The Battle of Midway
The morning of June 4, 1942, dive bombers from Enterprise and Yorktown, found the Japanese carrier force northwest of Midway Island and attacked the carriers Akagi, Kaga, and Soryu, inflicting mortal damage on all three carriers. Though only four of fourteen torpedo plane crews would return from this strike, VB-6 and VS-6 would destroy three Japanese carriers. The men and officers in VT-3, VT-6 and VT-8 knew they were flying obsolete planes, knew about the deadly Zero, knew the powerful force they were taking on and, probably to a man, knew that death was a likely outcome. But they were also professionals, and when they found the Japanese, they pressed their attack with skill and determination. They pressed in to within a few ship-lengths of their targets before dropping their torpedoes. They pressed in close enough to strafe the enemy ships and kill, close enough to force the enemy carriers to make sharp evasive maneuvers, close enough to clearly see the warplanes spotted on the flight decks, preparing to strike at their own carriers. Perhaps only a few planes survived, but the ones that did presented a credible threat.