The Battle of Midway Author:Ira Peck War news from the Pacific the summer of 1942 was not good. Less than six months after Pearl Harbor, Corregidor, the last U.S. stronghold in the Philippines, surrendered to the enemy. Now the Japanese navy dominated the seas from the western Pacific to the Indian Ocean. When would they attack California or Oregon or Washington? — And while we wait... more »ed and worried, the Japanese were secretly mounting the most powerful naval force in history. Their goal: not the West Coast, but Midway, a small U.S. naval base far out in the Pacific. Why did the Japanese want it so badly? And what could the U.S. do, with their weak Pacific fleet, to keep strategic Midway out of enemy hands?