By Wayman L. McElhaney
Midway Island, 1951 – 1952
Wayman worked at the Midway Dry-cleaning Plant – PO2
Wayman loved living on Midway, in his little cabin near the sea
2/6/1927 – 9/4/2013 – RIP Wayman
Last time I had the furniture for my cabin stashed but not yet picked up. That would require some serious transportation, and since we had precious little of that , it was going to be quite a challenge. Then suddenly, I got a good break. I had to stand the late watch at the AD Building and as part of the duties I would have to check various places around the Island which required a Jeep. It worked out well. I would make a quick check to see if the runway was still there, determine if there were any ships aground on the reef, and a few other things, then I would dash over to those old buildings and haul off some of the stuff I’d stashed. Got almost all of it the first night. Needed another watch to get the rest. I had a plan. I volunteered to stand the watch the next night also and give the other fellow the time off. Not much sleep working days and standing two long night watches in a row, but Hey! I’ve got a job to do and that’s the only way.
Now, the AD Building had three Jeeps assigned to it. Two ran quite well, but the third must have come from the dump. It would run alright, but the muffler was gone. It could be heard from one side of the Island to the other in daytime. At night it was worse. When I showed up for the second watch, guess which Jeep I had to use? Yeah!! The one with no muffler. I couldn’t be slipping around anywhere with that thing could I? Desperate situations call for desperate action. Why not give it a shot. I wanted to get my stuff before someone else did. It was worth a try. That Jeep had to be the noisiest thing on the Island and I’m sure just about everybody heard it that night, but I got my goods. Took two trips, though.
Made the routine checks. Reef and runway were still okay and I’m through standing watches. That was the last watch I stood the rest of the time I was there. Don’t remember just how all that came about, but okay with me. We had a contingent of about 15 to 18 Marines under the command of a Master Sgt. so I guess they stood the watches. I don’t know.
Now, I’m not only in Paradise, but I’ve got my own well furnished private cabin in the pines and I’m living like some emperior. I run the cleaning plant to suit myself and all I have to do is make muster each morning at 0800 hours if front of the SAR Hanger. The only time I ever saw my bosses was when they brought something in for cleaning. My assistant and I were doing our job very well and were let completely alone.
With that wonderful equipment to work with one would expect top quality service from our plant. We produced it and even became a little famous for it. Our customers were always pleased. The only item I ever ruined was a dress belt belonging to the CO’s wife. She was upset, but graacious. The CO said
….cont’d. One more to go.
Midway, 1951 – 1952