ogranger has not voted in the 2017 San Diego A-List.
I left the Midway in the Phillipines in 1965 after serving aboard for almost three years. When she was decommissioned and towed to Bremerton in the 1990's, I visited her many times and watched as the rust was gathering momentum while she was moored on 'death row'. I developed an association with the Director of the Inactive fleet there and he tried many times to get permission to get me aboard - even to the extent that we had proposed a reunion of our OI Division group in the Seattle area, culminated with a visit aboard. Nothing worked. During all this time, I was in touch with the museum association people in San Diego, trying to help them to get the City to approve the permitting in order that the Navy would release the ship to their care. At the time the ship was finally on her way to San Diego and had stopped in Oakland to be repainted and opened up, I happened to see her while there on a business trip to the Bay Area. I approached the security person for permission to board and when they gave me permission, it was with only one caveat - be careful. I climbed the afterbrow, as I had done for three years. Automatically, I stopped at the top of the brow and faced aft - as if to salute the colors and request permission to board. When my feet hit the steel deck, it was truly an out-of-body experience for me. I could smell the av-gas and JP-5 that even today permeates the ship, particularly the hangar bays. I walked onto the hangar deck into what was once Hangar Bay 3. I stood there and looked forward to the front of Hangar 1and my heart raced. I heard, once again, the blair of the 1MC, the sailors scurrying to and fro going about their job tasks, and the engines of the tow tugs that moved the aircraft around. I was reminded, again, of the importance of each of the jobs aboard an aircraft carrier. I looked up and saw my shipmates hurrying down the ladder from our berthing compartment located on the 02 level aft under the arresting wires. I heard the slam of a tailhook as it engaged those wires and payed out across the flight deck while bringing another pilot aboard safely. I walked among the memories that were my time aboard. I spoke to my friends and saw how young we all were. It had been almost 40 years since I walked down the afterbrow for that last time in 1965, and now, here I was again - alone except for my memories and the faces of all those sailors that served with me.
ogranger has not cast any votes in the 2017 San Diego A-List.