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FLIGHT LINE

Featured Member CMC Mike Welby

Command Master Chief Kevin Michael Welby, USN-RET

Kevin M. Welby was born on May 6, 1936 in Boston, MA, and since highschool he has gone by his middle name "Mike". His parents Eileen C. Fitzgerald and John F. Welby, Sr., USN were married in June, 1935 and were the parents of one daughter, and two sons. One brother served in the Navy and one in the Marines.

Mike joined the Navy in 1952 at age 16 before graduating from Boston's Charleston High School.. After Boot Camp his first duty station was NAS Corpus Christi, TX. Then a short tour at NAS Beeville, TX and on to Korea aboard the carrier USS Ranger. He went back to Korea for a second tour of duty. In the mid to late 60's, it was fun and games over Viet Nam, and later over Grenada, and then Desert Shield and Desert Storm. His jobs were aerial photography and some underwater photography. Mike graduated from Boston Universitys School of Television and Movie Production in 1968, and from the Newport, RI Command School in 1972. Back aboard ship he ran the photo lab, but flying was his first love, and over his career he accumulated 10,000 flight hours.

He also did duty in North Island, CA in Saratoga; and a tour in Norfolk, VA in "F.D.R."; and Mayport, FL in Teddy Roosevelt and finally Independence. He retired from Independence as a Command Master Chief in 1996 with 44 years of service of which 28 years were sea duty.

Mike is the father of five children, two boys and three girls. He now resides in Juno Beach, FL, and teaches the handicapped to play golf at the Tam O'Shanter Golf Course, in Dyer Park. When he is not volunteering, or visiting his friends and watering holes, he is writing his memoirs of life in the Navy.

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Mike, Juno Beach, Circa 2001