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COMNAVAIRLANT Commemorates the 82nd Anniversary of the Battle of Midway

by Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic Public Affairs
07 June 2024

To honor the heroic actions of the men and women involved in one of the most significant air-sea battles of World War II, Naval Air Force Atlantic (AIRLANT) held a commemoration ceremony at the Naval Aviation Memorial Park in Virginia Beach, June 7. 

City of Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer; Rear Adm. Doug Verissimo, commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic; Dr. Tyler Bamford, a historian from Naval History and Heritage Command; and Cmdr. Genevieve Clark, CNAL Chaplain salute as the Pre-Commissioning Unit John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) Color guard perform colors during the beginning of the 82nd Battle of Midway commemoration ceremony at the Naval Aviation Memorial Park in Virginia Beach, June 7. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Noah Eidson/Released)
SLIDESHOW | 1 images | COMNAVAIRLANT Commemorates the 82nd Anniversary of the Battle of Midway 240607-N-AV609-1014 (June 7, 2024) - City of Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer; Rear Adm. Doug Verissimo, commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic; Dr. Tyler Bamford, a historian from Naval History and Heritage Command; and Cmdr. Genevieve Clark, CNAL Chaplain salute as the Pre-Commissioning Unit John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) Color guard perform colors during the beginning of the 82nd Battle of Midway commemoration ceremony at the Naval Aviation Memorial Park in Virginia Beach, June 7.


The commemorative event to mark the 82nd anniversary of this watershed battle served as a catalyst that changed the tide during World War II. Rear Adm. Doug Verissimo, commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic, honored the service and dedication of all who participated in one of the greatest sea battles that is remembered annually from June 4-7. The fierce battle was fought near the central Pacific Ocean Island of Midway, turning the tide of war in favor of the United States over the Japanese Imperial Navy. 

“Annually we recognize the Battle of Midway as a decisive victory delivered by U.S. Navy carrier aviation and a turning point in the war in the Pacific,” Verissimo said. “Our Sailors, whether deployed worldwide or stationed in Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads, stand ready to serve our nation, preserve the peace, respond in crisis, and win decisively in war. Today, we acknowledge their forebears who set the standards of service and sacrifice that form the hallmarks of our rich naval history and heritage.”

The event was attended by civic and business leaders, military members and civilians to honor this heroic battle. Additionally, Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer delivered a proclamation in recognition of the Battle of Midway.

Part of the proclamation stated, “The Battle of Midway is an opportunity to observe that shining example of service and sacrifice before self and most fitting to honor all those who contributed to our Navy's history and heritage; and it is in the public interest to study whether Midway Atoll should be established as a national memorial to the Battle of Midway to express the enduring gratitude of the American people for victory in the battle and to inspire future generations of Americans with the heroism and sacrifice of the members of the Armed Forces who achieved that victory.”

By preserving and celebrating the legacy of the Battle of Midway’s many heroes, and their invaluable contributions to the Navy and our nation, they are remembered and are used as a model of determination to reflect upon our past to meet the challenges of the future. AIRLANT's Force Master Chief Jimmy W. Hailey III served as the master of ceremonies during the event.

“The Battle of Midway is an opportunity to observe that shining example of service and sacrifice before self and most fitting to honor all those who contributed to our Navy’s history and heritage,” Hailey added.

Dr. Tyler Bamford, a historian with Naval History and Heritage Command, spoke during the ceremony and provided insightful comments on the significance of this turning point in World War II.

“The Battle of Midway was U.S. Naval Aviation’s finest hour. It was a triumph won entirely by the commitment and skill of Sailors who joined the Navy in peacetime and served as quiet professionals in their nation’s greatest time of peril,” Bamford said.

The ceremony included a flyover featuring two aircraft from Airborne Command & Control Squadron (VAW) 120, home of the Advanced Hawkeye.

The U.S. Fleet Forces Band Brass Quintet performed the National Anthem during the ceremony and the Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) John F. Kennedy Color Guard presented the colors.

AIRLANT is responsible for six nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, 55 aircraft squadrons, 1,200 aircraft and 43,000 officers, enlisted and civilian personnel based on the East Coast of the United States. It provides combat ready, sustainable naval air forces with the right personnel, properly trained and equipped, with a focus on readiness, operational excellence, interoperability, safety, and efficient resourcing.


 
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