Monday, February 15, 2016

USS Midway Museum, 2/05/2016

The USS Midway Museum is an aircraft carrier that was commissioned in 1945, and was the largest warship in the world for a decade. It is 1,001' long and 258' wide with a 4.02-acre flight deck and a crew of 4,500. Decommissioned in 1992, the carrier cost $90M to build and $260M to overhaul 1966-70. It is the 20th century's longest serving carrier. 

The fuel statistics are staggering: 3.4M gallon capacity; 100k gallons used daily; 260 gallons used per mile. The total weight of the carrier is 69,000 tons and is powered by a total of 212,000 horsepower. 

The Midway shot down the first MiG of the Vietnam War (1963) as well as the last one (1973). It lead the evacuation of Saigon in 1975 rescuing over 3,000 refugees in two days. It also served as the flagship of the Persian Gulf air operations in Operation Desert Storm. 

It opened as a museum in San Diego in 2004. Since 2012, more that 1M people visit the museum annually. 

After boarding the massive ship, the Adventure Audio Tour is available (included in admission price). There are 66 narrated stops aboard the Midway that are well marked from the flight deck and bridge down to the 4th deck. 

There are many interactive displays at the museum. Here are some random photos of the many sights we saw here.

Steam throttle training station and control room.

Amanda and John checking out the F-4 Phantom Fighter Aircraft cockpits (used from 1960-1986).

TBM Avenger Torpedo Bomber (WWII), SNJ Trainer aircraft, and A-4 Skyhawk on hangar deck level.

Two chaplains were part of the crew of the Midway. They held all types of services in the area designated as a chapel

The Brig.

The executive officer (second in command) quarters, dining room, and ward room were on the 2nd deck. 

The Galley served over 13,000 meals per day utilizing a kitchen with 24 ovens, six 80-gallon kettles, four deep fryers, 2 huge pressure cookers, and 2 dining-room-table-size griddles. Also shown is the mess deck.

Over 2 million pounds of laundry were done annually. Over 1,000 laundry bags were delivery weekly. The contents were cleaned, pressed (including sheets!), and returned within 24 hours. 

Sick bay, operating room, x-ray room, dentist office. 

This is the UNIVC CP-642B digital data computer installed in 1963. It could only operate 200,000 instructions per second, archaic by today's standards!

There are 24 aircraft on display on the flight deck of the USS Midway. The sheer size of the deck is staggering!

The SH-3 Sea King, was an anti-submarine helicopter, that also served as the President's helicopter, "Marine One," and recovered Apollo astronauts. 

Interesting exhibit of crew members that worked on the flight deck. The shirt color identified each role. The crew of the USS Nimitz posed for the exhibit. Amanda's impersonation of a crew member is a favorite photo of our visit to the museum!

The UH-1 Huey Gunship was an assault helicopter used extensively in Vietnam. Seeing these choppers always brings back combat memories for John. 

Guided tours of the bridge are offered although we did not wait in line to do this.  25-man life rafts are in pods that are stashed on the sides of the vessel. 

A 25' colorized bronze statue, "Save the Kiss," of the iconic photo of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square celebrating the end of WWII in 1945 is located on the waterfront next to the USS Midway.

We left the museum with an incredible sense of awe for those who served on this massive vessel in combat and times of piece. Building this warship in the 1940s in just 18 months was an amazing engineering feat. Managing the logistics and large crew of this floating city was a huge task. There were 47 commanders in the history of the Midway. Kudos to those associated with the successful endeavors of this part of American history. 

Admission to the USS Midway Museum is $18/adults; $15/seniors. We had picked up a Macy's Museum Month Pass that provides half price admission to most San Diego Museums in the month of February. We paid $5 for parking at the lot right next to the museum. 


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