1942: BATTLE OF MIDWAY. The battle rages through 7 June. Three US carriers destroy four Japanese carriers, losing one. The Japanese also lose a heavy cruiser, 322 aircraft, and 5,000 men, including a host of skilled pilots. This defeat ends Japan’s eastern offensive and marked a major turning point in the war. Seventh Air Force flies 55 B-17 sorties and four B-26 torpedo attacks, claiming 22 hits on ships and 10 Japanese fighters shot down.