He Lived Through USS Yorktown’s Sinking to Tell His Story

It Sounded Pretty Scary

If the captain of the USS Yorktown knew just how many Japanese Navy ships were going to attack Midway, he didn’t mention it. Maybe that’s a good thing because, according to Ray Daves, it’s just as well that he didn’t. “After what I saw in the Coral Sea,” Daves said, “even one Japanese aircraft carrier sounded pretty scary to me.”


Smoke Billowing From the Bridge of the USS Yorktown, Damaged by Aerial Attacks on the Second Day of the Battle of Midway. Photo By Granger/Shutterstock

The Battle of Midway took place between May 27 and June 4, 1942. Everybody on the aircraft carrier was looking forward to freedom and independence in Honolulu, Hawaii. After spending four months at sea, three days ashore sounded good to the crew. Daves was out on the flight deck with the others when Captain Elliott Buckmaster came onto the loudspeaker.

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