Wednesday, May 27, 2009


USS Midway, San Diego

A few years ago, I went to a helicopter course in California and took a side trip to San Diego to visit a ship that I was on back in 1977 or 78. The USS Midway was based in Yokosuka Japan and I was an Air Traffic Controller in the Navy at NAF Atsugi. When the Midway was in-port all the aircraft would fly to our base until the ship left port. This is done for security because a carrier can't launch aircraft sitting at the dock. I went on a two week exchange with one of their controllers once to get my first experience at sea. The ship was de-commisioned in the 80's and then SanDiego finally got it for a floating museum. It was the last carrier built during WW2 and served longer than any ship to that point. Because it had conventional engines it could be stationed in Japan. They didn't want any nuke ships home ported there. ( go figure)
I spent a large part of my shifts talking to this F4 and the others like it. The Midway was also the last carrier to have F4s when the Navy was going to the new F14 and F18. The catapults and deck could not take the newer aircraft.
We would tell new guys that the disk on top of the E2 was how the ship got fresh water, but really its just a big radar antenna.
I had forgotten about these pictures until I ran across them today. Next week will be 29 years since I left the service.

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