Task Group Trident Commemorates Midway
June 10, 2012
CAMP SABALU-HARRISON, Afghanistan -- Sailors assigned to Task Group Trident held a commemorative celebration here, June 4, 2012, to honor the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Midway and to educate the service members of Task Force Protector about the decisive World War II naval battle.
The ceremony was open to all branches of service and included displays depicting the battle, a historical video recap of the events leading up to the battle, and guest speaker Cmdr. Thomas C. Karney, commander, Task Group Trident.
"In June we pause to acknowledge a moment in modern history where our ancestors proved to the nation that its faith and trust in our Navy is worthwhile," said Karney.
The Battle of Midway, fought June 4 -- 7, 1942, was in the vicinity of a small U.S. Pacific base located on Midway Atoll. Prior to the battle, Japan possessed general naval superiority over the United States, according to the Naval History and Heritage Command.
Lieutenant George Gay, sole survivor of Torpedo Squadron Eight (VT-8) at the Battle of Midway, provided his recollections when he was interviewed by the Naval Historical Center, "As I said, we had had no previous combat flying. We'd never been against the enemy, our only scrap with them had been in taking Doolittle to as close to Tokyo as we went and in trying to get into the Coral Sea Battle, but when we finally got into the air on the morning of June the 4th, we had our tactics down cold and we knew organization and what we should do. We could almost look at the back of Cmdr. Waldron's head and know what he was thinking, because he had told us so many times over and over just what we should do under all conditions. Personally, I was just lucky. I've never understood why I was the only one that came back, but it turned out that way, and I want to be sure that the men that didn't come back get the credit for the work that they did."
This battle proved to be a victory for U.S. Forces, as the Japanese fleet lost four carriers, whereas the U.S. Navy only lost one. American forces killed 3,057 Japanese sailors during the battle.
Midway was the first major victory against the Japanese, and is often regarded as a turning point in the war in the Pacific. After the Battle of Midway, the U.S. Navy was able to maneuver on the offensive for the first time during the war.
"As we commemorate Midway, we consider its legacy and its continuing ability to inspire us, and we wonder if, maybe one day, we, ourselves, will serve at a moment or place like Midway," said Karney.
The ceremony was closed with a moment of silence for the U.S. Sailors who lost their lives at Midway. The service members then sang "The Marines' Hymn" and "Anchors Aweigh."
Task Group Trident is an enduring command on Camp Sabalu-Harrison that oversees life support operations for the camp, as well as security services in the Detention Facility in Parwan