USS Midway and her task group covered vast areas of the South Pacific, (53,750 miles), during her
1958-1959 Far East Cruise. From Japan down to the Philippines and from Hawaii Westward to
Hong Kong,
Midway steamed with her task group on various assignments. Her primary operating
area however was the Formosa Straits during the Quemoy-Matsu crises when the Communist
Chinese government on the mainland of China was shelling the tiny islands of Quemoy and Matsu
in preparation for a possible invasion. The islands are located between China and the large island
of Taiwan formerly called Formosa. No invasion took place thanks in part to
Midway and the other
allied forces on patrol in the area. Far East ports of call
Midway visited included "Yokosuka,
Japan", "Buckner Bay, Okinawa", "Hong Kong" and "Subic Bay and Manila in the Philippine
Islands". This South Pacific area was the scene of some of the fiercest battles of WWII and it was
exciting to see the places that I had read so much about and had seen on the news reels in
theaters at home. A lot of the names have changed since WWII but the visions of a war long ago
still haunt the area. When I was there in 1959, 14 years after the war ended, it was still possible
to wander around in the jungle and find old war equipment that hadn't yet been salvaged for
scrap.
Map courtesy of The National Geographic Association
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