On this day in 1942: The Battle of Midway begins

On this day in 1942: The Battle of Midway begins
The USS Yorktown, an aircraft carrier, was badly damaged in the Battle of Midway. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

MIDWAY ISLANDS (HawaiiNewsNow) - Exactly 76 years ago, the United States began the battle that became one of the most important World War II victories against Japan.

The Battle of Midway began on June 3, 1942 and went on for four days. In that time period, the outnumbered U.S. Pacific Fleet successfully destroyed four Japanese aircraft carriers.

In the six months of offensives before Midway, an island about 1,300 miles northwest of Honolulu, Japanese troops had fought major victories across the Pacific including Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines.

At the end of the conflict, Japan had an estimated 2,500 casualties, losing four carriers, a cruiser, and a 292 aircraft. The United States suffered about 300 casualties in the battle, losing one of its major aircraft carriers, the USS Yorktown.

Many believe that the Battle of Midway was a pivotal moment in the war, dealing a major blow to the once-triumphant Japanese naval forces.

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