- 5/19/2013 Shepard designs dream room
- 5/19/2013 Sue Jolly Award will honor student Mock Trial Team member
- 5/19/2013 Anglican Church to host homeless meeting
- 5/19/2013 North Augusta bookings
- 5/19/2013 Suspect sought in theft of Walmart cell phones
- 5/19/2013 STEMfest exposes students to principles of science, technology
- 5/19/2013 North Augusta crime blotter
- 5/19/2013 North Augusta High School hosts 309 student runners
- 5/19/2013 Predators fall to Knights in walk-off fashion
- 5/12/2013 Predators stumble against Knights, face uphill battle
- 5/12/2013 Lady Predators have to win to stay in
- 5/12/2013 Phil Schaefer reflects on North Augusta history
- 5/12/2013 North Augusta golf team’s season ends in Sumter
- 5/12/2013 NAHS grad named SEC Men’s Golf Freshman of the Year
- 5/12/2013 World’s No. 1 disc golfer pays a visit to Hippodrome
- 5/19/2013 Column: Downtown developments: Vacations less and less important
- 5/19/2013 Wrinkles: Recognizing mothers and angels
- 5/19/2013 Phragments from Phyllis: A mother’s a mother for the rest of her life
- 5/19/2013 Letter: Bring the troops home from Afghanistan
- 5/19/2013 Column: New PASS exams intended to benefit student performance
- 5/19/2013 Chaplain's corner: In his hand
Battle of Midway hero Jim Muri dies at 93
BILLINGS, Mont. - World War II pilot James Muri, who saved his crippled B-26 bomber and crew by buzzing the flight deck of a Japanese aircraft carrier during the Battle of Midway, has died in Billings. He was 93.
Muri died Sunday of natural causes, according to Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary.
On June 4, 1942, Muri piloted one of four B-26 bombers that took off from Midway Island to attack a Japanese fleet planning to invade the U.S. outpost about 1,100 miles northwest of Hawaii.
Japanese fighter planes shot the bombers with machine guns and cannons. Muri's bomber was struck and three crewmen were wounded, but he launched a torpedo at the aircraft carrier Akagi and then flew the plane down its flight deck to avoid the ship's guns, which were all pointed outward.
Muri flew lower than treetop level above the deck of the massive ship, reasoning that skimming the flight deck gave him the best chance to survive.
After the plane crash-landed on Midway Island, officials counted more than 500 bullet holes in the bomber, the Billings Gazette reported.
Muri and his crew were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. In 2003, Muri received the Jimmy Doolittle Award for outstanding service to the U.S. Army Air Corps in a ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Singer and radio host Lonnie Bell paid tribute to the feat in his song "Midway," which he wrote in 1976.
Last June marked the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Midway, which changed the course of the Pacific war. American forces sank four aircraft carriers despite being outnumbered in the three-day battle, diminishing Japan's airstrike capabilities.
The U.S. lost one carrier, 145 planes and 307 men. Besides the four aircraft carriers, Japan lost a heavy cruiser, 291 planes and 4,800 men in the battle.
Muri left active duty in 1959 and returned to Montana in 1969. He and his wife, Alice, lived on Bridger Creek east of Big Timber for 30 years before moving to Billings in 1999. His wife died in 2001.
A memorial service for Muri is scheduled for Thursday at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary. He is to be buried Friday at the veterans' cemetery in Miles City.