In this photo: The USS Midway after colliding with the Panamanian merchant ship Cactus, July 29, 1980.
"I was on board the night this collision happened (mid 1980). In fact, if you see where the catwalk on the side of the hull is still attached and the broken piece is bent down, I was less than 10’ inside that oval hatch in the side of the hull. This happened in transit from the Philippines to the Indian Ocean.
The freighter Cactus came out of the rain and took our angle deck (and several F-4 Phantoms) right in her bridge. Glancing blow to the hulls, no openings below the waterline. The only warning we had was the “BEEP.BEEP.BEEP..…BEEP.BEEP.BEEP” of the collision alarm over the 1-MC speaker system. The only reason I heard it was because I was sitting on top of the workbench, near the overhead and right below the speaker (I was hanging out in the shop, off duty, because we didn’t have air conditioning down in the dead-end hole that was my berthing area).
Nobody else knew a thing until the ship rolled in the collision. Lost two shipmates, one right at the point of collision, crushed between the hull and other structure."
- Geoff Case,
Veterans Committee Vice-Chair