RETURNING HOME FROM 1968 WESPAC
World's Largest BBQ.


When the war was "over" for us, the long trip home to Norfolk was quite boring to say the least. We were so used to working 14 or more hours a day at an incredible pace. Now flight ops have virtually stopped except for an occasional big shot visitor or to recover the mail plane. (Note: as part of the air wing, we NEVER ran out of work keeping the planes up. Just calm 12 hour work days. This was good by the way)

The ships company arranged many activities to keep the men busy. Movies, boxing matches, basketball games and such. One day, probably around December 1968 the crew took scores of oil barrels, cut 1/4 sections out and turned them into BBQ grills! Somehow the captain obtained enough steaks to serve the entire crew.

bbq1

This shows close up of the mess cooks grilling the steaks, The blast shields on the catapults were raised to provide a shield from the wind.

bbq2

This is the beginning of the "steak line" starting at the grills directly behind the blast shields.

bbq3

This shows the continuation of the line going all the way back to the fantail. (put pic3 to left of pic 2 and see big picture)

Over the years I have often thought about sending this in to Guinness book of records. Could this be the largest steak bbq ever? approx 5500 men served. What a treat! Hope you enjoy the pics. Maybe there is a place in the museum for them?

Our Thanks to Bob Carroll for these.
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