On 10 September 1813, in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, flying his “Don’t give up the ship” flag, led a U.S. Navy squadron which defeated and captured a British squadron. His famous report of the battle read: “We have met the enemy and they are ours - two ships, two brigs, one schooner and one sloop.” This painting by William H. Powell depicts Perry transferring his flag from the disabled U.S. Brig Lawrence to the U.S. Brig Niagara, at the height of the action. NHHC photo KN-621

Dr. Craig Symonds: Connecting the War of 1812 and the Battle of Midway

The following speech was presented on 3 June 2012 by Dr. Craig Symonds at the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Midway Commemoration Dinner at the Army-Navy Country Club, Arlington, Virginia.

….First of all, of course, it is the 70th anniversary of the pivotal Battle of Midway—a battle that turned the tide, not only of the Pacific War, but of the Second World War, and, in fact, of history itself.  I will have much more to say about this in a few minutes.

But we also observe this month the anniversary of another war that, for many Americans, first brought the U.S. Navy to the forefront of the national consciousness, and that is, The War of 1812—or, as Theodore Roosevelt titled it in his book, The NAVAL War of 1812.  That war began 200 years ago this month on June 18, 1812 when the United States Congress declared war on the Empire of Great Britain, which in 1812 was a pretty bold, not to say reckless, thing to do….

(read the full speech here)

Top Photo: Battle of Lake Erie, 10 September 1813 Painting by William H. Powell, depicting Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry transferring his flag from the disabled U.S. Brig Lawrence to the U.S. Brig Niagara, at the height of the action. The original painting is exhibited in the United States Capitol Building, Washington, D.C. NHHC Photo KN-621

Bottom Left Photo: Vice Admiral Marc A. Mitscher, USN. Photographed during World War II. NHHC Photo 80-G-424169

Bottom Right Photo: Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert leads a toast to the Navy at the dinner to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Midway (U.S. Navy photo 120603-N-WL435-199 by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Peter D. Lawlor/Released)