First Naval Battle Fought Solely In The Air
More than 400 people enjoyed a patriotic evening at the Radisson
Riverwalk Hotel Ball Room June 4, during the seventh annual Battle
of Midway Memorial Dinner.
The event, hosted by Commander, Navy Region Southeast Rear Adm.
Annette E. Brown, paid tribute to veterans of the Battle of Midway.
Midway veterans from all parts of the country attended the dinner,
accompanied by their spouses, sons and daughters.
The evening included remarks by Midway veteran Chief Aviation
Ordnanceman Chuck Wheeler and Guest Speaker Deputy Undersecretary
of Defense (Installations and Environment) Raymond Dubois, who
concurrently serves as director, Administration and Management,
Office of the Secretary of Defense.
Wheeler, who was serving as a third class petty officer aboard
USS Enterprise (CV 6) during the Pacific battle, carried the
veterans and guests back to the distant time of fury and fire with
"I’ll be talking about memories and events not found in
history books," said Wheeler. "I’ll share with you what our
guardian angels did for us. I’ll share with you how USS
Yorktown survivors on board Enterprise shed tears when their
carrier finally rolled over and went to the sea bottom."
Dubois, on the other hand, spoke words of praise, courage and
bravery about those who defended freedom during the decisive
campaign. According to Dubois, the veterans of Midway displayed
uncommon valor and courage, and their sacrifices turned the tide
toward a US victory in the Pacific.
Young Sailors in attendance cherished their time spent with the
"I like to come here and listen to the stories from the heroes
of WWII. This is my second year in attendance, and I’m
planning on attending next year," said Air Traffic Controller 1st
Class (AW) Susan Clapp of the Naval Air Station Jacksonville
operations department. "The whole atmosphere is uplifting and very
patriotic. It’s one thing to read about WWII events in
history books, and another to hear the veterans tell their story
and actually meet the men and women that made history."
The highlight of the night’s events was the presentation
of US flags flown over Midway Atoll to each veteran by Brown. The
historic evening concluded with veterans and guests singing along,
as Navy Band Southeast performed each of the service songs.
(ANN salutes Miriam Gallet, Naval Air Station Jacksonville