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Special Announcement

CACI Commemorates the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Midway, June 4-7, 1942

June 4, 1917 marks the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Midway, the three-day naval battle that turned the tide of the war in the Pacific in favor of the United States and set the stage for the unconditional surrender of the Empire of Japan on September 2, 1945.

"The Battle of Midway is a testament to the courage and ingenuity of the American Navy," says Dr. J.P. (Jack) London, CACI Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board of CACI. "On this 75th anniversary of one of the greatest naval battles in history, it is important that we take time to remember the heroism, sacrifices, and dedication of the sailors and airmen who were the keys to its success and American victory in the Pacific."

Japan's plan to establish dominance in the Pacific theater was based on the elimination of the United States as a maritime power in the region and the establishment of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, in charge of the Imperial Japanese Navy, believed that American carriers were the primary threat to Japanese intentions, and hatched a strategy to ambush and destroy the fleet. Believing American forces were demoralized by the attack on the Pearl Harbor and weakened by the damage to the then state-of-the-art carrier USS Yorktown, the Admiral planned to lure the fleet of American carriers to a small atoll and launch a devastating ambush.

Admiral Chester W. Nimitz
Portrait courtesy of U.S. Navy

Admiral Chester W. Nimitz organized and commanded the defense of the Midway naval base, which turned the tide in the Pacific Theater.

However, there were a few factors Admiral Yamamoto did not consider:

  1. The U.S. Navy was able to get the Yorktown battle-ready within a few weeks
  2. More American naval vessels were battle-ready than the Japanese believed
  3. American morale was ignited by the events at Pearl Harbor and the sailors were eager to avenge the attack and losses of their fellow sailors
  4. And most importantly, American cryptanalysts had broken the Japanese Flag Officers Code and knew all about the plans to attack

 Isoroku Yamamoto
Photo Wikipedia

Navy Captain Joseph Rochefort was an expert Japanese linguist and cryptologist credited with breaking the Japanese Flag Officers Code, providing a decisive advantage to American forces at the Battle of Midway.

There were numerous incorrect assumptions and strategic missteps on the part of the Japanese that contributed to the American victory, but 75 years later, we know that intelligence and the ability to gather it remain indispensable to military success. The United States' victory at the Battle of Midway, fought a mere two months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, resulted in large part from the breaking of the Japanese Flag Officers Code by brilliant Japanese linguist and cryptanalyst U.S. Navy Captain Joseph Rochefort and his team at Station Hypo in Hawaii. Rochefort and his people provided Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, the commander of U.S. Naval Forces, all the information he needed to determine the date, time, and location of the attack, as well as the strategic order of battle, and locations of back-up Japanese ships.

The aftermath of the battle saw irreparable damage to Japanese naval forces: all four of Japan’s large aircraft carriers were lost – the Agaki, Kaga, Soryu, and Hiryu, all of which had participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor – as well as a heavy cruiser, while the United States lost only the Yorktown, and a single destroyer. World War II raged on for another two years in the Pacific, but much of fighting took place in the air and on land, with the Japanese unable to rebuild a battle-ready fleet.

As Dr. London observes, "America will be forever grateful for the bravery of the men on the ships and in the air at Midway, under the steadfast leadership of Admiral Nimitz, and for the ingenious intelligence work done by men who were inspired to victory through their belief in our values and strength."

75th anniversary events will be held at the USS Midway Museum in San Diego, CA. The website will livestream the event.

A retired naval aviator with 24 years of active and reserve duty, Dr. London also received the Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz Award from the Navy League of the United States in 2007 for service and support to the U.S. Navy as an industry civilian and executive leader.


CACI offers veterans an opportunity to continue their national service on CACI teams supporting national security and government modernization. Veterans should visit CACI's Careers page and Military Hiring Center to learn more.

 

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