Corrected entry: A couple of scenes show Japanese planes diving into US carriers. Kamikaze planes never struck until late 1944.

Correction: Planes diving into US ships doesn't make them kamikaze planes, who are specially fitted to be a flying bomb. They just had a damaged plane and decided to sacrifice themselves to hurt their enemy, even American pilots did that.


Corrected entry: Admiral Nimitz (Henry Fonda) is at the hospital visiting Admiral Halsey (Robert Mitchum). Nimitz is asking Halsey who his replacement should be since Halsey is laid up with a skin disease. A jet engine can be heard very clearly in the background.

Correction: Sounded like a single engine prop to me I used to fly them. Definitely not a jet.

I replayed that scene 4 times it is definitely a single engine prop.

Corrected entry: When Hal Holbrook is getting into the back of the admiral's jeep, he has a briefcase in his left hand. The jeep starts to pull away before he can get into his seat. The next shot shows him holding onto the handle with the same hand he had the briefcase in. The briefcase shows up again in a later shot.

Correction: If you look carefully he still has the briefcase in his left hand as he grasps the handle.

Corrected entry: The fighter escort for the Yorktown bombers consisted of only 4 planes, not the many more shown in the film.

Correction: There were six escorting F4f's from VF3/VF42, not four. 1st division, Lcdr. J. S. Thach, Ens. R. A. M. Dibb; Lt. (jg). B. T. Macomber, Ens. E. R. Bassett. 2nd division, Mach. T. F. Cheek, Ens. Dan C. Sheedy;.

Corrected entry: The Brewster F2A Buffalo and Grumman F4F Wildcat are referred to as "damn relics" by a Marine officer. Actually, they were among the most modern planes available to defend Midway, and much liked by the pilots who flew them. At Midway, the Marines had an insufficient number of fighter planes (27), but not antiquated designs.

Correction: The statement did not refer to the age of the F2As (which was fairly new for the 1940's USN) but was a comparison to other aircraft. While the design for the F2A was only 2-3 years old at the time of the Battle of Midway, there where many other designs (mostly from other countries) which out classed the F2A. The late 1930s - early 1940s saw rapid advancement in aircraft design and technology. Anything over 6 months old was rapidly becoming obsolete.

Corrected entry: The stock footage used for the shots of the American torpedo and dive bomber squadrons on their way to attack the Japanese carriers is actually film, presumably taken during the late 1930s, of Vought Vindicator dive bombers. This type was no longer operating from US carriers by the start of the war.

Correction: Vindicators were used at Midway and did attack the Japanese Fleet. They were flown by Marines off of Midway island.

Corrected entry: The maps and ship markers used by the Japanese navy are written in both Japanese and English.

Correction: The English is there for the benefit of those who don't speak or read Japanese. It the same reason all the Japanese characters are speaking English - so the view can follow the movie plot. This is a standard movie convention and not a mistake.

Corrected entry: Captain Garth's spectacular crash is in a Korean War Naval Jet (an F9F Panther) and not the Wildcat he should have been flying. BTW, the pilot of the jet walked away without a scratch.

Correction: Captain Garth was flying an SBD Dauntless during the battle. The Wildcat was a single-seat fighter.

Continuity mistake: During the scene when Torpedo Eight squadron is slaughtered during its attack on Nagumo's carriers, Ensign George Gay's aircraft changes appearance several times. This is due to the different snippets of wartime footage being cobbled together. When the squadron commences its attack, his plane is a Vindicator. When his plane is the last one left, it has changed into an SBD Dauntless. When Gay's plane has been hit and is diving towards the sea, it has become an Avenger. Finally, when his aircraft hits the water, it has become a Hellcat.

More mistakes in Midway

Captain Garth: Can I ask you something personal? Very personal?
Commander Rochefort: Sure.
Captain Garth: You know, it really stinks down here. How often do some of your people take a bath?
Commander Rochefort: Bath? Hell, I don't know. What day is it?

More quotes from Midway

Trivia: The film-makers only had three vintage US aircraft for the production, namely two F4F Wildcat fighters and a PBY Catalina search plane. All of the other aircraft that appear are from either wartime footage or from previous war movies.

More trivia for Midway

Question: How accurately does the movie portray the Battle of Midway?

Answer: This is from Wikipedia: "Later studies by Japanese and American military historians call into question key scenes, like the dive-bombing attack that crippled the first Japanese carrier, the Akagi. In the movie, American pilots report, "They've got bombs all over their flight deck! We caught 'em flat-footed! No fighters and a deck full of bombs!" As Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully write in "Shattered Sword" (2005), aerial photography from the battle showed nearly empty decks. In addition, Japanese carriers loaded armament onto planes below the flight deck, unlike American carriers (as depicted earlier in the film). The fact that a closed hangar full of armaments was hit by bombs made damage to Akagi more devastating than if planes, torpedoes and bombs were on an open deck."

raywest Premium member

More questions & answers from Midway

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.