USS Midway (CVB/CVA/CV-41) was laid down on 27 October 1943 in Newport News, VA. It was launched on 20 March 1945, a week after the end of World War II. Midway was the largest ship in the world until 1955, as well as the first U.S. aircraft carrier too big to transit the Panama Canal.
A revolutionary hull design, based on the planned Montana-class battleship, gave it better maneuverability than previous carriers.
It operated for an unprecedented 47 years, during which time it saw action in the Vietnam War and served as the Persian Gulf flagship in 1991's Operation Desert Storm.
Decommissioned in 1992, it is now a museum ship at the USS Midway Museum, in San Diego, California, and the only remaining U.S. aircraft carrier of the World War II era that is not an Essex-class aircraft carrier.
We are very lucky, in that Blakey's cousin Todd, is a retired Naval officer and now serves as a Docent on the Midway.
So we got an extra special private tour from a true subject matter expert.
While in active service Todd did serve on aircraft carriers, but not a tour on the Midway.
However, Todd's father, Richard Hyde did a tour on this bad boy at one point.
|All aboard....but we did not
wait in line.
Here we are...made it on board.
Todd, Laurie, Blakey & John
|We were allowed into the
||...overlooking the flight
|We've arrived on the flight
deck - getting instructions and information from Todd.
||In short, Todd described the
take off and landing mechanics,
and how dangerous it is - NO DOUBT!
|Inside, we first meet with
||We then are sent to our
or bunks as it were.
|Imagine this being your bed
for six months at sea.
|Todd is showing us something
below a glass floor....
|...he is providing a
||...of course..we are sent to
|The restoration center is
an all volunteer deal.
||There is endless work
going on to return naval aircraft to original condition.
This bird was almost done and will be returned to the Midway.
Here we are with one of the veterans in the ultimate "man cave".