PEARL HARBOR -- United States forces have lost contact with the crippled Japanese main fleet in the Midway area and are now battling Japanese naval units in the area between Hawaii and Dutch Harbor, 1,653 miles to the northwest, it was announced today.
The main Japanese fleet appears to be withdrawing from the Midway zone after losing an additional destroyer sunk and perhaps two additional cruisers damaged.
U.S. Loses Destroyer
Action in the Hawaii-Dutch Harbor zone of the Aleutian islands remains indeterminate because of bad weather and lack of detailed reports.
Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, commander in chief of the Pacific fleet, announced here the apparent withdrawal of the great enemy fleet in the Midway zone.
Admiral Ernest J. King, commander in chief of the United States fleet, announced at Washington that action in the Aleutian islands zone, started when the Japanese raided Dutch Harbor Wednesday, continued.
Nimitz, in the latest communique issued at his Pacific fleet headquarters here, disclosed minor submarine activity in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands.
He announced that a United States destroyer had been sunk, with light casualties, by an enemy submarine in the Midway fighting.
This made the total United States losses as so far announced one destroyer sunk and one aircraft carrier damaged.
The Japanese lost, in a blazing four-day aerial-naval battle:
Four Day Naval Battle
Aircraft carriers -- two sure, probably three, with all their planes, totally anywhere from 60 to 160.
Destroyer -- one.
Battleships -- Three, at least one badly.
Aircraft carriers -- One, probably two, both seriously: most of their aircraft, numbering anywhere from 30 to 80 each, destroyed.
Cruisers -- Four to six, at least two heavily.
Transports -- Three.
Both here and at Washington, the commanding admirals refrained from claiming a definite victory in the Midway battle, specifically because the enemy fleet had not been destroyed, but had withdrawn.
But each hour which passed made it seem more certain here that Japan had suffered its greatest defeat in its brief naval history.
Coral Sea Battle Decisive
Admiral King, at Washington, had called the Coral sea battle off eastern Australia, which ended a month ago today, "another decisive setback to the Japanese."
It seemed beyond doubt that in the Midway battle, with a far larger force engaged, Japan had blundered into a trap and had taken a beating which would mark one of the bi mile posts of the war toward an Allied victory.
In the four communiques he had issued on the battle, his first communique since he took command here, Nimitz had been able to indicate more plainly in each one the importance of the American success, won by the navy, the air force, the army and the marines.
Adm. Nimitz's fourth communique issued Sunday, said:
"Pacific fleet communique No. 4.
"The enemy appears to be withdrawing.
"Contact was lost during Saturday night.
"Additional damage was inflicted on two enemy cruisers. Until all reports can be checked it is impossible to state whether these cruisers were in addition to those included in the previous report.
"One enemy destroyer was sunk.
"One United States destroyer was sunk by a submarine but nearby ships rescued the personnel with small loss of life.
"Except for minor submarine activity in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Island chain, this section of the Pacific is quiet."