San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum
USS Midway, CVB-41
The Midway will become the fifth and largest aircraft carrier museum in the United States. The other carrier museums are the Intrepid in New York City; the Yorktown in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina; the Lexington in Corpus Christi, Texas; and the Hornet in Alameda, California.
The USS Midway was the world's largest warship when it was launched on March 20, 1945, and she held that distinction for a decade. She was commissioned on September 10, 1945 and named for the Battle of Midway. Midway was the lead ship of her class, three of which were completed, with another two ships cancelled.
Midway served three combat tours during in Vietnam and launched warplanes over Iraq in 1991 during Desert Storm. The ship saw many firsts, including the first jet takeoff from a carrier and the dawn of naval missile warfare when a captured German V-2 rocket was launched from its deck in 1947.
The ability to adapt to new technologies, systems, platforms, and operational needs is exemplified in the design and 50-year operational history of the USS Midway. Designed during World War II, this "flattop" initially operated piston-driven propeller aircraft, yet returned from her last deployment in 1991 with the Navy's most modern, multipurpose strike-fighters. Her original axial-deck design was modified to an angled-deck layout, her original hydraulic catapults were replaced with more powerful steam catapults, and the most basic electronics replaced by advanced sensors and communications equipment. Her air wing included four squadrons of F/A-18 Hornets and two squadrons of A-6 Intruders (a strike capability of 68 attack aircraft). While unable to operate either the F-14 Tomcat or S-3 Viking, Midway was still an amazing and powerful national asset over forty years after her commissioning.
It was decommissioned in Coronado in 1992, making it the longest-serving carrier in U.S. Navy history. Serving her country for 47 years, more than 200,000 sailors and airmen called the Midway home over the years.
San Diego's long association with the Navy makes it an ideal site for a carrier museum. San Diego is home to both a third of the Navy's Pacific Fleet and the largest number of military retirees anywhere in the country.
Tickets will cost $10.50, but the bow of the 1,001-foot-long flight deck will be open to the public at no charge.
Aircraft, including the F-14 Tomcat, will be hoisted onto the carrier for the opening and a large collection of naval memorabilia will be in place shortly afterward. Eventually, plans call to give visitors a ride on a flight simulator as well as interactive preflight briefings.