Battle of Midway

Action Report: Carriers, Pacific Fleet

Admiral Raymond A. Spruance to Admiral Chester A. Nimitz

  I have attempted to be faithful to the original document: reproducing the form, spellings, and punctuation (including errors), with one exception: ship names have been rendered in italics, rather than all upper-case as in the original.

Serial 0144-A 16 June 1942
From: Commander Task Force SIXTEEN.
To: Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet
Via: Commander Task Force SEVENTEEN
Enclosure: (A) CO Hornet Serial 0018 of June 13, 1942, with enclosures thereto.
(B) CO Enterprise Serial 0133 of June 8, 1942, with enclosures thereto.
(C) CO Enterprise Serial 0137 of June 13, 1942, with enclosure thereto.
(D) Comcrudiv SIX Serial 058 of June 11, 1942, with enclosure thereto.
(E) CO Pensacola Serial 056 of June 8, 1942, with enclosure thereto.
(F) Comdesron SIX Serial 094 of June 12, 1942, less enclosure.

1. Enclosures are forwarded herewith. Where discrepancies exist between Enterprise and Hornet reports, the Enterprise report should be taken as the more accurate.

2. On 4 June, Task Force SIXTEEN consisted of 2 CVs, 5 CAs, 1 CL and 9 DD.

3. The following is a general outline of the operations of Task Force SIXTEEN during the three days, 4-6 June, during which attacks against Japanese forces took place off Midway. All times given are zone plus ten, which is two hours ahead of Midway time, zone plus twelve.

4. Thursday, 4 June.

5. Friday, 5 June.

6. Saturday, 6 June.

7. Except for the Hornet dive bombers failing to find the target on the forenoon of 4 June, all operations were conducted approximately as intended, and the work of the carrier squadrons on which the success or failure of the action depended was beyond praise. This applies particularly to the first attack made on 3 CVs about noon on 4 June which decided the action. The attacks made at this time by the torpedo squadrons, prior to the arrival of the dive bombers, was of an especially gallant nature.

8. No ships of Task Force SIXTEEN except those sent to report to Commander Task Force SEVENTEEN after the first attack on the Yorktown on the afternoon of 4 June were in actual contact with any enemy forces. The Enterprise and the Hornet were ably handled. Cruisers and destroyers screened and supported these carriers without specific orders and in accordance with doctrine throughout the three days in a most satisfactory and efficient manner.

9. The following is a brief summary of the more important points brought out by the action:


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