC's and ComDiv's in Combined Fleet: "#391. Position of First Mobile Force at 1100, 5th, was (grid) TO E WO 33. After destroying the enemy task force to the east, we plan to proceed northward. Second Mobile Force will rendezvous as soon as possible."

--25--

    5 June  

    1120 Chikuma sights two enemy planes in position bearing 45 degrees to port, distance 55 kilometers. Chikuma lays down smoke screen.
    1126 Radio from Hiryu's command plane to all planes in attack unit: "Attack."
    1127 Chikuma opens fire with her main and AA guns.
    1130 Radio from Haruna's plane #1 to ComMobile Force (received at 1131): "I am being engaged by two enemy planes. Apparently there are carriers in the vicinity."
    1130 Radio from ComCarDiv 2 to Commander of Nowake (received 1208): info, ComMobile Force: "#133. Please relay the following to the Akagi: If any of your planes can take off, have them transfer to the Hiryu. 1130."
    1130 Tone sights two enemy planes bearing 110 degrees to port.
    1131 Tone commences AA action.
    1132 Radio from commander of Hiryu's attack unit to Hiryu's attack unit (received 1133): "Take positions in preparation for attack formation."
    1134 Radio from commander of Hiryu's attack unit to Hiryu's attack unit: "Entire force, attack."
    1134 Chikuma turns to port. Holds fire. Course, 40 degrees.
    1135 Radio from Tone's #4 plane to ComCruDiv 8 (received 1138): "#1. Sight submerged enemy submarine in position bearing 90 degrees, distance 40 miles, on course 180 degrees. (1135)."
    1135 Radio from ComCruDiv 8 to Nowake, Kaga, and Soryu: "Tone reports two submerged enemy submarines in position bearing 100 degrees, distance 50 miles."
    1135 Tone's main guns open fire. Friendly fighters head for enemy planes.
    1137 Radio from plane: "Friendly attack units are attacking the enemy carriers. There are three carriers.
    1137 Chikuma reports that enemy planes are retiring.
    1137 Blinker from ComMobile Force to Mobile Force: "Change course to 20 degrees."
    1143 Chikuma's course 20 degrees.
    1145 Radio from Hiryu's attack plane to ComMobile Force (received 1138): "I carried out torpedo attacks against an enemy carrier and saw two certain hits."
    1145 Blinker from ComMobile Force to Mobile Force (received 1200) "BatDiv 3 and CruDiv 8 will take positions to the northwest and southeast of the Hiryu respectively. Make the distance between ships long for the enemy. Nagara will take position ahead of the Hiryu."
    1145 Blinker from ComMobile Force to Mobile Force: "I am approaching the Hiryu."
    1150 Communication with the aft section temporarily reestablished on the Akagi.
    1200 Induced explosion occurs in Akagi's hangar which blows open the forward hangar bulkheads. Fierce fires rage on forward and middle decks.
    1202 Blinker from ComCruDiv 8 to Chikuma: "Fall out and proceed to position bearing 180 degrees, distance 10 kilometers from the Hiryu."
    1205 Tone's speed, #2 battle speed.
    1207 Tone's speed, #3 battle speed.
    1212 Tone's speed, #2 battle speed.
    1215 Radio from Tone's #4 plane to ComCruDiv 8 (received at 1218): "#3. See large enemy force in position bearing 102 degrees, distance 120 miles from point of origin. It is on course 280 degrees, speed 24 knots. 1215."
    1215 Radio from Hiryu attack unit's plane #1 of 43rd section to ComMobile Force (received at 1214): "#3. I carried out torpedo attack on an enemy Yorktown class carrier in (aircraft grid) position E TSU NI KE. He was on course 65 degrees, speed 26 knots. (1215)."
    1215 Radio from commander of Occupation Force to Occupation Force, CinC Combined Fleet, ComCruDiv 8 (received 1250): "#101. Main Unit; Occupation Force, was in position (grid) YU MO E 12; course 65 degrees, speed 26 knots (1215)."
    1215 Radio from Tone's #4 plane to Tone: "See one plane bearing 20 degrees to starboard of the Tone."
    1320 (T. N.: apparently in error for 1230): Radio from ComCruDiv 8 to Chikuma's #4 Plane: "#22 (?). Ascertain ship types."
    1320 Chikuma's speed 20 knots.
    1320 Radio from Tone's #4 plane to ComCruDiv 8 (received at 1234): "#4. The enemy has 6 cruisers as its nucleus and is accompanied by 6 destroyers. About 20 miles ahead of

--26--

    5 June  

      this formation, there is what appears to be one carrier. (1230)."
    1231 Radio from ComCarDiv 2 to ComMobile Force (received at 1320): "#135. After definitely establishing contact with our type 13 Experimental ship based bomber, we plan to direct our entire remaining power (5 bombers, 5 torpedo planes, and 10 fighters) to attack and destroy the remaining enemy forces in a dusk engagement. 1231."
    1231 From Chikuma to ComCruDiv 8 by blinker: "#2 and #4 planes took off for the enemy."
    1231 From ComMobile Force to ComCruDiv 8: "Ascertain the main units in the large enemy force."
    1231 Radio from ComCarDiv 2 to ComMobile Force (received at 1353): "#134. Results obtained during the first attack wave: Five direct hits were scored on an Enterprise class with #25 bombs, causing her to break out with big fires. The above carrier and 5 large cruisers were the only ships sighted at the time of the attack, but according to reports from Type 13 Experimental Ship Based Bombers, there are two additional carriers about 10 miles away. Six out of 18 of our ship-based bombers and one out of nine of our ship-based fighters returned. The second attack wave took off at 1020, and the third (6 ship-based bombers and 9 ship-based fighters) are at present preparing to take off."
    1235 Blinker from ComCruDiv 8 to ComMobile Force: "#7. Enemy sighted by Tone's #4 plane was in position bearing 114 degrees, distance 110 miles from us at 1230."
    1235 Radio from Chikuma's plane #4 to ComCruDiv 8 (received 1240) "#2. Fail to sight enemy on search line assigned to me."
    1235 Blinker from ComCruDiv 8 to CruDiv 8: "Tone will take position bearing 90 degrees and Chikuma bearing 180 degrees, distance 10 kilometers each from the Hiryu."
    1235 4 ship-based bombers took off from Hiryu.
    1237 Blinker from ComCruDiv 8 to Chikuma: "Have relief for #5 plane take off. Prepare to engage enemy surface ships."
    1240 Radio from Chikuma to Chikuma's #5 plane (received 1336): "#4. Advise enemy situation. 1240."
    1240 Radio from ComMobile Force to Second Mobile Force: "1100, 5th, position of First Mobile Force, TO E WO 33. After destroying the enemy task force to the east, we plan to proceed north. Second Mobile Force will rendezvous immediately. My 1130 position, YU YU KE 44; course 285 degrees, speed 24 knots. Plan to rendezvous with the Landing Unit at 1600. (1130)."
    1245 Radio from Tone's #3 plane to ComCruDiv 8 (received 1317): "#41. Sight what appears to be 6 enemy cruisers in position bearing 94 degrees, distance 117 miles from my take off point. Enemy is on course 120 degrees, speed 24 knots. (1245)." [T.N.: Penciled notation to this item reads: "Tone's self-destroyed plane (Plane piloted by Lieut. (jg) Hasegawa"]
    1245 From ComCruDiv 8 to planes of BatDiv 3 and CruDiv 8: "1230 position (of enemy): Bearing 67 degrees, distance 225 miles from (our) position at 1100."
    1250 Radio from Tone's plane #4 to ComCruDiv 8 (received 1250): "#5. Enemy is composed of two carriers which are accompanied by two destroyers. 1250."
    1257 Blinker from Chikuma to Chikuma's plane #4: "Circle overhead for awhile."
    1300 All air personnel transferred from Akagi to destroyers.
    1300 Radio from ComCarDiv 2 to ComMobile Force (received at 1335): "#136. Results obtained by second attack wave: "Two certain torpedo hits on an Enterprise class carrier (not the same one as reported bombed)."
    1300 Radio from ComMobile Force to ComDesDiv 4 (received 1406): info, CinC Combined Fleet. "#127. Make every effort to retire to the northwest, escorting the damaged ships."
    1300 Blinker from Chikuma to Chikuma's #4 plane. "#2 plane is about to take off. Go forth together."
    1305 Blinker from ComCruDiv 8 to Mobile Force: "Position of enemy at 1300: 30-25N, 177-26W."
    1306 Chikuma's planes take off to contact the enemy.

--27--

The Mogami, after a plastering by SBD's and TBF's

    5 June  

    1306 Blinker from Chikuma to ComCruDiv 8: "#2 and #4 planes have headed for the enemy."
    1310 Radio from Tone's #4 plane to ComCruDiv 8 (received at 1311) : "#193. I am being pursued by the enemy and am forced to retire. I am homeward bound."
    1312 Haruna lays down smoke screen.
    1315 Radio from ComCarDiv 2 to Mobile Force: "#193. From our returning air men's reports, the enemy is apparently composed of 3 carriers, 5 large cruisers, and 15 destroyers. Our attacks accounted for 2 carriers damaged."
    1319 Chikuma's #5 plane cannot be contacted.
    1320 Wigwag from ComMobile Force to Tone: "Carry out searches to the rear of the task force and report."
    1320 Sight enemy flying boat among the clouds bearing 80 degrees, elevation 1.5 degrees, distance 45,000 meters.
    1320 Chikuma on course 330 degrees.
    1325 Radio from ComCruDiv 8 to planes of BatDiv 3 and CruDiv 8: "Will be on course 315 degrees, speed 28 knots from 1300."
    1325 Lose sight of flying boat.
    1330 Contact with #3 plane lost. Communications with the aft portions of the Akagi reestablished.
    1330 Radio from ComCarDiv 2 to ComMobile Force: info, ComCruDiv 8: "#140. Third Attack wave will take off at 1500 to engage the enemy at dusk. Please have a float recco plane maintain contact with the enemy carriers."
    1330 Wigwag from ComMobile Force to Mobile Force: "Nagara's float recco plane will make effort to maintain contact with the main force of the enemy tonight. BatDiv 3 and CruDiv 8 will prepare to make dawn searches tomorrow."
    1330 Wigwag from ComMobile Force to Mobile Force: "Make port turn to course 270 degrees."
    1340 Radio from ComCruDiv 8 to Chikuma's planes #2 and #4. "#25. Search to the east of the enemy."

--28--

    5 June  

    1340 Blinker from Chikuma to ComCru Div 8: "This ship's #5 plane took off at 0638 and we have heard nothing from him since 1045."
    1346 Chikuma sights what appears to be an enemy flying boat bearing 35 degrees to port.
    1347 Tone sights one enemy flying boat in position bearing 45 degrees to port, elevation 0.5, distance 43,000.
    1347 Radio from Chikuma's plane #4 to Chikuma: "I am having engine trouble and am returning."
    1353 Tone loses enemy flying boat.
    1355 Blinker from ComCruDiv 8 to ComMobile Force: "#10. Coordinating various reports, the large enemy force is apparently composed of 2 carriers, 6 large cruisers accompanied by about 8 destroyers. Two float recco planes have been sent to obtain more intelligence."
    1355 Radio from ComMobile Force to Captain of the Amakaze: "#451. Together with the Isokaze, assume screening duties for the Soryu and at the same time retire to the northwest."
    1355 Radio from CofS Combined Fleet to CofS First Air Fleet, Second Fleet, ComCruDiv 8, and ComCarDiv 2: "#521. Report progress of attacks on Midway (particularly whether or not friendly units will be able to use shore bases on Midway tomorrow, and . . . Base . . .)."
    1356 Radio from ComCarDiv 2 to ComMobile Force: "Results obtained by our second attack wave: one carrier of the Enterprise class bombed and left burning; sighted 5 large cruisers but were unable to obtain any results. Two additional carriers were sighted about 10 miles away. We are making preparations for the third attack wave (6 ship-based bombers and 6 ship-based attack planes)."
    1356 Wigwag from ComMobile Force to Mobile Force: "Turn to course 120 degrees, speed 24 knots."
    1358 Chikuma on course 250 degrees.
    1400 Radio from Captain of Isokaze to ComDesDiv 4: "#481. Soryu has become inoperational. What should I do?"
    1400 From Chikuma's #2 plane: "#7. Carrier referred to earlier is seriously damaged."
    1400 Tone prepares to take her plane aboard.
    1401 Chikuma sights a group of enemy planes bearing 40 degrees to port, directly over the Hiryu. Hiryu opens fire. The enemy planes dive on the Hiryu.
    1405 Radio from Tone's plane #4 to Tone: "Sight enemy planes."
    1405 Tone opens fire with guns bearing 70 degrees to port. Enemy planes bomb Hiryu, scoring several hits. Fires break out aboard Hiryu. Chikuma opens up with her main and AA batteries.
    1407 Enemy planes dive bomb Haruna. Enemy planes head for the Tone. Tone counters with her starboard batteries. Three enemy planes over the Nagara. This ship opens fire with her main and AA batteries on planes heading in from 90 degrees to port.
    1409 Tone holds fire.
    1410 Tone commences bomb evasion maneuvers employing maximum battle speed.
    1413 Chikuma holds main battery fire.
    1415 Radio from Chikuma's #2 plane to ComCruDiv 8: "#1. Sight enemy composed of one carrier and three cruisers in position bearing 103 degrees from point of origin."
    1415 Radio from commander of the Hagikaze to ComDesDiv 4: "The Emperor's portrait has been safely brought aboard. Since all hands were ordered to abandon ship, we have taken all personnel aboard."
    1415 Radio from ComOccupation Force to ComMobile Force, CinC Combined Fleet, ComCruDiv 8, Occupation Force: "Occupation Force DesOpOrd #12. The Main Unit of the Occupation Force plans to be in position (grid) TO A WO 19 at 2100. In coordination with Mobile Force, the remaining enemy will be destroyed. If by the above time, we obtain no intelligence of the enemy, we plan to sweep eastward in search of the enemy."
    1415 Radio from ComCruDiv 8 to planes of BatDiv 3 and CruDiv 8: "On course 270 degrees from 1330 and 120 degrees from 1400. Speed 24 knots."
    1415 Chikuma on course 90 degrees.
    1416 Chikuma holds AA fire.
    1417 Chikuma sights two enemy planes bearing 45 degrees to port.
    1417 Chikuma's speed 31 knots.

--29--

    5 June  

    1418 Radio from Tone's plane #4 to ComCruDiv 8: "Sight enemy planes."
    1420 Three planes dive on Tone. She goes into evasive maneuvers and several bombs drop 100 meters astern of her.
    1423 Tone opens machine gun fire on approachmg enemy planes.
    1424 Chikuma sights 9 enemy planes bearing 30 degrees to port.
    1426 Radio from Chikuma's #2 plane to ComCruDiv 8: "#2. Enemy's speed 24 knots, course 70 degrees."
    1427 Wigwag from Chikuma to Mobile Force: "Sight enemy planes bearing 200 degrees."
    1427 Wigwag from ComCruDiv 8 to Mobile Force: "Sight enemy planes bearing 160 degrees."
    1428 Radio from Chikuma's #2 plane to ComMobile Force: "#3. The enemy is retiring to the east. Enemy's course 70 degrees, speed 20 knots."
    1430 Radio from CinC Combined Fleet to all CinC's and ComDiv's in Combined Fleet:
    "Combined Fleet DesOpOrd #157;
    1. ComNorthern Force will carry out occupation of AO (Aleutians) at opportune time.
    2. . . . (less two destroyer divisions) and SubRon 1 are restored to the Northern Force."
    1430 ComMobile Force to CinC Combined Fleet, CinC Second Fleet, ComCarDiv 4: "#147. Hiryu burning as result of bomb hits."
    1431 Radio from Chikuma's #2 plane to ComMobile Force: "#4. No change in enemy situation."
    1432 Radio from Chikuma's plane #4 to ComCruDiv 8: "#4. Sight one enemy carrier. Sight 5 enemy destroyers. They are in position bearing 103 degrees, distance 85 miles from my take off point. Their course is 110 degrees, speed 12 knots."
    1432 Radio from ComDesDiv 4 to Isokaze. "#316. Stand by in the vicinity of the Soryu until otherwise ordered. Would she be operational if her fires were brought under control?"
    1432 Four enemy ship-based bombers dive on the Tone. Resorts to evasive maneuvers.
    1432 Chikuma reports sighting 9 enemy ship-based bombers heading for her from position bearing 70 degrees to port, elevation 30 degrees, distance 3,000 meters. Chikuma commences evasive maneuvers at maximum battle speed.
    1432 Chikuma's AA guns open fire.
    1433 Radio from Chikuma's #2 plane to CinC First Air Fleet: "The enemy has commenced retiring to the east on course 70 degrees, speed 20 knots."
    1433 One Douglas DE-19 (sic) dives on Chikuma, dropping its bombs 100 meters ahead. No damage sustained. (See chart.)
    1434 Radio from Chikuma's #2 plane to ComMobile Force: "#5. Three enemy cruisers on course 70 degrees, speed 20 knots."
    1435 Enemy scores no hits in bombing of Tone.
    1437 Blinker from ComMobile Force to Mobile Force: "Assemble in the vicinity of the Nagara."
    1437 Three enemy carrier-based bombers dive on the Tone. No hits out of three. All planes forced to retire.
    1439 Chikuma on course 330 degrees.
    1442 Tone opens fire on enemy planes bearing 30 degrees to port, elevation 7 degrees.
    1445 Chikuma sights one enemy B-17 overhead and opens fire with her AA guns.
    1445 Chikuma sustains no damage when B-17's bombs fall into water 50 meters astern on the starboard.
    1445 One enemy heavy bomber heads for the Tone from 130 degrees to port.
    1448 Three enemy planes head for the Tone from 170 degrees to port, elevation 30 degrees. These were immediately forced back.
    1448 Nagara lays down smoke screen.
    1449 Chikuma reports that enemy planes circled and are overhead again.
    1449 The B-17 again carries out a bombing attack on the Chikuma. Bombs drop in position bearing 90 degrees to port, distance 150 meters from her. No hits. B-17 retires.
    1450 Radio from Maikaze to ComMobile Force: "#317. Kaga is inoperational. All survivors have been taken aboard."
    1450 Radio from ComMobile Force to CinC Combined Fleet, CinC Second Fleet, and ComCarDiv 4: "#243. Kaga is inoperational in (grid) position HE E A 55. All survivors have been transferred to destroyer."

--30--

    5 June  

    1450 Radio from CinC Second Fleet to ComCruDiv 4, ComCruDiv 5, ComBatDiv 3, ComDesRon 2, ComDesRon 4, Zuiho, Harusame, CinC Combined Fleet, CinC First Air Fleet, CinC First Fleet, ComCruDiv 7, ComCruDiv 8, ComDesRon 10, and ComCarDiv 11:
    "Second Fleet Secret despatch #762. Occupation Force DesOpOrd #13: In the event that a night engagement is carried out tonight, this force will participate in the following manner:
    "1. Engage the enemy in closed formation much in the manner of a daylight encounter by taking advantage of moonlight.
    "2. Depending on circumstances, CruDiv 5 and DesRon 2 (or DesRon 4) may be detached.
    "3. Torpedo depth setting will be 4 meters.
    "4. Position indicator method #4 will be employed with Atago's position at time of rendezvous as the point of origin."
    1450 Chikuma ceasing firing.
    1455 Radio from ComMobile Force to CinC Combined Fleet: "Bombs hit Hiryu, causing fires. (1430)."
    1455 Chikuma sights a group of enemy planes in position bearing 76 degrees to port, elevation 5 degrees, distance 4,000 meters. It headed for the fleet and then to the Nagara. (No damage.)
    1500 Akagi is advised by her escort destroyer that an enemy submarine lurks in the vicinity.
    1500 Radio from ComDesDiv 4 to Hagikaze: "Keep a watch on the Kaga until further notice."
    1500 Radio from ComDesDiv 4 to Hagikaze, Maikaze, Hamakaze, and Isokaze: "#319. Continue to guard the carriers assigned to you.
    1500 Radio from ComDesDiv 4 to Makikaze and Hamakaze: "#318. Advise whether there is any danger of the Kaga and Soryu sinking."
    1500 Chikuma sights a group of enemy planes bearing 50 degrees to port, elevation 15 degrees, heading for her.
    1501 Radio from Chikuma's #4 plane: "The enemy carrier is adrift."
    1502 Radio from Isokaze to ComDesDiv 4: "#482. There is no hope of her navigating under her own power. All survivors have been taken aboard this ship."
    1503 Chikuma commences AA action against the enemy plane group bearing 20 degrees to port.
    1503 Tone sights an enemy flying boat bearing 45 degrees to starboard. She commences battle speed #2.
    1505 Chikuma notes that enemy plane group is retiring and ceases firing her main guns.
    1506 Tone sights 6 enemy planes in position bearing 150 degrees, elevation 5 degrees, distance 1,900 meters. They approach her and she retaliates with her main and AA guns.
    1507 Tone cruises at full speed and engages in evasive maneuvers.
    1507 Chikuma sights 6 enemy bombers bearing 160 degrees to port.
    1508 Chikuma opens fire with her AA guns and machine guns on two enemy planes approaching from dead ahead.
    1509 One approaching plane shot down by Chikuma's AA guns.
    1510 Radio from Chikuma's #2 plane to ComMobile Force: "#8. Sight enemy composed of 1 carrier, 2 cruisers, and 4 destroyers in position bearing 95 degrees, distance 105 miles from my take off point. He is on course 170 degrees."
    1510 Chikuma forces enemy planes to retire.
    1510 Chikuma opens fire on 3 enemy B-17's approaching from dead ahead.
    1514 Several bombs from B-17 drop in water 100 meters to starboard. (No damage.)
    1514 Enemy planes head for the Tone. Friendly ship-based fighters engage them.
    1515 Radio from ComNorthern Force to Northern Force; info Combined Fleet, Chief of Naval General Staff, Commandant Ominato Guard District: "Northern Force Secret Despatch #801. Northern Force DesOpOrd #89: With the exception of the Second Mobile Force, the AL (Aleutians) Operation will be carried out as scheduled with no change in N-day."
    1515 Enemy planes retire and Chikuma ceases fire.
    1515 Radio from ComCruDiv 8 to planes of BatDiv 3 and CruDiv 8: "Position at 1500 bears 5 degrees, distance 275 miles from 1100 position."
    1519 Radio from Chikuma's plane #2 to ComMobile Force: "Sight one additional carrier on course 170 degrees."

--31--

--32--

--33--

    5 June  

    1520 Men sent aboard the Akagi to determine condition of her engines but they were unable to carry out their mission due to gas and heat.
    1520 Radio from Chikuma's plane #2 to ComMobile Force: "#10. Sight 3 enemy cruisers in position bearing 95 degrees, distance 105 miles from my take off point."
    1520 Sighting 3 B-17's bearing 70 degrees to her port, Chikuma opens fire.
    1520 From ComCruDiv 8 to all planes of BatDiv 3 and CruDiv 8: "Return home".
    1521 Although sustaining several machine gun bullet hits, enemy plane fails to crash and retires.
    1528 Three enemy planes subject Tone to level bombing attack. Bombs fall 1,000 meters astern.
    1529 Enemy planes approach Tone from position bearing 45 degrees, elevation 15 degrees.
    1530 Tone goes into evasive maneuvers at maximum battle speed, opening fire with her main guns simultaneously.
    1530 Radio from Chikuma's plane #2 to ComCruDiv 8: "#11. Am breaking off contact."
    1530 Radio from ComDesDiv 4 to Nowake, Akikaze, Hamakaze, Isokaze; Info, CofS First Air Fleet, ComDesRon 10, ComDesDiv 17: "#320. Each ship will stand by the carrier assigned to her and screen her from enemy submarines and task forces. Should the enemy task force approach, engage him in hit-and-run tactics and destroy him."
    1530 Blinker from Chikuma to ComCruDiv 8: "The #2 plane of this ship sighted 4 enemy carriers, 6 cruisers, and 15 destroyers in position 30 miles east of the burning and listing enemy carrier at 1413. This enemy force was westward bound. Shortly after sighting it, our plane was pursued by enemy carrier-based fighters, and lost it."
    1532 Tone loses enemy planes in clouds. Resumes normal navigation.
    1532 Chikuma reports that all enemy planes are retiring.
    1532 Radio from Chikuma's plane #2 to ComMobile Force: "Sight three enemy carriers in position bearing 95 degrees, distance 105 miles from my take-off point."
    1537 Wigwag from ComMobile Force to Mobile Force: "Assemble in the vicinity of the Nagara."
    1537 Tone on course 110 degrees, #2 battle speed.
    1538 Tone sights one enemy plane approaching her bearing 30 degrees to starboard. This plane forced back by the ship's machine gun and AA gunfire.
    1539 Chikuma's speed 24 knots.
    1543 Tone resumes basic speed.
    1545 Radio from Chikuma's #2 plane to ComMobile Force: "Am breaking off contact."
    1546 Chikuma reports that friendly fighters land near the Nagara.
    1553 Blinker from ComCruDiv 8 to Chikuma: "Take the plane aboard."
    1600 Tone picks up her #5 plane. Standing still.
    1601 From ComMobile Force to Mobile Force: "Scheduled course for DesRon 10, CruDiv 8, and BatDiv 3, 135 degrees."
    1605 Chikuma stands by to pick up her #4 plane.
    1605 Blinker from ComMobile Force to Mobile Force: "DesRon 10, CruDiv 8, and BatDiv 3 scheduled to cruise in that order on course 315 degrees."
    1612 Tone on 20 minute stand by for maximum battle speed.
    1615 Engineering officer reports that there is no hope for Akagi's operating under her own power.
    1615 Radio from Hamakaze to ComMobile Force, and ComCarDiv 2: "Soryu has sunk."
    1615 Radio from CinC Combined Fleet to All CinC's and ComDiv's in Combined Fleet; info, Chief, NavGenStaff:
    "Combined Fleet Secret Despatch #298.
    Combined Fleet DesOpOrd #158:

    "1. The enemy fleet, which has practically been destroyed, is retiring to the east.
    "2. Combined Fleet units in the vicinity are preparing to pursue the remnants and at the same time, to occupy AF (Midway).
    "3. The Main Unit is scheduled to reach position (grid) FU ME RI 32 on course 90 degrees, speed 20 knots, by 0000, 6th.
    "4. The Mobile Force, Occupation Force (less CruDiv 7), and Advance Force will immediately contact and attack the enemy."

    1615 Blinker from ComCruDiv 8 to CruDiv 8: "Go on instant stand by for 26 knots and 20 minutes stand by for maximum battle speed."

--34--

    5 June  

    1620 Captain of the Akagi decides on having all abandon ship and advises CinC First Air Fleet to that effect, requesting at the same time that she be scuttled by a destroyer's torpedo.
    1620 Tone prepares for night action. Course, 180 degrees.
    1625 All hands on the Akagi ordered to assemble to hear that they would be ordered to abandon ship.
    1635 Radio from ComCruDiv 8 to Chikuma's #4 plane: "Position at 1600 bears 351 degrees, distance 36 miles from position at 1100. Course 351. Come home on the radio beam."
    1635 No reply from #5 plane.
    1640 Radio from ComCruDiv 8 to planes of BatDiv 3 and CruDiv 8: "#29. Position at 1600 bears 351 degrees, distance 36 miles from position at 1100. Course 351 degrees. Come home on the beam."
    1640 Chikuma on course 190 degrees, speed 9 knots.
    1642 From ComCruDiv 8 to ComMobile Force: "Enemy composed of 6 large cruisers and 2 carriers, was retiring to the southeast from position bearing 20 degrees, distance 180 miles from Midway at 1510. We estimate that the enemy is in position bearing 100 degrees, distance 200 miles from us at 1600."
    1642 Chikuma lights her searchlights to aid her plane to home.
    1650 Chikuma's #2 plane homes, bearing 80 degrees.
    1655 Chikuma lights up.
    1700 All hands commence transferring from the Akagi to the Arashi and Nowake.
    1700 Chikuma takes her #2 plane aboard. Chikuma on course 180. Stopped.
    1710 Blinker from ComCruDiv 8 to CruDiv 8: "Go on course 315 degrees, slow speed."
    1710 From ComCruDiv 8 to ComMobile Force: "With the exception of one type-95 float recco plane from the Tone and one type-0 float recco from the Chikuma, all planes of BatDiv 3 and CruDiv 8 arrive home safely. It is presumed that the two which failed to return were lost in air combat."
    1720 Blinker from ComCruDiv 8 to CruDiv 8: "Assume course 320, on basic speed."
    1725 From ComCruDiv 8 to all ships: "Battle Action. Speed, 12 knots."
    1727 Strict lookout maintained in the vicinity of the Chikuma.
    1729 From ComCruDiv 8 to CruDiv 8: "CruDiv 8, battle action."
    1729 Tone sights what appears to be an enemy ship silhouette bearing 50 degrees to port. Prepare for torpedo action, 50 degrees to port.
    1730 Radio from CinC Combined Fleet to Submarine I-168, ComCarDiv 3; info, CruDiv 7: "Combined Fleet DesOpOrd #159: Submarine I-168 will shell and destroy the enemy air base on AF (Midway) (Eastern) until 2300. CruDiv 7 will carry on after 2300."
    1730 Blinker from ComMobile Force to Mobile Force: "Float recco planes of BatDiv 3 and CruDiv 8 will carry out searches tomorrow morning between lines bearing 90 degrees and 180 degrees to as great a distance as possible. The details will be decided by ComCruDiv 8."
    1730 Blinker from ComMobile Force to Mobile Force: "Advise class of the 4 enemy carriers."
    1737 Chikuma orders that combat blackout be observed in preparation for night action.
    1738 Blinker from ComCruDiv 8 to Chikuma: "Advise searching conditions."
    1745 It was determined that the Tone had mistaken a cloud for the enemy ship reported sighted earlier.
    1748 Blinker from ComCruDiv 8 to Chikuma: "Advise of the number of operational planes."
    1748 Blinker from ComCruDiv 8 to Chikuma: "Assume #1 Disposition."
    1754 From ComCruDiv 8 to CruDiv 8: "Assume #1 Disposition."
    1755 Blinker from Chikuma to ComCruDiv 8: "4 planes are operational."
    1757 Radio from ComMobile Force to CruDiv 8: "Assume #1 Standby disposition." Patrol Disposition #1 assumed on board. Battle speed #1.
    1800 Chikuma on course 315 degrees.
    1800 Blinker from Makigumo to ComMobile Force: "Hiryu can attain 28 knots."

--35--

    5 June  

    1830 Radio from ComMobile Force to CinC Combined Fleet; info, CinC Second Fleet, CinC First Fleet, CinC Eleventh Air Fleet: "Mobile Force Secret Despatch #560. The total strength of the enemy is 5 carriers, 6 cruisers, and 15 destroyers. These are steaming westward and was in the vicinity of (grid) position TO SU WA 15 at 1530. We are offering protection to the Hiryu and retiring to the northwest at 18 knots. Our 1830 position is (grid) FU N RE 55."
    1830 Blinker from ComCruDiv 8 to Chikuma: "We are transferring firefighting hose to the Yugumo. Make preparations and when completed, advise."
    1846 Four destroyers are in the vicinity of the Hiryu aiding in firefighting and rescue work.
    1900 Radio from ComDesDiv 4 to ComMobile Force; info, CofS Combined Fleet: "#325. All survivors of the Akagi have been transferred. 500 persons to the Arashi and 200 to the Nowake."
    1900 Blinker from Chikuma to ComCruDiv 8: "Yorktown and Hornet. Speed 24 knots. Classes and speeds of the others undetermined."
    1900 Chikuma on course 320, speed 12 knots.
    1925 From CinC Combined Fleet to Akagi: "An order has been issued to hold off scuttling by torpedo."
    1925 Blinker from ComCruDiv 8 to Chikuma: "Let yourself drift."
    1926 Chikuma 12 knots in reverse.
    1927 Chikuma stops.
    1930 Transfer operations from Akagi to Arashi and Nowake completed. (Captain and Exec. transferred to Arashi).
    1950 Radio from ComMobile Force to CinC Combined Fleet: "Re Combined Fleet DesOpOrd #158: There still exists 4 enemy carriers (may include auxiliary carriers), 6 cruisers and 16 destroyers. These are steaming westward. None of our carriers are operational. We plan to contact the enemy with float recco planes tomorrow morning."
    1955 Radio from CinC Combined Fleet to ComMobile Force, CinC Second Fleet; info, CinC First Fleet, ComBatDiv 1, ComCruDiv 8: "Combined Fleet DesOpOrd #160: CinC Second Fleet will take command of the Mobile Force (excepting the Hiryu, Akagi, and the ships escorting them.)"
    2020 Radio from CinC Combined Fleet to CinC First Air Fleet; info, CinC Second Fleet, ComCruDiv 8: "#534. Advise of movements of CruDiv 8 and Second Section of BatDiv 3."
    2020 Blinker from Kirishima to ComCruDiv 8: "#10. In view of the contents of Occupation Force DesOpOrd #13 referred to in Combined Fleet DesOpord #158, it is my humble opinion that as a Supporting Force we should participate in the night action or in the action tomorrow morning, either together with or independently of the Occupation Force. I submit my opinion for whatever it is worth."
    2020 Chikuma lowers her cutter #1, and passes the hose over to the Yugumo. (For the purpose of fighting the Hiryu's fires).
    2030 Radio from ComMobile Force to CinC Combined Fleet and CinC Second Fleet: "Mobile Force Secret Despatch #562. Re Mobile Force Secret despatch #561: 2 of the enemy carriers are of the Hornet class with a speed of 24 knots. The 2 others to the north of the former are of undetermined classes and speeds."
    2040 Radio from ComOccupation Force to Occupation Force, ComMobile Force; info, CinC Combined Fleet, CinC Sixth Fleet:
    "Secret Despatch #761.

    "1. The Main Unit of the Occupation Force plans to be in position (grid) TO E WA 12 by 0000, 6th. Thereafter, it plans to search for the enemy to the east and participate in a night engagement in accordance with Mobile Force Secret Despatch #560.
    "2. The Mobile Force (less Hiryu, Akagi; and their escorts) will immediately turn about and participate in the Occupation Force's night engagement."

    2100 Radio from ComOccupation Force to Occupation Force, Mobile Force; info, CinC Combined Fleet, CinC First Fleet:
    "Second Fleet secret despatch #756.
    "1. Expect to encounter the enemy sometime after 2200.
    "2. Search Disposition: From right to left, DesRon 2, CruDiv 5, CruDiv 4, and DesRon 4; spacing, 6 kilometers. BatDiv 3 will assume position approximately 10 kilometers behind CruDiv 4. Course 65 degrees, speed 24 knots.

--36--

    5 June  

     
    "3. The Mobile Force will participate in the night engagement from the north."
    2110 Blinker from ComCruDiv 8 to CruDiv 8, BatDiv 3:
    "Tomorrow morning's air searches will be carried out as follows:

    "1. Search lines and assignments:

      #1, 90 degrees;
      #2, 102 degrees; Chikuma.
      #3, 115 degrees; Tone.
      #4, 127 degrees; Haruna.
      #5, 140 degrees; Haruna.
      #6, 165 degrees; Kirishima.
      #7, 173 degrees; Kirishima
    "2. Distance: #1, #2, #3, 303 miles; all others, 180 miles. All to the right 30 miles.
    "3. Take off at 0120.
    "4. Point of origin will be the 0120 position."
    2115 Radio from CinC Combined Fleet to all CinC's and ComDiv's in Combined Fleet; info, Chief of NavGenStaff:
    "Combined Fleet Secret Despatch #303.

    "1. The Occupation Force (less the Landing Force which is standing by, and plus CruDiv 7) and the Mobile Force (less Akagi, Hiryu, and their respective escorts) will rendezvous with the Main Unit.
    "2. The Main Unit will be in position (grid) FU RU RI 31, and on course 90 degrees, speed 20 knots at 0600 tomorrow morning."

    2120 Radio from CinC Combined Fleet to ComCruDiv 8; info, CinC Second Fleet: "Combined Fleet Secret Despatch #304. Cancel the scheduled shelling of AF (Midway), and proceed to the Main Unit's scheduled position at 0600 (FU RU RI 31)."
    2130 Blinker from ComMobile Force to Mobile Force: "We plan to reach position (grid) FU RA RI 55 by 0200 tomorrow. Thereafter, we plan to head for the enemy task force."
    2130 Radio from ComMobile Force to CinC Combined Fleet, CinC Second Fleet; info, ComCruDiv 8: "Mobile Force Secret Despatch #564. At 2100 my position was (grid) FU WA RI 55 assisting the Hiryu. I plan to be in the vicinity of (grid) position FU RA RI 55 by tomorrow dawn, and will be prepared to attack the enemy in coordination with the other forces."
    2130 Blinker from ComMobile Force to Mobile Force: "Cruising disposition will be in the order of DesRon 10 and BatDiv 3. CruDiv 8 will take positions 12 kilometers on each side of the Nagara."
    2130 Blinker from CinC First Air Fleet to Mobile Force: "We will be in position (grid) FU RA RI 55 at 0200 tomorrow from where we plan to head for the enemy."
    2203 Chikuma's speed, 12 knots.
    2207 Blinker from ComMobile Force to CruDiv 8: "Take positions 12 kilometers on each side of the Nagara."
    2207 Chikuma's speed, 9 knots.
    2210 Chikuma on course 35 degrees, speed 6 knots.
    2211 Since it seemed apparent that ComMobile Force had failed to comprehend Combined Fleet Secret Despatch #303 (reported above), Chikuma started to signal him along the following lines: "This ship just now received the following message: 'Combined Fleet Secret Despatch #303. (Body of message reported above.)' At this moment, however, CinC First Air Fleet signalled: "Turn about. I am turning about." Chikuma, therefore, held up her signals.
    2212 Blinker from ComMobile Force to ComCruDiv 8: "Turn about. I am turning about."
    2220 Radio from ComOccupation Force to CruDiv 8, Mobile Force, Occupation Force:
    "1. 2200 position of Occupation Force was TO A RA 23; course, 305 degrees, speed 24 knots. We are charting our course so as to rendezvous with the Main Unit, while making preparations for a night engagement.
    "2. DesRon 2 will take positions to the rear of the Main Unit.
    "3. Mobile Force will rendezvous with the Main Unit under direction of its commander."
    2220 Chikuma's speed, 16 knots.
    2227 Blinker from ComCruDiv 8 to CruDiv 8: "Tone will assume position to the south and Chikuma to the north of the Nagara."
    2230 Chikuma's speed, 24 knots.
    2232 Chikuma's speed, 16 knots.
    2234 Chikuma's speed, 24 knots.
    2250 Chikuma heads for Main Unit (31-59.0N, 179-122.0E). Course, 300 degrees.

--37--

    5 June  

    2330 Radio from ComMobile Force to CinC Combined Fleet, Chief of NavGenStaff; info, all CinC's in Combined Fleet, ComCarDiv 4: "First Air Fleet Secret Despatch #566. Mobile Force's Battle Report. 5 June. (Omitted.)"
    2355 Radio from CinC Combined Fleet to all CinC's and ComDiv's in Combined Fleet, Chief of NavGenStaff:
    "Combined Fleet Secret Despatch #303 (?). Combined Fleet DesOpOrd #161:

    "1. Occupation of AF (Midway) is cancelled.
    "2. The Main Unit will assemble the Occupation Force and the First Mobile Force (less the Hiryu and her escorts), and will carry out refuelling operations during the morning of 7 June in position 33N, 170 E.
    "3. The Screening Force, Hiryu and her escorts, and the Nisshin will proceed to the above position.
    "4. The Landing Force will proceed westward, out of Midway's air range."

    2400 Radio from ComDesDiv 4 to CinC Combined Fleet: "#331. She is still burning. There is danger of her sinking."
    6 June  

    0000 Course 280 degrees, speed 20 knots.
    0005 Chikuma on course 270 degrees.
    0023 Chikuma on course 275 degrees.
    0141 #1 and #4 planes take off from Chikuma on search missions. (#1 plane bearing 90 degrees, distance 120 miles; #4 plane bearing 102 degrees, distance 200 miles).
    0144 Chikuma's course 290 degrees.
    0150 Speed 20 knots.
    0150 By order of CinC Combined Fleet, Akagi disposed of by torpedo.
    0155 Chikuma's course 280 degrees.
    0200 Akagi scuttled by DesDiv 4's torpedo in position 30-30N, 178-40W.
    0212 Chikuma on course 300 degrees, speed 9 knots.
    0225 Chikuma commences refuelling operations (Genyo Maru).
    0240 Blinker from ComCruDiv 8 to CruDiv 8 and BatDiv 3: "In the event that enemy flying boats or other planes approach, type-95 float recco planes will be employed to engage them under direction of the respective ship's captains."
    0315 Chikuma's course 275 degrees.
    0320 Radio from ComCruDiv 8 to all search planes: "Search distances are revised to the following: Type-0's, 200 miles; type-95's 150 miles."
    0340 Chikuma's #1 plane taken aboard. (Sighted no enemy on his search line.)
    Time Unknown Radio from Kazegumo to ComMobile Force; info, CinC Combined Fleet, CinC Second Fleet: "#1. All hands are abandoning the Hiryu."
    0352 Radio from Chikuma's #4 plane to ComMobile Force: "Sight an enemy Yorktown class carrier listing to starboard and drifting in position bearing 111 degrees, distance 240 miles from my take off point. One destroyer is in the vicinity."
    0430 Radio from CofS Combined Fleet to ComDesDiv 10 (?): "#721. Combined Fleet Secret Despatch #310. Has the Hiryu sunk? Advise of developments and position."
    0450 Blinker from ComMobile Force to Chikuma: "What was Chikuma's #4 plane's message #1?"
    0500 Blinker from Chikuma to ComMobile Force: "#4's #1 message read as follows: 'Sight an enemy Yorktown class carrier listing to starboard and drifting in position bearing 111 degrees, distance 240 miles from my take off point. One destroyer is in the vicinity.'"
    0515 Radio from CinC Combined Fleet to Mobile Force: "My position is 33-10N, 177-35E; course 310 degrees, speed 14 knots."
    0545 Chikuma's #4 plane take aboard.
    0605 Chikuma on course 310 degrees.
    0608 Blinker from Chikuma to ComMobile Force, ComCruDiv 8:
    "Report of Chikuma's #2 plane on 5 June:

    "1. At 1413 sighted an enemy carrier of the Enterprise class in position 30-15N, 176-50W listing and burning but with undamaged flight deck. Three cruisers and 5 destroyers were in her vicinity. At about 1420, all departed from the scene with the exception of the carrier, on course 80 degrees.
    "2. At 1510 sighted 2 carriers of the Yorktown or Hornet class with 2 cruisers and 4 destroyers acting as direct escorts in position 30-23N, 176-05W. Distance between the two units was about 3 miles. Course 270 degrees, speed 12 knots.

--38--

    6 June  

     
    "3. At 1516, 2 additional carriers (of undetermined class) escorted by 5 cruisers and 6 destroyers were sighted in position about 4 miles south of the other group. These were in single file, on course 270 degrees, speed 12 knots.
    "4. The #2 plane was on course 180 degrees from about 1500 and sighted the abovementioned groups consecutively, so there is no likelihood of sighting the same group twice. Moreover, the carriers mentioned in paragraphs 1, 2, and 3, were definitely sighted from altitudes of 300 meters, under the cloud ceilings."
    0630 Blinker from ComCruDiv 8 to Chikuma: "Advise results of yesterday's enemy air raids."
    0720 Blinker from ComCruDiv 8 to BatDiv 3 and CruDiv 8: "Have your type-95 float recco planes on instant stand by and the remainder on #2 stand by. However, there is no objection to having the instant stand by planes' crew taking a rest if it is in the vicinity of their planes."
    0800 Blinker from Chikuma to ComCruDiv 8:
    "Results of Air Raids during the 5th:

    1.

    Time Plane type No. of planes Method of bombing Position of bomb hits
    1432 Carrier based bomber. 4 Dive 100 meters dead ahead.
    1445 B-17 1 Level 30 meters starboard astern.
    1447 B-17 1 Level 100 meters port abeam.
    1510 B-17 3 Level 200 meters port abeam.

    "2. By going into maximum battle speed evasive action, no damages were sustained. Ammunition expended: Main batteries, 74; AA guns, 512; machine guns, 8,972."

    0820 Blinker from Chikuma to ComCruDiv 8:
    "Losses sustained yesterday:

    "1. One type-0 plane (#5 plane). Apparently intercepted by enemy fighters while trying to maintain contact with the enemy. Failed to return. Three persons assumed died in action.
    "2. One cutter despatched to rescue Soryu's crew, was not taken aboard. It is presumed that the men, including one pharmacist's mate, were taken aboard the Hamakaze."

    0905 Chikuma sights the Main Unit and the Occupation Force in position bearing 310 degrees, distance 37 kilometers.
    0942 Blinker from ComCruDiv 8 to CruDiv 8 and BatDiv 3: "1 Type-95 float recco plane will remain on #1 stand by. The others will go on #2 stand by."
    0959 Radio from CinC Combined Fleet to all CinC's and ComDiv's in Combined Fleet: "Second Mobile Force is returned to the Northern Force."
    1000 Chikuma joins the Main Unit and the Occupation Force and takes position in #4 Screened Cruising Disposition B. (33-0N, 176-55.0E.)
    1005 Chikuma's course 290 degrees.
    1025 Signal from ComCruDiv 8 to ComMobile Force:
    "#3. Damages sustained by this force yesterday were as follows:

    "1. Tone: Subjected to two dive bombing attacks and a total of 9 bombs; 6 near misses. Level bombed 3 times.
    "2. Chikuma: Subjected to one dive bombing attack consisting of 4 bombs. Level bombed 3 times. 1 near miss, 30 meters.

    1034 Chikuma's course 270 degrees.
    1110 Blinker from CinC Combined Fleet to Combined Fleet: "Planes have taken off of enemy carriers (Communication Intelligence)."
    1135 Blinker from CinC Combined Fleet to Combined Fleet: "The enemy is apparently overhead at high altitude (Communication Intelligence)."
    1143 Blinker from ComCruDiv 8 to CruDiv 8: "Go on instant stand by for maximum battle speed.".
    1200 Chikuma is removed from Occupation Force and included in the Northern Force in accordance with Second Fleet secret despatch #790. (Goes under command of CinC Fifth Fleet.)
    1400 Chikuma completes refuelling. Refuelling requires 1,230 tons.
    1410 So as to rendezvous with BatDiv 3, course changed to 355 degrees, single file. (26-31.0N, 163-21.0E.)
    1425 Blinker from ComMobile Force to Mobile Force: "20 enemy heavy bombers are on course 290 degrees."

--39--

    6 June  

    1430 Blinker from Hamakaze to Chikuma: "The cutter you sent to us was unavoidably left behind. The eight crew members are on board the Isokaze."
    1505 Blinker from CinC Combined Fleet to all ships "Unless otherwise specified, the screened cruising disposition during the night will be in accordance with paragraph 4, page 13, in supplement to "Tactics."
    1530 Chikuma's course, 310 degrees.
    1615 Chikuma's course 270 degrees, speed 16 knots.
    1617 Blinker from ComCruDiv 8 to CruDiv 8: "Prepare for Torpedo Action # 1-B."
    1625 Chikuma's rescue personnel aboard the Isokaze is transferred back to the Chikuma. Chikuma standing still.
    2355 (T. N.: repeat of message of 5 June.) Radio from CinC Combined Fleet to Combined Fleet:
    "Combined Fleet DesOpOrd #161:

    "1. Occupation of AF (Midway) is cancelled.
    "2. The Main Unit will assemble the Occupation Force and the First Mobile Force (less the Hiryu and her escorts) and will carry out refuelling operations during the morning of 7 June in position 33N, 170E.
    "3. The Screening Force, Hiryu and her escorts, and the Nisshin will proceed to the above position.
    "4. The Landing Force will proceed westward, out of Midway's air range."

  1. Actual Condition of the Enemy

    1. Actual conditions in the Midway area:

      The enemy apparently anticipated our attack and had their attack planes and flying boats take off. They also concentrated about 50 fighters (all Grummans), and intercepted our first attack wave at a point approximately 30 miles short of our target. When we subjected these to fierce counterattacks, however, they were put on the defensive and engaged, for the most part, in evasive maneuvers. Our ship-based attack planes and bombers suffered no casualties from enemy interceptors while the greater part of their fighters were brought down by us. Results we obtained were 41 enemy ship-based fighters, 1 ship-based bomber and 1 float recco shot down. We lost 4 planes from the exceedingly hot enemy AA fire, so our total losses including 2 which were scuttled during air engagements, were 6 planes.

      Twelve bomb hits were scored by us on two enemy runways with #80 land bombs, but these were insufficient to render them inoperational, since the large shore-based attack planes were very active subsequently. We are of the opinion that it is impractical to attempt to render such air fields as these inoperational through bombings.

      Intelligence obtained from enemy POW's with regards to Midway is as follows (POW taken aboard the Makigumo):

      1. POW's names and ranks:
        Ensign.8
        Aviation Machinist Mate.

      2. Defenses of Midway:

        1. About 5,000 Marines. No Army troops.
        2. About 150 planes.
          Fighters (Grummans and Buffalos) .......... 55
          Bombers (B-18's) .......................... 50
          Flying Boats (Consolidated PBYs) .......... 30
        3. There are gun emplacements along the entire perimeter of the island. Guns are 20 mm., 30 mm., 50 mm., and 5-inch, of which the 20 mm.'s are the most numerous.
        4. There are 5 torpedo boats in the harbor.
        5. The air field on Eastern Island is situated at the northern tip and is built in a triangular shape. Runways are 200 feet wide and 3,000 feet long.
        6. Flying boats carry out air patrols to a distance of 700 miles each morning and evening. They are out for 14 hours each.

      3. Midway has never been used as a carrier base.

      4. The Alabama has apparently recently been commissioned.

      5. The United States apparently does not announce losses of her carriers.

      6. Douglas SBD's are used for patrol planes as well as dive bombers.

    2. Enemy carriers:

      Our search planes were scheduled to take off at 0130 or 30 minutes before dawn, but the take offs of the float recco planes were delayed as shown below:

      Search line Time of take-off Notes
      #3 0142 Tone's #1 plane; sighted no enemy.
      #4 0200 Tone's #4 plane; sighted enemy.
      #5 0135 Chikuma's #1 plane; sighted no enemy.
      #6 0138 Chikuma's #4 plane; sighted no enemy.

--40--

      Moreover, as can clearly be seen by the search chart, the search plane on #5 search line which should have sighted the enemy failed to do so while the plane on #4 search line sighted him at 0428 while on his return run and reported it as follows: "Sight what appears to be the enemy composed of 10 ships in position bearing 10 degrees, distance 240 miles from Midway. He is on course 150 degrees, speed 20 knots. (0428.)" Subsequently he advised us of the weather conditions in the vicinity of the enemy, and again that "The enemy has changed to course 80 degrees, speed 20 knots." Since, however, he failed to report on the type of ships that he had sighted, he was ordered to do so. At 0509 he reported that the enemy was composed of 5 cruisers and 5 destroyers and again at 0520 that the above formation was accompanied by what appeared to be a carrier to its rear. This was the first reference to an enemy carrier. Subsequent to this and until the ship based recco plane returned, we received conflicting reports, numbering the carriers at three, making it impossible for us to estimate the enemy strength.

      Later, at 0910, 4 fighters and 18 bombers from CarDiv 2 (less Soryu) bombed and sunk (seriously damaged) an enemy carrier. At 1000, it was learned from an enemy POW who was an air crew member from the Yorktown, that 3 carriers; namely, Yorktown, Enterprise, and Hornet were in the vicinity. This information together with our air recco made it possible for us to estimate that the enemy carrier strength was 3.

      At 1145, 6 fighters and 10 torpedo planes from the Hiryu carried out the second attack on enemy carriers and succeeded in seriously damaging (sinking) another carrier.

      This should have left only 1 enemy carrier in a healthy condition. But at 1530, the captain of the Chikuma reported that according to his #2 plane, there were 4 enemy carriers, 6 cruisers, and 15 destroyers in position about 30 miles to the east of the listing and burning enemy carrier. This sighting was made at 1413. The ships were reportedly proceeding westward.

      Then we were at a complete loss as to estimating the number of remaining enemy carriers.

      The enemy carrier which was bombed by us at 0910 was hit with 5 #25 ordinary and 1 #25 land bomb. Judging from the hour of the enemy's first attack on us, it is estimated that he was preparing for his second attack wave. Therefore, we probably inflicted considerable damage on him.

      Subsequent searches failed to locate the damaged carrier so the probability of its sinking is very good. The damaged carrier which was located by Chikuma's #4 plane at 0352 on the 6th and later sunk by our submarine was most likely the carrier torpedoed by our planes at 1145, judging from the fact that her flight decks were undamaged.

      Pertinent facts concerning the POW picked up by the Arashi, and his testimony were as follows:

      His plane which was from the U.S. carrier Yorktown, was shot down in position 30-30N, 178-40W on 5 June. He died on 6 June and was buried at sea. The following information was obtained from him:

      1. POW's name and rank:9
      2. Place of birth: Chicago.
      3. Age: 23.
      4. Point of debarkation: Pearl Harbor.
      5. Destination: Vicinity of Midway.
      6. Other items:

        1. Enemy task force strength: 3 carriers (Yorktown, Enterprise, Hornet).
          6 cruisers; about 10 destroyers.
        2. The Yorktown, 2 cruisers, and 3 destroyers formed one group, and was separated from the other forces.
        3. Sortied from Pearl Harbor during the morning of 31 May, arriving in the vicinity of Midway on 2 June. Since then, this group had been carrying out a mobile patrol along a north-south line.
        4. There were no battleships in Pearl Harbor on 31 May. (The POW engaged in base training until 31 May, and therefore had no detailed knowledge of battleship movements in the Hawaii area.)
        5. Air strength on the island of Oahu:
          Navy had about 200 to 300 planes (including 20 flying boats); the principal base was on Ford Island; POW had no detailed knowledge of the Army, but believed that it had several hundred planes there.
        6. Base for carrier plane drills: Kaneohe, on Oahu.
        7. Types (numbers) of aircraft on the Yorktown: Bombers (18); Recco (18); Torpedo planes. (12); Fighters (27).

--41--

      (Reference material):

      Matters pertaining to battleships (in Hawaii area):

      BB's in port before the war Damages sustained during Battle of Hawaii Subsequent movements Destination
      Pennsylvania Medium damage Departed about February Seattle
      Nevada sunk Refloated and departed about May ...do...
      West Virginia ...do.. ...do.. ...do...
      California ...do.. ...do.. ...do...
      Arizona ...do..    
      Utah ...do..    
      Name Unknown ...do..    

      1. Apparently no battleships have arrived since the outbreak of hostilities.
      2. As for the subsequent movements noted in the above table, they are all this POW's guesses.

    1. Enemy air attacks are described in Supplementary Table #3; the number shot down are shown in Supplementary Table #4.

  1. Conditions and Circumstances Which Affected the Operation.

    1. Weather:

      1. Visibility gradually became worse from 2 June until we were completely closed in. All the heavier ships, not to mention the destroyers, were forced to participate in the operation without a full load of fuel.

      2. We were still fog-bound on the morning of 3 June. Were we to proceed on our course and speed, we would be unable to meet the operation schedule for N-day. We finally broke radio silence, therefore, at 1030 to order a change of course. We presume that this gave the enemy an opportunity to detect us. The fog lifted somewhat by 1250, but this was after we had gone on the air.

      3. During the search carried out on 5 June, Chikuma's #1 plane failed to sight the large enemy force which should have been sighted. Although, of course, it is deemed essential that strict lookouts should be maintained along lines at right angles to the course of the plane, it is quite possible in view of the prevailing weather conditions, that the enemy was obscured from vision by clouds. Even if Tone's #4 plane had sighted this enemy on his outward flight (Tone's #4 plane's take-off had already been delayed by twenty to thirty minutes), we could have carried out an operation with the advantage with us. The weather of the day certainly was not a friend of our search planes.

        Under such weather conditions, it is believed that the number of recco planes should be increased.

      4. After 0400, the enemy took advantage of existing clouds in contacting us. This delayed our sighting them. Enemy dive bombers, in particular, seem to very frequently come to the attack from behind clouds, placing us in a very disadvantageous position.

    2. Communication:

      Tone's #4 plane's message, reporting the sighting of the enemy, was filed at 0428 but was not delivered until about 0500. Hiryu's Air Officer's message stating that there was a need for a second attack wave was filed at 0400 and delivered 4 or 5 minutes later. The messages ordering the carrying out of the second attack wave today, and to have the stand-by planes change from torpedoes to bombs, were all delivered by 0415. The delay in the delivery of message from Tone's #4 plane greatly affected our subsequent attack preparations.

  2. Outstanding Events During the Operation

    1. Attack on Midway:

      (Hiryu Attack Unit)

      Date: 5 June
      Weather: cloudy; amount of clouds, 8; ceiling, 500 to 1,000 meters; visibility, 40 kilometers.
      Mission: Neutralization of AA fire; attacks on air field and installations on Sand Island.
      Commander: Lieut. Tomonaga, Air Officer of the Hiryu.
      Group Commander: Under direct command.
      Commander on base carrier: Under direct command.
      Type and number of aircraft: 17 ship-based attack planes.
      Base: Hiryu.
      Air combat: Engaged by enemy F4F's for 15 minutes about 40 miles short of Midway at 0316. Three enemy planes were shot down, and we lost two during this encounter.
      Weather at scene of target: Clear; amount of cloud, 1 to 2; ceiling, 500 meters; visibility, 60 kilometers.
      Ammunition expended: 17 #8010 10 land bombs; 5,238 rounds of 7.7 mm. machine gun bullets.
      Time of attack and results obtained: Bombing attack carried out at 0334 from an altitude of 3,400

--42--

      meters. Squadron 1 scored a hit on the fuel storage tank at the northeast tip of Sand Island; squadron 2 attacked and partially destroyed an AA gun emplacement on the east side of Sand Island; squadron 3 destroyed a flying boat take-off platform on Sand Island.
      Losses: Two in air engagement and two from AA guns.

      (Soryu attack unit.)

      Date: 5 June.
      Weather: Cloudy; amount of clouds, 8; ceiling, 500 to 1,000 meters; visibility, 40 kilometers.
      Mission: Neutralization of AA fire; attacks on airfield and installations on Sand Island.
      Commander: Lieut. Tomonaga, Air Officer of the Hiryu.
      Group Commander: Under direct command.
      Commander on base carrier: Lieut. Abe, Soryu's Division Commander.
      Type and number of aircraft: 18 ship-based attack planes.
      Base: Soryu.
      Air combat: Encountered 30 to 40 F4F-3's at a point about 20 miles from Midway. Three (of which one uncertain) enemy F4F-3's shot down.
      Weather at scene of target: Clear; amount of cloud, 1 to 2; ceiling, 500 meters; visibility, 60 kilometers.
      Ammunition expended: 18 #80 land bombs; 4,510 rounds of 7.7 mm. machine gun bullets.
      Time of attack and results obtained: Bombing attacks were carried out between 0334 and 0335. Squadron one attacked and silenced an AA gun emplacement on Sand Island (altitude: 2,700 meters); squadron two destroyed a runway on Eastern Island Airfield (altitude: 3,400 meters) squadron three attacked hangars on Eastern Island, setting one on fire and also setting one B-17 on fire.
      Losses: 1 from aircraft; all planes had bullet holes.

      (Akagi) (fighters)

      Date: 5 June.
      Weather: Cloudy; amount of clouds, 8; ceiling, 500 to 1,000 meters; visibility, 40 kilometers.
      Mission: To attack enemy aircraft both in the air and on the ground.
      Commander: Lieut. Tomonaga, Air Officer of the Hiryu.
      Group Commander: Soryu Division Commander, Lieut. Suganami.
      Commander on base carrier: Akagi Division Commander, Lieut. Shirane.
      Type and Number of Aircraft: 9 ship-based fighters.
      Base: Akagi.
      Air combat:

      1. From 0320 to 0340, engaged 3 enemy Grumman fighters flying 10 meters apart at an altitude of 4,500 meters. Two of the enemy were shot down.
      2. At 0320 two Grummans were shot down while flying at an altitude of 3,700 meters in the vicinity of Eastern Island. A coordinated attack was made by two Grummans at 0340 and they were both shot down (uncertain).
      3. Engaged 3 Grummans at 0320 and shot down two.
      4. Engaged 3 Grummans at 0320 and shot down one.
      5. Engaged 1 Grumman at 0320 and shot him down.
      6. Engaged 2 Grummans at 0320 and shot one down.
      Weather at scene of target: Clear; amount of cloud, 1 to 2; ceiling, 500 meters; visibility, 60 kilometers.
      Ammunition expended: 880 20 mm. machine gun bullets; 3,650 7.7 mm. machine gun bullets.
      Fuel Consumed: 5.29 kiloliters.
      Results Obtained:
      1. At 0320 seriously damaged one B-17 on the ground.
      2. At 0330 machine-gunned but failed to set afire one B-17.
      Summary of results: 1 B-17 seriously damaged; 11 Grumman fighters shot down (2 of which are uncertain).
      Losses: 1 in the air; 3 planes suffered hits.

      (Kaga fighters)

      Date: 5 June
      Weather: Cloudy; amount of clouds, 8; ceiling, 500 to 1,000 meters; visibility, 40 kilometers.
      Mission: To attack enemy aircraft, both in the air and on the ground.
      Commander: Lieut. Tomonaga, Air Officer of the Hiryu.
      Group Commander: Soryu Division Commander, Lieut. Suganami.
      Commander on base carrier: Kaga division Commander, Lieut. Iizuka.
      Type and Number of Aircraft: 9 ship-based fighters.
      Base: Kaga.
      Air Engagements: Shot down 9 Grummans, 2 bombers, and 1 float recco plane over Midway at about 0320.

--43--

      At about 0510, 1 enemy bomber shot down while preparing to land on carrier. (Air cover result.)
      Results Obtained: 1 fighter and 1 B-17 strafed on the ground and destroyed; over 9 fighters, 2 bombers and 1 float recco plane shot down.
      Losses: 1 in the air; 1 from AA fire; 1 person other than those on lost planes, killed.

      (Hiryu fighters)

      Date 5 June.
      Weather: Cloudy; amount of clouds, 8; ceiling, 500 to 1,000 meters; visibility, 40 kilometers.
      Mission: To attack enemy planes in the air and on the ground at Midway.
      Commander: Lieut. Tomonaga, Air Officer of the Hiryu.
      Group Commander: Soryu Division Commander, Lieut. Suganami.
      Commander on base carrier: Hiryu Division Commander, Lieut. Shigematsu.
      Type and Number of Aircraft: 9 ship-based fighters.
      Base: Hiryu.
      Air Engagements: Engaged 30 to 40 Grumman fighters from 0317 to 0332 and shot down 18 (of which 4 uncertain). After returning to carrier, engaged a group of enemy attack planes over the carrier.
      Weather in Target Area: Clear; amount of cloud, 1 to 2; ceiling, 500 meters; visibility, 60 kilometers.
      Ammunition Expended: 990 20 mm. machine gun bullets; 6,000 7.7 mm. machine gun bullets.
      Results Obtained: 18 Grummans (of which 4 uncertain) shot down.
      Losses: 9 suffered hits (of which 2 became inoperational).

      (Soryu fighters)

      Date: 5 June.
      Weather: Cloudy; amount of clouds, 8; ceiling, 500 to 1,000 meters; visibility, 40 kilometers.
      Mission: To attack enemy planes in the air and on the ground at Midway.
      Commander: Lieut. Tomonaga, Air Officer of the Hiryu.
      Group Commander: Soryu Division Commander, Lieut. Suganami.
      Commander on Base Carrier: Under direct command.
      Type and Number of Aircraft: 9 ship-based fighters.
      Base: Soryu.
      Air Engagements: While escorting our attack planes, a dozen or more enemy Grummans were engaged at a point bearing 20 degrees, distance 15 miles from Midway, at an altitude of 3,500 meters.
      The enemy was destroyed.

      1. 15th Section: Coordinated action brought down 2 enemy fighters in position bearing 30 degrees, distance 5 miles from Midway, at an altitude of 2,000 meters, at 0325. Another, making a total of 3 was shot down over the airfield at a height of 200 meters.
      2. 17th Section: 1 enemy fighter shot down at position bearing 60 degrees, distance 5 miles from Midway at 0327.
      3. 17th Section: While acting as direct cover for our attack planes, an enemy Grumman was attacked but it was not brought down.
      4. While over our carrier, sighted 10 enemy B-17's proceeding southward. These were attacked, but none were brought down.
      Weather in Target Area: Clear; amount of clouds, 1 to 2; ceiling, 500 meters; visibility, 60 kilometers.
      Results Obtained: Definitely shot down: By coordinated action, 3; by individual action, 1. Uncertain: 2.
      Losses: None.

      (Akagi bombers)

      Date: 5 June.
      Weather: Cloudy; amount of clouds, 8; ceiling, 500 to 1,000 meters; visibility, 40 kilometers.
      Mission: To attack hangars and other airfield installations on Eastern Island.
      Commander: Lieut. Komonaga, Air Officer of the Hiryu.
      Group Commander: Kaga Division Commander, Lieut. Ogawa.
      Commander on Base Carrier: Akagi Division Commander, Lieut. Chihaya.
      Type and Number of Aircraft: 18 ship-based bombers.
      Base: Akagi.
      Air Engagements: None.
      Weather in Target Area: Clear; amount of clouds 1 to 2; ceiling, 500 meters; visibility, 60 kilometers.
      Ammunition Expended: 18 #25 land bombs.
      Fuel Consumed: 14.4 kiloliters of AvGas.
      Results Obtained: 3 hangars on Eastern Island Airfield set afire.
      Losses: None.

--44--

      (Kaga bombers)

      Date: 5 June.
      Weather: Cloudy; amount of clouds, 8; ceiling, 500 to 1,000 meters; visibility, 40 kilometers.
      Mission: To attack flying boat hangars and surface ships on and around Sand Island.
      Commander Lieut. Tomonaga, Air Officer of the Hiryu.
      Group Commander: Kaga Division Commander, Lieut. Ogawa.
      Commander on Base Carrier: Under direct command.
      Type and Number of Aircraft: 18 ship-based bombers.
      Base: Kaga.
      Air Engagements: None.
      Weather in Target Area: Clear; amount of clouds, 1 to 2; ceiling, 500 meters; visibility, 60 kilometers.
      Ammunition Expended: 18 #25 land bombs.
      Results Obtained: 9 hits with #25's scored on flying boat hangars on Sand Island between 0340 and 0343, setting off large fires; 1 oil tank set afire.
      Losses: 1 plane lost; 4 planes hit.

    1. First Attack on Enemy Carriers:

      (Hiryu bombers)

      Date: 5 June.
      Weather: Clear; amount of clouds, 2; ceiling, 500 to 1,000 meters; visibility, 70 kilometers.
      Mission: To carry out first attack on enemy carriers.
      Commander: Hiryu Division Commander, Lieut. Kobayashi.
      Group Commander: Under direct command.
      Type and Number of Aircraft: 18 ship-based bombers.
      Base: Hiryu.
      Air Engagements: Fierce engagements were carried out between 0858 and 0940, during which 2 certain and 1 uncertain enemy Grumman fighters were shot down.
      Weather in Target Area: Clear; amount of clouds, 2; ceiling, 500 to 1,000 meters; visibility, 70 kilometers.
      Ammunition Expended: 12 #25 ordinary bombs; 6 #25 land bombs; 2,854 rounds of 7.7 mm. machine gun bullets.
      Results Obtained: Between 0908 and 0912, 5 hits with #25 ordinary and 1 with #25 land bombs were scored on an Enterprise class carrier, setting her afire and causing her to later explode.
      Losses: 13 planes "self-exploded."

      (Hiryu fighters)

      Date and Weather: Same as above.
      Commander: Hiryu Division Commander, Lieut. Kobayashi.
      Group Commander: Hiryu Division Commander, Lieut. Shigematsu.
      Type and Number of Aircraft: 6 ship-based fighters. (Note: 2 of these engaged enemy torpedo planes and did not participate in the attack on the carriers.)
      Base: Hiryu.
      Air Engagements: A fight to the death was carried out against enemy Grumman fighters between 0858 and 0940. Five of them were definitely shot down and there were two uncertains.
      Weather in Target Area: Same as above.
      Ammunition Expended: 660 20 mm. machine gun bullets; 3,900 7.7 mm. machine gun bullets.
      Results Obtained: 5 shot down (2 others, uncertain ).
      Losses: 3 planes "self-exploded."

    2. Second Attack on Enemy Carriers:

      (Hiryu attack)

      Date: 5 June.
      Weather: Clear; amount of clouds, 4; ceiling, 3,000 meters with some clouds at 500 meters; visibility, 70 kilometers.
      Mission: To carry out second attack on enemy carriers.
      Commander: Hiryu Air Officer, Lieut. Tomonaga.
      Group Commander: Under direct command.
      Type and Number of Aircraft: 9 ship-based attack planes and one additional ship-based attack plane from the Akagi.
      Base: Hiryu.
      Air Engagements: Fierce battles carried out between 1141 and 1146, during which 1 certain and 1 uncertain Grummans were shot down.
      Weather in Target Area: Clear; amount of clouds, 4; ceiling, 3,000 meters with some clouds at 500 meters; visibility, 70 kilometers.
      Ammunition Expended: 9 type-91 modification-3 torpedoes. One torpedo (that on Akagi's attack plane) was not fired. 860 rounds of 7.7 mm. machine gun bullets.
      Results Obtained: Three hits scored on an Enterprise class carrier with torpedoes fired between

--45--

      1144 and 1146, resulting in a great explosion; a large cruiser of the San Francisco class also exploded.
      Losses: Five planes "self-exploded."

      (Hiryu fighters)

      Date and Weather: As above.
      Mission: Direct cover for ship-based attack planes.
      Commander: Hiryu Air Officer, Lieut. Tomonaga.
      Group Commander: Hiryu Division Comder, Lieut. Mori.
      Type and Number of Aircraft: 4 ship-based fighters. (Two additional ship-based fighters from the Kaga.)
      Base: Hiryu.
      Air Engagements: Fight to the death carried out against about 30 Grummans between 1141 and 1146. Seven of them were definitely brought down while four others were uncertain scores.
      Weather in Target Area: Same as above.
      Ammunition Expended: 660 20 mm. machine gun bullets; 3,900 7.7 mm. machine gun bullets.
      Results Obtained: 7 shot down (4 others, probable).
      Losses: 2 planes lost; Chief Yamamoto's plane from the Kaga also lost.

    1. Action of Cover Units:

      1. Akagi:

        Mission: Direct Cover.
        Commander: Air Officer of the Akagi.

        Weather in the Vicinity of the Carrier: During the initial stages, cloudy with ceiling about 500 to 1,000 meters; cloud accumulation, 8; visibility, 40 kilometers. During the latter stages, clear with ceiling about 500 to 4,000 meters; cloud accumulation, 1 to 3; visibility, 60 kilometers.

        Air Engagements: 0242, 1 flying boat; 0308, 1 flying boat; 0405, 9 twin-engine torpedo planes; 0500, 16 single-engine torpedo and single-engine dive bombing planes; 0623, 18 single-engine torpedo planes; 0640, 14 single-engine torpedo planes; 0706, 15 single-engine dive bombers; 0715, 12 single-engine dive bombers; 1340, 12 single-engine dive bombers.

        The above and several dozen B-17's and B-26's were engaged over several hours, and together with fighters from the other carriers, the majority of them were destroyed. From 0726 when they could no longer land on the Akagi, a part of the fighters were transferred to the Hiryu, and carried out their mission in force until 1600 (sundown).

        Results Obtained:
        Fighters:  
          By individual action (1 other probable) 2    
            Total 2 (1)
              =====
        Single-Engine Dive Bombers:  
          By individual action 5
          By coordinated action 6
              ———
            Total 11
              =====
        Single-Engine Attack Planes:  
          By individual action 15
          By coordinated action 16
              ———
            Total 31
              =====
        Large Type Attack Planes:  
          By individual action 4
          By coordinated action 11
              ———
            Total 15
              =====
        Totals:  
          By individual action 221
          By coordinated action 30
              ———
            Grand Total 522

        (T. N.: Totals do not check)
        Losses: of 18 planes used, 7 had hits.

        1 1 probable.

        2 Plus 1 probable.

      2. Kaga:

        Mission: As above.
        Commander: Air Officer, Kaga.
        Weather: As above.

        Air Engagements: From 0400 to 0500, about 6 flying boats and 6 twin engine torpedo planes were engaged by coordinated action; one torpedo plane was shot down. From 0515 to 0610, 9 enemy twin engined torpedo planes were attacked through coordinated action, and 2 of them shot down. From 0530 to 0830, 6 single engine torpedo planes and 6 single engine dive bombers were attacked, and through coordinated action 4 of the former and 1 of the latter were shot down. From 0620 to 0830,

--46--

        about 15 torpedo planes and 5 single engine dive bombers were attacked and 12 of the former and 2 of the latter were shot down. From 0700 to 0830 5 to 6 single engine torpedo planes and 9 single engine dive bombers were attacked and 1 of the former and 6 of the latter were shot down. From 1240 to 1610, (take offs were from the Hiryu) 15 single engine dive bombers and 2 B-17's were attacked and 3 of the former brought down.

        Results Obtained:
        Fighters: 0
        Single-Engine Dive Bombers:  
          By coordinated action 12
        Single-Engine Torpedo Planes:  
          By coordinated action 17
            =====
        Large Type Attack Planes:  
          By individual action 1
          By coordinated action 2
            ———
          Total 3
            =====
        Totals:  
          By individual action 1
          By coordinated action 31
            ———
          Grand Total 32

        Losses: 4 planes lost; one other person wounded.

      1. Hiryu:

        Mission: As above.
        Commander: Unknown.
        Weather: As above.
        Air Engagements:

        At 0412 9 twin engine torpedo planes attacked and 8 were shot down.
        At 0508 9 single engine dive bombers were sighted and 6 were shot down by the air cover. (Three others shot down by AA fire).
        At 0512, 6 single engine dive bombers were sighted and two were shot down. (Four were brought down by AA gun fire).
        At 0514, two more single engine dive bombers were shot down.
        Between 0709 and 0718, 14 single engine torpedo planes were sighted, and nine were shot down (three others by AA fire).
        At the same time, 9 Grumman fighters which were escorting the above were engaged, and all 9 were shot down.
        At 0715, sighted 10 single engine dive bombers and 3 were shot down (two others accounted for by AA fire).
        Between 0718 and 0723, 16 single engine torpedo planes were sighted and 4 were shot down (2 others by AA fire).
        Between 1403 and 1430, 13 single engine dive bombers were sighted and 3 were shot down (2 others by AA fire). (Soryu's 13th and 17th Section).

        Results Obtained:
        Fighters: 9
        Single-Engine Dive Bombers: 16
        Single-Engine Attack Planes: 13
        Large Type Attack Planes: 8
          ———
        Total 46

        Losses: 4 planes lost.

      2. Soryu:

        Mission: As above.
        Commander: Unknown.
        Weather: As above.
        Air Engagements:

        At 0405, 9 single engine torpedo planes were attacked and one was brought down through individual action and five by coordinated action.
        At 0410, 10 or more, twin engine torpedo planes were attacked and one of them brought down by coordinated action.
        At 0450, about 15 single engine dive bombers were attacked and one of them was brought down by individual action and three others by coordinated action.
        At 0700, a dozen or so single engined torpedo planes were attacked and two were brought down by individual action and three by coordinated action.
        At 0710, 20 single engine torpedo planes with four fighter escorts, were attacked and one was brought down by individual action and two by coordinated action.
        At 0715, a dozen or more single engine torpedo planes were attacked, and one by individual action and another by coordinated action were shot down.
        At 0715, single engine dive bombers were attacked and through coordinated action, two were set afire and another was seen to trail black smoke (final results of these are uncertain).

--47--

    1. Action of AA Units:

      1. Akagi

      2. Kaga

      3. Hiryu

--48--

      1. Soryu

      2. Hiruna

      3. Chikuma

      4. DesDiv 17, Tanikaze

--49--

      1. DesDiv 17, Urakaze

      2. DesDiv 17, Hamakaze

      3. DesDiv 17, Isokaze

      4. DesDiv 17, Tanikaze

--50--

      1. DesDiv 10, Kazegumo

      2. DesDiv 10, Yugumo

      3. DesDiv 10, Makigumo

--51--

        At 0715, single engine torpedo planes were attacked and four were brought down by individual action (another one probable), and three by coordinated action.

        Results Obtained:

        Fighters: 0
        Single-Engine Dive Bombers:  
          By individual action 1
          By coordinated action 3
          Probables 3
        Single-Engine Attack Planes:  
          By individual action 9
          By coordinated action 14
          Probables1 1
            ———
          Total 23
        Large Type Attack Planes:  
          By coordinated action 1
        Totals:  
          By individual action, 10 and 1 probable.
          By coordinated action, 18 and 3 probables.
          Grand Total, 28 and 4 probables.
        Losses: 2 planes lost.

        1 Not included in total.

    1. Enemy Action and Damage Suffered by Us.

      1. Akagi

--52--


      1. Kaga

      2. Soryu

--53--


      1. Hiryu

--54--


      1. Haruna

--55--


      1. Tone

--56--


      1. Chikuma

--57--


      1. Tanikaze

  1. General Situation at Conclusion of Operations and the Commander's Estimate Concerning It

    Exceptional fighting was shown by all forces and all ships participating in this operation, and because of it, severe damages were inflicted on the enemy. At the same time, our losses numbered four carriers and the occupation of Midway was not carried out.

    The enemy, however, having lost two of their powerful carriers and many of his air personnel, would undoubtedly be unable to effect any large-scale operation in the near future. It is believed that the enemy will surely strike back at some time, and every precaution should be taken against this.

    Through this operation, there are some vital lessons learned in aircraft carrier warfare, which should be kept alive. These include such items as the reinforcements of searches for the enemy, flexibility of assembling and dispersing, and the speedy take-offs of friendly aircraft when the enemy is sighted.

  2. Movement and Action Charts

    Supplementary Table #1: Track Chart.
    Supplementary Table #2: Action Chart.

--58--

PART V.
RESULTS

  1. Attack on Midway

    1. Military Installations:

    2. Aircraft:

  2. Attacks on Carriers

--59--

--60--

  1. Action of Air Cover Units (See Supplementary Tables 3 and 4)

SUPPLEMENTARY TABLE NO. 3
Summary of Attacking Enemy Aircraft

--61--

(SUPPLEMENTARY TABLE NO. 3--Continued)

--62--

(SUPPLEMENTARY TABLE NO. 3--Continued)

--63--

SUPPLEMENTARY TABLE NO. 4
Aircraft Destroyed

--64--

(SUPPLEMENTARY TABLE NO. 4--Continued)

--65--

(SUPPLEMENTARY TABLE NO. 4--Continued)

  1. Action of AA Units (See Supplementary Tables #3 and #4)

  2. Recapitulation of Results Obtained During Midway Operations

    1. Surface Vessels:

      2 Carriers of the Enterprise class sunk.
      1 Cruiser of the San Francisco class seriously damaged.

    2. Military Installations:

      Several military installations on Sand and Eastern Islands were bombed and set afire.

    3. Enemy Aircraft Destroyed:

--66--

  1. Damage Sustained:

    1. Surface Vessels (Omitted).

    2. Aircraft ("self-exploded"):

    3. Personnel (killed in action):
      Akagi:
        Warrant officers and above 8
        Petty officers and men 213
            ——
          Total 221
      Kaga:
        Captain, officers, and men 1800
            ===
      Hiryu:
        ComDiv, captain, warrant officers, and above 29
        Petty officers and men 387
            ——
          Total 416
            ===
      Soryu:
        Captain, warrant officers, and above 35
        Petty officers and men 683
            ——
          Total 718
      1. About

--67--

PART VI.
RECOGNITION OF MERITORIOUS ACTIONS

  1. The men of the plane units which succeeded in severely damaging enemy military installations on Sand and Eastern Islands in spite of persistent enemy fighters and vicious AA fire, are highly commended.

  2. The action of the men of CarDiv 2 (less the Soryu), in succeeding to sink (or severely damage) two of the new and powerful enemy carriers in spite of the fact that the enemy had gained control of the air, must be commended highly. These men well represented our entire forces. The men of the Hiryu air unit (including 1st class P.O. (Air) Yamamoto from the Kaga and 3rd class P.O. (Air) Bando also from the Kaga) who sacrificed themselves by flying into territory which meant sure death and carried out "body crash" tactics, is particularly cited as being exceptional even in the traditionally glorious history of the Imperial Navy.


PART VII.
REFERENCE MATERIAL

  1. Battle Lessons (Separate Volume)

  2. Weather Charts (Material lost. Omitted).

  3. Mobile Force's Operation Order #34 (Omitted).

--68--

FOOTNOTES

1 A fairly close estimate. Actually there were at Midway on June 3d 30 PBY's; representing two and a half squadrons, one Marine Fighting Squadron of 28 planes, and one Marine Dive Bombing Squadron of 34 planes, plus 21 Army bombers (4 B-26's and 17 B-17's) and 6 Navy TBF's, which had been brought up from Hawaii.

2 Settsu was an old decommissioned battleship of 21,000 tons used as a target for practice bombing.

3 Admiral Nagumo.

4 These Japanese dates of course would be reckoned as 31 May and 1 June in U.S. reports. It should be noted that all dates in this report and all times are in Tokyo time, Plus 9.

5 June 4th by U. S. reckoning.

6 There was duplication, nevertheless. The carriers sighted, of course, were Enterprise and Hornet.

7 Actually the coup de grace was administered by the U. S. submarine Nautilus.

8 Ed. Note. Names given, but are purposely omitted from this translation.

9 Names given, but are purposely omitted from this translation.

10 Bomb types mentioned on this and succeeding pages are as follows: No. 25 land bomb, total weight 242 kg.; No. 25 ordinary bomb, total weight 250 kg.; for use against ships; No. 80 land bomb, total weight 805 kg.

 



Last updated: April 19, 2003

Transcribed and formatted by Jerry Holden for the HyperWar Foundation