Moored downtown San Diego is the museum ship USS Midway. Built during WWII she was commissioned two weeks after the end of WWII but later served in Korea, Vietnam and the first Gulf war. For a full history follow the link.
On de-commissioning she was donated to the city of San Diego. I was impressed with the condition she is in, a credit to all who sailed on her and those who look after her now. I was also impressed with the volunteers who guide visitors, deal with problems and give technical talks on carrier operations.
The hangar deck had aircraft plus a lot of simulators / games and static displays of equipment.
Next was the flight deck with a good mix of aircraft. This one was part of a display on landing and trapping showing the hook down. There was also a lecturer giving a talk with photos which was done very well.
Looking down the flight deck from forward
Most of the vessel was open to inspection with only the propulsion spaces excluded. Unfortunately my phone ran out of batteries at this point, although I did get a 10 minute video of the inside of my pocket. Another blog maybe.
The various crew spaces were fascinating.
The Admiral and Captain’s quarters very nice with lounges, meeting rooms, head and their own little kitchen with cook / steward. However you got a little feeling for the loneliness some of these senior people must have endured being somewhat separated from the rest of the crew. The admiral’s area also had war rooms, communications etc
The officer’s area was nice but I was very surprised to find out that they paid for their food.
The Chief Petty Officers also had a nice area which was an excluded space for all other ranks including commissioned officers. If only those bulkheads could talk!
For all other hands, even though the ship only had visitors on board, the feeling was one of congestion. The food areas were nice but they were very clear that getting food was one thing, finding a table and chair a lot more difficult. I don’t think pleasant after dinner conversations were a recruiting tool.
The cost was $18 so good value and a worthwhile time if this interests you. You can stay as long as you want.
Dad did his national service in the Royal Navy and spent time on HMS Perseus, the carrier used to trial the steam catapult. I remember him telling me of sailing round the north Atlantic Ocean firing off boxes to test it. All very secret.