On 4 June 1942, the Hiryu took part in the Battle of Midway. An American carrier-plane attack around 10:25 am disabled IJN carriers Kaga, Soryu and Akagi but left Hiryū untouched.
By 4 pm, Admiral Yamaguchi of the Hiryu decided to launch a third strike against the American carriers at dusk, though at this point in the battle Hiryū had only four air-worthy dive-bombers and five torpedo-planes left. She also retained nineteen of her own Zero fighters on board as well as a further thirteen Zeros on combat air patrol (a composite force left over from the carriers Akagi, Kaga and Sōryū).
While preparing to launch a third strike, Hiryū was attacked at 5:03 pm by 13 SBD Dauntless dive bombers from the Enterprise and hit with four 1000 lb (453.6 kg) bombs, three on the forward flight deck and one on or near the forward elevator . The explosions started fires among the aircraft on the hangar deck. The forward half of the flight deck collapsed into the hangar bay while part of the elevator was hurled against the ship's bridge. Fire and explosion continued to move toward the aft decks were the ship’s aircraft, bombs, fuel and the wooden deck became an inferno.
I have tried to convey the collapsed forward deck and final fires based on sequence of damage based on photos and other references.
Hiryu, though incapable of offensive action, kept moving until about midnight, when flames and explosions finally stopped her engines. She was ordered abandoned and then torpedoed to hasten sinking.
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