Edward Atkins as a student

1944

"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.

Edward Atkins in the navy

1945

"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.

Younger
1946

1988

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.

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.