Pre-battle Documents
CinC, U.S. Pacific Fleet. Estimate of the Situation CinC U.S. Pacific Fleet. Operation Plan No. 29-42 CinC U.S. Pacific Fleet. Letter. May 28, 1942 Cmdr. PatWing 2. Memorandum. May 23, 1942 Cmdr. PatRon 44. Operation Plan. June 1, 1942 CO 6th Def. Btn. F.M.F. Instruction No. 3-42
Action Reports
CinC, U.S. Pacific Fleet. June 28, 1942 Cmdr. Task Force SIXTEEN. June 16, 1942 Cmdr. Task Force SEVENTEEN. June 14, 1942 CO U.S.S. YORKTOWN (CV-5). June 18, 1942 CO U.S.S. ENTERPRISE (CV-6). June 8, 1942 CO U.S.S. ENTERPRISE (CV-6). June 13, 1942 CO U.S.S. HORNET (CV-8). June 13, 1942 Cmdr. Bombing Squadron 3 (VB-3). June 10, 1942 Cmdr. Scouting Squadron 5 (VS-5). June 7, 1942 Cmdr. Bombing Squadron 6 (VB-6). June 10, 1942 Cmdr. Scouting Squadron 6 (VS-6). June 20, 1942 CO Naval Air Station, Midway. June 18, 1942 OpO Naval Air Station, Midway. June 15, 1942 CO 6th Defense Bn., F.M.F. June 13, 1942 CO Marine Aircraft Group 22. June 7, 1942 XO Marine Aircraft Group 22. June 7, 1942 CO Marine Fighting Squadron 221. June 6, 1942 CO Marine Scout-Bombing 241. June 12, 1942
War Diaries, Logs
NAS Midway Island. War Diary, May 1-29, 1942 NAS Midway Island. War Diary, Battle of Midway U.S.S. ENTERPRISE (CV-6). War Diary, June 1942 U.S.S. HORNET (CV-8). Deck Logs, June 4-6, 1942
Early Researches
ONI Combat Narratives: Battle of Midway, 1943 The Japanese Story of the Battle of Midway, 1947 Richard W. Bates, U. S. Naval War College, 1948
  Commander, Bombing Squadron 5 (VS-5). Action Report. June 7, 1942

(Temporarily designated as VS-5)

June 7, 1942



To  :
Via :


Commander, Bombing Squadron FIVE. (Temporarily designed
as VS-5)
Commanding Officer U.S.S. ENTERPRISE.
Commander, ENTERPRISE Air Group.

Report of action 4-6 June 1942.

(a) U.S. Navy Regulations, Article 712.


1.    June 4, 1942.
Five two-plane scout-bomber sections of this squadrons were launched at about 1320 ZT-10 to search relative sectors 280° - 020° (T) from the YORKTOWN distance 200 miles. Each plane was armed with a 1000-lb bomb fused for 1/100 sec.


2.    On the return leg, at 1630 in latitude 31-15 N, longitude 179-05 W, Lt. S. Adams, in 5-S-15, made contact with an enemy force consisting of of 1 CV, 2 BB, 3 CA and 4 DD, on course North, speed 20 knots. The CV was about 15 miles astern of the main body. Lt. Adams made the contact report in plain language voice and soon after followed it by key transmission. Fighter interception by one Zero fighter was attempted, but was driven off by the free gunners of the two-plane section. Lt. Adams search covered sector 300° to 320° (T) and it was on the left leg that the contact was made. Contact was also made in sector 340-360° (T) with a type 95 seaplane. Each scout made five runs on this target, damaging it considerably and killing the rear-seat man. The plan eventually got away. One other section made a sight contact, in sector 320°--340° (T) near end of search, with a formation of about 6-8 planes (unidentified.)


3.    The search group returned to find the YORKTOWN damaged, one section landing aboard the HORNET and four sections aboard the ENTERPRISE.

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4.    June 5, 1942.
At 1700 seven planes of the squadron took off (1 dud) as a part of an attack group whose mission was to search and attack a damaged enemy CV thought to bear about 315° (T), distance about 240 miles. Planes were armed with one 500-lb. bomb, fused for 1/1OO sec.


5.    The attack group departed from our task force at 1730 and searched out on track 324, a distance of 265 miles. A scouting line was formed by 9 planes of VS-6 and 7 planes of VS-5. At 1927 the scouting line was called in and the attack group rendezvoused for return. At this time a report of contact with one unidentified vessel was heard on the radio (presumably from the HORNET Air Group). The attack group immediately started to climb for altitude and course was set to 215° (T) in hopes of contacting the objective. This course was held for about 35 miles, then a left turn was made to 125°. At 1950 a CL or destroyer leader was sighted bearing broad on the starboard bow distance about 15 miles in latitude 33-00 N, longitude 176-40 E, on course 215, speed 12 knots. The attack group continued to climb and maneuvered for position ahead of ship at about 10,500 feet. After considering the length of the search and the amount of gas remaining in the scouting planes after the climb, it was decided to attack this target. The CL immediately increased speed to about 28 knots and commenced a relatively weak and inaccurate anti-aircraft fire upon sighting the attack group. The attack was started at 2003, the CL maneuvering violently by making "S" turns. She put up a large volume of automatic fire. One possible hit was scored and 2 near misses. (no dudes)




June 7, 1942
Subject:    Report of action 4-6 June 1942.
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6.    5-S-15, Lt. Adams, pilot, and Karrel, J. J., ARM1c, failed to return. Cowden, H. R., ARM2c, saw a plane land in the water astern of the CL. One other plane had the cockpit hood hit by an explosive bullet. The squadron proceeded to the Enterprise by sections, arriving about 2200.

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7.    June 6, 1942.
This squadron had five planes that participated in the morning search. No enemy contacts were made by any of these.


8.    The attack group with 7 VS-5 planes were launched about 1245, armed with one 1000-lb. bomb, fused to 1/100 sec. The mission was to attack an enemy formation thought to be composed of 1 CA, 5 DD.


9.    Soon after launching orders were received by plane language to search for and to attack BB believed to be about 40 miles of force previously assigned as targets and that three torpedo planes would be launched to join attack group.


10.    The attack group departed from the ENTERPRISE at 1300 and climbed slowly to about 22,500 feet, maneuvering to lose time so as the VTB planes would effect rendezvous. Radio or sight contact between VT and VSB was never attain so attack group passed the enemy formation up sun at maximum altitude at 1423, and searched ahead for about 30 miles. The visibility was excellent but no vessels were sighted ahead. At this point the VP planes identified the larger ships of the formation to be battleships, so the attack group returned and started a long approach from about 21,000 feet from out of the sun and down wind. Orders were received from the ship to expedite attack. In the meantime, one of the VB squadrons had departed from the search ahead and attacked the rear CA. The formation up to this time was on course 240° (T), speed about 28 knots. As the last ship was attacked she made a right turn; the leading vessel followed her movements and headed down wind. By this time the squadron was in about a 70° dive at about 14,000 feet on the leading CA. The vessel put up a heavy stream of automatic gun fire, but this was considerably reduced after the first bomb hit.


11.    Five direct hits were scored and two close misses, no dudes.


12.    The target was dead in the water, burning, and omitting heavy black smoke when last sighted. The second cruiser was also smoking heavily but remained under way leaving an oil slick, being escorted by the two destroyers on curse 270°, speed 10 knots.


13.    The first plane to dive strafed on the way down expending approximately 400 rounds of .50 cal. ammunition One gun suffered a link chute jam. Telescope sights and windshields fogged at about 3000 feet which was the point of release for most pilots. One plane was slightly damaged, cockpit enclosure holed by enemy gun fire.