Fresh out of a 2 year $55,000,000 overhaul where she received a hurricane bow, angled deck,
new steam catapults and 17,000 tons added to her standard displacement the USS Midway
swings on her anchor chain off Coronado Roads, San Diego. CA. Capt. Francis E. Nuessle was
our first commanding officer after the recommissioning. I joined the Navy in Jan. 1957 and
after completing the Aerographer's Mate (weather) class "A" school I requested sea duty
aboard an aircraft carrier. I reported aboard the Midway in November 1957 and she would be
my home for the next 2 years. When I first saw this mighty carrier I thought she was the
most beautiful ship I had ever seen. The Midway was a city more than 20 times the size of my
home town so I had a lot of exploring to do to learn my way around. I had my turn at
"watching for the mail bouy" and roaming the bowels of the ship searching for the roll of toilet
paper Chief Miller sent me for. That toilet paper trip took most of the day but I learned my
way around a good portion of the ship in the process. What an initiation to sea duty.
January 1958
USS Midway prior to leaving for the 1958-1959 West Pac Cruise
I came of age serving aboard the Midway and will always remember the good times of which
there were many. As I grow older, the few bad times slowly fade into the past. I was a kid
from a small town just out of high school with the whole world before me and was about to
start one of the greatest adventures of my life. Even now whenever I smell jet fuel or hear
a jet plane I am taken back to the thundering decks of the "best of the best" of aircraft
carriers. The Midway was not only a mighty warship but she was also a home to thousands
of sailors who grew to love her. If ever a ship had a heart, Midway was that ship. She just
kept going and going, completing each job she and her crew were assigned until finally tired
and spent she was retired to await her fate at the Naval Shipyard at Bremerton, WA. The
latest info on Midway is that she is soon to become the feature attraction at the San Diego
Air Museum. It is a fitting end for this grand ship not to be sold for scrap and broken up.
Some of the images are getting old and the quality isn't always the best but
please enjoy them for what they are, photos of great ships and their crews
doing what they do best while defending the free world in far away places.
US Navy Photograph
US Navy Photograph