Friday, June 20, 2014

Another Great Day At Sea: Life Aboard An Aircraft Carrier

Having served aboard the aircraft carrier the USS Kitty Hawk during the Vietnam War, I was interested in what a Brit writer thinks of life aboard an American aircraft carrier.

Geoff Dyer wrote a book called Another Great Day at Sea: Life Aboard the USS George H.W. Bush about you can read an excerpt from the book in the Air & Space magazine.

I spent my time on the USS George H.W. Bush ducking and diving or, more exactly, ducking and stooping. I walked the walkways and stoop-ducked through hatches, always focused on a single ambition: not to smash my head even though there was an opportunity to do so every couple of seconds. It was like staying in a cottage in Wales that had been epically extended and converted to nuclear power.

Asked, nine months earlier, if there were “somewhere unusual and interesting” I’d like to be writer-in-residence, I didn’t hesitate: Sir, an American aircraft carrier, sir!

It had to be American: circumstantially, because these days we—the British—don’t even have a carrier; personally, because of the accents, the audible symptoms of the top-to-bottom, toff-to-prole hierarchy that is so clearly manifest in the British military. To have locked myself away on a British aircraft carrier—if one had existed—would have been to have condemned myself to being on a shrunken version of our island kingdom. Sitting in on a U.S. ship, on the other hand, would be like staying in a small town in America (albeit one organized along unusually clear hierarchical lines), surrounded by American voices, American friendliness, American politeness, American Americans.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

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