Watch Flight Quarters From The Fantail? - I Don't Think So
After rounding the Horn we landed in San Diego in October 1955 to pick up supplies. Sometime in November 1955 we left for the Far East heading toward Hawaii for more training. This time, training was for the flight crew (AIREDALES) and pilots. At the rate we lost planes during training, before we reached the big island, we would have to ask for more planes. Lucky for us we lost no pilots! Some times these exercises (flight quarters) were at night. During one of these nightmare drills, which were operated with the Bonn Homme' Richard, Kearsarge and a couple others, we were told not to stand on the fantail. Remember? Well since Hospital Division's sleeping quarters was one deck below the fantail, a few of us decided to watch. At one point a plane came in for a landing on one of the other ships and missed the flight deck. It came in low under it! If you can remember what was back there, "machine shop & acetelyne tanks" - All we saw was a "BIG WHITE GLOW" from the explosion. That's the last time any of us watched flight quarters at night from the fantail..........