The Nō Ka ‘Oi Legacy of Midway
Seventy-eight years ago, Sailors and civilians turned the tide of the War in the Pacific. The shipyard each of us call home today played a pivotal role ensuring our Pacific Fleet was ready to surprise the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) at the Battle of Midway.
A couple weeks before the carrier USS Yorktown (CV-5) would arrive at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, Navy cryptologists, linguists, and intelligence personnel broke IJN’s code in the basement of our historic Building 1 at what was then called Station HYPO. The Nō Ka ‘Oi work of this team who were forerunners of modern information warriors gave the Navy critical intelligence to secure its first major naval victory against Japan at the Battle of Midway in World War II.
On May 28, 1942, a war torn and battle damaged Yorktown floated into the very same Dry Dock #1 where USS Mississippi (SSN 782) now sits. A three month repair estimate from the shipyard was announced.
However, intelligence analysts from Station HYPO had convinced Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz that the IJN would strike Midway Island Jun 4, 1942, resulting in a near impossible repair timeline to return Yorktown to the Fleet – three days! This is when our Nō Ka ‘Oi legacy was created.
Then on the morning of May 30, with shipyard workers still on board finalizing repairs, Yorktown steamed out of the Pearl Harbor channel on a course straight to the battleground of one of the most decisive victories in history.
Seventy-eight years later, we are living through the unprecedented challenge of meeting the Fleet’s critical need for shipyard maintenance during a pandemic that requires Nō Ka ‘Oi effort and action to protect our people while executing that mission. Though we are not in the midst of a world war against seen enemies, we are in a war against an unseen enemy in a world where our Navy is still required to keep our adversaries in check to ensure they do not encroach on our freedom.
We are meeting and exceeding the Fleet’s expectation at a time when it is vitally needed similar to those more than 1,400 civilians who would meet ADM Nimitz’s need for the Battle of Midway.
They were Nō Ka ‘Oi. We remain Nō Ka ‘Oi.