Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The USS Midway

IMG_4754.jpgA person can't lay on the beach forever, so we decided to check out some sights while we were in San Diego. The USS Midway Museum received rave reviews on many tourist sites I had researched, and it had me curious to know what all the hype was pertaining to this ship.
IMG_4651.jpgThis tour was fantastic! From standing on a real aircraft carrier to seeing navy planes up close, to listening to past military men's stories about living on the aircraft carrier, this tour did not disappoint.
IMG_4657.jpgWe were given the option of taking an audio tour while we walked around. The audio tour gave a little history about each plane or section that we visited. Much of the history was told by airmen that had flown or lived on the ship. It was fascinating to hear first hand experiences from men that have served our country.
IMG_4658.jpgHave you ever wanted to see Tom Cruise's Top Gun plane up close and personal? I don't think this exact plane was used in the movie, but it's the same model of plane used in the movie.
IMG_9780There were times that I lost my husband because we were so engrossed in listening to the tour while walking around. We did find each other a few times. ;)
IMG_4667.jpgIt was crazy to see the amount of planes that can fit on this aircraft carrier. The USS Midway was the largest ship in the world for a decade and also the first ship that was too large to fit through the Panama Canal. It is 1,001 feet long and 258 feet wide, hence the reason I couldn't get a photo of the entire ship. The flight deck alone covers 4.02 acres.
IMG_4672.jpgThere were docents all over the ship talking about how things ran and worked on the ship. This guy was awesome! He was stationed on this ship and told the best stories. His main presentation was to share how planes landed on the flight deck. It's a pretty amazing operation that they run on a ship like this. He said planes landed every 45 seconds which means there was very little room for error.
IMG_4675.jpgCan you imagine flying a huge plane only to have a short runway in which to land and having wires like this to stop you from flying back into the ocean?
IMG_4686.jpgAdmiral Dan March was part of the Midway's last mission, Operation Desert Storm. He shared experiences from that mission.
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There were maps used from the mission in the war room. It was a little surreal to see it left this way considering I was in 7th grade when this war happened and I still remember it.
IMG_4692.jpgPeople have actually worked from these desks.
IMG_4694.jpgThe radar was actually on when we walked through.
IMG_4716.jpgA small chapel can also be found on board this huge ship.
IMG_4717.jpgAfter seeing the chaplain's sleeping quarters my husband was sold on joining the navy, especially after seeing the privates' sleeping quarters.
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It's a tight squeeze, here, for the men at the bottom of the totem pole which is also where they slept, pretty much on the bottom floor of the ship. Yikes!
IMG_4725.jpgThe kitchen, on the other hand, was quite roomy. Take a look at these soup pots. 10 tons of food or approximately 13, 500 meals were served daily on this ship. Can you imagine?
IMG_4729.jpgMy favorite thing in the kitchen was this mixer. I wonder how many cookies I can make in this bad boy.
IMG_4720.jpgIf you were a higher ranking official your food was served on silver.
IMG_4736.jpgChief petty officers were also served fabulous meals. The rest of the crew didn't eat this well.
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The chains for the anchors measure 2,000 feet and the anchors weigh 20 tons. Men new to the ship were often put on anchor duty and if you made it through that you knew you'd survive living on this ship.
IMG_4714.jpgJust in case one had to abandon ship there were survival capsules.
IMG_4713.jpgHave you read the book Unbroken? If you haven't, you should. It's an incredible, true story about Louis Zamperini and his survival at sea after his plane got shot down during the war in 1943. Anyway, this capsule reminds me of the capsule described in the book. It's something you can never forget after reading about it.
IMG_4709.jpgThis unbelievable ship would house 4,500 crew at one time. It amazes me to think that they could fit that many men on one ship. I still can't fathom where they all fit, even though we could see all of their sleeping quarters. If you're in the San Diego area be sure to put this ship on your list of  places to visit. If you love learning about the history of our country this ship will teach just that!


Andrea said...

We went to San Diego last year (in February- it was awesome!) Yes- my husband had to go to the USS Midway. He's a Plane guy, and a history geek. I thought I would be bored. It was SOOoO fascinating! We also checked out the Flight Museum at Balboa park and while it was interesting- the USS Midwayw was probably the highlight of the trip. I know San Diego is one place I would probably go back to more than once.

Rachel Francisco said...

Just seeing this! That's what Adam used to sleep in… for four years anyway. :)

Rachel Francisco said...

I'm just seeing this!! That's what Adam used to sleep in… well for 4 years of his life, anyway.