Pre-battle Documents
CinCPac. Operation Plan 29-42 CinCPac. Letter. May 28, 1942 Cmdr PatWing 2. Memorandum Cmdr VP-44. Operation Plan CO 6th Def. Bn. Instruction
Action Reports
CinCPac. June 28, 1942 Cmdr TF 16. June 16, 1942 Cmdr TF 17. June 14, 1942 CO CV-5. June 18, 1942 CO CV-6. June 8,  1942 CO CV-6. June 13, 1942 CO CV-8. June 13, 1942 Cmdr VB-3. June 10, 1942 Cmdr VS-5. June 7,  1942 Cmdr VB-6. June 10, 1942 Cmdr VS-6. June 20, 1942 CO NAS Midway. June 18, 1942 OO NAS Midway. June 15, 1942 CO 6th Def.Bn. June 13, 1942 CO MAG-22. June 7, 1942 XO MAG-22. June 7, 1942 CO VMF-221. June 6, 1942 CO VMSB-241. June 12, 1942
War Diaries, Logs
NAS Midway. May 1942 NAS Midway. June 1942 CV-6 War Diary. June 1942 CV-8 Deck Logs. June 1942
Early Researches
ONI Combat Narratives, 1943 The Japanese Story, 1947 Naval War College, 1948
  CinC, U.S. Pacific Fleet. Operation Plan No. 29-42. May 27, 1942
 
Cincpac file
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S E C R E T
UNITED STATES PACIFIC FLEET,
PEARL HARBOR, T. H.,        
1800, 27 May 1942.          


REG. NO.   38  

 

Operation Plan
  No. 29-42

 

TASK ORGANIZATION

 

(a) Striking Forces - Senior striking force commander in MIDWAY
                      Area.

 

    Task Force SIXTEEN - Rear Admiral Spruance

 

ENTERPRISE, HORNET                                 2 CV

NORTHAMPTON, VINCENNES, PENSACOLA,

MINNEAPOLIS, NEW ORLEANS                           5 CA

ATLANTA                                            1 CL

Desron One, less HULL, McDONOUGH,

FARRAGUT, DALE plus CONYNGHAM                1 DL, 5 DD

Desron Six, less CRAVEN, GRIDLEY, McCALL

DUNLAP, FUNNING plus GWIN, MONSSEN           1 DL, 5 DD

 

    Task Force SEVENTEEN - Rear Admiral Fletcher

 

YORKTOWN                                           1 CV

ASTORIA, PORTLAND                                  2 CA

Desron Two, less O'BRIEN, WALKE                    6 DD

 

    Task Force ELEVEN - Rear Admiral Fitch

 

SARATOGA                                           1 CV

CHESTER                                            1 CA

SAN DIEGO                                          1 CL

DALE, FANNING, AARON WARD, DUNLAP, CRAVEN, LAFFEY  6 DD

 

    Oilers

 

PLATTE, CIMARRON                                   2 AO

 

(b) Submarine Force, Task Force SEVEN - Captain English

 

    Midway Patrol

 

DOLPHIN, GATO, CATTLEFISH, GRENADIER, TAMBOR,

TROUT, GRAYLING, NAUTILUS, GROUPER, GUDGEON,

CACHALOT, FLYING FISH                             12 SS

 

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Operation Plan
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(b) (Continued)

 

    Support Patrol

 

Submarines to be designated                  about 4 SS

 

(c) Patrol Wings, Task Force NINE - Rear Admiral Bellinger

 

Patrol planes and tenders in readiness to be

despatched to MIDWAY defense.

 

(d) Hawaiian Sea Frontier, Task Force FOUR - Rear Admiral Bagley

 

MIDWAY Local Defenses, Captain Simard

 

Patrol craft                                4 YP, 11 PT

Sixth Marine Defense Battalion reenforced.

Marine Air Group plus aircraft reenforcements

 from Patrol Wings and Hawaiian Air Force.

Naval Air Station.

 

JOHNSTON ISLAND

 

Patrol planes made available for support for MIDWAY.

 

ISLANDS PATROLS

 

YPs with aviation gasoline, food and water stationed

 along island chain at following positions: YP 284

 at LISIANSKI; YP 290 at LAYSAN; YP 345 at GARDNER'S

 PINNACLES; YP 350 at NECKER ISLAND.

 

(e) Hawaiian Department - Lieutenant General Emmons

 

Aircraft in readiness to be despatched to MIDWAY defense.

 

 

    1.  Information

 

(a) The enemy is expected to attempt the capture of
MIDWAY in the near future. For this purpose it is

 

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Operation Plan
  No. 29-42

 

believed that the enemy will employ approximately the
following: 2-4 fast BB; 4-5 CV; 8-9 CA; 16-24 DD; 8-12
SS; a landing force with seaplane tenders. The attack
on MIDWAY may be preceded or followed by an attack on
OAHU. A special intelligence annex is being supplied to
Task Force Commanders only. The Commander-in-Chief, U.S.
Pacific Fleet will keep Task Force Commanders informed of
all pertinent information before and during the operations,
including complete weather broadcast.

 

(b) It is estimated that enemy action against MIDWAY with
comprise a full scale attack for its capture and its quick
occupation and use against the Hawaiian Area. Operations
beginning probably as soon as thirty May, are visualized
as follows:

 

(1)  Preliminary reconnaissance by submarines.

 

(2)  Possibly diversionary bombing of positions
including OAHU by patrol planes fueled by
submarines.

 

(3)  High speed approach by carriers.

 

(4)  Preliminary attacks by carrier aircraft begin-
ning at daylight or during moonlight and con-
tinuing for about two days or until defending
air forces have been eliminated. It is thought
that one or more carriers may take up close in
daylight positions for this purpose. It is
estimated a northwesterly bearing will be favored.
The attack would be designed to be so incessant as
to prevent refueling and rearming MIDWAY aircraft.
This attempt may be continued by means of bombard-
ment at night.

 

(5)  Covering of attacking carriers against our surface
forces by additional carrier groups, and fast
battleships.

 

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(6)  Landing attack, probably at night, featured by
usual attempts at infiltration and extreme reso-
lution on the part of the individual enemy soldier.

 

(7)  Employment of incendiary bombs and possibly gas.

 

(8)  If landing attack is successful, immediate
occupation of the island with full base equipment,
aircraft, KTBs, etc.

 

(9)  Covering with concentrations of submarines designed
to intercept our supporting surface forces both in
the MIDWAY area and on some such line as about two
hundred miles west of OAHU.

 

(10) It is probable that if our carriers are sighted
early in the operations, they will become the
primary object of the enemy carriers.

 

(c)  Task Force ELEVEN will be ready to depart from West
Coast ports on five June, and will be directed to arrive
in the Hawaiian Area as soon as possible. The availability
of Task Force SEVENTEEN as a unit is dependent of the con-
dition of the YORKTOWN. If YORKTOWN is not available, in-
structions will be issued as to employment of remainder of
force. GWIN and MUSTIN are now engaged in escorting between
PEARL and MIDWAY and will join their Task Forces when
released.

 

(d)  Task Force EIGHT composed of 2 CA, 3 CL, 4 DD from the
Fleet plus certain forces normally under the Commander North-western Sea Frontier and certain Army ALASKAN Air Forces are operating in the North Pacific Area against an expected
attack in the ALEUTIANS.

 

(d)  The defenses at MIDWAY have recently been reenforced
to the totals indicated:

Aircraft

    Reenforcement                          Total

 

16 VP; 7 VF; 18 VSB              16 VP; 27 VF; 36 VSB

 

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Operation Plan
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Armament

    Reenforcement                          Total

 

 4 - 60mm Mortar;                   8 - 60mm Mortar

 8 - 37mm AA;                       8 - 37mm AA

12 - 3" AA;                        24 - 3" AA

                                    4 - 3", 4 - 7", 6 - 5".

Troops

Reenforcement of 670 men bringing the total, including

air personnel, to:

 

                                    Officers  Enlisted

 

6th Defense Battalion                   52      1357

3d Defense Battalion                    13       379

Raider Companies                         9       269

Marine Air Squadron                     45       470

Naval Air Squadron                      22       372

Net Depot                                         12

Cable Station                                     25

Pan American Air                                   2

 

                         Total         141      2886

 

(f)  Additional communication and air operations personnel

are being made available to the Commanding Officer, MIDWAY.

 

(g)  Some of the initial dispositions such as that of the

submarines have been directed by separate directives but are

being repeated herein in order to make this plan of operations

complete

 

(h)  This Plan deals primarily with the expected attack on

MIDWAY - but the deployment herein made is also believed to

promote the security of OAHU.

 

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Operation Plan
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    2.  These forces will hold MIDWAY and will inflict maximum
        damage on the enemy by strong attrition tactics.

 

    3.  (a) Striking Forces.

 

(1)  Inflict maximum damage on enemy by employing
strong attrition tactics. Do not accept such
decisive action as would be likely to incur
heavy losses in our carriers and cruisers. A
letter of instructions is being furnished separately to striking force commanders.

 

(2)  Operate with Task Forces available initially
to the northeast of MIDWAY commencing thirty May,
in order to seize opportunity to obtain initial
advantage against carriers which are employing
their air groups against MIDWAY.

 

(3)  Initially establish air search in the northwest
sector from MIDWAY to eastward of bearing twenty
degrees true from that place.

 

(4)  Task Force SIXTEEN depart PEARL on twenty-eight
May; other forces join Task Force SIXTEEN as
directed by Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific
Fleet.

 

(5)  Oilers depart in company with Task Force SIXTEEN
and operate as directed by Senior Striking Force
Commander in area of operations.

 

(b) Submarine Force.

 

(1)  Inflict maximum damage to enemy. Priority of
targets - carriers, battleships, transports,
cruisers, auxiliaries.

 

 MIDWAY Patrol

 

(2)  As soon as available, submarines take stations as
shown on diagram in Annex "A".

 

(3)  When information is received proceed to attack
objectives without regard for area assignment.

 

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Operation Plan
  No. 29-42

 

(4)  Transmit such information as does not interfere
with primary task of attack.

 

 Support Patrol

 

(5)  Take stations on patrol line 045°-225° with center
at Latitude 30-00 N, Long. 169-30 W, distance
thirty miles.

 

(6)  Support striking forces which may be forced to
retire over patrol line.

 

(c) Patrol Wings.

 

(1)  Despatch patrol planes to MIDWAY and JOHNSTON
as may be directed; to operate under Commanding
Officers of Air Stations of those places.

 

(2)  Station patrol tender at FRENCH FRIGATE SHOAL.

 

(d) Hawaiian Sea Frontier.

 

 MIDWAY Local Defenses.

 

(1)  Hold MIDWAY.

 

(2)  Aircraft obtain and report early information of
enemy advance by searches to maximum practicable
radius from MIDWAY covering daily the greatest arc
possible whit a number of planes available between
true bearing from MIDWAY clockwise two hundred
degrees dash twenty degrees. Inflict maximum
damage on enemy, particularly carriers, battleships
and transports.

 

(3)  Take every precaution against being destroyed on
the ground or water. Long range aircraft retire
to OAHU when necessary to avoid such destruction.
Patrol planes fuel from AVD at FRENCH FRIGATE SHOAL
if necessary.

 

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Operation Plan
  No. 29-42

 

(4)  Patrol craft patrol approaches; exploit favorable
opportunities to attack carriers, battleships,
transports and auxiliaries. Observe KURE and
PEARL and HERMES REEF. Give prompt warning of
approaching enemy forces.

 

(5)  Keep Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet and
Commander Hawaiian Sea Frontier fully informed of
of air searches and other air operations; also of
weather encountered by search planes.

 

Johnston Island

 

Maintain daily searches with patrol planes in sector

with median 295°.

 

Island Patrols

 

Supply gasoline and other assistance to aircraft as

may be required.

 

(c) Hawaiian Department.

 

(1)  Provide, as directed, a striking force of long
range bombers and torpedo carrying aircraft to
operate under Commanding Officer, MIDWAY.

 

(2)  Hold special long range bombers in readiness at
OAHU-KAUAI Area to strike enemy forces attacking
MIDWAY.

 

(x)(1)  Enemy submarines are not important objectives
        and their identification must be positive before
        they are attacked. Do not attack submarines in
        the areas shown in Annex "A".

 

(2)  Recognition of own forces is vital. As one precau- tion against attack on our striking forces by own
air forces, Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet
will inform Task Force Commanders of all air
attacks ordered for shore-based aircraft.

 

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Operation Plan
  No. 29-42

 

(3)  Insure that contact reports are accurate, complete
and prompt.

 

(4)  This Operation Plan effective 1830 GCT twenty-
eight May.

 

    4.  Gasoline for aircraft and limited fuel for CAs and smaller
        vessels available at MIDWAY. One AVD at FRENCH FRIGATE
        SHOAL. Fuel oil at PEARL and in attached oilers.

 

    3.  (a) Communications according to PAC SEVENTY except as
            follows:

 

Radio Frequency Plans

 

Task Forces ELEVEN, SIXTEEN, and SEVENTEEN use radio

 frequency plan four.

Oilers guard 4205 Kcs. series.

Task Forces SEVEN and Patrol Planes based MIDWAY and

 JOHNSTON guard 4265 kcs. from 0730 to 1830 GCT; 12795

 kcs. 1830 to 0730 GCT, primary; 4385 kcs 0730 to 1830

 GCT; and 13155 kcs. 1830 to 0730 GCT, secondary.

Army aircraft assigned defense MIDWAY use 4265 primary,

 4385 secondary without shift to higher harmonics.

 Naval Air Station MIDWAY must guard this.

MIDWAY local defense as assigned by Commander.

All Units: In view of known Japanese practice of

 jamming radio frequencies calibrate transmitters

 and receivers for secondary frequencies. The use

 of NPM primary Fox is available for relay through

 NPM or Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet, who

 guards 4205 kcs. series primary and 4295 ksc. series

 secondary.

 

Authentication

 

The Japanese are adopt at the practice of deception.

Have authenticators ready for use when needed. Small

craft and aircraft except patrol planes use two alter-

nate letters from the expression:

 

       "Farmer in the dell"

 

    EXAMPLE: RE or EL or NH

 

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Operation Plan
  No. 29-42

 

Use of CABLE to MIDWAY

 

Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Radio NPM,

 MIDWAY are connected by cable. Use of plain

 language over the cable is authorized when speed

 is essential. Commandant, Fourteenth Naval District

 and Naval Air Station MIDWAY place U.S. Naval

 personnel at terminals to supervise operation, and

 at MIDWAY to communicate with Naval Air Station

 operational center.

 

Cryptographic Aids.

 

Naval Air Station MIDWAY, JOHNSTON, and PALMYRA hold

 following crypto-channels: 104, 105, 106, 107, 135,

 135, 143, 144, 145, 171, 176, 180, and 184.

 

(b) Use chart 4000-Y extended westward to Longitude
    column 01.

 

(c) Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet at Submarine

    Base, PEARL HARBOR, will coordinate operations of

    forces assigned in this Plan for the defense of
    MIDWAY.

 

C. W. NIMITZ,   
Admiral,      
Commander-in-Chief

 

Annexes:

 

    A - Diagram of MIDWAY Submarine Positions.

    B - Special Intelligence Annex.

 

 

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  No. 29-42

 

 

  DISTRIBUTION

 

     Method               Address                No.    Reg. Nos.

 

(a)     Cominch                            4      1,2,3,4

(a)     Opnav                              2      5,6

(b)     Comtaskfor 16 for distribution    22      7-28 incl.

(b)     Comtaskfor 17 for distribution    11      29-39 incl.

(a)     Comtaskfor 11 for distribution    11      40-50 incl.

(b)     PLATTE                             1      51

(b)     CIMARRON                           1      52

(b)     Comtaskfor 7                       2      53,54

(b)     Comtaskfor 9 (plus 30 copies

                        Annex "A")         2      55,56

(b)     Comtaskfor 4, (2 for delivery to

                       MIDWAY Local De-

                       fenses)             4      57-60 incl.

(b)     ComGen. Haw.Dept (plus 30 copies

                           Annex "A")      2      61,62

File                                       3      63,64,65

Reserve                                   20      66-85 incl.

(a)     CO JOHNSTON                        1      86

         (a) Clipper lock box air mail.

         (b) Officer messenger.

 

   NOTE: Annex "B" furnished Task Force Commanders only,

         i.e., with copies nos.7, 29, 40, 53, 55, 57 & 61.

P. C. CROSLEY,
Flag Secretary.

 

 

 

 

THIS PLAN MUST NOT FALL INTO THE HANDS

OF THE ENEMY

 

 

-11-


S E C R E T

 

ANNEX "A" TO SINCPAC OPERATION PLAN NO. 29-42.

 

 

Initial Submarine Patrol Areas.

 

Initial Submarine Patrol Areas

 

Note #1.  Submarines underlined in red are on station from

          daylight May 26, 1942. Other stations will be

          taken as soon as the submarines become available.

 

Note #2.  In the area outlined in blue aircraft approach

          and bombing of submarines is forbidden. (See

          Operation Plan No. 29-42, para. 3(b)).

 

 

-1-

 

APPENDIX "1", TO SINCPAC OPERATION PLAN No. 29-42

 

SECRET

PLAN FOR OILERS

 

 

 

    1.    CIMARRON and PLATTE are accompanying Task Force Sixteen.
On completion of fueling northeast of MIDWAY about 31 May they
will be released. They will then retire with their destroyer
escorts to the southeast and carry out the following plan:

 

(a) Pass through Point A in company at 0300 GCT two June.

 

(b) (1) CIMARRON proceed through points B, C, D, B in that
 order, arriving at B at 2000 GCT two June, four June and every
second day thereafter.

 

    (2) PLATTE proceed along the line AD and join Task Force
SEVENTEEN as may be directed by Commander Task Force SEVENTEEN.
If no randezvous is made, proceed ariund the same circuit DBC
arriving at B at 2000 GCT on add days of the month. If PLATTE
is utilized by Task Force SEVENTEEN, proceed thereafter to the
BCD area and adjust position and speed to proceed around the
circuit, arriving at B at 2000 GCT on odd days of the month.

 

    2.    Points:     A - 31° N, 167° W.

                      B - 28° N, 167° W.

                      C - 26° N, 163° W.

                      D - 29° N, 163° W.

 

 

M. F DRAEMEL,               
Chief of Staff.             

 

DISTRIBUTION:
    Comtaskfor 17
    Comtaskfor 11
    Comtaskfor  7 (12)

Comtaskfor 9   (5)


P. C. CROSLEY,
Flag Secretary.

 

 

 

 

Cincpac File No.
UNITED STATES PACIFIC FLEET
 U. S. S. PENNSYLVANIA, Flagship 

FLAGSHIP OF THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF
 

SECRET

 

APPENDIX "2" TO SINCPAC OPERATION PLAN 29-42

 

INITIAL AREAS FOR STRIKING FORCES

 

    1.     Task Force SIXTEEN initially operate north of
latitude 32° and west of longitude 173° W.

 

    2.     Task Force SEVENTEEN initially operate north of
latitude 32° and east of longitude 173° W.

 

    3.     Both task forces during each local forenoon
approach Point "Luck" (Lat. 32 N, Long. 173 W) and
exchange communications by plane if desired.

 

    4.     The above is not intended to restrict the opera-
tion of either force in any manner but to avoid having
embarrassing or premature contact made with own forces.

 

 

 

 

 

M. F. DRAEMEL,              
Chief of Staff.             

 

DISTRIBUTION:
  Comtaskfor 17  (1)
  Comtaskfor 11  (1)
  Comtaskfor  7  (1)
  Comtaskfor  9  (1)
  Comtaskfor 16  (by despatch)

 

 

P. C. CROSLEY,
Flag Secretary.