Chicago, IL

Where Did the Airport, Chicago Midway, Get Its Name?

Yana Bostongirl

Chicago Midway International Airport first opened its doors in 1927 and served as the city's main airport until O'Hare International Airport opened its doors in 1955. Per reports, it continues to be one of the busiest airports in the nation serving 20,844,860 passengers in 2019.

Originally named Chicago Air Park, the airport was later renamed Chicago Midway International Airport after the Battle of Midway as this excerpt elaborates: "Apparently many men who had ties to Chicago helped win this battle in June of 1942. Chicago has a naval training base called, Naval Station Great Lakes.  During World War II, men were trained to fly off of carriers at this base located on Lake Michigan.  Overhead I saw a SBD-3, a US Navy Scout Dive Bomber, which was sunk in the lake during training and later beautifully restored.  Many of the men trained at Great Lakes later fought at the Battle of Midway."

Terminal A of the airport features a stunning display of the Battle of Midway that was fought during World War II.

The Battle of Midway was a major naval battle fought in the Pacific Theater of World War II and took place 6 months after the attack on Pearl Harbor. In this battle referred to as "the most stunning and decisive blow in the history of naval warfare" by military historian John Keegan, the US navy defeated the Japanese Imperial Army fleet north of the Midway Atoll.

The Japanese lost four aircraft carriers in the Battle of Midway and had to retreat to Japan as this excerpt elaborates: Four Japanese and three American aircraft carriers participated in the battle. The four Japanese fleet carriers - Akagi, Kaga, Sōryū, and Hiryū, part of the six-carrier force that had attacked Pearl Harbor six months earlier—were sunk, as was the heavy cruiser Mikuma. The U.S. lost the carrier Yorktown and the destroyer Hammann, while the carriers USS Enterprise and USS Hornet survived the battle fully intact."

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