Edward Atkins as a student


"On Which We Serve: Where Life-Lessons are Learned," by Edward Atkins, is a first-person account of a young sailor's experiences working on the flight deck of a World War II aircraft carrier.

This book also is a memoir in which the activities on the flight deck can be likened to parables that discuss basic principles such as Trustworthiness, and similar values and virtues.

Edward Atkins in the navy


"On Which We Serve: Where Life-Lessons are Learned" is an exciting and informative World War II first-person account of activities on the flight deck of a World War II fleet aircraft carrier. Originally titled "Flight Deck: A Pictorial Essay of a Day in the Life of an Airdale," this two-part book consists of 774 pages with 355 full-page National Archive photographs. Each photo has a caption that seamlessly segues into a half-page discussion of life lessons learned on that flight deck.



These topics are based on First Principles such as responsibility, accountability, respect for others and self, earned self-esteem (those who have such will never do anything antisocial), empathy, trustworthiness, and similar values and virtues. The title also embraces the Navy motto:

  • Honor (to see one's duty),
  • Commitment (to do one's duty) and
  • Courage (to fulfill one's duty).
  • Your cart is empty.

PayPalSafe, Secure Checkout. You'll get an email with a download link after completing the purchase.

The download file is a PDF. Most of the pages of this book are self-contained, meaning it can be usefully read one page per day

Edward Atkins, the author, kneeling beside an F4U Corsair whose 2,000-hp unmuffled engine is powering a 13-foot propeller (page 389).

The author was transferred to the V-1-F Airdale Division one week before this photo was taken.

He had not yet been issued the standard blue clothe cap, goggles, blue shirt and nonslip flight deck shoes.