USS Midway

 

Donald E. Burlingame Collection

USS Midway ~ 1946

 

USS Midway

 

 

 

USS Midway - Donald E. Burlingame

Donald E. Burlingame

 

 

Donald E. Burlingame flew F4U's in Fighter Bomber Squadron 74 aboard USS Midway in 1946 and participated in

Operation FROSTBITE. The photos in this gallery are USN Photos from his collection. Many thanks to his son Lynn,

for sorting through his large collection of photos, scanning, emailing, and allowing me to share them here.

 

Photos

 

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USS Midway - Donald E. Burlingame

USS Midway - Donald E. Burlingame

USS Midway - Donald E. Burlingame

USS Midway - Donald E. Burlingame

USS Midway - Donald E. Burlingame

USS Midway - Donald E. Burlingame

USS Midway - Donald E. Burlingame

USS Midway - Donald E. Burlingame

USS Midway - Donald E. Burlingame

USS Midway - Donald E. Burlingame

USS Midway - Donald E. Burlingame

USS Midway - Donald E. Burlingame

USS Midway - Donald E. Burlingame

USS Midway - Donald E. Burlingame

USS Midway - Donald E. Burlingame

USS Midway - Donald E. Burlingame

USS Midway - Donald E. Burlingame

USS Midway - Donald E. Burlingame

USS Midway - Donald E. Burlingame

USS Midway - Donald E. Burlingame

USS Midway - Donald E. Burlingame

USS Midway - Donald E. Burlingame

USS Midway - Donald E. Burlingame

USS Midway - Donald E. Burlingame

USS Midway - Donald E. Burlingame

USS Midway - Donald E. Burlingame

USS Midway - Donald E. Burlingame

USS Midway - Donald E. Burlingame

USS Midway - Donald E. Burlingame

 

 

 

 

Memorabilia

 

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VBF-74 Patch

USS Midway - Donald E. Burlingame

 

 

Midway News, Vol. 1, No. 5 ~ March 14, 1946

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Midway News, Vol. 1, No. 6 ~ March 21, 1946

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Midway News, Operation FROSTBITE Supplement ~ March 28, 1946

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Midway News, Vol. 1, No. 7 ~ May 12, 1946

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The following is an excerpt from The History of Donald E. Burlingame, courtesy of Lynn Burlingame:

---- I was assigned to Fighter-Bomber Squadron 74 in January 1946. The air group commander was a guy called Tommy Blackburn. He had quite a war record. He was more than an Ace. I forgot how many kills he made in Japan in the Pacific war. Our squadron commander was Lemuel Cook. Dirty Eddie March was the Executive Officer. We were assigned to the carrier Midway. At that time the Midway was the biggest carrier in the United States Navy. There were three in the Midway class; the USS Midway, the USS Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the USS Coral Sea. I also served the squadron as the administrative officer.

I had some interesting times as a fighter bomber pilot aboard the carrier. We went on an operation up into the Arctic, "Operation Frostbite", up around Greenland and Iceland. We bombed some big icebergs up there in the North Atlantic and had a lot of fun.

We also went down to Cuba. We stopped in Guantanamo Bay and Trinidad and went through a bunch of operations and exercises. We did simulated combat strikes, dropping bombs, strafing, firing on towed sleeves, and that sort of thing.

We used to have shore patrol duty now and then. I had it in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, and Trinidad. They would send an officer that didn't know from nothing and a bunch of enlisted men and we would go around and try to keep the peace.

I took a lot of training with the Navy. I took a course in celestial navigation, and we had to learn to recognize all of the aircraft and ships and all of that. We learned Morse code at fifteen words per minute, and blinker at ten words per minute. We had a lot of studying plus the flying.

Our home port was New York City. We used to get back in there periodically for two or three weeks at a time between cruises. Grace was living down in Norfolk on Hampton Roads where she could see the carrier come in and out.

When we were ashore we were based at naval Air Station Oceana in Oceana, Virginia, which is now one of the major Navy fighter bases. I made a bunch of carrier landings, carrier take offs, and catapult launches, and all that sort of thing. The Corsair was about the hottest fighter that they had at that time. It would do 465 knots at 35,000 feet. It had the R-2800 Pratt & Whitney engine. For a long time they feared that the couldn't land it on a carrier because the visibility wasn't good enough with sixteen feet of nose sticking out ahead of the cockpit. They perfected landing techniques where you kept turning right to the point of touchdown, so that gave you forward
visibility to line up on the carrier deck. We practiced a lot of carrier take offs and landings to try to cut our times and we got so we were launching a fighter off the deck about every seven seconds. We got down to where we were taking one aboard about every thirteen seconds. This required pretty good teamwork on the part of the pilots and the Landing Signal Officer and the deck crews. I made the 5,000th carrier landing on board the USS Midway, which was good for a cake and ice cream.

While the Midway was tied up in New York they had a tugboat strike, and we wanted to leave port, and couldn't. We tied 12 Corsairs down on the deck, three at each end on the corners, and we used them to blow the ship out away from the dock. We got it out in the middle of the stream, and we fired up three on one side of the stern, and three on the opposite corner and turned it right around in the middle of the Hudson river. When we had it lined up they fired up the ship's engines and took it out. It was called "Operation Pinwheel".

Once we launched aircraft right there in the Hudson River, just to show off to New York City. We launched a whole squadron of Corsairs in the middle of town, you might say.

They would let the public come aboard the ship. That was kind of fun with all of those good looking little gals ooh'ing and aah'ing over those gold wings and the gold stripes and all of that stuff.-----

 

 

 

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