By Michael E. Haskew Seventy-five years ago this month, the pivotal battle of World War II in the Pacific occurred in the waters surrounding an otherwise obscure atoll, Midway, roughly 1,300 miles from Pearl Harbor, where American involvement in the conflict had begun so suddenly just six months earlier. The miracle that was Midway is no less astounding today than it was in the aftermath of the stunning American victory June 4-7, 1942. A series of events had to break in favor of the Americans, seriously understrength against the might of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Was it luck? Divine providence? The Battle of Midway has been studied, analyzed, written about, and even refought in cyberspace over the last 71/2 decades. No conclusion seems totally satisfying; however, the fact remains that men make fateful decisions—and they make mistakes. In retrospect, remembering a few of those key decisions and miscalculations along with the heroism and devotion to duty exhibited during those days is fitting as we mark this anniversary. Here is a sampling. Joe Rochefort was a most unlikely hero. Yet he and his team of cryptanalysts at Station Hypo in Hawaii cracked the Japanese code that led them to conclude the next target of an enemy offensive would indeed be Midway. A message concerning “AF,” the Japanese designation for the tiny atoll, baited the enemy into confirming the objective. The aircraft carrier Yorktown, badly damaged at the Battle of the Coral Sea, would require se

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