Voila! Finally, the Midway
script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the Charlton Heston
movie. This script is a transcript that was painstakingly
transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of Midway. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and I'll be eternally
tweaking it, so if you have any corrections, feel free to
drop me a line. You won't
hurt my feelings. Honest.
Admiral Yamamoto, please.
He asked not to be disturbed. It is most urgent.
Tokyo has been bombed. When?
15 minutes ago. Yokohama, Kawasaki and Yokosuka were also bombed.
His Imperial Majesty is unharmed. I personally phoned the palace.
Damage? Very little to Tokyo. No reports from the other cities,
but it seems probable that they too were barely scratched.
How did they do it, Watanabe?
They launched long-range B- bombers from their carriers.
They came in at treetop level, and were first seen over the city.
Sir, I understand your concern for the Emperor's safety, but...
You may speak freely, Commander. This raid is a blessing in disguise.
The Americans have proven you correct.
Our homeland is not invulnerable. After today, the General Staff
will certainly approve your operation M-I.
Lieutenant-Colonel Doolittle led the raid with a force of B- s
and an all-volunteer crew of airmen.
Most of the planes carried -pound demolition bombs
and single incendiary clusters,
which were dropped on oil stores, factories and military sites in Tokyo.
A few planes made minor strikes on Kobe, Yokohama and Nagoya,
with one bomb hitting the Japanese carrier Ryuko.
News of this raid has improved American and allied morale,
while at the same time constituting a blow to Japanese prestige.
At his press conference today, President Roosevelt was asked:
"Can you tell us, where did those planes start from and go to?"
He replied: "Yes, the time has come to tell you.
They came from our new secret base at Shangri-la..."
Well, my God, it's Captain Garth!
I was expecting some junior officer. This is an unexpected honor!
Yeah, like hell it is, Joe!
Admiral Nimitz sent me over to... To chew my ass off, huh?
Officially, I'm supposed to question your estimate of Japanese intentions.
Why so grim, Matt? Doolittle's attack should we thrilled you CinCPAC people.
Not by a long shot. That damn raid could boomerang on us.
We only got carriers in the Pacific. We need to rebuild.
Now the boss is afraid Yamamoto's going to jump back at us. But where?
We got the latest intercepts here.
Here's a list of Japanese ships
we suspect will be assigned to amphib operations south of Rabaul.
The Coral Sea! That's where we think they'll strike next.
But something else is stirring, something out our way.
We need facts, not guesswork.
Matt, we cracked Yamamoto's code, but we can't just reel it off.
We get a flicker here and a glimmer there.
How much can you decipher? Hell, maybe...
Really decipher. Ten percent.
per... That's one word in . For Christ's sake, you're guessing!
We like to call it "analysis".
Alright. What are these indications that something's brewing out our way?
There's no hard clues yet. What do you have, Joe?
Increased radio traffic between Yamamoto's commanders. That's all?
Could be significant. At least I feel that something's stirring.
I'll take that list of Jap ships you "feel" are headed for Coral Sea.
Nimitz may send Fletcher's task force to see what's going on.
We'll see how your -percent guesswork pays off, huh?
As a back-room code-cracker I thank you, Matt.
Joe, could I ask you something very personal? Certainly.
It really stinks down here. How often do your people take a bath?
Bath? God, I don't know... What day is it?
Forget it, Joe.
Any new Yamamoto intercepts?
Here's a first mention of "A-F", whatever that means.
My God, Tom. When did you get in? I didn't know...
Last night. This is beautiful. Why didn't you write that you were coming?
I've been assigned to Kaneohe. Well, I'll finally see some of you.
You look great, Tom. So do you, Dad.
Kaneohe, are you? What squadron? VF- .
You'll like it. Your C.O. used to be my wing-man on the old Langley.
Could we talk somewhere?
I phoned you from Guam the day you graduated.
Yeah, I heard later. I'm sorry I missed the call.
I guess your mother was there?
Yeah. How is she?
Recovered from the divorce, I guess. That's good.
I was hoping maybe we could... Dad,
I've fallen in love with a Japanese girl. I want to marry her.
I need your help.
I damn well guess you do, Tiger.
She's been arrested in Honolulu.
How did you manage that?
In San Diego and getting mixed up with a Japanese girl in Honolulu?
She was a student in San Diego. And she was arrested here?
Her parents live here. She wouldn't marry me without their permission.
Apparently, the FBI has something on her folks, so they got picked up.
Well, that figures.
Haruko was born here. She's as loyal as you or me.
Anyway, the minute I got in I went to see where they're being held.
She wouldn't see me. Why not?
I don't know.
She and her parents will be sent back to the mainland in a few days.
It sticks in your throat that I want to marry a Japanese girl?
Sticks in your..? Don't give me that "racial bigot" crap.
I don't care what color she is. It's not the point...
months after Pearl Harbor! Boy, you have lousy timing.
What's her name? I'll see if I can get her FBI report.
I wrote it down for you: Haruko Sakura.
But promise one thing:
Don't do anything stupid till I see what I can get hold of.
That's a deal.
In my opinion, the plan is not only unnecessary, but doomed to fail.
Admiral Kondo, Operation M-l was conceived by our best strategist.
We are aware of Captain Kuroshima's authorship and his reputation.
But this time, the god of operations has conceived a monster.
Would you please explain?
How am I expected to land my invasion forces on Midway,
unless the enemy airfields and shore batteries have been neutralized?
Admiral Nagumo has said his carriers will obliterate the American defenses.
The enemy's land-based bombers have a range of miles more...
...than Nagumo's carrier planes.
His ships would be blown out of the sea before he launches his attack.
I destroyed the US fleet at Hawaii, where the risk was far greater.
Where were the land-based bombers?
A surprise attack with a carrier task force is one thing.
But this, a strike against Midway and the Aleutians...
...with ships and men.
Does the idea of taking the Aleutians cause you concern, Hosogaya?
No, Sir. But an operation so complex, I'd like more time to study it.
After all, in a matter of hours our Coral Sea operation begins.
We have sufficient forces for both.
I tend to agree with Admirals Kondo and Hosogaya.
I suggest we meet again after the Coral Sea campaign.
Very well. Gentlemen, consider this:
The Americans are still unprepared and outnumbered.
If their fleet can be lured into battle and defeated,
they will have no significant naval force left in the Pacific.
They will have to sue for peace.
I have traveled widely in America, my friends.
Their industrial might is awesome.
I'm convinced our only hope of victory is one massive strike at Midway.
Joe, are you sure this "hot information" of yours can't wait?
I already got one thing for the boss. I consider this urgent.
And, you were right about Coral Sea. That's where the Japs were, alright.
Every ship on your list was there. Did we get hurt?
We got hurt.
Welcome on, Admiral. How was your flight?
Long and full of potholes.
Got Fletcher's Coral Sea report? Right here, Sir.
Get in back, Joe. But wait till I cue you in.
Here's Admiral Fletcher's preliminary report, Sir.
We lost the Lexington.
What about the enemy?
We sank one light carrier, one big first-line job and some small ships.
Looks like we just about broke even, Admiral.
We can't trade the Japanese carrier for carrier, Matt.
We started with a to superiority.
With the Lexington gone, the Saratoga laid up...
...all we've got is the Hornet, the Enterprise and the Yorktown.
Sir, Yorktown was heavily damaged at Coral Sea. There's the report.
Admiral, Commander Rochefort has something urgent, he says.
It's about objective A-F, the meaning of "A-F".
Our listening posts pick up traffic between Yamamoto's flag commanders.
There's been a heavy traffic volume, with references to object "A-F"...
...and A-O. A-O is a mystery, maybe a diversion.
But I think we've identified "A-F". It's Midway.
It had us stymied until one of my men remembered an intercept from March.
A Jap reconnaissance pilot radioed his base that he's close to "A-F".
We plotted every course the plane could have have taken,
and the only appreciable landmass he could have flown over was Midway.
Joe! I know it's thin. Thin? Damn near invisible!
But I figured out a way to confirm it, Sir.
If you have this flown to Midway. It's a fake message, Admiral...
...reporting that Midway's freshwater condenser's broken down.
It should be transmitted in the clear, so the Japanese get every word.
Instruct Midway to include this in their housekeeping traffic tomorrow.
Send this right away.
There ain't nothin' wrong with our freshwater condenser!
Dombrowski, send it.
Damn heat's getting to everybody here.
Have this intercept coded and transmitted to fleet headquarters!
They took the bait, Admiral. Rochefort just decoded a transmission
from Kwajalein to Yamamoto's headquarters:
"A-F has trouble with its freshwater condenser "
"A-F" has to be Midway Island.
Be at my office at : Matt. I'm calling in the whole staff.
This is how I expect the battle to develop:
The northern force, under Hosogaya, strikes the Aleutians as a diversion.
To keep Nimitz's attention away from our main objective.
He will not realize our objective is Midway
until hours later, when Nagumo's carriers strike the island
and destroy the American planes and shore batteries.
At that hour you move in, Kondo, with your invasion forces.
Nimitz will be forced to respond. He'll commit the balance of his fleet,
most certainly his carriers, to repel the invasion.
His carrier commander will undoubtedly be Admiral Halsey.
I have studied his tactics and I have studied the man.
Halsey is courageous, tough-minded and not afraid of risks,
but we will turn these strengths against him.
It will take Halsey's task force at least hours to reach Midway.
By that time, Nagumo, you'll have crushed Midway and be waiting for him.
You'll have a better position,
and at least a -to- superiority in carriers,
and to times the number of screening vessels.
Assuming the American fleet is still guarding Hawaii when we strike.
Nimitz is crippled and on the defensive.
He must deploy his remaining strength around his most valuable Pacific base.
I agree with Admiral Nagumo.
We must make certain where the enemy fleet is.
I propose we send flying boats to French Frigate Shoals on the th.
We fuel them by tanker submarine and fly them to Pearl Harbor on the th.
They then report whether or not the American fleet is actually there.
A very wise precaution indeed.
We will call it "Operation K". Does anyone have any other thoughts?
We can achieve a great victory,
providing Nimitz and Halsey do exactly what you expect.
The Enterprise and the Hornet are due in by sundown.
The rest of the task force should be in by morning.
The Yorktown is more severely damaged than we thought.
How soon can we dry-dock her?
By the th, if a Jap sub doesn't spot the oil she's trailing.
Admiral Fletcher just radioed in with a repair list.
Tell the yard repairman I want every workman he can get to board her.
That sharpshooter from Washington just landed. Be here in minutes.
Who did they send? Captain Vinton Maddox.
Maddox. He's a damned scalp hunter!
See that he's thoroughly briefed, and get Captain Garth up here.
Admiral, why don't you let me handle it?
No, he's entitled to a crack at me. Phone that in.
Are those arming switches fixed? No, we still got some damn snafu.
Get them working %, or rip them out of all our SBDs. Is that clear?
Yes, Sir. Get to it.
Sorry to drag you out of bed so early, but it's our only chance to talk.
It's Ok. Did you get the report? Yup.
I've already read it.
Did you know your girl...
...belonged to those Japanese patriotic organizations?
I saw the magazines, but I didn't know it was propaganda.
The Attorney General's office says it's subversive.
And the FBI doesn't think she's telling the truth about coming here.
You can't blame them for that. Sure I can! And I can clear it up!
You cool down and let me handle this!
Tom, I don't have time to fool around. Do you want me to help you or not?
I guess I have no alternative, do I, Sir?
I guess you don't.
Captain Maddox, Admiral Nimitz. Great pleasure, Sir.
Should we get right to it, Captain? Certainly, Admiral.
I'm sure you're aware of Washington's opinion on this Midway invasion.
Yes. They think it's an enemy ruse.
An elaborate phony, Sir. Go on.
Could we speak in private? If you'd feel more comfortable.
These enemy radio intercepts your intelligence has accumulated...
Very detailed... Too detailed. Remember, just before December th?
The fake Japanese messages. These could be carbon copies.
Washington's sure Yamamoto's feeding you this to hide his plans.
Very definitely possible.
Well, then how can you insist... Because I believe it's factual.
I'm convinced Yamamoto's target is Midway.
But if you're wrong, Admiral...
...if you send our carriers into a Japanese ambush,
...the entire West Coast and Hawaii will be open for invasion.
Fully aware of that, Captain.
You mean, the safe play is to defend the home folks first?
With respects, Admiral, it's the smart play.
Captain, if we surprise the enemy...
...catch him where he's not expecting us...
...we can drive him back miles.
And keep him pinned till we can take him on in his own front yard.
My instructions were to convey Washington's deep concern...
...over the safety of the West Coast and Hawaii.
Is Washington ordering me to defend Hawaii or the West Coast?
My orders were simply to consult.
No, Sir, I have no such orders for you.
Commander Blake, send the fleet to repel invasion. Target: Midway Island.
Issue the order immediately. Aye-aye, Sir.
Admiral, may I see you a moment? Excuse me, Captain.
Damn. You know how Bill Halsey hates hospitals.
Maybe it's nothing serious. To get him anywhere near a hospital...
...it must be not only damn serious, it must be critical.
Admiral, I have some really bad news. Today's the day for it.
The Japanese changed the J-N code, the one they used for Yamamoto's plan.
How long do you need for the new code? A month, maybe two.
Sir, do you still want that fleet order issued?
Yes. Target: Midway.
Welcome aboard your flagship, Admiral.
Thank you, Captain.
Rear Admiral Kusaka, my Chief of Staff. Captain Aoki.
Where's Commander Genda?
He's in sick bay, Admiral. Influenza.
When does the doctor think he can resume his duties?
In or days.
I don't like beginning this operation without my best air commander.
We have another sick bay casualty: Commander Fuchida has appendicitis.
We'll need a replacement.
Genda suggests a veteran torpedo pilot:
If Genda says so, I want to see Tomonaga right away.
Fuchida, the man who led my first strike on Pearl Harbor, out.
Genda, who planned it, both ill.
Very bad luck, Sir, very bad luck.
Only an inconvenience, Sir. We'll manage.
Good morning, Sir. - Lieutenant. Follow me, please.
Here we are. The Sakura family.
Yes. Thank you, Lieutenant. I can find my own way out.
Miss Sakura, I'm Captain Garth, Tom's father.
Please come in.
My parents, Tetsuro and Sada Sakura. This is Captain Garth.
How do you do?
You want to speak to me in private. My parents understand.
Yes. Well, thank you.
If I embarrassed you, forgive me,
but I wanted you to see that they are not a threat to national security.
I never really thought they would be, Miss Sakura.
I suppose it goes with the times.
And I shouldn't be bitter?
I never said that.
Damn it, I'm an American!
What makes us different from German-Americans or Italian-Americans?
Pearl Harbor, I guess.
Look, I've read the FBI report.
Ask me anything you want to.
Your father has been seen frequently entering the Japanese consulate.
He has old friends there.
What about these patriotic organizations you belong to?
My father enrolled me in those when I was born.
Out of respect for him I never resigned, but I wasn't active.
What about those magazines they found in your parents' apartment?
The "Prairie Shimbun"? Published in Wyoming.
My father has deep emotional ties for Japan,
but even so he thought it was a ridiculous propaganda sheet.
Why did he subscribe?
He's a traditional and honorable man.
He was once indebted to the man who publishes the "Prairie Shimbun".
Look, Miss Sakura, I understand you came to Hawaii
to ask your parents' permission to marry my son.
Yes, I did.
Why didn't you tell that to the FBI? I didn't want to implicate Tom.
Why won't you see him? He's in love with you, he tells me.
You won't even talk to him. He doesn't understand. I don't either.
Because my parents have forbidden me to marry outside my race.
I want you to tell him for me.
I can't tell him that.
He wouldn't believe me.
Besides, I'd just as soon he didn't know we'd talked together.
Look, Miss Sakura,
Tom's based at Kaneohe Naval Air Station.
Send for him, please.
You have to tell him this. You have to tell him.
Damn itching is driving me crazy!
All those medics can do is smear this God-awful paste on it.
When they get the nerve to come near. I know I'm a bad patient.
But a skin disease! Of all the stupid, useless things to get laid up with!
It's driving me nuts. I can't even think! We don't have much time.
Fletcher's docking the Yorktown now, and I've got hard decisions to make.
Recommend your replacement. Ray Spruance.
I know he's junior to a lot of other flag officers...
...and never served a day on a carrier. But Chet, he knows carrier tactics.
Well, you asked for my recommendation.
I can just picture Washington's reaction...
...if I hand over the Hornet and the Enterprise to a cruiser skipper.
Especially with the static I'm getting for expecting the Japanese at Midway.
You told me once, Chet: "When you're in command, command."
Admiral Fletcher, Sir. Good morning, Sir.
Welcome home, Jack. Congratulations on bringing your cripple in.
Well, we got lucky. We haven't got much time, so I'll make this fast.
Halsey's beached, in the hospital. Won't be leaving for a while.
I'm sending you out again, Jack, in hours. In full combat readiness.
That's impossible! It'll be months before the Yorktown's in commission.
Spruance has replaced Halsey. He takes Hornet and Enterprise to sea tomorrow.
You follow him hours later.
Spruance is a cruiser commander! He knows carrier tactics.
Yeah, but he can't fly. Neither can you.
And he sure as hell can't learn it by tomorrow, can he?
Congratulations, Ray. Well, I'm still in a state of shock.
Nice seeing you again, Matt. How's the hand? Coming fine, Sir.
We could have used you at Coral Sea.
He's on your Air Operations staff on the Yorktown.
We face the biggest force the enemy has ever sortied, over ships.
They've got -to- supremacy.
Yamamoto himself is commanding.
We know when and from where he's going to sail...
...we know their original courses.
We don't know their rendezvous point, course changes or when they'll strike.
They could hit from the northwest, but intelligence doesn't support that.
Ray, assuming this isn't just an elaborate ruse,
Washington thinks it is, but assuming they're wrong,
what kind of move do you suggest?
Well, I'd take my carriers here, to a point northeast of Midway,
and wait for Nagumo's carriers.
Why not head northwest and hit them head-on?
There's a chance Washington may be right.
You think Hawaii and the West Coast could be the real target?
It doesn't really matter, provided I'm in a position to cut them off.
If it's Midway, I'll bushwhack them.
Alright. Jack, you're senior. You take command when you join up. - Yes, Sir.
The Yorktown will be at sea in less than hours.
I don't need to stress that Yamamoto outweighs us in every department.
Our carriers are all that stands between the enemy fleet and our coast.
Now, your point of rendezvous, what should we call it?
"Point Luck", Sir.
Sounds like a prayer, but it's damned appropriate.
Son of a bitch!
Ray. Hi, Bill.
Wanted to call the nurse to have that tree cut down.
It spoils my view of the boatyard.
I can't sleep. I can't eat. I just sit and scratch hours a day.
You ever try an oatmeal and water bath? Don't.
I want to thank you for recommending me to take your place.
I have a question:
Did that itch go to your head?
Stop underestimating yourself.
Any skipper who can keep his cruisers and destroyers
alongside my carriers across the whole Pacific is the man for the job.
You know, you and I...
Bill, we're kind of different.
You think I can do it as well as you?
I can only tell you this, Ray:
You play it the way you feel it, not the way you think I'd play it.
You go to sea, find Yamamoto and chew his ass. Nothing more to it.
Christ, no! You want to catch this? We'd lose the God-damned war!
Oh, by the way,
I'll have somebody cut down that tree for you. Yeah.
In carrying out the task assigned in Op-Plan /
Enterprise and Hornet will act on the principle of calculated risk,
which means avoiding exposure to attack by superior enemy forces
without good prospect of inflicting greater damage to the enemy.
Sir, three boilers are out of commission.
The yard manager says he needs another two days.
Delaney, I expect the yard to finish the job by : tomorrow.
Sorry about your boiler, Jack.
But if you clear Pearl by : ...
...you'll rendezvous with Enterprise and Hornet on schedule.
Agreed. Good luck, good hunting. Thanks.
You too, Matt. See you back here soon.
We just haven't any future, Tom.
I figured that's what it was.
We really don't.
I wish you'd go now.
I don't love you anymore. It was a mistake.
Say it to my face.
say it to my face, God damn it!
It'll be Ok.
Shit. Wait and see!
the Marines were practicing dive-bombing off Haiti.
Everybody said: "Premature, wait and see."
We waited, then the Germans showed us in ' in Madrid.
You mean like at Pearl Harbor? Pearl Harbor, shit!
In ' it was proved that Pearl Harbor could be attacked from the air.
And Admiral Ramsey predicted it would happen, in detail.
When was that? pal.
Wait and see. We waited.
December th, we saw.
The wait-and-seers will bust your ass every time.
I'll drink to that. Bet your...
How long have you been here? Long enough to hear your lecture.
You ought to go on the radio. How the hell are you?
Alright... Well, I'm celebrating my birthday. That's how I am.
That's a problem we all have once a year.
My God, now you got my kid flying for you.
How's the boy doing? Just fine.
He's a good pilot. Got him in an F F. He'll be shipping out any day.
Coming from you that means a lot.
No. He's good man, a natural pilot, good attitude, good marksman.
Tom's only deficiency would be in enemy identification.
He's got to learn, you don't win a war by kissing the enemy.
For Christ's sake... Well, he told the whole God-damned squadron.
I met her. She seems like a nice girl. So is Madame Butterfly.
She's having trouble with him. Now you're having trouble seeing.
I've got to shove off.
Scuttlebutt says you're going out on the Yorktown. That's right.
Well, keep your dumb ass out of drafts. That's right, buddy.
Thanks for keeping an eye on my boy. I appreciate it.
He'll be fine, Matt.
Tom! Nice of you to take the time to see me off, Dad.
But your squadron isn't due to ship for a week. Why are you boarding?
Are you saying you're surprised, Sir? Your buddy Jessop transferred me.
I didn't know anything about it! Like hell you didn't!
You wanted me shipped out, to stop me from doing anything stupid!
So your old buddy Jessop obliged. Tom, I knew nothing about it!
I have to report on board, Sir.
Captain Garth is here, Sir. Great. Come in, Matt. How are you?
I'm gonna do something I don't do, at least not since Annapolis.
I'm gonna ask you to do me a favor. Ask away! Lord knows I owe you some.
This is an FBI enemy alien report. Where did you get this?
Matt, I could find out. Don't, Harry.
The report contains all the bureau has on... - A Japanese?
On an American citizen named Haruko Sakura und her parents.
They look Ok to me, but I'm not in your business.
It sounds like you are.
Harry, I want you to investigate this personally.
They'll be sent to the mainland next week.
If they're clean, and I'm betting they are,
I want that shipment cancelled.
Matt, you're way out of line here! This isn't your department!
This is tampering!
Alright, what have we got?
What are these people to you?
Someday, the girl may be my daughter-in-law.
You're pressuring me to take improper action for personal reasons.
Improper action, hell!
They're no more a threat to national security
than your pet Airedale.
I'll have to report your request. It'll go into your record.
It's not for me.
You know I wouldn't ask you for myself. I'm asking you for my kid.
Jesus Christ, Harry!
I'm begging you!
Alright, I'll investigate it.
this'll wash it with us.
We're even. Aye-aye, Sir.
Thank you, Corporal.
Reporting as ordered, Sir.
Sorry to send the Marines after you, but you didn't answer my messages.
We had nothing to talk about, Captain.
You can cut out that midshipman-crap, you're talking to your old man.
I'll try to remember it.
I'd like to set the record straight: Before we left Pearl,
I personally vouched for Haruko and her parents,
and went way out on a limb for them.
I didn't know what weight it would carry,
...but you know, there it is.
One more thing:
I didn't ask your C.O. to ship you out.
You spoke to him, didn't you? Yes, I did.
He asked me how I felt about... Haruko and me, right?
If you couldn't do anything about it, why couldn't you leave it alone?
Jessop thought he was doing us both a favor.
I did all I could, and a lot more than I shoul've.
You're paid to fly fighter planes,
not to sit in your cabin and cry over your girl's picture.
You better shape up, Tiger, before a hot-shot Jap pilot flames your ass!
Just received this message, Sir.
Operation K, the reconnaissance flight to Pearl Harbor, has been cancelled.
Our scout planes couldn't refuel. An enemy vessel was there.
Sir, Admiral Nagumo's carrier force should be warned immediately.
Admiral Nagumo must have picked up the transmission when we did.
Suppose he didn't.
He will assume the American carriers are at Pearl Harbor.
And that is where our latest intelligence reports place them.
What latest intelligence reports?
Have any of our submarines sighted the US fleet in the last hours?
No, Sir. But there's no logical reason for them to move their carriers.
We must not break radio silence and risk letting them know our location.
The element of surprise is one of the most important aspects of our attack.
Admiral, this is our search plan.
An air search involving PBYs,
each plane flying miles out, covering an -degree sector.
We'll have a -degree view at anything coming from the west,
and still have a flanking area northeast of Midway for our carriers.
Have it put into operation right away. Aye-aye, Sir.
Jesus, how many of those can you eat?
Admiral, air reconnaissance report.
Is there any defense measure we've overlooked?
That had top priority, Admiral.
You sent everything we had: tanks, PT boats, anti-aircraft guns.
It's miserable waiting for an attack on your own people, hoping it happens.
More pressure from Washington? Not a whisper.
Frankly, I'd rather have them raising hell.
Captain. What's the count, Reid?
Half a dozen F Fs and Buffaloes.
Damned relics. We'll show the Japs we're up here. Maybe we'll get lucky.
In less than hours Hosogaya will attack the Aleutians,
and we will still be groping to Midway in this filthy squall.
We're not due to launch our first air strike for hours.
Our predictions are for clear weather before then, Admiral.
I keep wondering what Operation K uncovered at Pearl Harbor.
Were the American carriers there?
We've heard nothing from Yamamoto. The American carriers must be there.
Damn communications blackout!
Hey, you guys! The Japs are bombing Dutch Harbor!
Here we go.
Well, Gentlemen, it's started. Signal Spruance.
The Aleutian lslands are being invaded, Admiral.
Washington could still be right.
It could be a feint for an attack on the West Coast or here in Hawaii.
Or what we've defended against.
Today. Our PBY should tell us today.
Hey, do you see what I see?
Damn right, I do!
Sparks, raise Midway. Radio: Main body.
That's all? Just "Main body"? Send it! Yes, Sir.
An American PBY, Sir. A reconnaissance seaplane!
Radio's picked up it's transmission. It's alerting Midway.
Break radio silence.
Advise Admiral Yamamoto: Invasion force has been discovered.
large ships in a column, bearing degrees, distance miles.
Admiral. You were right, it's Midway.
You know what I mean, Admiral. Fletcher's joined Spruance on time.
Another one from Strawberry- Sir.
ships, course speed knots.
Just what kind of ships?
First transmission said "Main body", but didn't mention carriers.
That PBY, Strawberry- was at the end of his -mile leg.
Nagumo's carriers could be following the large ships.
Maybe beyond his horizon.
If they are, Fletcher's too far north.
He has to move at top speed now to get within striking distance by sunset.
But if Nagumo's carriers are coming in behind the storm front...
Fletcher'd be caught between two forces.
Yes, if we let him head for that main body sighting.
Send a flash message to Fletcher: This is not, repeat, NOT main body.
Expect enemy carrier strike tomorrow behind storm front...
...via northwest, as anticipated. Signed, Nimitz.
CinCPAC must think the PBY sighted only Kondo's invasion force.
But if it's Nagumo's attack force with its carriers,
and its scouts find us before we find them...
Sound general quarters!
Weather is clearing, Admiral. We could not have timed it better.
We intercepted a radio transmission from Tokyo to Admiral Yamamoto.
Intelligence does not report any movement of the American fleet.
Whatever doubts we may have had... They still are with me, Kusaka.
We have no definitive intelligence reports, only opinions and estimates.
And Yamamoto's silence does not make them a fact.
My apologies. I've been away from my duties much too long.
Genda, how are you?
I'm well enough to take charge of air operations.
And so you shall, my friend.
Prepare an air search plan right away. For what area?
Where I would deploy my carriers if I were an American commander.
There, northeast of Midway.
Times like this, Joe, I miss the flatlands.
It's a big body of water out there. I'm a fella from the Texas prairie.
Nearest lake was miles away.
You could wade across it at the height of the rainy season.
During summer we made clay pots out of its bottom.
Whatever happens, Joe, you sure as hell earned your pay this month.
Well, thank you, Sir.
To cover the area, we will launch scout planes from Akagi and Kaga,
and our cruiser escorts will launch seaplanes.
Very good. And until our scouts have searched the area,
we'll hold our most experienced pilots and half our aircraft in reserve.
But the American fleet
can't be anywhere near Midway. We shouldn't hold back our best pilots.
We've been over this before.
Admiral, our first strike must be decisive.
If we don't destroy Midway's airstrip and planes, we invite a counterstrike.
I agree with you, Sir.
Let our younger pilots fly the first strike.
I am sure they can do the job. If not, we can launch a second strike.
That is how it will be.
Suddenly, the man who led us to victory at Pearl Harbor...
...is choked by caution.
He senses danger out there.
So do I.
Their transports wouldn't be so close if they didn't plan to invade soon.
CinCPAC's right. They'll hit Midway today.
Yes, but from where? He could pop out anywhere.
And then his scout planes will be out. We have to find him first.
If he hits our blind side...
Why don't we get some eyes out there? SBDs will cover our northern flank.
Ok. But no more than miles out.
I want to recover them fast, in case the PBYs make contact first.
You Ok? Yeah. Here.
The poor bastards'll miss all the fun. There's nothing north of us but ocean.
He gets his dope straight from Tokyo Rose. Right, Chili Bean?
Wrong, from here. When it bristles there's Japs around.
Morning, Captain. You're supposed to be sacked out. What're you doing?
We couldn't sleep.
I know, but get below and try. We got a heavy day ahead.
Excellent weather forecast.
Broken cloud cover up to feet to conceal us from enemy scout planes,
and above unlimited visibility straight into Midway for our flyers.
All our cruisers' scout planes are in the air, except one.
The Tone is having catapult problems.
A delay in launching scout . How long?
Half an hour, Sir.
In case the Americans suddenly appear,
I suggest bringing the nd flight wave on deck as soon as the st is clear.
Armed with torpedoes to deal with enemy carriers? - Yes.
Our planes and the Kaga's.
Soryu and Hiryu can stand by with bombs for Midway.
Give the order. Yes, Sir.
Now it's up to our strike leader.
Tomonaga is the best we've got.
It's the whole damn Jap navy!
Radio, raise Midway. Send: Enemy carriers.
We got 'em! It's Jap fighter cover. Let's duck into the clouds.
"Enemy carriers"? That's all?
That's all Strawberry- said. We haven't heard from him since.
If he was on course and on schedule, he made the contact about here,
You better signal it to Spruance. Aye-aye, Sir.
You certain it was Strawberry- ?
How far are we from that contact point?
We're minutes behind schedule.
Bandits! Sweet mother of God, hundreds! - Where, damn it?
Four... no, five o'clock!
Billy, send this quick: Many planes heading Midway.
Are you certain?
Alright, just let us know the second you get anything else.
Nothing more. No word from our scouts since that "Many planes" flash.
Yes, but was that from Strawberry- ? No call letters were sent.
Maybe he was jumped by enemy fighters.
Damn it! How many carriers? What course? What speed?
Those Japs will never find us in this soup.
And we'll never find their carriers unless we break into the clear.
Damn it! I should've risked going straight in.
Nothing. We've lost 'em!
Lieutenant, they're behind us! I see carriers and a battleship.
Send it! Aye-aye, Sir.
"Fletcher to Spruance. Second sighting reported, Strawberry- :
enemy carriers, battleship. Bearing: Midway, degrees.
Distance: miles. Course: degrees.
Came right out of the slot where Nimitz figured.
"Proceed southwesterly, attack enemy carriers.
Will follow as soon as search planes recovered. Fletcher "
Signal "Ahoy", Captain Browning.
To battle stations.
Get the control tower.
Andy, Major Parks get his fighters up?
All . The SBDs are ready to go.
Get 'em airborne. Yes, Sir.
Captain, we've got Major Parks' frequency.
Rainbow Leader. Below us, o'clock.
I see 'em, Kirk. Alright, everybody.
Let's see how many we can drop on the first pass.
Two bogies under you!
Got one! Look at that Jap bastard!
Get him off me!
On your tail! Comin' in on you!
I'm hit, Rainbow Leader! My God! Mayday, mayday!
Look out, Rainbow! On your tail!
Comin' in on you! Three of 'em!
Look at that Jap bastard!
My God, they got Major Parks! Look out! Two bogies, four o'clock!
Rainbow Leader, come in! This is Noah's Ark.
Report please! What is your condition? Report please!
Give me the tower.
Andy, they blew right through Park's fighters!
Get your people under shelter!
Attack in squadron order!
God, they creamed us! But we're not out of action yet.
Our landing strip's still operational.
Tomonaga is asking for a second strike.
Sir, this report is a great victory. We've lost only planes.
We've destroyed enemy aircraft, in the air and on the ground.
But the pilots you chose did not destroy the airstrip.
We have planes and our best pilots waiting on our flight decks.
The entire force should be sent now.
The entire force? Our planes are armed with torpedoes on Genda's advice.
Hardly suitable for bombing an airstrip. Correct, Commander?
They should be immediately rearmed with bombs below deck.
We must make certain that Midway can mount no air attacks.
Lieutenant Tomonaga's request is also a warning.
Midway is still a threat to us.
So are the American carriers.
If they are nearby, yes.
But after hours, our scouts have reported nothing.
You're forgetting, scout number was a half-hour late taking off.
It will not reach it's maximum search range for another hour.
Tomonaga's planes will be returning soon.
They can be quickly refueled and rearmed for sea action.
In case our scouts sight any enemy ships.
Order our torpedo bombers to be rearmed with contact bombs.
As soon as they are ready, we will launch a nd strike on Midway.
planes on the line, Sir.
The Hornet will probably launch about the same number.
What's the enemy carriers' position? miles, Sir.
If we launch immediately, do our pilots have enough fuel?
Yes, Sir. If the weather holds,
they navigate perfectly and aren't over the target too long.
If we launch now, we might catch Nagumo like a sitting duck.
If we wait, it will give him time to refuel and reload.
Sir, the PBY reported only carriers.
I know. Intelligence says he has .
If those other suddenly pop up... Then we'd be sitting ducks.
But we have certain targets miles away that don't expect it.
Let's get Enterprise and Hornet turned into the wind.
It's from Admiral Spruance.
Enterprise and Hornet are launching every aircraft they've got.
Air controller reports our strike force will be over the deck in hour.
Just the time we need to finish arming our bombers for the nd strike.
Your confidence is most reassuring, Kusaka.
Our scouts report no enemy carriers. They've started their homeward leg.
All except scout number .
enemy ships sighted.
Bearing: degrees. Distance: miles from Midway. Speed: knots.
Which scout radioed the contact? Number Sir.
How far along are we on rearming? Almost half, Sir.
Order it halted.
Radio scout to ascertain ship types and maintain contact.
Friendlies, Sir. Our search planes returning.
They'll be on board in under minutes.
Have Captain Buckmaster see to it.
Our planes from Enterprise and Hornet should hit the Jap carriers in hour.
They're not on the same course?
We're counting on it, Admiral.
Nagumo has to hold course until he recovers his planes.
degrees puts our people on him with unfueled aircraft on his decks.
I don't see our fighters, Sir. They should've caught up to us by now.
And where's Bombing ?
With Fighting . They took off together.
Ain't they supposed to be with us?
Red Fox Leader to Kit .
Red Fox Leader to Kit !
Either my compass is fouled up, or we're not heading .
There's nothing out there. I know where the Japs are, Mr. Gay.
Will you tell us, Sir?
I figure they moved east since we launched, away from Midway.
Roger. What good's our orders, if the skipper's gonna lead us off?
I don't like it.
Take it easy.
If anybody can find the Japs, Waldron can. He's part Sioux Indian!
Sir, another message from scout .
additional enemy ships sighted, miles from Midway. Speed: knots.
Apparently cruisers, a carrier believed to be the Yorktown.
Impossible. The Yorktown was virtually destroyed at Coral Sea.
They can't have repaired her and brought her here in days.
We must assume they have!
If it is it, we must destroy her at once.
Suddenly, the threat from Midway's bombers seems
Iess to you than when you urged me to rearm our planes with bombs!
Admiral, Midway must wait.
We should rearm our bombers and attack that carrier.
Back to torpedoes again?
More wasted time! Tomonaga, this is Genda. Do you read me?
Lieutenant Tomonaga, this is Commander Genda.
Do you read me? I read you, Sir. Report please.
Request permission to land. My pilots report almost empty fuel tanks.
Some have taken anti-aircraft hits. Urgent we land immediately, Sir.
Do I have permission?
Admiral Yamaguchi advises that we attack the enemy carrier and
Iaunch our bombers at once, however they're armed.
While we're launching, Sir, Tomonaga's pilots will crash into the sea!
They're running out of fuel, Admiral.
Wait until we've recovered all our airborne aircraft.
While they are landing on the deck, rearm our bomber with torpedoes.
Then we'll attack the enemy carrier.
That's the last of our scouts, Sir.
Tell Eliot to launch all we've got. Aye-aye, Sir.
Pilots, man your planes!
Admiral, all aircraft now on board.
Tomonaga? He was the last to touch down.
I want to close range on the enemy carrier. Steer northeast. Full speed!
From Admiral Nagumo:
"Enemy force composed of carrier, cruisers, destroyers,
sighted miles from Midway. We are headed for it."
Close to Midway. Not Pearl Harbor!
Admiral Nagumo will simply destroy it a few days earlier than planned.
Oh, thanks, Matt.
I'd give my retirement pay to know what Nagumo's doing.
The same thing we are, Admiral, sweating it out.
I see it.
What'd I tell you, Huntington? The skipper can smell them out.
See if you can raise Bombing and Fighting . They must be near.
Better coordinate the attack. Yes, Sir.
Red Fox Leader to Badger Leader!
Red Fox Leader to Badger Leader! Do you read me?
Ok, we can't wait all day. You better get ready, Dobs.
Red Fox Leader to Kits, we're going in!
Divisions and take the carrier. Divisions and ram the escorts.
And stay together as long as you can. I say again: stay in tight!
Admiral, enemy torpedo bombers off port quarter!
They're coming in without fighter protection.
Perhaps. But it's an effective technique.
We can't attack their carrier while we're busy dodging them.
They're using up all our fighters.
Bandits, o'clock! Look out!
Two of them. Shoot, shoot!
This is Kit I got of them on my tail. Somebody help me!
Below you, bandits! No, no!
Oh God damn! No!
Stay in formation!
Get in. Close up, you idiots! They'll jump us to pieces!
I'm hit, I'm hit! Oh, Jesus!
Dobs, behind you! Bandits behind you!
Huntington, coming in at o'clock!
Huntington, are you dead?
Waldron, get your nose up!
Pull up, pull up!
What happened? One of our torpedo groups attacked.
Yeah, but which one? What the hell happened?
Casualty report, Sir: One of our fighters took a minor hit,
no shipboard damage, no casualties.
A whole squadron. brave crews.
Torpedo going in at feet.
Bombing and Fighting at . minutes to target.
Who's coordinating the attack? Max Leslie. He's leading Bombing .
Helen Leader to Helen group: Time to arm your bombs.
I say again: Arm bombs!
God damn it!
Don't touch that damned electric arming switch!
Use manual control!
Too late, Commander. Mine dropped. Mine dropped too.
Rotten gadget! Who the hell invented the electric arming switch?
Yamamoto, who else? Now what? Should we drop spitballs on the Japs?
Alright, knock it off. The rest, use manual control!
Helen Leader, out.
Skipper, look at Chili Bean over here!
I feel them!
Hope he's right.
Bertha Leader to Mabel Leader,
Bertha Leader to Mabel Leader: Japs on the horizon!
I got ... Sweet Jesus, I got Jap carriers!
Holy hell, we hit the jackpot!
Yes, sky watch? Enemy torpedo planes! - How many?
Two separate groups.
Bertha Leader to Mabel Leader: How's about it? You boys ready?
Damn right, we're ready! Let's go, we're running out of fuel!
Roger. Bertha Leader to Small Fry:
Concentrate on the closest flattop. Push in close and get hits!
I count coming in from starboard, Admiral.
from port side, Sir!
All these can't be from one carrier.
They must be coming from Midway. Or a second carrier.
We've heard nothing from scout since it sighted the one enemy carrier.
Soryu should send out its scout plane.
We must make certain of what we're up against.
See to it immediately. Yes, Sir.
Lining up to jump us, Thach. About Japs.
We're right above them. Mabel to Hustlers: Break 'em up!
Score for Commander Thach! Bogy! Comin' in on you, of 'em!
That a boy, Tom! Run that bastard into the drink!
More comin' in at o'clock!
You got him! Nice goin'!
Mabel Leader to Hustler Tom: bandits at o'clock divin' on you!
Roll out, Tom! Dive, dive!
We've quashed all of their attacks, and not one torpedo has come close.
Sacrifice themselves like samurai, these Americans.
That last attack pulled our entire fighter cover down to sea level.
Now they're looking for survivors.
We have no fighter umbrella over us? No, Sir.
We're trying to recall them, get them back up to patrol altitude.
How many fighters are standing by to cover our attack on that carrier?
Barely enough to do the job.
They're American carriers, no doubt about it, Yorktown class.
Get through to Nagumo's flagship. Be quick!
Why are you waiting?
The transmitter isn't working. We're not sending out any signal!
What's it look like down there?
A Jap destroyer!
Going someplace in one hell of a hurry.
Ok, follow it. See where it leads us.
Commander McClusky, look at the fuel gauge. We have to turn back.
I know, I know.
The last two attacks were made by over torpedo planes. !
There is more than one enemy carrier nearby. There must be!
Admiral. Genda, why hasn't the Soryu's scout plane reported?
We don't know. It should have sighted the American ships minutes ago.
Sir, all the bombers are rearmed and ready.
Signal all carriers: Launch immediately!
There they are, dead ahead. Sweet mother, look at them!
Huey, the whole Jap navy! Pipe down till I report contact!
Raven Leader to Mother Goose:
Have them in sight. enemy carriers.
I say again: enemy carriers.
Helen Leader to Mabel and Bertha!
Come in Bertha, come in Mabel!
This is Helen Leader. We have contact. Come in Bertha, come in Mabel!
I'm sorry, Commander Leslie, Torpedo and Fighting don't answer.
Keep trying. We're supposed to coordinate our attack.
Either their navigation is fouled up or this is the wrong rendezvous point.
Keep trying, damn it!
Mabel Leader, come in!
Raven Leader to flock: They're turning into the wind, preparing to launch.
I don't see any Jap fighters, Sir.
Let's not wait for 'em! Fall in!
It's no use. Commander Massey and Commander Thach don't answer.
Ok, hang on. We're going in.
Sir, we don't have a bomb! - We can draw some heat off the guys that do.
This is Helen Leader. Concentrate on that big bastard up forward.
Commander McClusky, they've got bombs all over their flight deck!
Scratch one flattop! Caught him cold!
Raven Leader to Raven . I got a hit, Commander McClusky.
Bring it home, girls, bring it home!
Commander, I got a hit! Look at that bastard burn!
Beautiful, Helen dead center!
We caught 'em flat-footed! No fighters and a deck full of bombs!
Sweet Mary, how did we get so lucky?
Helen Leader to squadron: enemy carriers burning.
Time to go home.
Admiral, you must transfer your flag.
The cruiser Nagara is close by.
Advise Admiral Yamaguchi.
I can't tell you where to find the enemy carriers, Lieutenant Kobayashi.
Their last position was radioed by scout several hours ago.
Hasn't the Soryu scout reported, Sir? It hasn't been heard from.
Then how do I find them, Sir? Fly to their last reported position.
Then just trust your luck that somehow you will find them.
Do you hear anything? - Nothing. All enemy frequencies are silent.
Lieutenant, enemy planes! I see them.
Our fighters are forming for an attack!
Signal them to lay back with us. Lay back... Stay off the radio!
We'll let them lead us to their carrier.
I got all Max Leslie's bombers, Sir. Where's the rest of Thach's planes?
Off the port quarter, Sir.
I'll bring the fighters down first. They'll be the lowest on fuel.
He's alive, Captain.
Flight Mission Combat! Go ahead.
Radar has more aircraft, bandits. degrees, miles and approaching.
Roger. Bandits, Sir. degrees, approaching, miles.
Sound general quarters!
We took a bomb hit to the side. The boilers are out.
Admiral, the radio's down. We can't send visual signals in this smoke.
You better transfer the flag, Sir. I suggest to the Astoria.
Matt, you better stay aboard, help Murray with the flight ops.
Lower the barge. Have the Admiral's barge lowered!
This is Zephyr calling Whirlwind: Enemy carrier on fire!
I repeat: Enemy carrier on fire. Returning to base.
That wasn't Kobayashi. - None of the senior officers survived.
The scout plane from the Soryu is approaching. His radio is out.
He's gonna be Ok, Captain. We'll transfer him in half an hour.
I'll see you back at Pearl, Tom.
There's a picture of Haruko and me that I'd like you to bring ashore.
I'll take care of it, Tiger.
Only boiler in use, Sir. are out. Can you get'em on the line again?
Yes, Sir. I think I can guarantee you knots in an hour.
Very good. Delaney, tell your gang the topside fires are under control.
Matt, we have more planes than pilots. Can you fly one for me?
Did you confirm it? Yes, Sir. Fletcher's reply is here.
"Fletcher to Nimitz: Confirm st report, enemy carriers afire."
of their st-line carriers, Admiral! Isn't that worth a "hot-diggity-damn"?
Good advice, Joe, but there's still that th enemy carrier to deal with.
A message from Captain Buckmaster: The Yorktown's been hit.
Badly? Yes, but she's underway. Operational?
Our whole force may be in jeopardy if the Japanese locate the Yorktown.
They still have a tremendous fleet.
But that th carrier can't be far off.
We've already won a great victory, Admiral.
Maybe we should get our people back. Break off, run for home?
Before they can hurt us again? Yes.
That may be the smart play.
Trouble is: I want that th carrier!
What's wrong? Your right wing tank is punctured.
We haven't had time to repair it. Is the left tank fueled? Yes, Sir.
A few hours ago we filled the sky with our planes.
Now we win or lose with fighters and torpedo planes.
The skipper wants to know, can you maintain this speed? - knots.
Very good. All we gotta do is find that th Jap flattop.
Bridge-phone, Combat. Go ahead, Combat.
Report from Scouting . Adams located the th enemy flattop.
Good. Relay our position to Fletcher.
We found him, Delaney. Just give us all the old lady's got left.
Sir, radar has bandits. Distance: miles, closing.
They're coming in low. Torpedoes! Sound general quarters!
Let's get everything airborne while we still can.
General quarters! Man all battle stations!
Right rudder! Aye-aye!
Watch out! Get down!
Whirlwind, this is Zephyr ! Two torpedoes hit the carrier!
I repeat: Two torpedoes hit the carrier! Returning to base.
Now it's one against one, Admiral. Congratulations.
Delaney, what's the situation below?
No good. All boilers are out.
Get your people topside, fast! Aye-aye, Sir.
Larry, radio Enterprise: We'll land there after our bomb run.
Yes, Sir. Blue Leader to all planes...
How many are we sending out? dive-bombers.
We'll have to try it without fighter protection.
What about the Hornet? Scraping the bottom of the barrel.
dive-bombers left, and Matt Garth is bringing from the Yorktown.
Signal the Hornet: We attack immediately. Aye-aye, Sir.
That wasn't the carrier Kobayashi dive-bombed.
She was undamaged. We put torpedoes into it.
Kobayashi said the carrier was on fire. Did you see any smoke?
No, Sir, it must have sunk. We didn't see a rd carrier, either.
Dive alert! Enemy dive-bombers!
Sir, we must withdraw.
How will we apologize to His Majesty?
Leave that to me.
I am the only one who must apologize to His Majesty.
That was the LSO, Sir. Matt Garth is coming in.
His plane is all shot up.
I wonder if Matt knew how big we won.
I think I know what he'd have said:
"It doesn't make any sense, Admiral.
Yamamoto had everything going for him,
power, experience, confidence...
Were we better than the Japanese, or just luckier?"