USS Midway operating off the California coast June 1958 getting ready for deployment to West Pac
Getting an aircraft carrier ready for deployment to West Pac is not just fire drills and refueling
exercises. Midway being just recommissioned had to find out if everything else worked and
that meant flight operations to test catapults, arresting gear and all the other systems that
must function to get Midway ready for her duty as a fully operational carrier. Working the
kinks out brings with it many problems including the inevitable first plane crash. Midway's
happened on 26 May 1958 when a F8-U Crusader was lost. The pilot parachuted to safety
and we all breathed a sigh of relief that no lives were lost. Unfortunately that was not always
the case and several pilots and planes were lost during training and we had to accept that
even in "peacetime training", brave and good men are lost in the name of freedom. On July
1, Midway's crew received some unexpected port time when the ship burnt out a main
bearing while making speed trials and had to return to Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard for
US Navy Photograph
MidwayJoe Collection
USS MIDWAY off the California coast