NEW ORLEANS (April 16, 2012) — The newest exhibition at The National WWII Museum will examine the tumultuous early months of World War II when prospects for victory in the Pacific shifted from bleak to hopeful. Turning Point: The Doolittle Raid, Battle of the Coral Sea, and Battle of Midway opens April 18 in the Museum’s Malcolm Forbes Theater.
The pivotal Battle of Midway and preceding events will be the focus of the exhibition, recalled by those who witnessed history as it unfolded. Relying heavily on the Museum’s HD video and oral history collection, the exhibition, on view through July 8, features personal accounts from the sailors, soldiers, airmen and marines who played critical roles in securing early victories that rallied America’s beleaguered armed forces and citizens on the Home Front. Archival photos and footage, interlaced with veterans’ recollections, will give visitors an understanding of what these men experienced 70 years ago, while accompanying artifacts will illustrate the equipment, uniforms and weaponry used during the war.
“In the early days of WWII, the United States Pacific Fleet heroically fought Japanese forces in a decidedly uphill battle and kept them from moving closer toward the US mainland,” said Dr. Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller, The National WWII Museum’s president and chief executive officer. “Through a series of bold moves, the American underdogs were able to take the upper hand from the Japanese, effectively ending the threat of future Japanese advances in the Pacific. Turning Point captures this period in history and tells the story of the brave service members who made victory a reality.”
In conjunction with the exhibition’s opening, the Museum will host author Elliot Carlson for a General Raymond E. Mason Lecture on April 18 in the Louisiana Memorial Pavilion. Carlson, a longtime journalist and author, will discuss his book Joe Rochefort’s War: The Odyssey of the Codebreaker Who Outwitted Yamamoto at Midway. Capt. Joe Rochefort headed Station Hypo, the US Navy's signals monitoring and cryptographic intelligence unit at Pearl Harbor, and broke the Japanese navy's code before the Battle of Midway, helping to intercept enemy communications and change the course of the war. Elliot Carlson is the recipient of the Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Naval History Prize awarded by The New York Council of the Navy League of the United States in conjunction with the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute and the Theodore Roosevelt Association. The event will begin at 5 p.m. with a reception followed by Carlson’s presentation at 6 p.m. and a book signing at 7 p.m.
For in-depth information on Turning Point, including associated public programming, please visit http://turningpoint1942.org/index.html.
The National WWII Museum tells the story of the American Experience in the war that changed the world — why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today. Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and designated by Congress as America’s National WWII Museum, it celebrates the American Spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifice of the men and women who fought on the battlefront and the Home Front. For more information, call 877-813-3329 or 504-527-6012 or visit www.nationalww2museum.org. Follow us on Twitter at WWIImuseum or visit our Facebook fan page.