As the carrier strike group of Admiral Chuichi Nagumo neared Midway early on 4 June, the first wave of aircraft was launched from the carriers for an attack against the island, although it was not sufficient to disable the airfield. Nagumo was left with a difficult choice between committing the rest of his aircraft to a second attack on the island or preparing them for an attack on the US naval vessels which he knew would be nearby. Meanwhile, Admirals Fletcher and Spruance, now aware of the Japanese carrier group’s location, launched their aircraft from long range. The subsequent strikes hit Soryu, Kaga and Akagi; their decks, crowded with refuelling aircraft, were soon ablaze and all three ships were disabled. Hiryu then launched its aircraft, which followed the US aircraft back towards Yorktown, eventually damaging it irreparably. Enterprise then launched a final attack against Hiryu which was scuttled on 5 June.
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