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Special Event Station 2012    

June 2, 2012 13:00Z to 22:00Z

Link to Frequencies

 SEMARC will hold a Special Event at Fleming Field in South Saint Paul, MN. This will mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Midway where Capt Fleming gave his life for his country.

Fleming Field is named for Richard Fleming, a USMC pilot during World War II. He was, posthumously, presented the congressional medal of honor for his actions during battle on June 5, 1942. Below is an account of his life and that battle.

For 6 months following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Fleming's squadrons patrolled the air near the Midway, never making enemy contact. In his letters, Fleming fretted about spending the war in the backwaters.

This would soon change. On June 4, 1942 Fleming's squadrons were ordered to attack the Japanese Fleet. Scores of American aircraft never returned. Fleming's commanding officer was killed and Fleming's aircraft, a Vought SB2U Vindicator, limped back with 171 holes in it after he failed to drop a bomb on the aircraft carrier Akaqi. Fleming received two slight wounds.

The next day prompted the squadron commander , Captain Fleming, and the remnants of his squadrons to return to the battle. Fleming directed his aircraft in a screaming dive at the Japanese cruiser Mikuma. The enemy ship was struck with the bomb, then by Fleming's plane. A Japanese officer later wrote that it was a suicide bombing.

There was a tremendous blast as the gasoline from Fleming's plane flowed down into the Mikuma's engine room where the fumes ignited and exploded, killing the entire engine room crew. The Mikuma, now gutted and helpless, laid wallowing in the water. The following day U.S. bombers found the helpless cruisers and the Mikuma, which later rolled over and sank.

Captain Richard Eugen Fleming, USMC was the only man to be honored with the Congressional Medal of Honor during this crucial battle.


SEMARC Website Edited by Dick Roberts, NĜUC