One of the highlights of my trip to speak to federal judges in San Diego was the ability to finally visit the Midway aircraft carrier, which is now a floating museum. As many on the blog know, I am a military history nut so a visit to the Midway was a true “book list” item. It did not disappoint. I spent hours walking about the carrier and listening to both the audio tour and live tours.
The Midway was one of the longest-serving aircraft carrier designs in history. It was commissioned in late 1945 at the end of World War II but not decommissioned until 1992. It lasted through Operation Desert Storm in 1991 and was the flag ship of the Admiral directing air attacks in that campaign.
The carrier has a relatively narrow deck in comparison to the massive nuclear aircraft carriers. Indeed, in comparison to those modern carriers, the Midway seems also quaint. Yet, it was a lethal military vehicle. It is remarkable how primitive much of the systems now seem despite being used into the 1990s.
There is much to do onboard. I particularly enjoyed sitting in cockpits of various jets (a tight squeeze for most of us). There is also a large array of aircraft on the deck stretching over decades. It was also a thrill to sit in captain’s chair and look over the deck. There are presentations all over the ship, including films of landing on the carrier. The man who was speaking on landings was a retired aviator with hundreds of landings, including a large number of the precarious night landings.
I strongly encourage people to visit this amazing vessel with such a long history in defending the country.
Here are some of the pictures from my visit.