Fire in The Midway Chow Hall

Fire in The Midway Chow Hall  – As I was looking through old paper files I came across this letter. It’s a letter of appreciation and a “Well done” from the Supply Officer for helping to keep everyone at Midway fed that day, especially since, as is noted in the letter, the Kornerstone Kafe was closed. Remember the Kornerstone Kafe?

I had spent my TAD in the chow hall when I arrived at Midway. To be honest I only have vague memories of the fire. It certainly wasn’t one that was catastrophic but it disrupted the routine. As the repairs were being made it was decided to do some additional remodelling, extending the temporary inconvenience of preparing the food among construction and transporting the food to the EM Club to be served.

Today the Midway Island chow hall is abandoned and crumbling due to the lack of maintenance by the USFWS and is on a list for demolition. It once played a part in the short lived visitation program that was put in place after the U.S. Navy left the island. With its removal any potential form of visitation becomes less likely in the future.

Chow hall fire letter
Chow hall fire letter – 24 May 1977

13 Replies to “Fire in The Midway Chow Hall”

  1. I was stationed on the Island during 1961-62 and actually cooked in the Cafe for extra $$ for a short time. My main duties were working in the Radar repair shop and flying as the replacement radar technician on those modified Super Constellations, we knew them by the military designation as WV-2’s. Good memories.

      1. I was stationed on Midway Island from November 1977, right out of ABH ‘A’ School in Lakehurst, New Jersey, until December 1978, as an “Aviation Boatswain’s Mate” Airman. I worked TAD in the Galley. The spud locker! My barracks were right next door, and to the east of the galley. My Rate as an Aviation Boatswain, had me work at the Fire Department of course as I worked my way up to MB 5 driver and crew leader. Yes. the Kornerstone Kafe. Me and my best friend MS 2 Ed Clouse, always went for the ‘patty melt’ and a bag of chips. Then it was off to the bowling alley, or to the theatre, or just running around the Island. never a dull moment! It was a happy time and place for me and so many others. Always in my heart….

    1. I was stationed on Midway 1962-63 and worked in the cafe for a short time. Remember sitting by the back door peeling potatoes for french fries and watching people go by.

  2. I was stationed on Midway January 66-67. Worked in supply department and AFRTS as a disc jockey and telvision camera operator. Remember Bob Hopes emergency stop and putting on a show very late at night for all of us. Was happy to leave but have a lot of fond memories.

    1. I was at midway from 65to67 and I remember Bob stoping in that nite oh the beautiful girls he had with him LOL. I worked on flight line and was a crew member on our SAR crew. Lot of memories not many happy ones.

  3. Mike, I can remember my time there as well. 67 to 69. Remember Bob Hope as well. I was part of the Air force 607 MASS. Had a chance 10 years later to thank Mr. Hope personally as I saw him when I was at NBC studios.

    1. Hello,
      I lived on Midway 65 to 67.
      Can you tell me the date Bob Hope visited our island? I have been trying to find out for a long time.
      My name is Patty my email address is
      I would be so happy if you knew the date.

  4. I was in the USAF 7/81-12/87 and made 3 deployments to Midway between 84-86 for an overall total of almost 4 months in support of JCS Operation Pony Express. I was stationed at Offutt AFB, Omaha, Nebraska at the time and fortunately the Midway TDYs usually took place between Nov-Jan. I flew on a C-130 usually while I was there. So many special memories. A beautiful slice of paradise that I wish I could go back and visit.

  5. I was stationed on Midway 1962-63 and worked in the cafe for a short time. Remember sitting by the back door peeling potatoes for french fries and watching people go by.

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