Thursday 6 June 2019
I'm still a Naval Aviator at heart.
Although the wings of gold eluded me, Naval aviation indoctrinated me well during preflight at Naval Air Station Pensacola in the fall of 1959 when the carrier battles 17 years earlier were the subject of many a lesson.
All this has left me wondering six decades later why we hear so much about D-Day during early June and so little about the Battle of Midway which two years earlier that Military historian John Keegan called "the most stunning and decisive blow in the history of naval warfare."
It’s probably for the better I was denied Naval aviator wings. The young lady I married 21 months later stopped writing while I was pursuing the idea of landing jet aircraft on a ship.
Our 57-year marriage has been a blessing, and, a few months after washing me out of flight school, Naval aviation introduced me to the Quill & Scroll, opening the door to a journalism career that continues in retirement. The introduction came at Light Photographic Squadron 62 where I edited the monthly Newsletter.
The Quill & Scroll is how the US Navy identified journalists for six decades following World War II. For the six years wrapping up the second decade of that era, I wore the rate insignia on my left sleeve as I practiced the craft.
The nearly 60 years of practice has provided an answer to my opening query: there is nothing to see. The north Pacific makes a boring picture. There are no tombstones or other signs of the battle that raged 77 years ago. ■