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From the Stars and Stripes archives

Readying the Midway for another trip out

A wide-angle photo of the USS Midway in drydock at Yokosuka, Japan, in 1977.

BOB WICKLEY/STARS AND STRIPES

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: June 28, 1977

YOKOSUKA NB, Japan — She's nearly 32 and, like everyone, needs occasional respite from normal routine to get herself back into tip-top shape.

And for the past few weeks, the aircraft carrier Midway has lain at rest in a drydock here, being massaged and pampered and painted by a crew of Japanese and Americans — including much of her own crew of nearly 5,000 — to restore her to peak condition.

Long hours at sea have given way to hours which sometimes seem even longer, working with chipping tools and paint brushes, scraping away the residue of months of sea time, refurbishing worn fittings, splicing new wire into an electrical system which could support a small city.

And for the crew, drydock periods offer a time with the family, time to get reacquainted with the kids, time to fall in love with the wife again.

Photographer Bob Wickley caught these studies of the ship in one of Yokosuka's drydocks during a day at the naval base 35 miles south of Tokyo.
 

Seaman John Sotak takes a break from his painting chores on the USS Midway in drydock at Yokosuka, Japan, in 1977.
BOB WICKLEY/STARS AND STRIPES

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