Survivors of Hiryu disembarking USS Ballard at Midway, 20 Jun 1942. Ballard rescued 35 Japanese sailors the previous day after two weeks in an open boat. One died while en route Midway and was buried at sea.

Caption     Survivors of Hiryu disembarking USS Ballard at Midway, 20 Jun 1942. Ballard rescued 35 Japanese sailors the previous day after two weeks in an open boat. One died while en route Midway and was buried at sea. ww2dbase
Photographer    Unknown
Source    ww2dbaseUnited States National Archives
Identification Code   80-G-79984-28
More on...   
Battle of Midway and the Aleutian Islands   Main article  Photos  Maps  
Hiryu   Main article  Photos  
Photos on Same Day 20 Jun 1942
Photos at Same Place Midway, US Pacific Islands
Added By C. Peter Chen

This photograph has been scaled down; full resolution photograph is available here (1,200 by 768 pixels).

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
15 Nov 2013 10:02:39 AM


Survivors of the carrier Hiryu were picked up by both Japanese and American ships. One group of the ships company, spent two weeks in a life boat until rescued by the US Navy.


On June 9th the US Submarine USS Trout picked up two survivors from the Japanese Cruiser Mikuma they were transported to Pearl Harbor as POWs.


The USS Ballard picked up 35 survivors from the
Hiryu's engineering section, thay were left behind
when the carrier was abandoned, later took to a lifeboat before the ship sank on June 5th, 1942
Later sent to Pearl Harbor as POWs.
How many other sailors were never rescued and listed as missing in action, only to be left to die in the vast Pacific Ocean.
2. Anonymous says:
8 Jun 2023 09:51:02 AM

This photo was taken on June 19. Description of the photo in National Archives:

Japanese prisoners of war under guard on Midway, following their rescue from an open lifeboat by USS Ballard (AVD-10) on 19 June 1942. They were survivors of the sunken aircraft carrier Hiryu.
After being held for a few days on Midway, they were sent on to Pearl Harbor on 23 June aboard USS Sirius (AK-15), arriving there on 1 July.
Note Marine guard in the center background, armed with a M1903 "Springfield" rifle.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.
3. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
8 Jun 2023 01:04:59 PM

Anonymous (above):
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. In checking the USS Ballard’s logs, we see the rescue at sea indeed took place on 19 Jun 1942, but the prisoners were not delivered to Midway until the following day. The ladder the prisoners are descending appears to be an Accommodation Ladder down the side of a ship, presumably the Ballard, meaning this photo almost certainly shows the prisoners’ arrival at Midway on 20 Jun 1942. Further, the Ballard log even goes so far as to list the names of 35 Japanese sailors that were picked up.

The caption has been updated accordingly and thank you again for causing us to take a second look at this photo.

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WW2-Era Place Name Midway, US Pacific Islands
Lat/Long 29.2192, -177.3692
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