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No surrender

On June 3, 1942, Col. Harold Shannon, United States Marine Corps, CO 6th Defense Battalion, Midway Island, facing an attack by the entire Imperial Japanese Navy, sent the message below to his Marines.

“There will be no surrender. We will meet them waste deep in the water with fixed bayonets.”

I copied the message and handed it to my battery CO, Capt. Jay Augustin. Thanks to the many brave Navy and Marine pilots, the IJN suffered the loss of four of their best aircraft carriers. Admiral Yamamoto broke off the attack and headed his fleet homeward, but not without further loss or damage to a couple of cruisers.



This was the last serious offensive attack by the Japanese in the Pacific. Today, 65 years later, only eight of Col. Shannon’s Marines are still alive. One historian wrote, “God was at Midway.” If not, Lady Luck was there.

John V. Gardner




Nevada City


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