"The Battle of Midway" filmed at the time and directed by John Ford was one of four winners of the inaugural, 1942 Academy Award for Best Documentary. This documentary follows the battle with footage shot by Navy cameramen.
The film provides a relatively brief account of the Japanese attack of American ships at Midway atoll. It is comprised mostly of authentic footage from the battle, with dramatic narration by Henry Fonda. "Behind every cloud, there may be an enemy," he intones as American fighter pilots search the sky. The rest of the film mocks Emporer Tojo of Japan and portrays him as ruthless, bombing hospitals and churches as he tries to conquer the Pacific.
John Ford served in the U.S. Navy as a commander and documentary filmmaker during the war, and in this excerpt he was actually wounded by enemy fire while filming.
Cdr. John Ford, USNR - U.S. Navy "Battle of Midway" movie screenshots
A U.S. Army Air Force Boeing B-17E Flying Fortress taking off from Eastern Island, Midway Islands, in late May or early June 1942
A U.S. Navy PT boat off Sand Island, Midway Islands, in May or June 1942
A U.S. Marine Corps Vought SB2U-3 Vindicator dive bomber of Marine scout bombing squadron VMSB-241 taking off from Eastern Island, Midway Atoll, during the Battle of Midway, 4-6 June 1942. This aircraft was flown on 4 June by 2nd Lt. George T. Lumpkin (pilot) and Pfc. George A. Toms (gunner) in an attack on the Japanese battleship Haruna
A machine gun firing on Sand Island, Midway Islands, 4 June 1942
Flak bursts around a Japanese plane attacking Midway Islands, 4 June 1942
The burning seaplane hangar on Sand Island, Midway Islands, 4 June 1942
A burning building on Sand Island, Midway Islands, 4 June 1942