I went back to the USS Midway Museum today and I’m glad I did. The Midway was built at Newport News Ship Building Co. in 1943-45 and commissioned into the Navy in September 1945 and named after the famous Battle of Midway, which turned the tide in the Pacific Theater. The ship has a long and storied history seeing action in the Viet Nam war and Operation Desert Storm. She was decommissioned in 1992 and turned into a floating museum in 2004. Her air wings were credited with the first Migs to be downed in the Viet Nam war in 1964 and the last to be downed in 1973.
While the Midway is a huge ship at 1,000 ft long with a 4 acre flight deck, there doesn’t seem to be much room below in the crew quarters for the 4,500 crew members. Bunk areas are tight with little room for storage or lounging. The passageways are narrow and divided often by watertight doorways requiring you to lift your feet and duck your head to pass through. There are lots of stairways and ladders to climb and descend to make your way up and down. The engineering areas are interesting because of all the analog gauges and manual controls. I spent about 2 hours on board and never got to the third and fourth decks to see mess halls, laundry, and sick bay. I did find my way to the brig and spent some time behind bars.
We’re headed out in the morning and will be in the desert by tomorrow night. Till then.