Navy hosts Battle of Midway remembrance

Turning point WWII battle marks 71st anniversary

Tracy Lehr, KEYT NewsChannel 3 Reporter, tracy@keyt.com
POSTED: 05:45 PM PDT Jun 04, 2013    UPDATED: 11:18 AM PDT Jun 05, 2013 
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PT. MUGU, Calif. -

Naval Base Ventura County invited veterans to Pt. Mugu to mark the 71st anniversary of the Battle of Midway.

The World War II veterans in attendance were not in the battle, but they remember it well.

They said it gave the U.S. Navy superiority in the Pacific six months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Capt. Larry Vasquez, the commander of NBVC, said the Japanese had a much larger fleet, but that didn't stop the United States from cracking Japanese message codes.

That allowed Admiral Chester W. Nimitz to set up an ambush.

When the four-day battle was over,  four Japanese carriers and one cruiser were sunk, seven ships were damaged and 292 aircraft were destroyed.

The U.S. Navy lost  one carrier and 145 aircraft, but no ships were damaged.

During the remembrance at the base, sailors laid a wreath in memory of the  307 Americans killed in action during the historic battle.