By Peggy Hoffman, NAVSUP Corporate Communications
MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (NNS) -- Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Chief of Staff, Capt. Rudy Geisler, was guest speaker at the commemoration of the 73rd anniversary of the Battle of Midway on June 3 at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
During his remarks, Capt. Geisler stated, "This battle is what Admiral Nimitz called, 'a glorious page in our history' and it was. Although there are no Midway survivors here today, with us are veterans who fought in a time of war that was a turning point for our nation, and we are forever grateful for their selfless service."
Regarded as a critical turning point in the Pacific during World War II, U.S. Navy carrier strike forces, augmented by shore-based bombers and torpedo planes, decisively defeated an Imperial Japanese Navy carrier task force during the June 4 to 7, 1942 battle.
"The Battle of Midway was one of the greatest naval battles the world had ever seen. It was a battle that witnessed an impenetrable human spirit and innovative risk taking," said Capt. Geisler.
Capt. Jeff Rathbun, NSA commanding officer, stated in his opening remarks, "I want to express with great solemnity the absence of any Battle of Midway veterans. Today in the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania we know of only one survivor. Henry Kudzik of Northampton is in Washington today and will meet with the Secretary of the Navy tomorrow. Hank represents the last of a great generation in Pennsylvania who fought in the Battle of Midway." Capt. Rathbun added, "May these great warriors never be forgotten."
The Battle of Midway, fought near the Central Pacific island of Midway, is considered the decisive battle of the war in the Pacific. Before this battle the Japanese were on the offensive, capturing territory throughout Asia and the Pacific. By their attack, the Japanese had planned to capture Midway to use as an advance base, as well as to entrap and destroy the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Because of communication intelligence successes, the U.S. Pacific Fleet surprised the Japanese forces, sinking the four Japanese carriers that had attacked Pearl Harbor only six months before, while only losing one carrier. After Midway, the Americans and their allies took the offensive in the Pacific.
"The Battle of Midway is an incredible page in our history books, written through valor, honor, courage and commitment," continued Capt. Geisler, reminding us that "we have Midway as our marker to serve as a strong example of who we are, and why we exist, so that well into the future, Sailors will continue to stop during the week of June 4 to 7 each year and consider how naval legacies are made, and why they are timelessly cherished, generation after generation." Capt. Geisler added, "Admiral Nimitz believed in our warfighter. And, though he called Midway a 'page' in our history, the impenetrable spirit of our warfighter certainly warrants a chapter."
The NAVSUP and Navy Supply Corps team share one mission--to deliver sustained global logistics capabilities to the Navy and Joint warfighter. NAVSUP/Navy Supply Corps' diverse team of more than 25,000 civilian and military personnel oversee a diverse portfolio including supply chain management for material support to Navy, Marine Corps, joint and coalition partners, supply operations, conventional ordnance, contracting, resale, fuel, transportation, security assistance, and quality of life issues for the naval forces, including food service, postal services, Navy Exchanges, and movement of household goods. The NAVSUP/Navy Supply Corps team forms a vast network of professionals who deliver unparalleled products and services to customers in the fleet and across the world.