From: Denver Colorado
I am very grateful and appreciative of your willingness to take the time and post excellent photos and a narrative of the Midway. I am also impressed with your (and Steve - O's) very informative dialouge about the Great Lakes training carriers - and other carrier classes. Well done, Gents!
11 Sept 1971 was my Navy enlistment date. After graduation from Company 319 (San Diego) and post boot camp leave, I reported onboard Midway (at Hunter's Point) in December. My boot camp was abbreviated, as there were hundreds of young men barracked in San Diego (at government expense), awaiting USN induction due to the draft.
Vividly recall the gate Marine telling my Mom "Ma'am - you really shouldn't be out in this part of town at night" (it was late evening). Awesome Mom that she was, she continued to march - undeterred and delivered me to Midways after gangway - much to my deep embarrassment.
We deployed to Yankee Station in 10 April, 1972, returning to Alameda Naval Ship Yard in 3 March, 1973 - IIRC. It has been so long, that I had to refer to my copy of the Midway 1972 Cruise Book, and Midway Sailors on line. Midway was home ported on Yokosuka Japan in October 1973; later that year (or early 1974), while on leave from Japan, I was transferred to the Kitty Hawk CV 63.
Your photos and narrative were of excellent quality; I was compelled to pull out the 1972 cruise book - a real trip down memory lane. Had quite forgotten that Seaman Apprentice Mac Linehan has some posed shots in 5"/54cal mount 53 - aft starboard side.
Thanks for this terrific thread, it is saved to my hard drive.
After 20 years of travel - 1971 - 1981 USN and 1982 - 1992 USMC, I am not inclined to go very far from home. Rather play AE or other good games during the weekend, with lots of reading in between. However - there is now a growing feeling that our family should visit Midway at San Diego; it would be fun to have them experience some of what life was onboard that wonderful ship.
I was very young, and played only a small part in what happened through that time.
The real Honor belongs to the Men who served and gave their lives in the service of their country, listed below.
Please forgive my listing of their names - from page 350 of the 1972 Cruise Book; that particular page was difficult to read and hit me very hard.
On the evening of 24 Oct 1972, I was reading or working inside Mount 53 - the aft starboard side mount, that would stow facing aft. While very accustomed to the sound of jet aircraft recovering, I distinctly recall hearing an approaching aircraft that did not sound normal. I felt a strong urge to shut and dog down the two side access doors and the mount Captain's hatch - which were usually latched open for ventilation. Shortly there after there was a terrific impact, followed by the sounding of General Quarters. IIRC a heavily damaged A-6 Intruder attempted to land on the angle deck, her right oleo strut gave way and caused the aircraft to veer right to wards the parked aircraft located on the forward flight deck. The resultant collision and fire caused a number of deaths and serious injuries. The only casualty with whom I had a casual acquaintance was AMSAN Daniel Cherry, who, I was told, failed in his attempt to outrun the A-6 which was sliding to wards him.
It was a very long time ago, many years have passed, but believe that I have the general facts right. While the fire and destruction occurred forward, I am still grateful to God for compelling me to secure the mount doors and hatches - safe behind 3/4 inch of class B armor.
Lt. Raymond P. Donnelly VA-115 Died 19 July 1972
AZ1 Bobby Don Cobb VAW-115 Died 08 Aug 1972
LCDR James L. Anderson VAW-115 Lost at Sea 08 Aug 1972
AMH1 Edward P. McDonald VA-93 Died 13 Sept 1972
AO2 Clayton M. Blankenship VA-56 Died 24 Oct 1972
AMSAN Daniel P. Cherry VA-93 Died 24 Oct 1972
AA Robert W. Haakenson, JR. V-1 Div. Died 24 Oct 1972
AA Robert A. Yankoski V-4 Div. Died 24 Oct 1972
LTJG Michael S Bixel VA-115 Lost at Sea 24 Oct 1972
LT. John C. Lindahl VA-56 Lost at Sea 06 Jan 1973
ADR3 Willam S. Stringham VAW-115 Lost at Sea 03 Feb 1973
CDR. Charles Barnett VA-93 MIA 23 May 1972
LTJG Gary L. Shank VA-56 MIA 23 July 1972
LCDR Michael W. Doyle VF-161 MIA 25 Aug 1972
LCDR Donald A. Gerstel VA-93 MIA 08 Sept 1972
LCDR Clarence O. Tolbert VA-56 MIA 06 Nov 1972
LT. Michael T. McCormick VA-115 MIA 10 Jan 1973
LTJG Robert A. Clark VA-115 MIA 10 Jan 1973
LT. Aubrey A. Nichols VA-56 POW 19 May 1972
LCDR Gordon C. Paige VFP-63 POW 22 July 1972
LTJG Michael G. Penn VA-56 POW 06 Aug 1972
LT. John C. Ensch VF-161 POW 25 Aug 1972
LCDR Theodore W. Triebel VF-151 POW 27 Aug 1972
LTJG David A. Everett VF-151 POW 27 Aug 1972
This listing is over 36 years old, I will trust that the POW's have returned home safely, and that others were found alive.
< Message edited by Mac Linehan -- 8/25/2012 9:38:31 PM >