Midway Fire

Midway Fire

MS3 David McCoy

June 20, 1990

Three dead, Sixteen injured

June 20, 1990, just another boring day out at sea, as the U.S.S. Midway cut through the ocean breeze. Sailors going about their daily tasks, drinking coffee and having a few laughs. Talking about ports and the women they loved. These, tip of the swordmen, were a cut above. When all the sudden the ship shook with a roaring and thunderous blast. Sailors looked at each other, and wondered, what was that?

The mighty ship shook beneath their feet, then the familiar sound of the 1MC. Flying squad report to the area, EMERGENCY! EMERGENCY, FIRE, FIRE! cried the voice. You could hear the sailors yelling, MAKE A HOLE, was the noise. The P-ways opened up like Moses parting the Red Sea, as the flying squad made their way to the scene.

Vierra, Johnson, and Kilgore were part of that team that fateful team, called the flying squad. The first sailors to be on the scene. Bravely they fought as well as many others, with sailors’ side by side, they called their brothers. Not by blood, by race or creed, but by the oath, of loyalty. A camaraderie, known by few, these three brave young men, the fire would subdue.

The smell of fire on metal loomed in the air, after the fire settled, and water everywhere. With soot on their faces, hands, and feet. Some sailors noticed that a few were missing, they called out to their shipmates, but no one was listening. Their fears were confirmed as the search continued. The fire on the U.S.S Midway had taken the two. Another died later succumbs to his wounds, as the flying squad fought for many, and the rest of the crew.

Memories can heal and haunt the soul, the loss of a brother, we will never let go. For the memory of the fallen three, we salute you and speak about your legacy, one of courage and bravery.

As my head drops in reverence, the sounds of taps playing in the distance and a tear falls from an eye. We will never forget June 20th and the men that died.


4 thoughts on “Midway Fire

  1. Marc Sahr says:

    How I remember that day and the burned guys from the Flying Squad with Corpsmen all over them laid out on the aft messdecks. Also the 1MC calling out the missing names again and again.


  2. George Sieveking says:

    Was working on the aft mess deck during this event. I was one of the sailors helping get ice, holding IV Bags while the doctors were tending to the injured/burned sailors. I will never forget the smells the sights, and the fear I felt during the fire. I am sad that we lost some fellow Midway brothers during this day. I will never forget.


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