1947 - 1948, page 2
I had no idea how HUGE the Midway was (see photo, right). I was told at school that it was the largest ship afloat (and would be for ten more years). When I stood at the bottom of the steps for boarding and looked up, my neck hurt. She was docked at Pier 7, Norfolk, the only one where we could dock. It was about October 15, 1947.
When I got topside, I was met by one of the fellows I would be working with during the next 10 months (he was my guide). My quarters and the radio shack where I worked were forward on the starboard side, just under the flight deck.
The electronic technicians were bunked with the signal men. They were all old salts with 10 to 15 years in the Navy and had been on the Midway since it was commissioned on September 10, 1945. Met some nice fellows. They had a special area up on the Island where they hoisted signal flags and communicated with other ships using morse code via very bright signal lights. I could go up there with them, and had a great view.
First Days On Board
Acres and acres of quarters, shops, stores, mess areas, etc., spread over nine decks below the flight deck, if my memory is right. Once you got below the hangar deck there was no way of telling which way was forward or aft. On at least two occasions I got lost really lost and had to head topside until I reached the hangar deck.
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