USS Bunker Hill Hosts Battle of Midway Commemoration
PORTLAND, Ore. (NNS) -- Service members and guests celebrated a significant battle in the U.S. Navy's history, the Battle of Midway, June 4 on board the USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) in Portland, Ore.
The ceremony featured special guest of honor, retired Ensign Bill Tunstall, a Portland Navy veteran, and guest speaker Vice Adm. Richard W. Hunt, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet.
"The Battle of Midway is an important marker in the Naval heritage of our nation, and changed the course of the war in the pacific," said Capt. Dominic DeScisciolo, commanding officer of the guided-missile cruiser Bunker Hill. "Today the Navy has directed when and where possible naval units commemorate this great naval American victory."
"We pause to remember and honor the spirit of Midway in our Navy and our nation," added DeScisciolo. "We pause to honor those who have served and are continuing to serve with honor, courage and commitment."
The ceremony also featured a wreath-laying presentation, as Tunstall was joined by Hunt to pay homage to the brave men who lost their lives during the battle.
"This magnificent victory at sea cemented the role of naval aviation in combat, and this celebration affords us the opportunity to commemorate the heroic actions of the fighting men of the Pacific Fleet," said Vice Adm. Thomas J. Kilcline, commander, Naval Air Forces. "Celebrating the hard-earned victory at Midway gives all of us in uniform an opportunity to learn more about this pivotal battle and the brave veterans who fought there and to remind us of what makes our Navy great."
The infamous World War II battle from June 4-7, 1942, was regarded as the turning point in the Pacific in which U.S. Navy carrier strike forces defeated Japanese navy carrier task force.
Tunstall was part of this history while serving as an enlisted mechanic. He readied Ensign William W. Abercrombie's torpedo bomber June 4, 1942, for the battle. Abercrombie was later killed in the battle and ultimately received the Navy Cross posthumously for his actions.
"It's great to be able to honor those who served before us and remember our rich U.S. history," said Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Holly Anderson, a Bunker Hill Sailor.