Midway Islands 1961-1962

These photos, and letters, were part of my life (Robert R. Smith, 973 81 87) during a tour of duty on Midway Island, a tour that was the end of my Navy enlistment. I was transferred to Midway from Tacron 11 in San Diego.

In my year on Midway, AEWBARRONPAC was flying early-warning flights between Midway and Alaska, part of the “DEW line” Distant Early Warning system… part of the “cold war”. Midway was a busy, dynamic facility then, a full Naval Station, with frequent air and ship traffic, both civilian and military, and with several thousand residents. There was a Mobile Construction Battalion (MCB 11) present, as well as some Air Force and Marine personnel.

There are actually 2 islands within the coral atoll. The larger island is Sand Island, the smaller is Eastern. Eastern Island contained a highly secret radio monitoring facility. Judging from photos, 1961-62 may have been a “peak” for Midway activity... and appearance.

Midway has an important, colorful history: The Battle of Midway is usually called the turning point of World War II in the Pacific. There is a significant Memorial site to those who died there during Japanese attacks. Pan American airline used Midway as a refueling point for the first trans-Pacific flights, and built many structures that survive to this day.

The U.S. Navy left Midway Island a number of years ago. Control of the island(s) is now in the hands of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

For a feel of my life on Midway, read Letters from Midway

Click on a small photo to view a larger version

at Air Operations at Air Operations at Air Operations at Air Operations at Air Operations at Air Operations an Air Force jeep Barracks beach scene beach scene at the Fire Station, after a big rain the Station Brig the Station Commander's home the station Church a lineup of Connies gooneys downtown inflight dining hall a fire and crash squad the inflight mess a connie coming in a lineup of transports a Military Air Transport plane a Military Air Transport plane a Military Air Transport plane the station mess hall Air Operations Air Operations Bachelor Officer's Quarters the George Cannon school sign showing location and distance to Midway water skiing at the beach a softball game (yes, fast pitch) a softball game street scene street scene showing location of the directional signpost looking from the messhall toward downtown Barracks A & B, after a rain street scene in the housing area street scene in the housing area Air Force connie fairy terns fairy terns fairy terns Transient hotel for civilians having to layover Tennis court next to the Transient Hotel
Blackfoot albatross and chick, with Laysan albatross behind door to Master at Arms office (where I was assigned) inside the MAA office signpost showing distances from Midway

click here for photo section 2
click here for photo section 3

email to Bob Smith

I now live in Richfield, Minnesota and have worked in the computer field since 1962