USS Chung-Hoon Renders Honors
The crew of the USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) rendered honors to the fallen in the Battle of Midway during a ceremony June 3, in the waters near Midway Atoll.
The ceremony, commemorated the U.S. Navy’s victory over the Imperial Japanese Navy in the three-day battle June 4-7, 1942.
“Today we are here to remember those Sailors whose gallantry and unshakeable determination decisively won the day against a superior foe,” said Chung-Hoon Commanding Officer Cmdr. Scott Erb. “Countless Sailors performed feats that seem impossible today.”
Regarded as the turning point of the war in the Pacific during World War II, U.S. Navy carrier strike forces, in conjunction with shore-based bombers and torpedo planes, defeated the numerically superior Japanese fleet.
“Our victory was not without cost,” said Erb. “An aircraft carrier, a destroyer and 145 planes lay on the ocean floor, and 307 of our shipmates with them.”
During the battle, the Japanese lost four aircraft carriers, a heavy cruiser, three destroyers and 256 planes. The defeat delayed Japanese plans for assaults on Samoa, New Caledonia and Fiji.
“The ceremony meant a lot to the crew, it helped the Sailors recognize our history,” said Command Master Chief Chris Detje, “It opened their eyes to the realization that this is how we got here. If it wasn’t for the great men and women who came before us, and did wonderful and amazing things during World War II, we wouldn’t be here today.”
Admiral Yamamoto’s battle plans for a surprise attack on Midway Atoll was thwarted by Navy cryptologists working out of the basement of Building 1 on board the Navy base in Pearl Harbor. This information allowed Admiral Chester Nimitz to strategically position our fleets to destroy the Japanese carriers.
Facing Japan’s eleven battleships and four aircraft carriers, the U.S. Navy fought with no battleships and just three aircraft carriers including USS Yorktown that had been badly damaged in the Battle of Coral Sea and only made available through speedy repair efforts at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.
“We fought in these epic battles, against foes we could never beat, with odds that were insurmountable,” said Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Lauren Boulay after the ceremony. “Those Sailors fought and did what ever they could to win. It makes me want to be a better sailor.”
By the evening of June 7th, 1942, with the crippled Imperial Japanese Navy in retreat, the need for carrier aviation power became a prominent security necessity to defending our interest as a maritime nation.
“As time marches forward, these Sailors, a part of what we call the Greatest Generation, are rapidly leaving us,” said Erb. “They leave behind a legacy of honor, courage and commitment. We must strive to uphold their legacy.”
Chung-Hoon’s honor guard fired a 21-gun salute followed by the playing of taps to remember those who lost their lives sixty-nine years ago in the waters of Midway Atoll.
The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) is underway for an independent deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.
Source: navy, June 7, 2011;