A front page article Tuesday featured the commemoration of the Battle of Midway 70 years ago. (“Oak Harbor WWII vet is last of his Midway squadron.”) It told the story of 16-year-old Harry Ferrier, a radio man and tail gunner in a torpedo squadron of 51 planes that took off that day. His was one of seven planes that survived the battle. In the process they managed to sink three Japanese carriers, which stopped their expansion in the Pacific and bought more time for the U.S. to build a larger Army and Navy.
In 1957 I remember landing on the tiny volcanic island of Midway to refuel while on a courier mission for the Army to Japan and Korea. I remember reading a plaque stating that the Japanese, under Admiral Yamamoto, had lost four aircraft carriers and 200 planes and their pilots, while the U.S., under Admiral Nimitz, lost one of three carriers and 150 planes.
I have many older friends and relatives who fought in World War II and I have always had a profound respect for the sacrifices they made in defense of our freedom and way of life.
These brave young members of what Tom Brokaw called the “Greatest Generation,” now in their late 80s and 90s, deserve our sincere thanks for what they did for our country and the world so long ago. May God bless them all.