Chronology of Events


1942

May 2
Admiral Nimitz flies to Midway to inspect the defenses there.

May 10 (approx)
Midway transmits bogus message that they are short of fresh water.

May 12 (approx)
Hypo intercepts Japanese message that "AF" is short of fresh water.

May 15
Nimitz orders Admiral Halsey's task force back to Pearl Harbor with all possible speed.

May 18
7th Air Force goes on alert, new B-17s begin arriving from the mainland.

May 20
Midway Transport Group and Seaplane Tender Group sortie from Japan en route to Saipan.

May 21
Midway Island goes on alert.

May 22
Yamamoto's Main Body exercises at sea. On Midway, a demolition charge is accidentally tripped and blows up the gasoline dump. Midway begins search and reconnaissance phase. Part of VP-44 arrives.

May 24
Rest of VP-44 arrives on Midway.

May 25
More reinforcements for VP-44 arrive. At Pearl Harbor, Rochefort hands Nimitz his intercept of Japanese Order of Battle. Nimitz advises Midway D-Day has been changed to June 3. Marine 3rd Defense Battalion AA battery and Companies C and D of 2nd Raider Battalion arrive on Midway.

May 26
More personnel and aircraft of MAG-22 arrive on Midway. Enterprise and Hornet arrive at Pearl Harbor, Halsey is too ill to command and recommends Admiral Spruance.

May 27
Nagumo Force sorties from Japan. Fuchida stricken with appendicitis. Midway Transport Group and Seaplane Tender Group sortie from Saipan, Close Support Group sorties from Guam. Nimitz meets with Spruance and briefs him. Enterprise and Hornet proceed with replenishment, Yorktown arrives and repairs begin almost immediately.

May 28
Northern Forces sortie from Japan. Admiral Fletcher named commander of U.S. Task Forces, Nimitz briefs him and Spruance. Nimitz sends Ramsey to Midway to take charge of air operations. Task Force 16 sorties from Pearl Harbor.

May 29
Main Body of Midway Invasion Force sorties. Yamamoto's Main Body sorties. Another B-17, 4 B-26s, and their crews arrive on Midway.

May 30
I-123 finds two U.S. ships at French Frigate Shoals, Operation K is postponed. Task Force 17 sorties from Pearl Harbor. Midway begins air search, 2 PBYs encounter 2 Japanese land based bombers flying from Wake, the Japanese damage the PBYs. Seven more B-17s arrive at Midway.

May 31
I-123 reports two U.S. flying boats at French Frigate Shoals, Operation K is canceled. No one tells Nagumo. Nine more B-17s arrive at Midway, including Lt.Col Walter C. Sweeney Jr, their commander. B-17s begin scouting from Midway, and the last cargo of drummed aviation gasoline arrives. Captain Marc Mitscher of Hornet is promoted to Rear Admiral.

June 1
Genda falls ill, is ordered to sick bay. Japanese land-based aircraft report U.S. submarines and hear them dispatching many "urgent" messages. 2 PBYs patrolling from Midway are attacked by 2 Japanese bombers. Fuchida decides this means the U.S. patrol arc has been extended, and worries that Tanaka's Transport Group may be sighted prematurely. In TF 16, Spruance orders radio silence after a freak interception of a TBS broadcast.

June 2
Heavy fog hampers Japanese refueling. Nagumo breaks radio silence to insure change of course. Spruance signals all ships of the expected battle, TF 16 and TF 17 meet at Point Luck.

June 3
All times Midway local time

Time Unknown
Japanese submarine cordons arrive on station between Midway and Hawaii two days too late.
0415
Ramsey sends up B-17s on reconaissance.
0600
Nagumo's oilers drop away.
0700
2nd Carrier Striking Force attacks Dutch Harbor.
0800
Aleutian Guard Force breaks from Yamamoto's Main Body.
0820