I served on two of the carriers in the pictures, the Essex CVA-9 and the Yorktown CVA-10) .
I went aboard the Essex right out of boot camp in 1954. She still had the straight deck when we made the 54-55 WestPac Cruise. After returning to San Diego we took her to Bremerton to have her cantered deck and "Hurricane" bow put on. I left her there in Jan 56 and went to the USS Badoeng Straits (CVE-116) and spent the summer of 1956 watching H-Bombs going off in Bikini.
The picture of Ulithi remind me of our shacks on Bikini. It was a pretty "rowdy" time.
After bringing the "Bing Ding" back to San Diego, I was transferred to the Yorktown, the "Fighting Lady" or as we referred to her, "The Battling Bitch."
In all I served on 5 carriers (the Princeton CVS-37 and the Midway CVA-41 were the others) but the Essex and her sister, the Yorktown were my favorites.
Just to clarify that I was not an Airedale, but a "black shoe" in the "Black Gang", the Boiler Room.
You just grabbed my interest...
What was life like in the black gang, and what do you remember of the H-Bombs going off?