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Patriots Point, Charleston County Public Library Partner to Host Events in Commemoration of WWII Milestones

patriotspoint May 15, 2012

For two days in June, Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum and Charleston County Public Library will partner for the first time to host events that commemorate two of WWII’s most memorable battles – D-Day and the Battle of Midway.

“D-Day and the Battle of Midway were two turning points in the war and marked some of our nation’s defining moments in military history,” said Patriots Point Executive Director Mac Burdette. “We hope residents will visit the Main Library at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 3 to learn more about D-Day and Patriots Point at 11 a.m. on Monday, June 4 to observe a panel discussion about the Battle of Midway with survivors from the historic battle and the region’s top military commanders.”

Both events are free and open to the public.


“The Americans on D-Day:” A Film Screening and Discussion – Sunday, June 3 at 2:30 p.m.

On June 3, Charleston County Public Library will host a film screening and informative discussion of “The Americans on D-Day.”

The invasion of Normandy marked the beginning of the end for Nazi Germany.  With Allied boots on the ground in France, Hitler’s fortress Europe would collapse in less than a year.  The film, written and directed by Richard Lanni, re-lives the day of days from the perspective of a single combat man and visits the sites of major actions.

Following the film, Lanni will join panelists in a discussion of the significance of this battle from a tactical military perspective and in terms of World War II as a whole.


Patriots Point Symposium Explores Battle of Midway: 70 Years Later – Monday, June 4 at 11 a.m.

On June 4, Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum will join with Americans across the nation in observing the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Midway. As the Lowcountry’s leading site for naval and maritime history, the museum will host “The Battle of Midway: 70 Years Later.”

Moderated by veteran journalist Warren Pepper, this educational program will begin at 11 a.m. on June 4 in the USS YORKTOWN’s Smokey Stover Theatre and will provide residents with an opportunity to learn about this historic battle, which marked a turning point in World War II. The symposium is hosted by the Patriots Point Institute of History and Science and is free and open to the public.

A special video will be shown to provide the history and significance of the historic battle. The video will include comments from Bill Roy, a photographer aboard the original YORKTOWN (CV-5) and Battle of Midway survivor. An exhibit has been created to showcase some of Mr. Roy’s photography of the battle.

A discussion will follow the video, with remarks by panelists, including Battle of Midway survivor, CAPT (Ret.) John Hancock, a gunner aboard the USS YORKTOWN (CV-5). CAPT Hancock will share his personal memories and experiences from the harrowing battle and the events that led up to ultimate sinking of the YORKTOWN (CV-5).

Additional panelists include top military commanders in the region, as well as experts on the Battle of Midway:

  • Col. Brian Murtha, Commanding Officer, Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Beaufort
  • CAPT Thomas Bailey, Deputy Commander, Joint Base Charleston
  • Dr. Kyle Sinisi, Associate Professor of History, The Citadel

Panel discussion will explore naval strategies and their effects on the outcome of this battle – from both the perspectives of the United States and Japan. In addition, leaders will investigate whether a similar battle could take place in the present day.

This symposium is the third in Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum’s WWII 70th anniversary series, “Ordinary people doing extraordinary things.”  It is being offered in conjunction with the museum’s special Piccolo Spoleto exhibit, Art and Music in Times of War. This exhibit will be on display from May 25 – June 10 and will feature several original pieces of art focusing on the Battle of Midway.

This famous image taken during the Battle of Midway by Bill Roy shows the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown (CV-5) shortly after she was hit by three Japanese bombs on June 4, 1942.

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