The USS Midway Museum in San Diego, CA is a must-see in my book. It is by far one of the best preserved ships in our museum fleet. It also has more planes than many third world air forces. Here are a few of my pics:

To view the rest of my photos, click here. Have you toured the USS Midway? If so, what did you think?

Photos (me)

Posted by Jim Dolbow in Travel

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  • Byron

    Great pics, Jim. Gotta point out one thing, though, pic 3 on facebook says that this is the bow… it’s the stern. Forgive me for asking a dumb question, but were those mannequins wearing the flight deck suits? I couldn’t tell, but it looked like it. My son-in-law, while he was with VS-32 wore a white suit when he was up on the “roof”.

  • thanks for pointing out my stupid mistake. I was so focused on getting the airplanes correct I messed up on something I knew like the bow and and stern of the ship. The flight deck suits were cardboard cut-outs. glad you liked the pics

  • Byron

    Closest one to me is in Charleston, the Yorktown. Every time we’ve been in C’town, the wife was with me and much more interested in shopping and sightseeing that a dirty old carrier that you had to do all that climbing to see anything 😉

  • JRandom

    I was in San Diego 2 years ago for a conference and walked right by Midway but didn’t get around to the tour, which I still regret. Next time…

    In the BB category, I’ve visited North Carolina in Wilmington and New Jersey in Camden. I thought the North Carolina had better interpretive displays. Since it was decomissioned much earlier, it also retained more of its WWII flavor (e.g. Oerlikon guns on the deck).

    New Jersey, on the other hand, shows all the modernizations that were done over the years – cruise missile launchers, modern CIC, etc.

    But I thought both were great tours. The closest carrier to me is Intrepid in NYC – I’ll have to do that one soon. And maybe I can find another conference in San Diego…

  • Rick Wahler

    I served about Midway in 1971 with VF-161. Going aboard is an emotional experience. Different than the Intrepid in NYC, the ship itself is the experience–they are bringing the ship back to life, in a sense. They are opening more and more areas to visitors each year, and many of the docents include retired officers, enlisted and flight officers who share their personal memories.

  • UltimaRatioReg


    Thanks for the post. MIDWAY is a great tour. Lots of interesting items aboard, the docents are super knowledgeable, and you can always find an old salt in there with his wife. Out there in Feb (thanks, USNI!) I gabbed with an old BMC who’d had a ringside seat at Iwo.

    Interesting that MIDWAY picked up 30,000+ tons of displacement with two angled flight deck installations and a hurricane bow. She also retained her 8″ armored belt and armored conning tower.

    If anyone is lucky enough to be in SD, MIDWAY is highly recommended.

  • I heartily concur with the recommendation to visit the old girl. But be warned. You really need to set aside a MINIMUM of 3-4 hours to see her.

  • Byron

    Brad, at my advanced age, it’ll take that long to get to the flight deck 😉

    Byron, who was really, REALLY glad to see JFK go, since his job involved work from the 0-10 to the 7th deck in Shaft Alley.

  • Roger that regarding a minimum of 3-4 hours for a visit. I have toured the Yorktown twice but the New Jersey and Intrepid are next on my to do list.

  • Andy (JADAA)

    I took my youngest aboard her a couple of years ago. I had worked with her Air Wing a few times in the 80’s, including during the A-6 groundings and after the infamous waist bulges had been installed. What will strike most of you as you cross the brow is the fact that she still has the smell of a carrier: cat steam, jet fuel, hydraulic fluid and sweat. The memories it will evoke in any seagoing vet will be palpable. The museum has a lot of very well connected people associated with it and that’s been a key in obtaining and retaining funding and sponsorships.


  • Hmm, usual suspects found in expanded album, but no Hummer
    – SJS

  • SJS,

    Thanks! I think I might have forgotten to include the Hummer. I took a picture of each plane onboard Midway. Let me go back and check my files. Hopefully I can remedy this oversight

  • Great post!

    I moved to Las Vegas about four and a half years ago – not long after Midway opened. I’ve been aboard her several times since she opened for business and once before that when they were prepping her for mothballs over at North Island.

    My Godfather flew Phantoms off of Midway in Vietnam with VF-161 and I’d heard a few stories so it was a great experience to go tour the ship. I’d highly recommend it to everyone. Definitely set aside three to six hours and be prepared for ladders and more ladders!

    I don’t know how they’d do it, but I wish they’d put a Nimitz class boat up as a museum someday since the Navy no longer gives tours of active carriers like they used to. I remember going aboard Kitty Hawk and Ranger when I was little and they gave public tours at North Island.

    I’m glad we have Midway as a museum and that the exhibits and staff are the caliber I’d hoped for. Here’s a big THANK YOU! for all the guys and gals who made this happen.

  • Wharf Rat

    Location location location:

    Midway is successful in large part because cruise ships come in almost next to her. I’m grateful that this occurs, its just too bad that Hornet and Yorktown don’t have the same advantage in revenue stream that Midway has.

    That’s why she’s so successful. Put her where Hornet is, and we’d watch her detriorate tool – its too bad

  • WharfRat, You are right on target about the location.

  • Robbo

    This is age-based, but… I’m 41 and been serving at sea since 1986. My Dad went to sea in the early 60’s. While my dad was on a tin can, and I’ve spent most my time in amphibs, I thought the best thing about visiting MIDWAY was that she spanned both our eras, and you can see it in the spaces, construction, etc. A cool connection for me.

    I thoroughly enjoyed my visit, but I felt rushed in the 2.5 hours that I had. Look for the vets telling their stories, from WWII dive bomber pilots to F-4 pilots talking cat shots.


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    Take a virtual field trip to San Diego. Our young host Robert interviews a veteran who served on the USS MIDWAY to learn about life on this floating city.