OFF THE COAST OF JAPAN – The Arleigh burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) honored the service and sacrifices of the Midway veterans during the 71st Battle of Midway anniversary with a ceremony and educational presentations, June 3-4.
Stethem marked the history on the Battle of Midway with an all-hands ceremony on the flight deck where Cmdr. Christopher W. Adams, Stethem’s commanding officer, described the historical significance of the battle and the persistent inspiration it provides Sailors serving today.
“The Battle of Midway turned the tide of the war in the Pacific and righted our Nation’s course toward victory,” said Adams. “As we move forward in addressing the challenges of today, it is important we draw inspiration and courage [to those] who wore the cloth of our nation before us and helped make our Navy what it is today.”
Chief Intelligence Specialist Matthew C. Ruble, assigned to Stethem, also honored those Sailors serving before him.
“Even as the Battle of Midway occurred 71 years ago, four of my ancestors were joining the war effort; one to serve in the Pacific Theater,” said Ruble. “The Battle of Midway was fought courageously from both sides of the front. It was the turning point of World War II, leveling the field and providing the United States and her allies an ability to jump on the offensive and led ultimately to the unconditional surrender of Imperial Japan.”
That turning point initiated Battle of Midway as a historical game-changing event, June 4-7, 1942, for the United States military. The U.S. Fleet defeated the Imperial Japanese Navy in the waters off a small Pacific atoll named Midway.
“I have been stationed in Japan for almost 20 years; I serve side-by-side with the distinguished Japan Maritime Self Defense Forces with honor as part of, one of the strongest allied partnerships in the Pacific Theater,” said Ruble. “I am grateful for the tactical prowess our service members demonstrated; their utmost determination and resolve in the toughest of battles against daunting odds, and above all to the sacrifices our service members endured during World War II.”
Stethem is part of Destroyer Squadron 15, forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.