CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 1, JUNE 4, 1942
At 8:36 a.m., today Midway time, that island was heavily raided by Japanese carrier based planes. The attack was repulsed by the local defenders in which all the armed services are represented. A heavy toll of the attacking planes was taken. Damage to material installations at Midway was reported as minor. No report of personnel casualties has been received.
The Japanese carriers were accompanied by battleships, cruisers, and destroyers. One battleship and one carrier have been definitely damaged and other vessels are believed to have been hit. Our attacks on the enemy are continuing.
No. 83 JUNE 3, 1942
The Navy Department today issued the following communiqué based on reports received up to 4 p. m., June 3, 1942:
North Pacific Area.
1. Information has been received that Dutch Harbor, Alaska, was attacked by 4 Japanese bombers and about 15 fighters at approximately 6 a. m. local time today (12 noon e. w. t.). The attack lasted approximately 15 minutes.
2. No further details are available at this time.
3. There is nothing to report from other areas.
No. 84 JUNE 3, 1942
The Navy Department today issued the following communiqué based on reports received up to 6 p. m., June 3, 1942:
North Pacific Area.
1. Further reports on the Japanese air attack at Dutch Harbor which took place earlier today, state that there were but few casualties.
2. A few warehouses were set on fire but no serious damage was suffered.
3. There is nothing to report from other areas.
No. 85 JUNE 3, 1942
The Navy Department today issued the following communiqué based on reports received up to 9 p. m., June 3, 1942:
North Pacific Area.
1. A brief report just received in the Navy Department states that for the second time today enemy planes have attacked Dutch Harbor.
2. The second attack was made about 12 noon, local time (6 p. m., e. w. t.), 6 hours after the initial attack.
3. No further details are available at this time.
No. 86 JUNE 4, 1942
The Navy Department today issued the following communiqué based on reports received up to 12 noon (e. w. t.) June 4, 1942:
North Pacific Area.
1. The situation at Dutch Harbor is at present quiet. Yesterday's first raid by the Japanese appears to have been made primarily to test our defenses. High explosives and incendiary bombs were dropped but, as previously announced, our casualties were light and damage was not extensive. The few fires which were started were quickly extinguished.
2. The second wave of enemy planes, which was reported to have attacked 6 hours after the initial attack (communiqué No. 85), failed to drop any bombs and appears to have been engaged solely in reconnaissance.
3. The source of the attacking Japanese aircraft has not been definitely determined but they are thought to have been carrier-based.
4. The U. S. S. Cythera, a small naval patrol vessel taken over by the Navy last December, has been overdue in this area for more than 3 weeks and is presumed to be lost.
5. The next of kin of personnel in the Cythera have been notified.
6. There is nothing to report from other areas.
No. 87 June 4, 1942
The Navy Department today issued the following communiqué based on reports received up to 4:30 p. m., June 4, 1942:
Central Pacific Area.
1. Information has been received that Midway Island was attacked by Japanese aircraft at approximately 9 a. in. local time (2:30 p. m., e. w. t.)
2. No further details are as yet available.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 2, JUNE 5, 1942
The Japanese have not followed up their initial air attack on Midway except by a few ineffectual shots from a submarine during last night. As more reports come in it appears that the enemy's damage is very heavy indeed, involving several ships in each of the carrier, battleship, cruiser and transport classes. This damage is far out of proportion to that which we have received.
The brunt of the defense to date has fallen upon our aviation personnel in
which the Army, Navy and Marine Corps are all represented. They have added another shining page to their record of achievements.
One carrier already damaged by air attack was hit by three torpedoes fired by a submarine.
On every occasion when we have met the enemy our officers and men have been superlative in their offensive spirit and complete lack of fear. Our country can feel secure with personnel such as this.
There were reported several instances of the enemy planes machine gunning our aviation personnel who had bailed out in parachutes or were adrift in rubber boats.
While too early to claim a major Japanese disaster it may be conservatively stated that the United States' control remains firm in the Midway area.
The enemy appears to be withdrawing but we are continuing the battle.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 3, JUNE 6, 1942
Through the skill and devotion to duty of their armed forces of all branches in the Midway area our citizens can now rejoice that a momentous victory is in the making.
It was on a Sunday just six months ago that the Japanese made their peace‑time attack on our fleet and army activities on Oahu. At that time they created heavy damage, it is true, but their act aroused the grim determination of our citizenry to avenge such treachery, and it raised, not lowered, the morale of our fighting men.
Pearl Harbor has now been partially avenged. Vengeance will not be complete until Japanese sea power has been reduced to impotence. We have made substantial progress in that direction. Perhaps we will be forgiven if we claim we are about midway to our objective!
The battle is not over. All returns have not yet been received. It is with full confidence, however, that for this phase of the action the following enemy losses are claimed: two or three carriers, and all their aircraft, destroyed; in addition one or two carriers badly damaged and most of their aircraft lost; three battleships damaged, at least one badly; four cruisers damaged, two heavily; three transports damaged. It is possible that some of these wounded ships will not be able to reach their bases. One of our carriers was hit and some planes were lost. Our personnel casualties were light.
This is the balance sheet that the Army, Navy, and Marine forces in this area offer their country this morning.
CINCPAC COMMUNIQUÉ NO. 4, JUNE 7, 1942
The enemy appears to be withdrawing. Contact was lost during last night. Additional damage was inflicted on two enemy cruisers. Until all reports can be checked, it is impossible to state whether these cruisers are in addition to those reported in Communiqué No. 3, or whether they were damaged cruisers included in the previous report. One enemy destroyer was sunk.
One United States destroyer was sunk by a submarine but nearby ships rescued the personnel with small loss of life.
Except for minor submarine activity in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Island Chain, this section of the Pacific is quiet.
No. 88 JUNE 12, 1942
1. The battle of Midway now makes it possible to release information in regard to the Battle of the Coral Sea. Holding up this information gave to our Navy security which was a cornerstone in building for the Midway victory.
2. In early March the Japanese were observed to be concentrating transports and combatant ships in the ports of Salamaua and Lae on the Island of New Guinea, apparently in preparation for an assault on Port Moresby on the south coast of the same island. The occupation of Port Moresby would have afforded the enemy a strategically located advance base from which promptly to make further attacks on northern Australia.
3. For some time the bases at Salamaua and Lae had been subjected to air attacks by U. S. and Australian shore-based aircraft from Australia. On March 10th a number of aircraft from a Pacific Fleet Task Force, under the command of Vice Admiral Wilson Brown, joined these shore-based planes in their successful attack on shipping and shore installations at the enemy bases. As announced in Navy Department Communiqué No. 57 of March 18th, this attack resulted in the following damage to the enemy:
the sinking of or damage to more than 20 Japa-
nese ships and heavy damage to shore installations. The resulting disruption of Japanese plans delayed for 2 months any attempt of the enemy to advance by sea to the southward. The attacking force was described in the communiqué as American and Australian island-based forces, since the participation of our carriers in that action had still not been discovered by the enemy.
4. During April our Army reconnaissance planes reported that the enemy was once again concentrating transports, and the supporting elements, including aircraft from carriers and shore bases, preparatory to an attempt to advance into the Solomon and Louisiade Islands. In early May these advances were actually begun. Bases for land planes in both of these groups of islands were seized by the Japanese and the entire northern portion of the Coral Sea was subjected to daily reconnaissance by enemy shore-based aircraft.
5. On May 4th a task force of the Pacific Fleet under the command of Rear Admiral Frank J. Fletcher found a part of this Japanese invasion fleet at anchor in and near the harbor of Tulagi, the capital of Florida Island in the Solomon group. In spite of the excellent Japanese air reconnaissance facilities, Admiral Fletcher's attack caught the Japanese forces completely by surprise and all but annihilated them. A few ships managed to get under way, but most of these were severely crippled and some were later beached to prevent their sinking. The results of this engagement as announced in Navy Department Communiqué No. 77 of May 7th were as follows: the sinking of or damage to 12 Japanese vessels and the destruction of 6 aircraft. Our entire loss amounted to but 3 aircraft. On the following day a large four-engined flying boat was intercepted by our forces and shot down.
6. On May 7th Admiral Fletcher's aircraft struck the main body the Japanese force in the Louisiade Archipelago off Misima. The new Japanese aircraft carrier, Ryukaku, and a heavy cruiser were sunk. Fifteen bomb hits and 10 torpedo hits were reported scored on Ryukaku which was turning into the wind, to launch her aircraft thus blasted. She sank in a few minutes with most of her planes on board. The enemy counterattack which followed was fought off successfully. During this day's fighting more than 25 enemy aircraft shot down as compared to our loss of 6. Shore-based Army air from Australia assisted in reconnaissance both before and during 1 attacks and added their fire-power to that of the attacking naval planes.
7. During the afternoon of May 7th Japanese aircraft located and bombed the U. S. tanker Neosho and its accompanying destroyer the U. S.
S. Sims in the Coral Sea. The Sims was sunk during the attack and the
Neosho sank several days later as a result of the damage received during the bombing. A large part of the personnel from the Neosho and Sims were rescued and have reached port. The next of kin of casualties are being notified.
8. On May 8th the same task force again carried the attack to the enemy and succeeded in inflicting serious damage on a second Japanese carrier, the Shokaku, which was left ablaze as a result of bomb and torpedo hits.
9. During this same engagement the enemy launched a counterattack with aircraft while our planes were still attacking. The principal target was the U. S. aircraft carrier Lexington, flagship of Rear Admiral A. W. Fitch. In spite of skillful handling, all available fighter protection and antiaircraft defense, the Lexington was hit by two torpedoes and at least two bombs and was further damaged by several near misses. These attacks were the last action in the Battle of the Coral Sea. The crew of the Lexington succeeded in putting out the fires and recovering her aircraft. Several hours after the battle, while steaming at 20 knots, terrific internal explosion rocked the Lexington causing serious fires to break out in many parts of the ship. It was first thought that the explosion was the result of a "sleeper" bomb. Investigation revealed, however, that the probable cause was the ignition of gasoline vapors which resulted from leaks in ruptured gasoline lines in closed compartments below decks.
10. The crew fought heroically for more than 5 hours to save the ship but were at great disadvantage because the explosion had damaged much of the fire-fighting equipment. Destroyers were sent alongside to assist with their pumps, fire hose and chemical fire-fighting equipment. The wounded were transferred from the burning carrier to the destroyers alongside. Finally, with all machinery disabled, the ship stopped, and flames enveloping nearly her entire length, it became apparent that any further attempt to save her was futile and the captain ordered the crew to "abandon ship." Men slid down lines from the carrier's decks to boats from other ships while some crawled aboard life rafts and rubber boats.
11. Ninety-two percent of the entire ship's company were rescued and have reached port safely. The only casualties were the result of the battle or the explosion and the resulting fire. The last man to leave his ship was her commanding officer, Capt. F. C. Sherman. As he slid to safety down a line from the deck into the water the torpedo warhead locker of the Lexington exploded. After all men in the water had been rescued, the Lexington sank with a final detonation which shook nearby ships.
12. The attacks on Salamaua and Lae and the Battle of the Coral Sea resulted in the disruption of two Japanese attempts to advance to the southeastward of New Guinea and cost them a total of more than 15 ships sunk, including:
One aircraft carrier.
Three heavy cruisers.
One light cruiser.
Several transports and small vessels.
and severe damage to and the probable sinking of 11 additional cruiser and 1 destroyer-and severe damage to more than 20 ships including 1 carrier, 3 cruisers, 2 aircraft tenders, 3 destroyers and the loss of more than 100 aircraft.
13. The Lexington, Neosho, and Sims were the only U. S. vessels lost as a result of the action in the Coral Sea and only minor damage was suffered by other vessels. The next of kin of all casualties in these ships are being notified as information is received.
No. 89 JUNE 15, 1942
The Navy Department today issued the following communiqué based on reports received up to 5 p. m., June 15, 1942:
North Pacific Area.
1. The Army and Navy are continuing air attacks against the Japanese forces which recently were reported to have landed on western; islands of the Aleutian group.
2. Foul weather and fog, characteristic of this locality at all seasons, are hampering our reconnaissance and attack operations, but reports to date indicate that at least three cruisers, one destroyer, one gunboat, and one transport have been damaged, some of them severely.
3. Except for these continuing air attacks upon the enemy landing parties and their supporting naval contingents, the general situation in the Aleutian Islands appears unchanged.
No. 90 JUNE 21, 1942
The Navy Department today issued the following communiqué based on reports received up to 3 p. m., June 21, 1942:
North Pacific Area.
1. Operations in the Aleutians continue to be restricted by considerations of weather and great distances.
2. Within the last few days, however, the weather was sufficiently clear at times to permit some restricted air operations against Kiska where tents and minor temporary structures were observed to have been set up on land. A small force of Japanese ships in the harbor was bombed by Army aircraft. Hits were reported on one cruiser, and a transport has been sunk.
No. 91 JUNE 25, 1942
The Navy Department issued the following communiqué based on reports received up to 2 p.m., June 25, 1942:
1. Two small antisubmarine patrol craft have been lost off the Atlantic Coast during the current month as the result of enemy submarine attacks.
2. The U. S. S. Gannet, a seagoing tug, used to service patrol planes, was torpedoed and sunk. Sixteen members of the crew were lost.
3. The YP-389, a small fishing craft, which had been taken over by the Navy and armed for antisubmarine patrol duty, was sunk by gunfire. Four members of the crew were lost.
4. The next of kin of all casualties have been notified.
No. 92 JUNE 29, 1942
The Navy Department today issued the following communiqué based on reports received up to 2 p. m., June 29, 1942:
Central Pacific Area.
1. U. S. bombers attacked Japanese-occupied Wake Island on June 27th.
2. Under favorable conditions of weather and visibility our planes, attacking in formation, damaged the airfield and various shore installations.
3. Enemy antiaircraft and fighter defense was weak and, although one bomber suffered minor damage during the attack, all of our planes returned safely.