SAN DIEGO -- Three veterans of the historic Battle of Midway were honored Saturday during a ceremony commemorating the 77th anniversary of the battle.
Charles Monroe, Truxton "T.K." Ford and 103-year-old Ervin "Judge" Wendt are among the surviving veterans.
"I lost 49 friends that day," Wendt told FOX 5.
The decisive World War II battle between U.S. and Japanese forces took place during the first week of June in 1942. It involved more than 200 U.S. carrier-based aircrafts. The surprise attack was organized in part by Pacific Fleet commander Admiral Chester W. Nimitz.
"Nimitz called for full speed ahead because they had broken the Japanese code and they knew the Japanese were planning on attacking Midway Island," Ford recalled. "It opened up the ability of our fleet to push them back."
“I definitely feel honored being the first ones to do this. It’s a great honor," said 18-year-old Miles Dixon, a senior at Mt. Carmel High School.