Veterans Day 2019: Celebrating The Battle Of Midway

November 08, 2019

What is Veterans Day?

Veteran’s Day was originally known as Armistice Day, a United States federal holiday to honor the ending of World War I on November 11, 1918. In 1938, legislation passed to honor World War I veterans and make November 11 “dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day.’” After World War II and the Korean War, in 1954, Congress amended the original legislation by changing it to Veterans Day, a day to honor all American veterans of all wars.

The Uniforms Holiday Bill, enacted in 1968 to devote four three-day weekends for federal employees, designated the fourth Monday of October as Veterans Day. This was changed in 1975 when President Gerald Ford signed yet another law which returned the Veterans Day observance to its original November 11th date. 

This year the holiday is celebrated on Monday, November 11th, making it a three-day holiday and chance to honor our armed forces veterans and the heroism of those who died in battle.

  PBY Catalina Midway

By U.S. Navy - Official U.S. Navy photo 80-G-K-14896 from the U.S. Navy Naval History and Heritage Command, Public Domain, Link


Remembering The Battle of Midway


Battle of Midway Map Public Domain 
Battle of Midway Map. Public Domain, Link


This year is the 77th anniversary of the Battle of Midway. This decisive battle between Allied/American and Japanese forces happened June 4th through 7th, 1942, just months after Pearl Harbor and the Battle of the Coral Sea. 

On June 4, 1942,  Japanese planes launched bombing raids on Midway atoll, a group of islands in the Pacific, under U.S. control. They had four aircraft carriers, seven battleships, 150 support ships, 248 carrier aircraft and 15 submarines. The U.S., on the other hand, had only three aircraft carriers, 50 support ships, 233 carrier aircraft, 127 land-based aircraft on Midway and eight submarines. Though greatly outnumbered, after four days of battle the U.S. defeated the Japanese on June 7th. They lost almost 300 aircraft, all four of its aircraft carriers and 3,500 men. 


PBY spots Japanese minesweepers  
PBY spots Japanese minesweepers before Battle of Midway
By Norman Bel Geddes, U.S. Navy - Official U.S. Navy photo 80-G-701843 from the U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command, Public Domain, Link


What American Airplanes Flew In The Battle Of Midway

Here is a list of some of the airplanes flown on the U.S. side:


What Was The PBY Catalina Role In The Battle Of Midway?

The PBY Catalina was an American flying boat and amphibious aircraft, produced by Consolidated Aircraft during the 1930s and 1940s. It was one of the most widely used seaplanes of World War II. It was crucial to the Battle of Midway in many ways. After the U.S. was forewarned by their codebreaking efforts about the impending Japanese movement, it was a PBY Catalina that spotted a pair of Japanese minesweepers and then minutes later, the first Japanese transport troops.


PBY Pilots gift
The U.S. Navy pilots of the four Consolidated PBY-5A Catalinas of Patrol Squadron 24 (VP-24) and VP-51 that flew the torpedo attack mission against the Japanese fleet's Midway Occupation Force during the night of 3-4 June 1942.
By U.S. Navy - Official U.S. Navy photo 80-G-64819 from the U.S. Navy Naval History and Heritage Command, Public Domain, Link


Four PBY-5As set out for night torpedo strikes and encountered the Japanese transport. They hit the oiler Akebono Marun with a single torpedo, which was the sole successful U.S. aerial torpedo attack of the Battle of Midway. On the morning of June 4th, PBYs made first contact with the Japanese carrier force, which was launching fighters and bombers to attack Midway. The PBYs reported the location and course of the Japanese fleet. They were able to warn the base to deploy its aircraft and bring defenses to full readiness. The Pacific Fleet was prepared and the Battle of Midway had begun. Read more about the history of the PBY Catalina.

pby catalina desk 
PBY Catalina Desk from MotoArt

Recycled Airplane Parts

We take airplanes that are destined for scrapping and destruction and preserve them for future generations to appreciate. MotoArt creates aviation furniture designs with airplane parts that are both beautiful and functional. PlaneTags creates collectible tags out of authentic airplane skins that can be displayed or used as luggage and key chains. From the MotoArt PlaneTags family, we wish you a Happy Veterans Day and thank you for your bravery and service to our country.


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