Travel Tales and Pictures

Travel Stories and Photographs by John.

Sunday

San Diego, California - Aircraft Carrier - USS Midway

The pictures ENLARGE if you click on them.
When Catherine and I were in San Diego, we also visited the aircraft carrier, USS Midway. As of 2007 she is a museum ship in San Diego, California. I was especially happy to be able to visit the Midway because my father served as an officer in her and is a "plank owner". A "plank owner" is an individual who was a member of the crew of a ship when that ship was placed in commission or recommissioned.

USS Midway (CVA-41) is an aircraft carrier of the United States Navy. She was first commissioned after the end of World War II. She was active in the Vietnam War and in Operation Desert Storm. She is the only remaining aircraft carrier of the World War II era that is not an Essex-class ship.

USS Midway was laid down 27 October 1943 in Newport News, Virginia. Her hull design was based on what would have been the Montana class battleships and gave her superior maneuverability over previous carriers. She was launched 20 March 1945.

After shakedown in the Caribbean, Midway joined in the U.S. Atlantic Fleet training schedule, with Norfolk her homeport. On 29 October 1947, USS Midway sailed for the first of her annual deployments with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean.

Homeported at Alameda, California, Midway began annual deployments with the 7th Fleet in 1958, and was on such duty in the South China Sea during the Laotian Crisis of Spring 1961.

Midway entered San Francisco Bay Naval Shipyard on 11 February 1966 for a massive modernization. The flight deck was enlarged from 2.8 to 4 acres. The elevators were enlarged, relocated, and given almost double the weight capacity. USS Midway also received new catapults, arresting gear, and a centralized air conditioning plant. Midway finally recommissioned on 31 January 1970.

Catherine on the hanger deck of the USS Midway. Behind Catherine is a TBM, WWII type torpedo bomber built by General Motors under from Grumman. George H.W. Bush ditched one during WWII.

The anchor chains of the USS Midway.

Catherine must have been bad. She is in the ship's brig or jail.


A WWII dive bomber (SBD) built by Douglas.

Photo of a Primary trainer WWII (built by North American). the plane came in service during WWII.

The chaplain's quarters.



The Officers Wardroom (dining room).

The POW/MIA Table

You may notice this small table here in a place of honor. It is set for one.
This table is our way of symbolizing the act that members of our profession of
arms are missing from our midst. They are commonly call POW's or
MIA's…we call them brothers.

They are unable to be with us this evening and so we remember them.
This table set for one is small... it symbolizes the frailty of one prisoner
against his oppressors.

The table cloth is white... it symbolizes the purity of their intentions to
respond to their country's call to arms.

The single rose displayed in a vase reminds us of the families and loved ones
of our comrades in arms who keep faith awaiting their return.

The red ribbon tied so prominently on the vase is reminiscent of the red
ribbon worn on the lapel and breasts of thousands who bear witness to their
unyielding determination to demand a proper accounting for our missing.
A slice of lemon is on the bread plate... to remind us of their bitter fate.
There is salt upon the bread plate... symbolic of the family's tears as they
wait.

The glass is inverted... they cannot toast with us tonight.

The chair is empty... they are not here.

Remember... all of you who served with them and called them comrades, who
depended on their might and aid, and relied on them... for surely... they have
not forsaken you.


The pictures ENLARGE if you click on them.
The USS Midway, like all aircraft carriers is like a floating city and has all the services like a small city, including medical offices and a surgery room.


The flight deck of the USS Midway.

This plane is an A-3 Skywarrior built by Douglas. Nose number 612, served with VAQ-130 stationed in Alameda prior to being deployed to the Midway. It was designed to carry Navy's atomic weapons and saw extensive service during Viet Nam as tanker.


The North American A-5 Vigilante was a powerful, highly advanced carrier-based supersonic bomber designed for the United States Navy. Its service in the nuclear strike role to replace the A-3 Skywarrior was very short. As the RA-5C, it saw extensive service during the Vietnam War in the reconnaissance role. Prior to the unification of the Navy designation sequence with the Air Force sequence in 1962, it was designated the A3J Vigilante.

That is me sitting in the "Air Boss" chair.


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