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The National Air and Space Museum's Sea Air Operations Gallery details the operations of carriers and their aircraft, both of the World War II era and the present day. Featured are panels focusing on carrier-verses-carrier battles fought by the U.S. and Japanese navies during World War II: the Battle of the Coral Sea, the Battle of Midway, the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, the Battle of the Philippine Sea, and the Battle for Leyte Gulf. The exhibit also highlights other Pacific missions, from Pearl Harbor, through Midway, to the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.




National Air and Space Museum (U.S.). Division of Aeronautics


[ca. 1940s, 1980s]


NASM generated, transfer, 1995, 1995-0040, unknown


2.93 Cubic feet ((6 legal document boxes) (1 slim document box))


No restrictions on access


Collection descriptions

Archival materials



Scope and Contents

Series I of this collection consists of the following: seven folders containing almost 200 photographs and negatives on display in the exhibit, four series of slides (two detailing the U.S.S. Midway used for background research, one detailing documents and photos of the Philippine Sea battle, and of the finished museum exhibit) and the exhibit script. Series II is a collection of images that were collected for the Sea Air Operations Gallery but were not used in the exhibit itself. It consists of 17 folders of photographs and negatives dealing with the following subjects: Pearl Harbor, Pacific battleship battles of 1942-1945, US and Japanese commanders, aircraft carriers, aces, the USS Enterprise, Guadalcanal, USMC air operations, Grumman workers, Manila atrocities, miscellaneous aircraft and miscellaneous photos. In Series I, 33 of the photograph negatives have no corresponding prints in the folders but are on display downstairs. Seven of the photos of a more graphic nature have no accompanying print nor are they on display. Series III consists of research material gathered in support of the Sea Air Operation Gallery. Series IV consists of slide images taken by Lt. William G. Lotz, USN, aboard the USS Midway circa 1989-1990. Series III and IV were merged with the exiting collection in 1998.





Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests


Enterprise (Aircraft carrier : CV-6)

Midway (Aircraft carrier : CV-41)

National Air and Space Museum (U.S.). Division of Aeronautics

Topics Pearl Harbor (Hawaii), Attack on, 1941
World War, 1939-1945 -- Atrocities
Midway, Battle of, 1942
Coral Sea, Battle of the, 1942
Philippine Sea, Battles of the, 1944
World War, 1939-1945 -- Japan -- Hiroshima
Aeronautics, Military
World War, 1939-1945 -- Campaigns -- Pacific Ocean
World War, 1939-1945 -- Aerial operations
World War, 1939-1945
Aircraft carriers
Naval aviation

Archival Repository

National Air and Space Museum Archives