The Brink

On August 23, 1958 the communist-led Chinese forces launched a massive artillery barrage of two small islands off the coast of Taiwan, where thousands of Chinese Nationalist troops were stationed. This act of aggression would set in motion a series of events that would bring the world to the brink of nuclear war. The USS Midway, fresh off of receiving three years’ worth of major upgrades making it a nuclear force sailed to the Taiwan Strait to deter further aggression by the Chinese Communists. On board the USS Midway was Richard Setlowe, a junior officer responsible for giving the nuclear bombers their targets should it be necessary. A reality that still haunts him today. The Taiwan Strait Crisis of 1958 brought the USS Midway and her crew to the brink of nuclear war.

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The shortest flight of his career was over in “10 or 15 seconds” — when a botched catapult launch dumped Herb Zoehrer's aircraft...

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He defied the odds to make sure that Navy aircrews could rely on their 75 planes during combat missions...

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The son of a fisherman, he was an enlisted man who “came up the hawsepipe” to become Chief Warrant Officer aboard Midway...

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