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The name Midway means much to Marines. At the very outset of war, when Midway's sole garrison consisted of a Fleet Marine Force defense battalion stationed there in advance of hostilities, the Japanese found that here, as at Wake, Marines were ready. Subsequently, in the battle of Midway, the heroism of Marine fighter and dive-bomber pilots, who attacked effectively and unhesitatingly against tremendous odds, demonstrated once again that courage and discipline are among the high traditions of our Corps.

There is another lesson to be derived from the Marine story of Midway, however, and that is the unity of the Fleet Marine Force as a completely integrated air-ground team. This, too, is traditional, but it has never been better demonstrated than by the integration of Marine artillery and infantry (who secured the base) with Marine air which struck the first blow at the Japanese carriers from that base. While Marine fighters were slashing at enemy air, Marine artillerymen were shooting the Japanese planes down, and Marine dive bombers were harrying the enemy fleet.

This coordinated interaction by land and sea and air embodied the time-tried and proven doctrines of the Marine Corps in one of its primary fields: that of the defense of advanced bases. To all students of this subject, I commend the story of Marines at Midway.

C.B. Cates
General, U.S. Marine Corps,
Commandant of the Marine Corps

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"Marines at Midway" is an account prepared by the Historical Section, Division of Public Information, Headquarters, United States Marine Corps, of the role played by Marines in the base-development and defense of Midway Atoll. It is the third of a series of a series of narratives intended to provide both student and casual reader with accurate and complete information on Marine Corps operations in World War II. As a sufficient number of these monographs are brought to completion, these in turn will be edited for final compilation into an operational history of the Corps during the past war.

This account is exactly what its title implies: The Marine story on Midway. Its scope is intentionally limited to Marine history, and no attempt is made to give full treatment of Navy or Army operations in this locale, except as these impinge upon activities of Marine units.

Acknowledgment for generous assistance must be made to the Historian of Naval Operations, Capt. Samuel Eliot Morison, USNR, and to Lieut. Roger Pineau, USNR, of the Office of Naval History. Commander E. John Long, USNR, of the Office of the Secretary of National Defense, provided much assistance in assembly of illustrations. Cartographic services were furnished by the Reproduction Department, Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Va., and all photographs are United States Marine Corps, Navy or Army official. All personnel are referred to herein by the rank held at the time described in the narrative. Dates and times are West longitude and local zone time unless otherwise indicated. Citations of United States Strategic Bombing Survey (USSBS) material, unless otherwise indicated, are from "Interrogations of Japanese Officials," Naval Analysis Division, USSBS, 1946, and are indicated briefly by the NAV-interrogation numbers found in that publication.

Finally, however, credit must be given to the officers, who, having served on Midway, unstintingly furnished much additional information of historical value by interview or in reply to Historical Section questionnaires. It is strongly hoped that these and others with first-hand experience will make possible further improvement of this narrative either by submitting comments or, when in Washington, by visiting the Historical Section, Division of Public Information, Headquarters Marine Corps, for interview and discussion of the points involved.

Brigadier General, U.S. Marine Corps
Director, Division of Public Information

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