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325: Midway (1976) with Jon Parshall

On this, the anniversary of the Battle of Midway, we’ll get a World War II historian’s reaction to the 1976 Midway movie.

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Jon's Historical Grade: B+

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Movie Details

Historical Grade: B+

Release: 1976
Rating: PG
Runtime: 2h 12m
Director: Jack Smight
Writer: Donald S. Sanford
Historical timeline in the movie: April to June, 1942


Note: This transcript is automatically generated. There will be mistakes, so please don’t use them for quotes. It is provided for reference use to find things better in the audio.

Jon Parshall  00:27

would have been cooler with the Star Wars


Dan LeFebvre 00:30

yeah that’s a kind of what I was thinking.


Jon Parshall  00:31

Yeah right but that movie is still a year away at this point


Jon Parshall  00:47

so we’re obviously doing the Doolittle Raid here


Jon Parshall  01:02

is a met for them actually when they were still alive down in the World War Two Museum in New Orleans probably about 2013 or so. And this is all good. Yeah. Looks good.


Dan LeFebvre  01:22

It’s a little less color than the 2019 version of this.


Jon Parshall  01:27

Yeah. Now this is actual footage from the actual line. Oh, is


Dan LeFebvre  01:31

it okay,


Jon Parshall  01:32

that yeah, that that one little clip that was actually taken on Hornet. This is not okay.


Dan LeFebvre  01:37

So they’re mixing like actual footage with okay, that’s what that that intro text. Okay.


Jon Parshall  01:43

Yep, they absolutely are. None of this is real.


Dan LeFebvre  01:47

They didn’t have follow planes on the on the trip to capture the footage of them falling. Thanks.


Jon Parshall  01:51

So now right over right over the fishing boat. That’s beautiful. Of course back then, you know, you still probably had a fair number of beach 20 fives that are still air worthy. You can film this stuff with.





Jon Parshall  02:10

And I’m not a big warbird fan. But yeah, we have plenty of people here in Minnesota that are


Dan LeFebvre  02:16

it looks like they’re flying really, really low.


Jon Parshall  02:20

And they did, did they? Yeah, they did. When they came in over Japan, they were a couple 1000 feet a lot. And it was interesting too, because a lot of the Japanese on the ground particularly in Tokyo didn’t even know that these were American planes because there had just been an air raid drill that morning. And there have been some Imperial planes flying around and so you know until the bomb started dropping they had no clue what was going on. Yeah. You


Jon Parshall  02:58

it’s a fairly optimistic as estimate of the damage that’s being done there.


Dan LeFebvre  03:08

It doesn’t seem to be any anti aircraft fire, either. Yeah,


Jon Parshall  03:11

there really wasn’t very much okay, so Hiroshima. Yeah, that makes sense because curial Navy’s big acreage is down near Hiroshima in a place called Assura. Jima Bay. It’s just part of the greater metropolitan environment their naval academy is very nearby it And Egina to


Dan LeFebvre  03:38

so this would be delivered delivering news of the raid, I’m assuming is


Jon Parshall  03:41

Yeah, yeah. Going to tell Yamamoto, who didn’t need to be told actually he was on board. Probably a motto at that time.


Jon Parshall  05:19

that’s a fallacy. Yamamoto would actually already got permission to do is raid against midway okay and that’s that’s a myth that’s that’s been in a lot of people’s minds ever since that it was the Doolittle Raid that led to Midway but that actually is not true. The causation is different


Dan LeFebvre  05:43

maybe something I’m sure this movie did not help with with that little so you


Jon Parshall  05:46

know and you know that’s just the nature of beast with with a lot of war movies. It’s it’s a convenient trope that if you’re you know a visual storyteller it makes sense to the audience that you know moves the action ahead but in a true in actuality Yamamoto was on board his flagship and got the news there and was so upset that he took to his C cabin and didn’t come out for basically pretty more refined yeah having Tokyo bound


Jon Parshall  06:36

so here we are facing the code break. Yeah, yeah. So this is the code breaking out bit. I’ve actually been down in the basement in Pearl Harbor they still have this is not it looks very much like this. There’s still some 1940s Vintage communication equipment down in that basement to this day. It’s really well


Dan LeFebvre  07:01

is it is it still active or is it they’re just kind of keep it as


Jon Parshall  07:05

it is? It is a working office? It is lots of classified stuff there. They actually had to clear it out to let us in the day that we came to visit but yeah, it’s it’s pretty cool that you can still see some of the relics from the 40s So here’s our man Rochefort in his bathrobe


Dan LeFebvre  07:24

did he actually wear a bathrobe like that?



He did he did


Dan LeFebvre  07:29

get comfortable everyday is casual Friday right?


Jon Parshall  07:31

Well, he’s working you know 20 hour days down in this basement. I get it. He was kind of an eccentric character


Dan LeFebvre  07:42

I think he still got the uniform on he’s just wearing bathrobe over


Jon Parshall  07:45

Yeah, that’s fair can show that up a little



better perfect


Jon Parshall  08:09

that’s a true fact. Actually, we’re reading about 10% of the code groups not really which put it yet but you put it together with you know, traffic analysis and other clues and you can get an idea what’s going on.



That’s great.


Jon Parshall  09:11

That is great. They were working just appalling hours


Jon Parshall  09:27

Nice. Of course by then, and I’m not a huge scholar of the cryptographic angle of this thing, but I think even by the time we get to May, which is Coral Sea, they already at least Rushford had a pretty good my idea that AF meant midway already at that point. So yeah,


Jon Parshall  10:24

I don’t even know when these two dudes are to be honest how bad is that? I’m assuming Charlton


Dan LeFebvre  10:30

Heston and his son


Jon Parshall  10:35

gotta be late and then



I looked that up





Dan LeFebvre  10:54

traveling has been playing Captain Matt Garth. Matt guard. And then Tom Garth. I’m assuming his son.


Jon Parshall  11:02

Yeah, it was Matt golf


Dan LeFebvre  11:06

maybe a made up character?



Yeah not


Jon Parshall  11:24

yeah okay, so he’s based on Edwin late, which would have been my guest Layton is Nimitz’s Intel Agha sir.


Dan LeFebvre  11:31

Because we saw Layton in the 2019 movie. Yeah,


Jon Parshall  11:35

I mean, he’s, he is the interface between Rushford and Nimitz


Dan LeFebvre  11:40

I don’t know why they changed and


Jon Parshall  11:43

I don’t know


Dan LeFebvre  11:48

maybe some movies I know and I’m just speculating here but if the person is still alive, they don’t have name right right. Maybe because it came on 76 maybe late and was still alive.


Jon Parshall  12:00

Yeah late and was still alive in the past and 70 event.


Dan LeFebvre  12:05

Maybe they didn’t have permissions then.


Jon Parshall  12:07

Yeah, that could be okay, but bottom line, Nimitz’s Intel officer that’s what we need to know


Jon Parshall  12:39

so he’s in love with a Japanese woman It would appear


Jon Parshall  13:02

the nice a population on Hawaii of course is enormous and they couldn’t figure out what to do with them. They certainly couldn’t ship them back to intern them in the US it would have been completely counterproductive and stupid as indeed it was in the in the mainland as well but yeah


Dan LeFebvre  13:19

yeah there was a pretty big they I mean they locked up a lot of people then you just on the assumption that they weren’t they might might be





Jon Parshall  13:33

Okay, so those are decent models group it on that this is they’re swiping this model straight from Tora, Tora. Yeah. Yeah, they had a huge set Pretoria torch or battleship Nagato.


Jon Parshall  13:52

Right so you scheming up his battle plan here which is





Jon Parshall  14:19

it’s all fairly accurate


Jon Parshall  15:12

Go I didn’t have a mustache I don’t know why they get my mustache


Dan LeFebvre  15:21

was the force that large 200 ships 100,000 Men


Jon Parshall  15:25

that’s yeah that’s within spitting distance not quite as many they did they did use basically every ship and their inventory for this operation


Jon Parshall  16:04

yep nope you may think that


Jon Parshall  16:27

so that’s all fairly accurate there were a lot of rumblings within the senior commanders that they didn’t like the battle plan and particularly having to go up and capture the illusions was a complete sideshow. Why are you doing that? Also just the way that the forces themselves were distributed the group most carriers are not going to be in a position to be supported by those other forces so you got a lot of warships running around but they’re not necessarily mutually supporting. That was the fundamental problem with the with the battle plan


Dan LeFebvre  17:13

Okay, so coral seed you must have just happened


Jon Parshall  17:16

Yep. So we’re now in mid May here’s my man Nimitz.


Jon Parshall  17:32

The admiral Fletcher I’m going to call him Captain Fletcher right


Dan LeFebvre  17:42

there’s a lot of people for that little Jeep back then





Jon Parshall  18:09

that’s right on the money


Dan LeFebvre  18:32

so at this point they have two carriers Correct.


Jon Parshall  19:44

They didn’t have to fly it to Midway because they had a secure undersea cable that went up there and that’s how they told midway to transmit this metal out faster


Dan LeFebvre  19:52

than flying it there. Yeah. That sounds like the basic gist of warfare kind of being the one to suggest that it seems I mean you’re saying that he already knew at that point after quality


Jon Parshall  20:09

yeah he did really what we’re doing here is we’re trying to settle the debate between the Pearl Harbor intel team and the Washington group rush forward is is certain that AF is midway but the folks back in DC are very skeptical


Jon Parshall  20:33

just do what you told just do it this finish up


Dan LeFebvre  20:44

out here the Japanese gonna intercept it


Jon Parshall  20:48

so far I mean they’re doing a better job that I would have given them credit for so I don’t know where my 13 year old self will get to the skepticism and Sure.


Jon Parshall  21:29

rotary phones





Jon Parshall  21:54

he was not getting a lot of sleep around this time that


Jon Parshall  22:04

was not a diversion that was a land grab that’s a classic myth to our


Dan LeFebvre  22:08

delusions was a diversionary


Jon Parshall  22:13

Yeah, it’s one of the things we’ve debunked in our book





Jon Parshall  23:12

any troops yeah just total Task Force is like 20 ships so lucky to have


Dan LeFebvre  23:20

well earlier they mentioned the ships 100,000 men it just makes you think this is a huge


Jon Parshall  23:27

and that’s that’s the image that has always been projected about this battle. Yeah, they had a lot of horses out there but they weren’t in the carrier moon


Jon Parshall  23:40

going to do a recon job before the battle I want to


Dan LeFebvre  23:44

make sure that they’re Intel’s


Dan LeFebvre  23:52

they just came up with that operations very quick


Jon Parshall  24:07

but if they don’t a


Dan LeFebvre  24:09

little bit of foreshadowing there it’s not going to happen yet


Jon Parshall  24:12

thank you


Jon Parshall  24:20

to get this big elaborate table here wasn’t anything of the sort it was literally a four by eight sheet of plywood set on saw horses with a map spread on top. Oh, wow. Yeah. And they blew that in the 2019 movie to


Dan LeFebvre  24:37

Yeah, that map is a little more impressive than saw something on saw horses though. So visually, yeah.

Jon Parshall  24:42

Yeah, but this is the early part of the war. We’re still making this stuff up.


Dan LeFebvre  25:16

armoring switches for the SPDs those would be the torpedo bombers right


Jon Parshall  25:20

and these are the bombers actually and they’re This is a new gizmo instead of having to manually activate your your bomb fuse you can flick a switch and it ends up screwing up during the


Dan LeFebvre  25:33

battle with Layton be doing that they’re in charge of that


Jon Parshall  25:37

no that’s that’s that’s a normal ordinance man kind of thing I don’t know


Dan LeFebvre  26:19

did Leighton have a son like that is I mean this is guard so I


Jon Parshall  26:22

think I think this is our de rigueur love story that we have to have in any movies. So you can convince your so to come with you to the theater


Dan LeFebvre  26:34

can watch a horror movie?


Jon Parshall  26:37

Right? Did it the 2019 movie too? Yeah, that’s true


Dan LeFebvre  27:14

did they do that?


Jon Parshall  27:17

I don’t think that that’s the basis for they’re surprised to be honest with you that there was just a lot of moving parts at that point. They did do some fake traffic. Absolutely.


Dan LeFebvre  27:27

It just seems funny that the one side they’re like, oh, there’s not enough details. And it’s like, oh, now there’s too much details. It’s like you can’t win either way, right? Yeah,


Jon Parshall  27:35

yeah. Which would never have happened. The Japanese never had any intention of trying to invade us.


Dan LeFebvre  27:49

Did we know that though? I mean, put it in context back then. Maybe not and that


Jon Parshall  27:53

yeah, no, you’re absolutely right. I mean, you put yourself in in our shoes at that point in time the Japanese look 10 feet tall. They’ve been victorious everywhere they’ve gone this is a really dark dark time in the war.


Jon Parshall  28:37

Like that’s exactly what it did flee to post invasion


Jon Parshall  28:49

Yeah, it is kind of, it’s hard for me to sort of get my head back to what was the state of scholarship on this battle in 1976. But they’re there


Jon Parshall  29:23

maybe seven.


Dan LeFebvre  29:25

You always give optimistic numbers though. Yeah.


Jon Parshall  29:36

Yep, credible little models. They haven’t got the island on the right side of the ship. Akagi was a weirdo she had her island on the port side rather than the starboard


Dan LeFebvre  30:08

So this would be in late May when they’re leaving Japan


Jon Parshall  30:11

yeah they saw it on the 2011


Jon Parshall  30:20

talking about poop cheetah just had an appendicitis use the air group commander on the ship okay there we go cheetah cheetah my nemesis


Jon Parshall  30:49

yes again does the Air Staff Officer who plans all the operations for cheetahs the air group commander on Akagi


Jon Parshall  31:13

ganda Ganders sort of seen as the in house genius so yeah not not good poor tense


Jon Parshall  31:37

so there’s our team from Assura Jima Bay and then they transit to the Inland Sea to the the inlet between Shikoku and and Kyushu and now they’re out on the Pacific Ocean


Dan LeFebvre  32:01

meanwhile and since the Americans haven’t left yet I’m assuming then that Japan is not it is longer it’s gonna take longer for them to


Jon Parshall  32:14

get there then yeah, it’s a much much longer transit it’s about 1100 nautical miles from a wahoo up to Midway it’s the better part of 3000 for oh okay, Tokyo or across Yeah.


Dan LeFebvre  34:02

They’ve really given him a wide range of tasks from working on the dive bombers to intelligence to apparently following up on the FBI reports like


Jon Parshall  34:11

yeah, he’s Mr


Dan LeFebvre  34:18

I guess you know, some movies do composite characters or multiples. He just taken all the different jobs of everybody. Yeah, no one person Yeah.


Dan LeFebvre  35:31

Are we sneaking behind the sun’s back?



I didn’t know that


Jon Parshall  35:52

I completely didn’t even remember any portion of this.


Dan LeFebvre  35:57

That’s okay. Apparently none of it happened anyway, so


Jon Parshall  36:01

Exactly. There was no God. Garcinia regards Jr


Dan LeFebvre  36:11

it is an interesting thing for the filmmakers to pull in the Japanese side though.


Jon Parshall  36:15

Yes. Well, yeah, around this time. I mean, there’s a there’s got to be a growing appreciation for just how incredibly unjust the internment really was. Okay, so here’s Admiral Halsey suffering from psoriasis or shingles or some damn thing that makes him incredibly itchy. And he was a wreck. I mean, by the time he gets back on his cruise, he hasn’t been sleep and allow the.


Jon Parshall  36:57

That’s fast. Yeah. It was fast.


Jon Parshall  37:08

So again, we’re completely overlooking Frank Jack Fletcher, who actually is the senior carrier commander in this battle and will be Spruance as commanding officer, but this is a portion of the historiography where Fletcher has been sidelined. And frankly, his career ruined too.


Dan LeFebvre  37:27

Is there a reason for like, just completely? Oh, yeah,


Jon Parshall  37:30

yeah. And you don’t even want to get going on that. There’s a guy named Turner who ends up kind of stabbing him in the back during the Guadalcanal campaign, it’s a whole big thing. Fletcher’s only recently been sort of resurrected I guess I would say are rehabilitated in the scholarship that that happened around starting in 2006 When my friend John Lundstram came out with his biography of the man anyway


Jon Parshall  38:15

it’s this must be pleasure Okay,


Dan LeFebvre  38:20

that’s such a then yeah yeah. At least it’s in the movie.


Jon Parshall  38:31

Yeah, good. He wasn’t in the 2019 one.


Jon Parshall  39:17

Well, Roche for as good until I’m at anyway


Jon Parshall  39:56

notice how they’ve, you know, made it look overwhelming. We got three shots. against your table


Dan LeFebvre  40:03

yeah to hunt he said 200 chips


Jon Parshall  40:06

yeah right


Dan LeFebvre  40:09

although I noticed he mentioned a four to one superiority I think the Japanese said five to one so there was a little discrepancy even in the


Jon Parshall  40:16

movie Yeah. Yeah. And again just because of the distributed nature of the formations it’s all balderdash you know you said 40 Odd ships up to the illusions they’re not doing much for you down here and Midway anyway


Dan LeFebvre  40:33

Sure sounds sounds like a big contrast in the movie though


Dan LeFebvre  40:49

he’s got binoculars like not not guilty at all whatever


Jon Parshall  41:17

I don’t even know that Ray would have made a joke like that he I suppose he had a sense of humor but you don’t get that very much from the man he’s incredibly studious very very serious almost like a machine and a lot of ways that Phyllis his own son would describe him that way


Dan LeFebvre  41:36

this one was self yeah


Jon Parshall  41:49

I don’t know that there was any ever any sort of consultation between these two guys


Jon Parshall  42:06

it’s check it out the nurses whatever. All right. All right. So the 28th this will be Yorktown limping in


Dan LeFebvre  42:28

coming into pearl or leaving?


Jon Parshall  42:30

Well yeah, they they depart on the 28th. But your time doesn’t leave for a couple days further


Jon Parshall  42:50

as verbatim right out of the battle planning, and they mentioned the battle plan by name to 2942. Okay, so stop right here. Okay. This, this was the scene that that suspended my disbelief. So yeah, Yamato is the biggest battleship in the world. Right. She’s a 68,000 ton behemoth and they they’re using here a 2500 ton us post war destroyer to depict her as a 13 year old, just like I’m done. You know, like is, you know, I’ve got a model of Yamato is sitting on my shelf by that point as a 13 year old and she’s this huge glorious beast that I’m just like, really dudes you couldn’t have built me a model and put it in a bathtub that would have been better than using this damn thing. But anyway, break continue.


Dan LeFebvre  43:51

Well, I’m glad you pointed that out there that difference because I mean, just watching God no, I mean, yeah. All right. Let’s make sure we’re in sync. We are at 43 minutes into the movie with text on screen about battleship Yamato ready to hit play? Go in 321


Jon Parshall  44:09

Go again if you’re steaming 300 miles behind your carrier force what good are you going to do them if they get in any sort of a fight? None Yeah.


Dan LeFebvre  44:23

Looks like they got a lot more than those three shifts. The Americans had that on that map. Yeah,


Jon Parshall  44:27

that’s right.


Jon Parshall  44:48

And this is fairly accurate they did. They did not patch up all of her boilers. She was not able to get up to full speed but she was capable and steaming and that’s all that they needed or to do.


Dan LeFebvre  44:59

Yep, hi. already fixes make sure it works and then get it out yeah


Jon Parshall  45:02

right don’t leak oil make sure you can stay Meanwhile back at the Romans that never happened



oh two can’t


Jon Parshall  46:00

that was pretty bold for the time I mean you didn’t see a lot of interracial marriages that’s for sure yeah yeah


Dan LeFebvre  46:08

especially in the military I’m sure to





Jon Parshall  46:31

lot of Pearl Harbor conspiracy theories


Dan LeFebvre  46:35

we knew about





Dan LeFebvre  46:43

Did they conspiracies around Pearl start that quick? I mean, assuming this is happening, just literally. Okay. I mean, yeah. Oh,


Jon Parshall  46:49

god. No, it started you know, the day after it happened. See that? Yep. You know, the analog there is what happened on 911 Yeah. You know, we as a country are just not used to getting caught with our pants down like that. So it certainly couldn’t have been the enemy was smarter than us. There’s got to be some spooky internal thing going right here.


Dan LeFebvre  47:12

And then kind of the what we were talking about when we talk about the 2019 movie, like a lot of the looking at it from our perspective now. Okay, now that we know that this happened even even back then I mean, without the decades of research that we’ve done in the meantime, but just knowing that this happened okay, what are the signs that I can point to back then that you know,


Jon Parshall  47:33

right see that cherry pick my information


Dan LeFebvre  47:53

did lighten actually go out on the Yorktown okay, just making sure. Now he’s another somebody else to know.


Jon Parshall  47:59

There’s no way Nimitz was gonna let lay out of his arms retreat here by Stephens office or you’re staying right here buddy I will say in terms of the Pearl Harbor stuff that yes, we had run exercises back in the 30s where we had launched a carrier raid against Pearl Harbor but the difference between that raid which is you know 40 planes and the Japanese coming with 400 planes there’s a vast difference between


Jon Parshall  48:45

who some tension between we’re going to have to patch this relationship up at the end of the movie I’m sure it’s all going to come out Oh of course this is Hollywood course. Yes


Dan LeFebvre  49:03

intelligence is always downstairs


Jon Parshall  49:07

in the basement, always in the basement. It’s not even that capacious to I’ll tell you


Jon Parshall  49:24

notice that the night using any like subtitles to introduce people to us to and just like oh another American does?


Dan LeFebvre  49:30

Well we have so many characters that you know you got Yeah.



Oh, we’re in the FBI. Okay.


Dan LeFebvre  49:55

Or something like that. Ah, he’s.


Jon Parshall  49:58

Yeah, he’s intervene.


Dan LeFebvre  50:08

I also work on dive bombers in my spare time to.


Jon Parshall  51:29

In some ways the most interesting subplot of the movie that’s completely fixable


Dan LeFebvre  51:43

looks like he burned


Jon Parshall  51:45

is burning some bridges kid hates him friend hates him


Jon Parshall  51:59

icy formality okay meanwhile okay your town finally sales on the 30th Yeah these are of course all postwar s6 class carriers because that’s the only thing they got to film on


Jon Parshall  53:17

oh he’s gonna die. It’s clear, isn’t it the kids got to die


Dan LeFebvre  53:28

I mean, there’s this tension and the question is are they going to patch it up before


Jon Parshall  53:33

right? Yes, this love story not going to end happily. Meanwhile,


Dan LeFebvre  53:39

meanwhile the actual


Jon Parshall  53:42

Yeah, the actual battle


Jon Parshall  53:53

that is true


Dan LeFebvre  54:01

yep just pure luck I’m assuming just like that just coincidence.


Jon Parshall  54:09

We we kind of thought that they might they had done an operation like that earlier in the war. And we were kind of like, where did they refuel those big flying boats? Maybe French frigate shoals would be a good place to park a submarine tender and so we sent a set a couple ships up there including a destroyer and so the refueling submarine showed up and was like no candy, scrub the OP


Jon Parshall  54:45

so now they think they may be Americans may be on to them.


Dan LeFebvre  54:50

I Yeah.


Jon Parshall  54:54

So there’s all a lot of nuance around Operation K and I’m not going to get into it suffice. See it would not have it didn’t have that impact on the Japanese that it’s appearing to have in the movie. Okay,


Dan LeFebvre  55:06

okay is k the Aleutian Islands? K


Jon Parshall  55:10

is this recon flight using the flying boats that we’re going to be refueled at French frigate shoals. Okay,


Dan LeFebvre  55:16

that’s right. Okay. scrubbed. Yeah, the one that they just came up with the name. Yeah, right


Jon Parshall  55:29

now there’s a very impressive looking War Room, which is probably about six times larger than the office space that Nimitz actually had available to be set. Oh, it’s a Catalina Q. Car we had a couple dozen of these Catalinas up at Midway. And we’re flying them as recon planes obviously.


Dan LeFebvre  55:56

Is that all that is pretty much just recon at that point. We’re going around a


Jon Parshall  56:00

lot. A lot of these military long range, you know. So yeah, they’re putting out recon birds.


Dan LeFebvre  56:08

Okay. Yes. Every


Jon Parshall  56:09

day. No. Yeah. Strawberry five. Yeah, we are we are on the morning of June 4. That wasn’t incredibly obvious, but


Dan LeFebvre  56:30

so they know the Japanese must be somewhere close. And that’s why they’re,


Jon Parshall  56:33

well, they anticipate that they are and so we’ve been running these Recon flights every day for past couple of weeks at this point.


Dan LeFebvre  56:45

That’s good context, because it’s not like they were just like, oh, June 4. Let’s go ahead.


Jon Parshall  56:50

No, no, no, yeah, they’ve been been flying up for a while. We’ve been loading as many aircraft into midway as possible to get ready for this battle. And one of the things we do is beef up the the search assets. So there are a lot more cattle eaters up there than normal.


Dan LeFebvre  57:23

And you had mentioned they have the US had radar at this point, right, but they’re still used primarily using Catalinas instead.


Jon Parshall  57:30

Well, the Catalinas don’t have radar at this point in the war. We’ve got radar on our ships that’s useful for air warning purposes, but it isn’t useful in terms of doing circle search and that kind of stuff not out to okay, you’re limited by the by the visual horizon or the radar horizon, which is only slightly larger so


Dan LeFebvre  57:50

okay. Yeah, I think to hear I hear the term radar and I think of Oh, the radar we have now which obviously it’s a little more advanced than it was but


Jon Parshall  57:59

yeah, a little bit more. So here are plucky Marines on the island of Midway getting ready for an attack that they think may be coming


Jon Parshall  58:19

you want it for EPs or not relics? No. No. Okay. It’s a model here that whether it looks like pretty Yeah. And that was true.


Jon Parshall  58:49

Okay, so it’s not June 4, we’re back on the second.


Dan LeFebvre  59:12

Thank you for letting me know what the issue was there. Appreciate it.


Jon Parshall  59:18

Beautiful. Yeah. Yeah. Well, there was one of the Japanese guys complained that Yamamoto was not forwarding on the information that he had to hand to new Gumo. That’s one of the things we again debunked in our book, actually. Negombo had pretty much all the information in his hand that Yamamoto had as well. Okay. So, but what you’re seeing is the, the subtle finger of Fujita again and the historical sources.


Dan LeFebvre  59:49

Yeah. So for the true story, there you go. Get that thing go.


Jon Parshall  59:53

That’s right. Appreciate it.


Jon Parshall  1:00:06

There’s no way they’re going to the West Coast man dudes


Dan LeFebvre  1:00:15

up just that one that’s right


Dan LeFebvre  1:00:23

I can’t help but things that’s another looking at it from now to back then because why if you know what’s that one Why send all the others


Jon Parshall  1:00:32

right right this is the invasion force which again is slightly ahead of the carrier force because of the weird sailing times


Dan LeFebvre  1:00:43



Jon Parshall  1:00:53

it’s not the main body it’s the invasion or as a main body should have battleships and carriers and that kind of stuff there’s nothing of that


Dan LeFebvre  1:01:02

but did they know that when they like


Jon Parshall  1:01:05

well they should have if they’d done a good scouting report they should okay you see anything big there? But it’s yes, that’s exactly right. So we’re June third


Dan LeFebvre  1:01:35

shouldn’t get excited about that


Jon Parshall  1:01:51

right Ding ding ding


Dan LeFebvre  1:02:24

there’s just so much I don’t know. Yeah, who knows? Maybe Maybe this maybe that yeah,


Jon Parshall  1:02:29

they do that and that’s the way the game is played


Jon Parshall  1:02:48

there was no such mess now. So this is a contrivance for the movie. In actuality, Nimitz had already sent an order on the second of June to have Fletcher move his carriers further to the west and so this is all kind of


Dan LeFebvre  1:03:09

okay, okay, so not expected


Jon Parshall  1:03:13

Yeah, this is all made up that’s a fairly credible representation of a cog is bridge


Dan LeFebvre  1:03:22

little different than was it your motto that there was little



yeah motto.


Dan LeFebvre  1:04:04

He was the guy who was sick.


Jon Parshall  1:04:06

Yeah, he had the flu. Okay. Use the era God which Nagumo relied upon very heavily because NUMA was not a carrier guy. He was a music cruiser, Admiral, surface surface fighter.


Jon Parshall  1:04:41

Nostalgia for the flat. reminisce of home. Yeah, Texas. He’s a Texas boy.


Jon Parshall  1:04:54

It’s intriguing to me that flashing back to that last scene that they’re making the Gumo to be a much more A dynamic individual that I think he actually was historically historically he was he was very reliant on ganda to tell him what what to do so interesting interesting yeah


Jon Parshall  1:05:21

seven actually Well five nevermind sorry historians were like well but nitpicky nuanced


Dan LeFebvre  1:05:45

guy he is so optimistic about everything like we got this


Jon Parshall  1:05:50

Yeah, yeah, well you know at the end of a six month run where you’ve been kicking butt consistently across the Pacific





Jon Parshall  1:06:10

there is no younger older dichotomy here between these carriers these groups are all extraordinarily experienced


Dan LeFebvre  1:06:17

there’s no Junior Varsity and varsity teams on not


Jon Parshall  1:06:21

I’m not what these board carriers are is not these guys are all the A team and this was standard doctrine for them that they would put up half of the planes on each carrier put them into a big package and then they would have another half back on the on their flight decks or in the hangars wait okay it’s just easier to get that package off as one little deck load package put four of those up, turn them into a big StrikeForce and then off they go


Jon Parshall  1:07:00

they went through they’re not 100 miles over it’s like 175 So we’re on the eve of the battle here and Dawn starting to put up some put up some Scout plans


Dan LeFebvre  1:07:20

so they’ve already spotted the Japanese ones but they’re putting up more to find who else is there? Yes, I think they might not be everything


Jon Parshall  1:07:27

Yes. That’s right


Jon Parshall  1:07:35

Okay, so what’s your bed does the younger Garth as you die um, I think I think he buys it I don’t think we got a happy love story at the end. I think we get a tearful Japanese girl I


Dan LeFebvre  1:07:50

could see him dying and then the father having to be the one that delivers the news to the target right because he already visited for once yeah right i could see that


Jon Parshall  1:08:04

actually, dad just went through a divorce maybe He scoops or


Dan LeFebvre  1:08:09

I don’t know I mean he didn’t go through all that intervening for him right?


Jon Parshall  1:08:15

Yeah, okay, here we are in Akagi This is fairly credible. I’m I’m grooving on this. The sets look good. That’s a fairly good representation of her gun directors. Twin 25 millimeter anti aircraft guns


Jon Parshall  1:08:52

all right game Oh yeah. Oh 430 Let’s do this thing not in


Dan LeFebvre  1:08:56

our race race in the plains All right.


Jon Parshall  1:08:58

Yeah Yeah, buddy.


Dan LeFebvre  1:09:05

Maybe maybe


Jon Parshall  1:09:06

another this is this is recycled Torah Torah Torah footage


Dan LeFebvre  1:09:12

sure is that’s gonna say it looks like they’re going to Pearl








Dan LeFebvre  1:09:40

that’s like catapulting from the plane or from the ship right. Not as opposed to carrier. Yeah.


Jon Parshall  1:09:45

Yeah, yeah. They send up seven scouts. Two of them come from the carriers and the other five are coming from their cruisers. And one of them does go off a half an hour late for reasons we still don’t completely on You’re saying


Dan LeFebvre  1:10:02

some sort of technical problem I’m guessing I mean


Jon Parshall  1:10:04

see Yeah, well they use they use black powder charges to launch their catapult aircraft and if you’ve got a misfire on one of those things this also is out of Tora, Tora, Tora you know, you got a what a 50 pound black powder charge that may or may not be lived underneath this airplane, you’re going to be a little you’re going to be a little skittish you know coming up to that thing Yeah, this is all Torah Torah Torah stuff.


Dan LeFebvre  1:10:40

Get someone’s body shot at just reuse it.


Jon Parshall  1:10:42

Right? As my man Tomonaga he’s the air group commander on here you he’s just been posted to this carrier. This is his first his first battle that he’s an old experienced giant a hand and they know what they’re doing.


Dan LeFebvre  1:11:03

By the way, the movies setting this up, it makes me think that those Japanese planes are going to run into the scout plane and that Yeah, I think that Catalina is gonna be


Jon Parshall  1:11:12

some travel. Yeah. There actually wasn’t encounter. But both horses just kind of like, waved and went. Yeah. Yeah, and one of the Catalinas then sends a scout report back to Midway saying many, many planes in bounds midwife.


Dan LeFebvre  1:11:31

They’re coming right now. Yeah.


Jon Parshall  1:11:40

Yeah, that’s.


Dan LeFebvre  1:11:49

It. Scale planes don’t still send that much data. We see something. So what Go ahead.


Jon Parshall  1:12:13

Pause here briefly, actually. I just want to just a brief mention of just how incredibly difficult at this point in time it was to actually send off a good scouting report. I mean, your navigational aids and your plane, at least in the Catalina, you’ve actually got a navigator who supposedly should know where you’re playing is. But, you know, you have to figure out where where am I? What am I seeing? Have I got good ship IDs? You know, can I actually tell that those weights out? There are is that a carrier? I don’t know. Hopefully, you get a good ship ID but then you’ve also got to transmit on the basis of, you know, the height of the bow waves and that sort of thing. You know, what’s their heading? What’s their speed? Where are they located relative to me, because they can be, you know, 2030 miles over in that direction. So it’s not uncommon at this point in the war to have these Scout reports come back, that are off by 50 6080 miles in some cases, okay. Which is why, you know, a lot of people sort of look at this battle ex post facto, they’re like, well, if Fletcher had just put his carriers precisely here that they would have been, it’s like, dudes, just getting to carrier forces within the same neighborhood where they can fight a battle is almost a minor miracle at this point in the war. That’s where we are technologically


Dan LeFebvre  1:13:38

and it makes sense, then I mean, to be able to see that that far off and be able to identify it then. And then yeah, that’s, that’s not easy.


Jon Parshall  1:13:47

The other thing that a lot of people sort of miss apprehend is they think that the scout planes fly at high altitude. And that is not true. Because if you’ve got any sort of cloud cover broken cloud cover, you’ll be able to see straight down underneath you relatively easily. But the further out, the more acute your angle becomes to those clouds, the more and more opaque that cloud cover becomes. So typically, a lot of these planes are flying 1500 feet, maybe 2000, they want to be below the cloud cover because among other things, what you’re going to be able to do is I’m going to use the horizon as my sighting mechanism, oh, there’s bumps you know, sticking up above the horizon. Now I’m going to scoot over in that direction. And they and they will play games around. I’m gonna you know, try to find cloud cover that I can hide behind and the duck out get a you know, get a glimpse of the fleet. Try to count the number of ships get a course and speed, you know, sort of information and then duck back into the clouds because, of course, the enemy carriers are going to have combat air patrol fighters out looking for you too. So it’s, it’s really very, very difficult for these aircraft. put together a good scouting report. And this is something that you just see over and over and over again during the wars that the scouting reports, particularly the early part of the war are garbage. It’s


Dan LeFebvre  1:15:11

interesting, because in the movie just then we saw the Catalina was like, Oh, I see that the Japanese planes, we better get down into the cloud cover. So they were above it beforehand, right?


Jon Parshall  1:15:20

Right. And they shouldn’t be above it, they should be underneath it. If If all goes well, and the cloud cover that we see in the movie, there was not as dense as what was actually occurring. During the battle. There’s a little more broken than that. But but that’s correct. As as a Catalina driver, you know, I’m driving this large, slow plane,


Dan LeFebvre  1:15:41

boat, literally.


Jon Parshall  1:15:43

Yeah, you know, I don’t want to get into a fight with a zero that thing is going to clean my clocks. And so I don’t know that, you know, there should be strike escorts with that strike that I see heading off towards midway. If a couple of those dudes decide to peel off and go after me. I’m in a world of hurt. So absolutely. I’m going in. Yeah,


Dan LeFebvre  1:16:00

I could see. Not so much of a chance. Yeah,


Jon Parshall  1:16:04

absolutely not. All right, let’s roll.


Dan LeFebvre  1:16:07

Are you ready to hit play? We’re at an hour, 11 minutes and eight seconds into the movie. You should see Charlton Heston’s version of Captain Garth and Robert Weber’s version of Admiral Fletcher at the map and three to one hit play.


Jon Parshall  1:16:55

You should have said that right off the bat bed is five o’clock right


Dan LeFebvre  1:17:08

okay, so they’re the ones letting midway know there’s


Jon Parshall  1:17:10

yes letting midway there’s planes in bound


Jon Parshall  1:17:26

which happens


Dan LeFebvre  1:17:28

that’s an interesting little point there too of like, the excitement of it the adrenaline there has to be Yeah, all this kind of stuff that they’re human. Yes,


Jon Parshall  1:17:35

they’re human beings. Human beings at very early port part of the war too.


Dan LeFebvre  1:17:42

Yeah, this is probably the first battle that most of them have been in a


Jon Parshall  1:17:47

lot of a lot of these guys. Yeah, I have never been in a fight before. Never seen the elephant


Jon Parshall  1:18:07

Okay, so this is historically accurate as well, because of the cloud cover. There was never an occasion during this entire day when any of the scout reports reported more than two Japanese carriers at a time because the formation was yeah, just under clouds and spread out a lot. Okay.


Dan LeFebvre  1:18:27

As opposed to the 200 that they had


Jon Parshall  1:18:42

it’s right on the money


Jon Parshall  1:18:49

No, but Spruance smoked cigars. Never seen him with a cigar. Alright, here’s comes Tomonaga and the boys this is 108 aircraft that they have coming over to pound midway. They will go in with the level bombers first then they’ll finish up with the die bombers second and the year ago our brave boys.


Dan LeFebvre  1:19:12

Now there’s the antiquated planes I think they call them


Jon Parshall  1:19:18

these are actually F six F Hellcats which are late late war because they’re not a lot of flyable Wildcats around I presume got the old style helmets here which is also realistic


Jon Parshall  1:19:41

major parks


Jon Parshall  1:19:57

Okay, so those are actually wild cats. I’m in Press with that that’s the actual fighter that we’re using here not the their big brother the Hellcat which is later war so we do get an initial run in we got a couple of Japanese planes but that it all goes pear shaped


Dan LeFebvre  1:20:29

some of this footage looks


Jon Parshall  1:20:32

this is all late war stuff is it okay,


Dan LeFebvre  1:20:34

I was gonna say some of it looks like it’s obviously for the movie and then the quality of it changes and it looks like there’s a right


Jon Parshall  1:20:39

and that’s actual actual footage Yeah, that’s actual gun camera footage


Dan LeFebvre  1:20:46

but probably not do we have any actual footage from Midway? Okay, so there’s gonna be okay


Jon Parshall  1:20:52

it’s just amazingly poorly documented battle from a photographic standpoint so what ends up happening here is the Japanese escort fighters just absolutely chew our fighters repeated pieces silence That’s right. Yeah, it was it was really really bad. Well,


Dan LeFebvre  1:21:17

that kind of alludes to what we were talking about earlier with you know, pilots probably the first action whereas the on the Japanese side already


Jon Parshall  1:21:23

this these guys NBA team and they’re flying a very maneuverable plane and the zero a lot of these pilots on the American side had not had a lot of time to do training they weren’t using the right tactics against a zero you shouldn’t try to dog fight it so yeah with buffaloes and wild cats if you’re not flying right particularly in the Buffalo you die and that yeah, that’s what happened. I forget the number of wires that we lose that morning but it’s it’s bad that’s watered basically just wiped out


Dan LeFebvre  1:22:13

ladies I don’t know detail there.


Jon Parshall  1:22:16

Well done. Now why we’ve got battleship masks suddenly sticking up there. I think that was Pearl Harbor footers that they jacked hoping that a sharp eyed historian wouldn’t notice that


Dan LeFebvre  1:22:28

we’re using footage again. Absolutely baby


Jon Parshall  1:22:31






Jon Parshall  1:22:41

yeah, this is a lot of this is parola is torah Torah Torah stuff


Dan LeFebvre  1:22:58

y’all gotta hit the gas tank


Jon Parshall  1:23:00

or towards our IAS


Jon Parshall  1:23:09

so Tomonaga did have his fuel tanks hold during this raid and that’s going to affect his it’s gonna affect his prospects for snow beasts. This also is straight out authoritarian. Yeah, I don’t know why they felt obliged to put that in.


Dan LeFebvre  1:23:30

They didn’t have the crash landing on yeah,


Jon Parshall  1:23:34

there actually was footage taken of a B 17 that crash landed on Pearl during Pearl the Pearl Harbor attack but that was just kind of gratuitous. That’s


Dan LeFebvre  1:23:43

right because I mean not to switch to Pearl Harbor but they had the bombers that were coming in at that. Okay, so that’s Yep. But midway would not have had any of okay, no,


Jon Parshall  1:23:52

we did have the seven teams up but they certainly weren’t trying to lay it at that point in time. That’s a fancy looking chair for you


Dan LeFebvre  1:24:11

to get for setting the JV


Jon Parshall  1:24:16

we’re never going to destroy the airstrip.



That was correct.


Dan LeFebvre  1:24:47

Which you don’t know we’re out. So this is the bombs or torpedoes?


Jon Parshall  1:24:50

You got it?


Jon Parshall  1:25:00

Really portraying the Gumo here is a much more savvy aggressive leader than I think the historical record would. Would. Really. That’s interesting. Yeah,


Dan LeFebvre  1:25:10

it looks like he’s he really is focusing on and getting a lot of advice from these almost. I’m picturing like, you know, the devil on one side and the angel on the other shoulder,


Jon Parshall  1:25:18

right, right. Right, right. Yeah, shoulder angels right. Straight out of the Emperor’s New Groove, another movie of historical myth and we’ll do that one next. Okay. I just like to note the set here is probably four times the size of the cogs bridge. It was really it was it was 11 by 14 the tiny we know that this never actually happened that the strike planes were not up on the flight deck they were always in the hangars but they are going through this rearming snafu down here in the hangar decks. Torpedoes off bombs on it’s not nearly that fast.


Dan LeFebvre  1:26:01

It looks kind of like the pit crews and you know the race car yeah come in and it’s


Jon Parshall  1:26:07

yeah, okay, so among other things, the mounting brackets for the ordinance has to be switched out completely different you have different mounts for torpedoes than you did for these land attack bombs. That’s what takes the time is to get all that hardware off the goddamn blade and then put the other the new hardware out and get the right ordinates on probably takes about 90 minutes to do that whole level Oh wow. Yeah, it’s a long process I can


Dan LeFebvre  1:26:35

certainly understand the hesitation to issue that order that we really want to do that because I’m stuck in waiting Yes.


Jon Parshall  1:26:42

That’s right





Jon Parshall  1:27:05

actually does look kinda like yeah, testing Yeah.


Dan LeFebvre  1:27:14

Okay, so he sounds like he’s gonna launch Yeah, he’s


Jon Parshall  1:27:17

gonna launch



it’s always the last one.


Jon Parshall  1:27:57

That was the last one here he is. Our boy name is Mari does not live to the war. And yeah, lo and behold Oopsie doopsie It’d be


Dan LeFebvre  1:28:15

it’s interesting the American planes are sending back regular reports but the Japanese planes are sending through Morse code that


Jon Parshall  1:28:22

is accurate they are using radio telegrams. Yep. Your Telegraph’s


Dan LeFebvre  1:28:30

Of course it’s number four of course


Jon Parshall  1:28:39

about right that’s absolutely right on the money it’s exactly what he says so not


Dan LeFebvre  1:28:46

and we bank but just stopping in the middle


Jon Parshall  1:28:50

well actually he orders it reversed so that was historically inaccurate yep


Dan LeFebvre  1:29:06

I’m still trying to figure out what his role is he seems to do everything


Jon Parshall  1:29:11

once you go down and check the electrical arming switches and make sure those are all working in the engine room next Yeah, that’s





Jon Parshall  1:29:43

Yeah, that’s because then skipping ahead of the fact that Walter and had been part of a larger group of aircraft and Waldron is convinced that that larger group is not heading in the right direction which was true and basically goes and tells us Is Eric group commander to get get wrecked and he takes his squadron up and heads towards the Japanese on his own recognizance. So he’s basically insubordinate but he’s the only squadron from Warren at that is going to attack today





Jon Parshall  1:30:31

you shouldn’t shouldn’t like


Dan LeFebvre  1:30:34

isn’t that a good thing? Yeah. But again that kind of goes along and they’re human and especially experienced you


Jon Parshall  1:30:43

know? Yeah. Waldron is he knows exactly you got to know why he knows but he flew like you know on a rope right to the Japanese formation


Jon Parshall  1:31:06

they didn’t specify the name of a carrier it was a Yorktown class carrier but that describes all three of the carriers of the Americans have up here are all sisters


Dan LeFebvre  1:31:17

yeah the Japanese scout planes are a lot better at identifying the specific chips than the American Scout plans are yeah





Dan LeFebvre  1:31:27

it’s because they’re using the Morse code you know that it’s much more specific right


Jon Parshall  1:31:31

that’s it


Jon Parshall  1:31:53

now they didn’t do that again telegraph


Dan LeFebvre  1:32:03

he’s the one that got shot and then feel


Jon Parshall  1:32:05

yeah you get shot


Jon Parshall  1:32:23

this is part of the debate that he’s having to make at this point on the bridge is do I launch now with anything that I’ve got? Or do I bring in


Dan LeFebvre  1:32:40

is that across all the carriers they had just one


Jon Parshall  1:32:45

to actually so Akagi and Kaga are having to switch their level playing level bombers from torpedoes to land attack bombers and now back to torpedoes. The dive bombers are on carrier squadron two which is here you day can be armed much more quickly so yeah, it’s really Akagi and Kaga that are that are the hold up here.


Dan LeFebvre  1:33:14

Now York Times coming in


Jon Parshall  1:33:16

Yep. Let’s say you’re 10 actually this should be enterprise well enterprise and hornet have already got their planes up in the air obviously because we’ve just seen torpedo spotter and eight so yeah, this should be your town


Jon Parshall  1:33:46

you know once again wild cats that historical sign of those things starting up up is this the last time these two see each other?


Dan LeFebvre  1:33:55

Oh, yeah. Okay, maybe


Jon Parshall  1:34:14

that’s a Hellcat. That’s a late war


Dan LeFebvre  1:34:25

watch him take off.


Jon Parshall  1:34:27

TBF Avenger, which is not on the carriers. At this point in time. There’s six of them flying from Midway itself. This is their combat debut. And five of them get shot down. pretty ugly. Alright, so this is our morning strike. This is Tomonaga this guy’s landing back


Jon Parshall  1:34:58

That’s exactly right. As soon as he turns on to an okay that this is the actual clip right here is the one that oh yes, that’s that’s battleship Yamato


Dan LeFebvre  1:35:09

oh yeah


Jon Parshall  1:35:12

no my 30 year old rebel yep to itself


Jon Parshall  1:35:32

are assuming you hope


Dan LeFebvre  1:35:34

they had confidence


Jon Parshall  1:35:35

Yeah they did. Well all of their intel plans or Intel reports suggested that there were no American carriers or your buyers so Nagumo was in no way prepared to fight to a carrier battle this morning.


Dan LeFebvre  1:35:48

Oh really? Okay.


Jon Parshall  1:35:49

Yeah, not at all. That’s why he only has seven Scout plains are looking around for the enemy if he had had an Intel report that had said there could be carriers here they would have had twice that Oh, wow.


Dan LeFebvre  1:36:01

Okay. Yeah. So another scrambling and trying to figure out what to do moment there. Yeah,


Jon Parshall  1:36:07

absolutely. All right. So here are brave boys from torpedo squadron eight that have left their main air group behind now Waldron and his squad are now going to attack


Dan LeFebvre  1:36:26

and this is the first Americans attacking the Japanese There


Jon Parshall  1:36:31

have actually been ground based planes for midway excluding those first six TBS they attack that route Oh 700 is now about Oh 917 This is the first of their carrier aircraft that are going to attach right


Dan LeFebvre  1:36:45

yeah, we saw the other planes get pretty much demolished went yeah. Yeah,


Jon Parshall  1:36:49

these guys are not going to have much better day at the ranch. I shouldn’t be spoiling it like Oh,


Dan LeFebvre  1:36:56

fine. This happened a little bit ago I hopefully people yeah it’s a movie came out in 1976 I think if you


Jon Parshall  1:37:09

get it right spoiler alert. These guys don’t do well


Jon Parshall  1:37:28

yeah, that’s a problem. Yeah


Dan LeFebvre  1:37:44

so they think it’s basically just a stall tactic. Yeah.


Jon Parshall  1:37:47

Which it’s not. Yeah, these guys


Jon Parshall  1:37:59

this particular torpedo play in the Devastator is obsolescent obsolete really? And yeah. The Japanese just tuned to pieces


Dan LeFebvre  1:38:20

Yeah, again, it looks like there’s a good mix of Yeah.


Jon Parshall  1:38:24

These are all Japanese planes. The footage is real Japanese planes being shot down late in the war, but they’re pretending it’s American planes. Yeah, the bottom line is BTA 15 planes in 15 planes shot down only one guy left alive in the water. Wow. It’s a bloodbath.


Jon Parshall  1:39:09

This is Ensam gay he will be our sole survivor


Jon Parshall  1:39:26

that’s an American ship


Jon Parshall  1:39:37

are American five inch 38 serbin This is that footage is actually of a Japanese plane crashing during the Battle of Philippine Sea 44


Dan LeFebvre  1:39:52

It is an interesting filmmaker decision to include some of that


Jon Parshall  1:39:56

there’s there’s only so much footage around right Yeah


Dan LeFebvre  1:40:13

Did he just fly by without dropping his torpedo


Jon Parshall  1:40:15

he dropped it first and then he flew over the deck and that has actually historically wow okay yeah or damn near


Dan LeFebvre  1:40:24

up and then just


Jon Parshall  1:40:27

it’s actually in some gay who ends up doing that he’s he’s gonna make it out


Dan LeFebvre  1:40:32



Jon Parshall  1:40:32

yeah oh yes we’re using a historical footage of a of a crashed American plane and a guy getting out that’s going to be our our guy gay


Jon Parshall  1:40:58

but as they alluded to this is taking time off the clock and that’s that’s a precious commodity and warfare and yet a Gumo is starting to run out of time at this point so here is Ensign George gay swimming to his life preserver


Dan LeFebvre  1:41:23

now you can tell the quality change in the footage


Jon Parshall  1:41:26

yeah right


Jon Parshall  1:41:35

and somebody had better checked out those electrical arming switches


Dan LeFebvre  1:41:42

so enlightened on that


Jon Parshall  1:41:43

we are Yeah, bombing three Mr. Lesley


Dan LeFebvre  1:41:58

here we go oh no.


Jon Parshall  1:42:02

Yeah. Boom


Dan LeFebvre  1:42:10

don’t have your intelligence officers fixing your switches.


Jon Parshall  1:42:13

Right. Everybody knows that.


Dan LeFebvre  1:42:16

That’s no manual, isn’t it? Yeah.


Jon Parshall  1:42:21

So of these 15 planes, three of them end up accidentally dropping their mono Yeah.


Dan LeFebvre  1:42:28

So then is it they just turn around or they just they’re perfect combo they


Jon Parshall  1:42:32

Yeah, they just they they continue on? Okay, here we have John otherwise known as Jimmy Fache. Jimmy has been thinking up some new tactics for how to fight the zero and he’s got this idea and he’s going to end up putting that into play here


Jon Parshall  1:43:18

they really are pulling out the stops in terms of you know, introducing all of the historical squadron leaders and that kind of thing again, you look at the 2019 movie you don’t see half of these guys


Dan LeFebvre  1:43:31

these are all from the enterprise and hornet right now these are


Jon Parshall  1:43:35

these are from Yorktown actually yeah anytime you see a three bombing squadron three torpedo squadron three those are those are your tons birds


Jon Parshall  1:43:50

so yeah


Jon Parshall  1:44:03

also true


Jon Parshall  1:44:19

that is correct


Jon Parshall  1:44:31

that’s historically right on them on. They have an a hot new experimental dive bomber on Soryu very fast and they’re going to launch her as a as a scout to go out look. Okay. Yep.


Dan LeFebvre  1:44:50

To see if there’s multiple more carriers out there basically. Right,


Jon Parshall  1:44:53

right, exactly. And They never do end up spotting any of our carriers except the Yorktown. And so that’s a interesting that’s a problem for the Japanese but as Negombo has already pointed out, just the sheer number of planes that are starting to line up on them would suggest that there are multiple Atomy carriers out there not just one It


Dan LeFebvre  1:45:21

sounds similar to what on the American side where they’re like okay, we see two of them but they’ve been reports of four so maybe some others out there somewhere.


Jon Parshall  1:45:30

Yes Okay, so Jimmy thatch has got a real problem here and there’s like 20 zeros about to go after him and he’s going to use this new tactic called a batch we were basically have two elements of planes that are constantly swiping any enemy fighters off the tail of the other guy with head on passes he loses one of his four planes but the other three implement this new tactic that he’s come up with and they managed to keep themselves alive


Dan LeFebvre  1:46:35

oh that’s the sun Yeah, I think you might have called it on that one.





Dan LeFebvre  1:46:48

so at this point, the Japanese have pretty much just been defending there haven’t really done much many more offensive things right. Okay.


Jon Parshall  1:46:54

That’s exactly right.


Jon Parshall  1:47:05

And this is a problem because the Japanese have got crappy radars or radios on their fighters. They don’t have any radar on the ship so they can’t really centrally coordinate their combat air patrol. These fighters are up there doing their own thing. Okay, here it goes. Our are hot new experimental plain D for wide Judy. Aha


Dan LeFebvre  1:47:46

he said Yorktown class instead of specifying that it is specifically the town Yeah.


Jon Parshall  1:47:51

Right. Oh, okay. This is historically accurate to so it’s a brand new plane and the radio didn’t work. So now they gotta turn around. They’re gonna fly back to their fleet and drop a message on the flight deck of the hearing. Oh,


Dan LeFebvre  1:48:15

wow. Like a message in a boat. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Wow,


Jon Parshall  1:48:20

you got it. Yeah. Again, though, I don’t believe that they ever detected the other two American carriers that Judy. That scout plane was set out basically to find Amari Scout playing tone a number four and basically take over for it and confirm and get shipped types for what it admit and seeing because Amari is running out of gas too. He’s got to come home


Jon Parshall  1:48:53

and more like 40 but that’s okay. Sorry No no, let’s see Vici three except they’re not that’s a lie. That’s a lie that Bucha tell yes, yes. Right. Okay, so this is the central myth of this battle is that at the time the die bomber attack the Japanese were ready to launch against us we talked about that last time as well


Dan LeFebvre  1:49:31

so these are all the dive bombers they’re not torpedo bombers yeah from earlier Okay. Yep,


Jon Parshall  1:49:35

these are our dive bombers Yep.


Jon Parshall  1:49:45

Except they never, they never saw as more than two because by this time, the Japanese formation has been pushed apart because of these constant terror attacks have been going on and so sorry, you here you are eight, maybe not Eight miles away from the Akagi and Kaga that’s a really distributed force and there’s still a lot of cloud cover and so nobody ever saw more than two carriers maybe three


Jon Parshall  1:50:20

there’s a little timing mismatch here to torpedo three actually attacks at the very same time that these guys are going to attack and back at the end of the day bomber attack torpedo three is still running in and trying to attack hear you and we’ll be running out afterwards so that wasn’t really properly understood though in 1976


Dan LeFebvre  1:50:43

Okay all right, but make that run so the situation


Jon Parshall  1:50:49

now is we’ve got planes from enterprise coming in. From one direction we’ve got these dive bombers from your town coming in from another direction. The Japanese are between hammer and tongs at this point and stuffs about to get real.


Dan LeFebvre  1:51:05

And they were attacking all for like the movie suggests or just two of them at a time.


Jon Parshall  1:51:10

Yes, yeah. Well, the group from your town is only going to go after sorry you hear you is being attacked by their torpedo planes. Vt three. Here we have George gay who says he was able to see all of this I am highly highly skeptical that he actually was able to oops, what do I hear so on Akagi the


Jon Parshall  1:51:46

carrier Kaga played in this movie violate war ethics class carrier


Dan LeFebvre  1:51:58

well well both that’s what the dive bombers like I just watching it I don’t know if they’re crashing or if they’re just doing what they’re supposed to do. Right? Yeah, it’s


Jon Parshall  1:52:13

a little confusing I grant you that’s a big hit.


Dan LeFebvre  1:52:16

I gotta hit


Jon Parshall  1:52:19

whoa boom Scratch one flat top actually is a line from the battle of Coral Sea. So they thought they transpose it here


Dan LeFebvre  1:52:33

and they reused stuff from Pearl Harbor mine is what we used to have


Jon Parshall  1:52:36

absolutely. You got it. So this is your town’s bunch


Jon Parshall  1:52:56

Kagi was the last of the three to be attacked


Dan LeFebvre  1:52:58



Jon Parshall  1:53:20

didn’t actually hit the bridge but


Dan LeFebvre  1:53:25

to nice bit of dialogue to let us know that they have no fighter cover we got so lucky thank you for letting us thank you


Jon Parshall  1:53:32

for filling us in. In reality George gay was miles and miles away at this point I do I think he heard explosions Yeah, I do but I don’t think he saw what he says he saw yeah don’t tell his grandson that his grandson who camps on his Wikipedia page and will not let anybody you know put any edits in on his his grandfather’s page it’s got an interesting yeah that’s a bad dad around so this is the carrier here you they’re the only ones left at this point with an operational flight that was so fast to take those three it it yeah it all happened within five wow it really was very very fast


Dan LeFebvre  1:54:23

Wow. Five minutes Yeah.


Jon Parshall  1:54:25

Five minutes you’ll he wasn’t actually wounded in the attack right so this is our one remaining aircraft carrier


Jon Parshall  1:54:50

Kobayashi is the die bomber commander.


Dan LeFebvre  1:54:55

Skull for still hasn’t seen anything back. Now


Dan LeFebvre  1:55:08

put an X on that piece of glass and good luck. Yeah, right here,


Jon Parshall  1:55:12

which they didn’t use, but that’s okay. You know, we’re obviously using the innards of an American carrier to pretend to be friends pretend to be here he is bridge. Alright, so here’s Kobayashi is bunch. The dive bombers from here you


Dan LeFebvre  1:55:40

Oh, they’re just going to follow the planes.


Jon Parshall  1:55:43

Bingo, which is pretty much what happened.


Dan LeFebvre  1:55:48

Oh, well that’s smart.


Jon Parshall  1:55:51

Yeah. Well, we’ve got dive bombers that are it’s good addling back home and so yeah, there was actually an encounter between some of their fighters and some of our retreating dive bombers which actually ended up pretty badly for their fighters. No. Well


Dan LeFebvre  1:56:10

Oh, there’s a Charlton Heston’s guy but you’re going to find out what happened to his son right


Dan LeFebvre  1:56:31

now tell me if Okay, and the 2019 movie where your practices the way if somebody does that here


Jon Parshall  1:56:42

you got a problem. This is all combat footage from later in the war. All right.


Dan LeFebvre  1:56:51

Yeah, he’s like a first son. Yep.


Jon Parshall  1:57:04

Oh, I think I know what’s gonna happen. Yeah. Oh, yep. Yep. Yep. Yep. You’re hurting.


Dan LeFebvre  1:57:14

Yep. Get a little bit closer to see.


Jon Parshall  1:57:19

Yeah, there’s a famous piece of footage here


Jon Parshall  1:57:30

nobody’s alive. Oh,


Dan LeFebvre  1:57:31

yeah. Okay, maybe he didn’t die. Yeah. I have expected and just hit the front hit the carrier



Okay, okay.





Jon Parshall  1:58:01

that’s salsa, the correct distance. The paint jobs on these pseudo Japanese aircraft are not legit. It should be green.


Jon Parshall  1:58:19

But the whole the whole topic of the coloring of Japanese planes again in 1976. They didn’t really have a good idea.


Dan LeFebvre  1:58:29

Yeah, I mean, at that point, they probably just like, okay, these are not American planes. So therefore, that’s what?


Jon Parshall  1:58:33

Oh, yeah, the whole modeling community. That’s a whole different thing. You know, they get real persnickety when it comes down to the colors.


Dan LeFebvre  1:58:45

And understandably, so the Americans not have any fight any planes up and then either then it’s like we


Jon Parshall  1:58:51

we did, but actually, let’s pause here to one of the problems that you have at this point in the war is, okay, I’ve got radar, that’s great. But radar is not a panacea, I still have to be able to take that radar input, and then use it to effectively vector my fighters and put them in the right spot, you know, and at the right altitude, and a lot of these early radars didn’t have the ability to actually discern the height of the target in some cases. So the fact that they’re only you know, intercepting or trying to intercept these guys will know 30 miles away. By the time you get to 1944. We will be intercepting these cats out at 60 7080 miles away. So we really have not got our fighter direction Mojo work at this point. And as a result, this squadron of dive bombers yes, they lose some planes to our fighters, but the majority of the squadron gets over the Yourtown and they’re going to do their thing. So roll them.


Dan LeFebvre  1:59:55

This is the last time we’re at an hour, 53 minutes and 44 seconds into the movie. With the dive bomber on the screen ready to go 321 Play


Jon Parshall  2:00:26

again using late war footage of some of our ships getting hit by kamikazes


Dan LeFebvre  2:00:33

but they didn’t have common to see and do kamikazes in Midway did they? Yep,


Jon Parshall  2:00:36

I know there weren’t any kamikaze is a late war thing. So I thought I remember there there were a couple of occasions where you know, a damage plane might try to sell its life dearly, but it wasn’t an institutionalized thing the way it becomes a late 44


Dan LeFebvre  2:00:59

Like the when you’re talking about the 2019 movie The Bruno Gatto aspect of that goes Marshall Islands right but that bomber that came in


Jon Parshall  2:01:08

right right Yeah, so you’re done gets beaten up pretty badly and this attack takes three hits. Again,


Dan LeFebvre  2:01:18

just jazz like after Yeah, just being repaired yeah


Jon Parshall  2:01:32

she certainly was on fire


Jon Parshall  2:01:39

it’s right on the money.


Dan LeFebvre  2:01:40

Is there a reason why they would use voice as opposed to before they were using or just before the movie


Jon Parshall  2:01:46

because I think from a storytelling standpoint, it’s just easier to just do it this way.


Dan LeFebvre  2:01:50

And I appreciate that from a viewer I appreciate them doing that because we’re good with Morse code.





Dan LeFebvre  2:01:59

but I was just curious because they do show it Yeah, I mean a little bit of both so just


Jon Parshall  2:02:01

Yeah, yeah, that’s kind of little in Congress there


Dan LeFebvre  2:02:22

heartfelt moment


Jon Parshall  2:02:46

okay, we patched up this real agency I guess they ever made up never existed okay. I feel good about it only


Dan LeFebvre  2:02:52

took one of them almost dying to to do that yeah right


Jon Parshall  2:03:08

that’s all essentially correct


Dan LeFebvre  2:03:11

Oh, he’s gonna be a pilot now too amazing. Oh, okay. Because why not?


Dan LeFebvre  2:03:39

Oh, I can get


Jon Parshall  2:04:13

this is all completely fabricated in terms of Rochefort was down in his cave. Nimitz was in his you know


Dan LeFebvre  2:04:25

he’s, he’s got to get that fourth carrier.


Jon Parshall  2:04:27

There’s actually none of this none of that


Dan LeFebvre  2:04:31

happened. None of that completionist


Jon Parshall  2:04:36

Nimitz honestly this this is recycled Torah, Torah Torah footage to Okay, so here’s Tomonaga splain.


Jon Parshall  2:04:49

So Tomonaga is going out on a one way mission because he hasn’t got enough fuel to make a bow. Okay. Which is historically, I don’t know I ground the numbers on that. It’s ambiguous as to whether you would have been able to make it back or not. Tora, Tora, Tora footage Nimitz just flashing back to him he’s completely in the dark and a lot of what’s going on here I he’s he is letting his people on the on the scene run this Fletcher and Spruance have got this so


Dan LeFebvre  2:05:19

which makes sense because especially even just earlier in the movie we see the even the with the scout planes and the amount of information they’re giving even the people who are there don’t know all the information so of course no limiting go back yeah


Jon Parshall  2:05:33

now he’s basically doing a lot of weight all right, this is the second attack on your town This is Tom at Argos bunch and


Dan LeFebvre  2:05:46

now we’re going to have a new auto planes formerly in intelligence officers slash electrician slash engine I don’t know what else like everything


Jon Parshall  2:05:55

Lynch flash Yeah. Wishing chip


Dan LeFebvre  2:05:59

therapist slash


Jon Parshall  2:06:01

therapist Okay, so now how are we feeling about dads are


Dan LeFebvre  2:06:09

like I expected the Son Son to pass away like you said but now I don’t think that that is going to make it I think that’s going to be the last kind of them


Jon Parshall  2:06:17

Yeah, I think that’s right


Jon Parshall  2:06:26

so we’re sort of compressing a whole bunch of events at this point yes there is a follow on strike from actually Hornet and enterprise that are going to sink here you so I don’t know why she’s why we’re taking off from your town for this job but whatever me while the Japanese are coming in to attack you Okay, so


Dan LeFebvre  2:06:48

they’re kind of they’re both kind of


Jon Parshall  2:06:50

Yeah, except historically the Japanese attacked way before the strike that would have gone off to attack here you actually happen so we’re we’re squishing some stuff together here





Jon Parshall  2:07:20

and this attack was chopped up pretty badly they lose I think five of the 10 planes that they come in with the Japanese up that didn’t happen now No no no


Jon Parshall  2:07:39

so it’s interesting as we’re going further and further in the movie played a little faster and looser with the facts here yeah


Dan LeFebvre  2:07:51

yeah, I guess they gotta you know wrap it all up. Yeah,


Jon Parshall  2:07:53

well, yeah, exactly. I run times getting a little log here it’s time to get these carriers sunk and get back. Get this Romans patched up that’s the import Yes, yes.


Jon Parshall  2:08:14

Now No, no, no, no, there were no kamikaze attacks on this is per Tora, Tora. Tora.


Dan LeFebvre  2:08:21

Was that supposed to be the guy who his fuel tank was?


Jon Parshall  2:08:26

I guess so. You know, and it’s interesting because we have already seen attacks by like, I don’t know how many Japanese planes at this point. There were only 10 planes that came in they made a single pass you know, they dropped four fish and two of them hit and that was pretty much it you know, whatever sufficient to Yep. sufficient to put your town out of action yet again, and abandoned because she’s listening very heavily at the end of this attack. Okay. Okay. So now as far as the Japanese are concerned, they’ve set one carrier on fire they’ve torpedoed a second carrier they think they’ve done in two of our carriers but it’s actually both times it was the same ship. Oh. Because your town was able to repair her damage from the dive bomber attack get back up to speed she was no longer on fire. So when the torpedo planes came in for that second attack, they’re like, Well, it’s a you know, it’s a Yorktown class carrier. She’s up to speed. It’s got to be a different one.


Dan LeFebvre  2:09:27

But the Japanese did know that they have Charlton Heston who can do everything and he can fix it all


Jon Parshall  2:09:33

you can fix it all


Dan LeFebvre  2:09:44

okay, spirits is sending up


Jon Parshall  2:09:47

more planes Yes.


Jon Parshall  2:09:54

Yeah, I’m not feeling good about Dad dots here. Yeah. I’ve done


Jon Parshall  2:10:04

He’s got the steely jaw you know he’s got that going for him that’s no proof against Eddie yet enemy air and aircraft guns right look at him right yeah he’s got the weed him out man right so now supposedly flying over the Japanese carriers that have been hit earlier this morning that didn’t actually happen either but that’s okay. It looks impressive





Dan LeFebvre  2:10:37

I mean even if those carriers were on fire they’d still have people on them and such what planes would they shoot at them or would they be so out of commission that they


Jon Parshall  2:10:48

they were so out of commission yeah



oh no. Oh crap didn’t see them coming.


Dan LeFebvre  2:11:11



Jon Parshall  2:11:13

oh no All right, Dad. Do your thing


Dan LeFebvre  2:11:25

is he playing the role of Dick best now from the 2019 movie though?


Dan LeFebvre  2:11:38

See, here’s where I don’t know if dad’s gonna fall out of the dive or Yeah, hard


Jon Parshall  2:11:43

to say. Oh, yeah, dude, drop your bomb


Jon Parshall  2:11:54

All right, the old man the team Yeah


Jon Parshall  2:12:03

Okay, does he get jumped by fighters


Jon Parshall  2:12:26

played in this movie by another American destroyer


Jon Parshall  2:12:48

that is word for word and correct. Really? Wow. Except that this whole exchange happens at about two in the morning and everybody’s exhausted and


Dan LeFebvre  2:12:58

they’re not watching the ship during the day. Bernie


Jon Parshall  2:13:01

knew Yeah.


Dan LeFebvre  2:13:04

We’re going to have a repeat of this scene like where he comes in and almost crashes


Jon Parshall  2:13:09

Oh yeah. Yeah. Will we use the same footage


Dan LeFebvre  2:13:13

or the same footage? Yeah


Jon Parshall  2:13:19

oh that damn flap


Dan LeFebvre  2:13:22

I’m an electrician What do you expect me to do?


Jon Parshall  2:13:24

Why am I I’m a doctor not dammit Jim I’m not feeling good about this ah not feeling good about this


Dan LeFebvre  2:13:40

doesn’t look fair lined up


Dan LeFebvre  2:13:50

now I don’t think he’s gonna


Jon Parshall  2:13:52

walk Yeah, you don’t walk away from that I’m afraid


Dan LeFebvre  2:13:59

Oh, there he is still in the water. Yes. Took a while to get him finally picked up another the dust settles over. Yep,


Jon Parshall  2:14:07

yes. Yeah, there are a lot of people still floating around the water after the battle.


Dan LeFebvre  2:14:12

Yeah, I bet a lot of pilots and sons do there’s actually


Jon Parshall  2:14:15

the last group to be pulled out was a group of about 20 engine room crewmen from shear you that had been up float in a boat for a couple of weeks. Yep.


Dan LeFebvre  2:14:29

Oh, he’s gonna find out about his dad now.


Jon Parshall  2:14:31

Yes, up there she is


Jon Parshall  2:14:43

okay, I think the relationship is you know, going to be reparable but


Jon Parshall  2:15:10

That’s a legit question


Jon Parshall  2:15:35

the ending it’s like really corny


Dan LeFebvre  2:15:41

I’m gonna turn this into this was a big vet victory for us even right after right main character passed away





Jon Parshall  2:15:56

the American race shown or in Split okay


Jon Parshall  2:16:06

Winston. Thanks Winston.



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