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Dale’s Daily Data: Midway Airport

Midway Airport

I learned something on my trip out to California last week.

I flew on Southwest Airlines and went thru Chicago’s Midway Airport.  Southwest is the largest airline using Midway which at one time was known as the world’s busiest airport until O’Hare Airport opened in 1961.  It was originally called Chicago Air Park, then became Chicago Municipal Airport and finally in 1949 it was renamed Midway Airport.  I always thought they called it that because Chicago is about midway between the two coasts.  Some people thought it was named after the airline of the same name that once flew out of the airport.  But actually it’s named after the Battle of Midway in World War Two which was a turning point in the war against the Japanese.  After the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese went on to a series of victories in the Pacific – the Phillipines, Hong Kong, Wake Island, New Guinea, Burma, Solomon Islands,  and as the Japanese were getting set to invade Midway Island and the Aleutians came the Battle of Midway.  It’s where the U-S sunk four Japanese aircraft carriers and damaged or sunk a number of other Japanese ships while themselves losing only the Yorktown carrier.  From then on the Japanese were on the run.

Midway Airport was a key to the war effort in shipping supplies to the troops because of its long runways and its location in the middle of the country.  If you’re ever there – check out the display honoring everybody involved in the Battle of Midway.

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