Wade McClusky and the Battle of Midway

Wade McClusky and the Battle of Midway

General Military
  • Author: David Rigby
  • Short code: GNM
  • Publication Date: 30 May 2019
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About this Product

During the Battle of Midway in June 1942, US Navy dive bomber pilot Wade McClusky proved himself to be one of the greatest pilots and combat leaders in American history, but his story has never been told - until now.

It was Wade McClusky who remained calm when the Japanese fleet was not where it was expected to be. It was he who made the counterintuitive choice to then search to the north instead of to the south. It was also McClusky who took the calculated risk of continuing to search even though his bombers were low on fuel and may not have enough to make it back to the Enterprise. His ability to remain calm under enormous pressure played a huge role in the US Navy winning this decisive victory that turned the tide of war in the Pacific.

This book is the story of exactly the right man being in exactly the right place at exactly the right time. Wade McClusky was that man and this is his story.

Biographical Note

David Rigby is a historian and the author of Allied Master Strategists: The Combined Chiefs of Staff in World War II (Naval Institute Press, 2012), which was awarded the 2012 John Lyman Book Prize in U.S. Naval History and No Substitute for Victory: Successful American Military Strategies from the Revolutionary War to the Present Day (Carrel Books, 2014). He lives in Massachusetts, USA.


1. June 4, 1942 - The Search Begins
2. Background of a Battle - and of a Leader
3. The McCluskys of Buffalo
4. Annapolis and a Navy in Transition
5. Naval Aviator
6. The 1930s - Origins of a Troubleshooter
7. Fighting Six
8. Commander, Air Group Six
9. Last Minute Preparations
10. June 4, 1942 - Take-off
11. June 4, 1942 - North or South?
12. June 4, 1942 - The Attack
13. June 4, 1942 - Escape, A Shot-up Airplane, and Two Gallons of Gasoline
14. June 4, 1942 - The Afternoon Attack
15. June 5, 1942 - McClusky Versus Browning
16. McClusky and Historians
17. The Midwar Period - Training Pilots and a Desk in Washington
18. CVE 58
19. The End of the War and the Transition to Peace
20. Postwar
Appendix A: Annapolis Class of 1926 Alumni at Midway
Appendix B: Wade McClusky Navy Cross Citation