Preparing for Attack
By late April of 1942, Navy intelligence was certain that the Japanese were planning a major offensive that summer. Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Chester Nimitz suspected Midway was their target. He knew that if Japan took Midway, they would soon have a stranglehold on the Pacific. He flew to Midway on May 2, 1942 to examine the islands’ defenses.
Commander Simard, a Naval Aviator, Admiral Chester Nimitz, and Lt. Colonel Shannon on inspection tour of Midway.
On his arrival, he met with Marine Lieutenant Colonel Harold Shannon, commander of the 6th Defense Battalion and the 2nd Raider Battalion and Navy Commander Cyril Simard. When he had finished a thorough inspection, Nimitz asked them what else they needed to defend Midway.
Shannon responded quickly, naming off what he needed. Pausing to considering the request and knowing he had limited resources, Nimitz asked, “If I get you all these things you say you need, can you hold Midway against a major amphibious assault?”
“Yes Sir!” Colonel Shannon replied without hesitation.
Admiral Nimitz exiting an underground bunker similar to a bunker still remaining on Midway’s Sand Island.