- Troy, I’ve learned from you that being on the Midway is a family affair. Did you all decide to be stationed on the Midway accidently or coincidently? How many of your family have served on the Midway and when? Were you ever on at the same time as any of your cousins?
There have been four of my family who served aboard the Midway. We are all cousins and three of us were actually aboard at the same time:
- ATCS Shirley Duane Bangerter, VA-23, 1963
- LT David Scott Killpack, HS-12, 1989-1991
- AN Marcus Steven Killpack, VAQ-136, 1989
- ADAN Thomas Troy Prince, VAQ-136 1989-1991
2. What has been your most difficult information request from the Midway Library since you have become a volunteer?
I can honestly say I have never received a difficult request from the Midway Library. Some requests have required more research than others and there have been a few I was unable to answer due to a lack of source material.
3. What do you like best about being a Midway Library volunteer?
I love working with the other Library volunteers. Although I’ve never met any of them in person (I work remotely from Minneapolis), I feel I’ve made many friends and work well with everyone.
4. What types of information have you been providing to the Midway?
,In the beginning, when the Museum first opened, I contributed the ship’s history research I had done for my website. I was also able to occasionally help with questions and provide various photos. Later, I began asking for various documents and started offering updates or corrections. Since 2019, I have written or contributed to several lists and projects. My main contribution has been deployment dates, locations, and squadrons.
5. How many volunteer hours have you earned since you started (the nearest 1000 hour level will be fine.) And how long have you been a volunteer?
As of October 2021, I have now exceeded 2,000 hours. I officially became a Library volunteer in June 2020.
6. Have you planned your next visit to the Midway? Hint Hint, the volunteer dinner in September would be a good time, if it works with your schedule.
I have visited the Midway three times since her arrival in San Diego: January 2004 (I rode the ship across San Diego Bay from NAS North Island to her present location), June 2004 (for the Museum’s Opening Week, during which I volunteered with the Safety Team) and March 2005. I have always wanted to make a return visit (or two or many) but haven’t been able to yet. There have been so many changes and additions to the Museum that it will be a whole new experience for me when I am finally able to return.
7. Is there a project that you would like to be involved in, but have not yet had the opportunity to?
To date, I am involved in every project I would like to be with and have even been able to contribute towards others I wasn’t. I really have so many projects I’m currently working on that I have to prioritize them in order to make any progress. However, it is nice to have some smaller projects to work on when I need to take a break from the larger ones.
8. Have you ever thought about writing a Midway related book? If so, what might it be about?
I never thought about writing a book until my family and a few friends suggested I should take the research I’ve done and publish it. If I ever do go through with it, it wouldn’t be a story-type book like Scott McGaugh’s books. It would most likely be similar to Pete Clayton’s books, but with much more updated information and photographs.
9. Do you have a good Midway sea story that you would like to share?
I only have one good story and it was when I witnessed one of Midway’s planes crash right in front of me: On June 22, 1989, while in the South China Sea, about 90 miles west of the Philippine island of Luzon, I watched VFA-151’s F/A-18A Hornet (BuNo. 162908, NF 207) experience an engine failure while being launched from Midway’s starboard catapult. I was standing all the way forward on the port bow with one of our EA-6B Prowlers and watched NF 207 go down the cat with sparks flying out behind it. The aircraft became airborne, suddenly wobbled and went into the water directly in front of the ship. All I could see as it hit was a huge spray of water and smoke with a parachute floating down. The Hornet sank immediately, and the ship turned hard to port to avoid hitting the pilot, LCDR D.C. Conrad who was rescued soon after by a helo from HS-12.
10. Is there anything about your volunteer experience that you would like to share with us?
Only that all the volunteers I work with are wonderful people and that there aren’t enough hours in the day to work on all the projects I’m involved with.
I started out in life as a “Military Brat” because my father was in the U.S. Navy. I spent my early years moving around the States and the world. After high school, I decided that I “liked” the military life so much that I joined up myself. I spent ten years in the Navy, with nine of those stationed in Japan. I was assigned to the Gauntlets of VAQ-136, an EA-6B Prowler Electronic Warfare squadron for the first three years. Our home port was NAF Atsugi, Japan and we embarked aboard USS Midway, CV-41. When Midway was replaced by USS Independence, CV-62, I cross-decked over to the Indy with the squadron. After I left the squadron in 1992, I transferred to a two year shore duty billet at NAF Atsugi AIMD. I then transferred to another shore duty billet at NAF Misawa AIMD for four years.