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From 1965 to 1967, Navy photographer Patrick Althizer sailed in the Gulf of Tonkin aboard USS Hancock and USS Midway, where he took photos that vividly show what he describes as the “controlled chaos” of aircraft takeoffs and landings. Althizer, who served in the Navy from October 1963 to August 1967, was assigned to photo school in Pensacola, Florida, after training in San Diego.

In August 1964, he began a tour aboard the Midway, flagship of the 7th Fleet. Subsequently he lived and worked on the Hancock for about two years and completed two additional Vietnam tours.After his discharge, Althizer applied his photography skills in industry, advertising and real estate. His work took him inside the Apollo 11, 12 and 13 space capsules during their assembly.

In 2009, he created Photo Safari Yosemite Private Tours and today employs five guides who give tours of Yosemite National Park to visitors interested in photography. Here are some of Althizer’s stunning photos from his aircraft carrier days.