Conserving the Nature of America
Media Advisory
Veterans of the Battle of Midway Honored in Ceremony on Midway Atoll
77 years after the Battle of Midway, a veteran of one the most important battles in US Naval history returns.

June 5, 2019

Contact(s):

Holly Richards, holly_richards@fws.gov, 808-282-9442



HONOLULU, Hawaii – On June 4, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service honored those who fought in the Battle of Midway during a ceremony on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and Battle of Midway National Memorial. The ceremony commemorated the 77th anniversary of the battle and included a wreath laying by Sergeant First Class Edgar R. Fox.

“There are moments of history that are pivotal - where destiny can turn on a moment, such was the battle of Midway,” said Robyn Thorson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Region, Regional Director. “The Battle of Midway merits attention, our respect, and remembrance. Thank you to the veterans of the Battle of Midway and of all branches of the service, our American lives and livelihood stands on your shoulders.”  

The Battle of Midway took place six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor at Midway Atoll – three small islands located 1,300 miles from Honolulu in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. A victory against overwhelming odds, the Battle of Midway was a turning point of the war in the Pacific and is considered one of the most important naval battles in U.S. history. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service commemorated the event to honor the heroism and sacrifice of those who fought in the battle.

Sergeant Fox was present at the ceremony on Midway to represent the veterans of the historic battle. He was among the Sailors, Airmen, and Marines who laid their lives on the line against the Japanese attack and  triumphed against seemingly impossible odds during the three-day assault in which the Americans were outnumbered and outgunned.

“For the men that couldn’t be here, I need to tell their message to the people: what they did and why. I happen to be the one that was fortunate enough to be able to do it with the help of so many people around me," said Fox.

As stewards and caretakers of the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and Battle of Midway National Memorial, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service preserves the memory of those who gave their all at Midway.

“More than a duty, it is an honor to have the responsibility to care for Midway Atoll," said Thorson. “As public servants we have the privilege and responsibility to pay tribute to and ensure generations will learn about the natural and historical wonders these places in the Pacific hold.”

Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and Battle of Midway National Memorial is a place where the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, volunteers, and partners work together to conserve and protect this amazing historical and natural resource.     

“I really can’t think of a better use of the place,” Sgt. Fox stated. “The Refuge is a great monument to the people who passed here.”

Sergeant Fox first returned to Midway Atoll in 2012 for the 70th anniversary of the battle. He and another veteran of the battle, Colonel John F. Miniclier, also visited Midway Atoll in 2017 for the 75th anniversary.

Historic images from the Battle of Midway.

Photos of the ceremony on Midway Atoll


The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/. Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel and download photos from our Flickr page.