Sub Base marks 76th anniversary of Navy’s victory over Japanese fleet at Battle of Midway

The mission of the submarines, including the one J. Deen Brown was on, was to form a semi-circle southwest of Midway to ensure that Japanese transport ships loaded with thousands of soldiers and equipment couldn’t reach and invade the island.

In recent years, Brown, 95, of Oakdale, has been the sole Battle of Midway veteran at the Naval Submarine Base’s annual commemoration of the event. Navy officials and a small crowd on Monday marked the 76th anniversary of the three-day battle, recognized as the turning point of World War II in the Pacific

“I feel sometimes like maybe I’m being a little spoiled. But it is an honor and I do appreciate very much the attention and consideration I’ve received,” said Brown, who turns 96 on Friday.

The battle, which started at 4:30 a.m. on June 4, 1942, happened six months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. After Pearl Harbor, Japanese commander Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto wanted to lure what remained of the American fleet to Midway and destroy it, then invade and use the island as a base for attacking Hawaii.

“Our nation and Navy’s response was just as forthright,” said Capt. Paul Whitescarver, commanding officer of the base, explaining that on June 4, 1942, U.S. aircraft flying from three aircraft carriers – USS Enterprise, USS Hornet, and USS Yorktown – attacked and sunk four Japanese carriers, which had attacked Pearl Harbor.

“By June 6, 1942, Admiral Yamamoto and his Japanese forces were forced to withdraw,” Whitescarver said.

The battle was not the most challenging for submarines – that would come later in the war – but Brown and the rest of the crew assigned to the USS Trout (SS 202) had to frantically prepare the submarine to head to Midway. The submarine only had two working engines because it had been damaged two months earlier while supporting the Doolittle Raid, the first U.S. air raid to strike the Japanese home islands.

“We didn’t anticipate having to go to Midway,” Brown said. “It came as a very, very quick surprise.”

The submarine was getting ready to receive a radar system, cutting edge technology at the time, and had to repair the other disassembled engines while underway to Midway in rough seas with “a rolling and tossing ship,” Brown said.

Midway laid the foundation for the ultimate end of the war, Whitescarver said, noting that D-Day, when Allied troops invaded Normandy, France, two years after the Midway battle, was a “cornerstone to that end” and marks its 74th anniversary on Wednesday.


© 2018 The Day (New London, Conn.)

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Fort Leavenworth To Honor Buffalo Soldiers

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In the name of the fallen: Wayne County honors heroes

Col. Craig McPike, commander of the 916th Air Refueling Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, and Gold Star Mother Christina Kazakavage, whose son lost his life serving in 2010, present the wreath during Monday’s Memorial Day Ceremony. The Seymour Johnson Air Force Base honor guard present the colors at the the beginning of the Veterans and Patriots Coalition Memorial Day Ceremony in Moffatt Auditorium Monday.

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Midnight curfew in effect for some soldiers in South Korea

A midnight curfew is now in effect for the sole U.S. Army infantry division in South Korea.

A 2nd Infantry Division policy memo published Tuesday says soldiers are required to be on base, at a residence or inside a hotel room by the new deadline, instead of the U.S. Forces Korea standard of 1 a.m. followed until Monday.

The curfew, which officials called a “readiness recall,” still ends at 5 a.m.

2ID did not identify any specific incident that sparked the change to the policy, but said readiness of the unit’s 12,000 troops was its main concern. South Korean police outside of Camp Casey and Camp Humphreys said Wednesday they had not noticed a significant increase of incidents involving U.S. personnel.

“The recall readiness time was moved one hour earlier in order to ensure that the division is consistently and completely in compliance with the U.S. Forces Korea readiness recall policy,” 2ID spokeswoman Lt. Col. Junel Jeffrey told Stars and Stripes Wednesday.

The policy requires 90 percent of 2ID’s available troops to be able to muster within four hours.

The memo also put Memorial Day weekend plans for some soldiers in jeopardy by nixing nonemergency leave and off-peninsula passes for rotational units such as the1st Armored Brigade Combat Team out of Fort Stewart, Ga. That change aligns it with U.S. Army Pacific policy on leave for operational deployments across the Pacific.

“Given [Tuesday’s] effective date of the policy, fewer than 15 rotational training unit soldiers may be affected and the command is working with those soldiers on a case-by-case basis,” Jeffrey said.

The memo also announced that units will be required to report 100 percent accountability to the 2ID command staff on nonduty days by 12:30 a.m.

Jeffrey said subordinate units can use their own discretion on how to report their numbers, and the new policy does not mean troops need to be in their bunks by that time. She also said there is no division rule requiring soldiers to be in teams or in pairs known as “battle buddies” when off post.

Curfews have been an unpopular mainstay for U.S. servicemembers in South Korea over the years, but it found permanency in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks.

Jeffrey said the new 2ID policy will be in effect indefinitely until a newer policy regarding the issue is released. Eighth Army officials said there was no change to its curfew policy.

A short reprieve of the curfew policy came in 2010 when then-USFK commander Gen. Walter Sharp rescinded the curfew. “I believe that we can trust our servicemembers to do the right thing,” he said at the time.

However, it was reinstated a year later after two high-profile rape cases involving U.S. soldiers sparked outrage among South Koreans.

In 2016, so-called “Cinderella” passes that allowed servicemembers out past curfew were heavily restricted shortly after a video of a New Year’s Day brawl in Seoul’s popular Itaewon district went viral.

About 28,500 servicemembers are stationed in South Korea, where the two Koreas have been technically at war after the Korean War ended in 1953 with an armistice instead of a peace treaty.

Stars and Stripes reporter Yoo Kyong Chang contributed to this report.

Memo detailing soldier curfew in South Korea (PDF)

Memo detailing soldier curfew in South Korea (Text)


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US Air Force commander fired after grenade launcher ammo, machine gun go missing

The commander of the 91st Security Forces Group at Minot Air Force Base was fired Wednesday after the loss of grenades and a machine gun in separate incidents, the U.S. Air Force announced Wednesday.

Col. Jason Beers was relieved by Col. Colin Connor, 91st Missile Wing commander, “due to a loss of trust and confidence after a series of events under the scope of his leadership, including a recent loss of ammunition and weapons,” according to the release.

On May 1, a container of ammunition for an automatic grenade launcher fell out of the back of a Humvee and could not be located after a two-week search for the ammunition in North Dakota. The Air Force also offered a $5,000 reward for information that would lead to the recovery of the ammunition.

On May 16, an M240 machine gun was discovered missing during a weapons inventory.

The ammunition and the machine gun have not been found.

Air Force Global Strike Command ordered a command-wide inventory check on all weapons due to the two incidents.

The 91st Missile Wing Security Forces team is responsible for protecting the intercontinental ballistic missile silos that are in use by Minot Air Force Base.

“Beers was responsible for ensuring the 91st SFG was trained, organized and equipped to secure 150 Minuteman III missiles and launch facilities, and 15 missile alert facilities geographically separated throughout 8,500 square miles of the missile complex,” the release said.

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3rd Air Force commander tapped for US Air Force deputy chief of staff

Lt. Gen. Richard M. Clark, the commander of 3rd Air Force, is preparing for a job change.

Clark was nominated for assignment as deputy chief of staff, strategic deterrence and nuclear integration, a position that falls under Headquarters U.S. Air Force at the Pentagon, Air Force officials said.

Congress must approve the assignment. The Air Force in 2015 elevated the job for which Clark’s been nominated from a two-star to a three-star position, underscoring service’s efforts to strengthen its nuclear enterprise leadership.

A B-1 Lancer pilot with 4,200 flight hours, Clark assumed command of 3rd Air Force in October 2016. In that job, he oversees Air Force contingency and wartime operations in Europe and Africa.

There’s no word yet on a potential replacement for Clark, Air Force officials said.


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