Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Jessie L. Caulson, son of Lynne McNeal of Baxley, is currently deployed. Caulson along with fellow Sailors and Marines aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) commemorated the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Midway with a ceremony, a fitting tribute given the ship’s close ties to the battle. The previous USS Enterprise (CV 6) and her wing played a vital role in the pivotal World War II battle that took place June 4-7, 1942.
The Battle of Midway is regarded as the turning point in the war of the Pacific. Alongside three other carriers the USS Enterprise and the U.S. Strike Forces defeated the Imperial Japanese navy carrier task force under the direction of commander in chief of the Japanese Combined Fleet, Adm. Yamamoto. USS Enterprise and her wing were credited with sinking three of the four Japanese carriers that day at Midway. At the opening of the ceremony, Rear Adm. Ted Carter, commander, Enterprise Carrier Strike Group described the heroic roles of the Sailors and Marines who fought and died during the historic battle. “We were not without losses of our own, however, “ said Carter. “Although Enterprise was not attacked during the battle, her air wing suffered the heaviest losses of any air wing at sea up to that point.” Hamilton, Commander, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) One, Capt. Jeffery L. Trent and Capt. Joseph J. Leonard, commodore, Destroyer Squadron Two, also spoke about the roles USS Enterprise, the air wing and the destroyer strike group played during the battle. “Knowing this is our legacy, it is an absolute honor and privilege to remember the heroes of the Battle of Midway aboard our nation’s most historic and legendary aircraft carrier, a great warship with a longstanding bond with Destroyer Squadron Two, “ said Leonard.
The partnership between Enterprise and Destroyer Squadron Two began at Midway 70 years ago and continues today. As part of the commemoration, Enterprise’s First Class Petty Officers by performed a wreath-laying ceremony on the fantail aboard the ship. The fallen Sailors and Marines were also honored with a 21-gun salute and the sounding of “Taps”. Aircraft assigned to CVW-One performed a missing-man flyover formation to commemorate the aviators who lost during the battle. Throughout the course of the day Enterprise went on to announce a historical timeline recounting the events of the Battle of Midway over the ship’s announcing system. Caulson is a 2007 graduate of Jeff Davis High School of Hazlehurst, and joined the Navy in May 2008. For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.