Today we learned about the USS Midway from our guest speaker, Terry Kaltenbach, via Zoom. The Midway was commissioned in 1945 at a cost of $80 million. It's currently the most visited ship in the world and in the top 5 most popular museums in the United States.
Terry shared rich stories about different operations the Midway was a part of including Operation Frostbite. This was a daring mission into the sub-Arctic in 1946 by the USS Midway crew.  That cruise led to several naval aviation achievements and what became known as “Midway Magic” which defines the USS Midway Museum today.
The most dramatic and impactful piece of information Terry shared, was the evacuation of Vietnam and the helicopters rescuing survivors from falling Saigon. Thousands of evacuees were loaded into helicopters and taken to the Midway. Upon the conclusion of Terry's presentation, our club member, Phong Vu, shared the survival story of his family. He and his family were rescued by helicopter and flown to the USS Midway. The moment Phong shared this detail in his families history, there wasn't a dry eye in the room. The connection to Terry's retelling history, and Phong's living through it, made for a powerful moment for our club.
As club president, I thank Phong for sharing this detail about his family, their story of survival, and express my gratitude for the gift we have of calling this country our home. Thank you, Phong!