San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum


San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum

The San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum is a maritime museum located in downtown San Diego, California at Navy Pier. The museum consists of the USS "Midway" aircraft carrier.

History

In August 1991, "Midway" departed Yokosuka and returned to Pearl Harbor. Here, she turned over with USS "Independence" which was replacing "Midway" as the forward-deployed carrier in Yokosuka. "Midway" then sailed to San Diego where she was decommissioned at Naval Air Station North Island on 11 April 1992 in a ceremony in which the main speaker was Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney. She was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 17 March 1997. During the decommissioning process, she was used to film portions of the movie "At Sea", a documentary on carrier life shown only at the Navy Museum in Washington D.C. Both sailors and their families participated in the filming or the homecoming scenes.

On 30 September 2003, "Midway" began her journey from the Navy Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility, Bremerton, Washington, to San Diego, California in preparation for use as a museum and memorial. She was docked at the Charles P. Howard Terminal in Oakland, California, during the first week in October while the construction of her pier in San Diego was completed. Then, on 10 January 2004 the ship was moored at her final location at the Navy Pier in downtown San Diego, where she was opened to the public on 7 June 2004.

Visitors may tour the ship's bridge, flight deck, hangar deck, mess deck, primary flight control, Tactical Flag Command Center, enlisted and junior officer quarters, the captain's and admiral's quarters, sickbay, and an engine room. Additionally, several restored aircraft are on display on the hangar deck and on the flight deck. Self-guided audio tours are provided with admission. Events and meetings are held on board as well.

Bringing the ship to San Diego as a museum was the source of some controversy. Critics raised objections including environmental concerns and blocking of scenic sightlines. Under the terms agreed to in receiving space to dock the ship, a portion of the ship's bow is accessible free of charge to allow all visitors to enjoy views of the San Diego harbor and skyline without paying admission, and the preservation of some acres of land as a wetland habitat. There were also concerns that the Midway Museum would steal customers from other local attractions. For example, the ship is located near the independently operated Maritime Museum of San Diego, which includes a collection of historic ships including the tall ship "Star of India", a former Soviet Foxtrot class submarine, and the "HMS Surprise", a replica British frigate used in the filming of the movie . Through 2004, the Maritime business has actually received an increase of visitors, and the executive director of the Maritime Museum believes that part of the credit goes to the arrival of the "Midway". [Sauer, Mark [http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/features/20050213-9999-mz1c13midway.html Aircraft carrier Midway finds itself awash in visitors] February 13, 2005 "San Diego Union Tribune" - Accessed 23 March 2006]

References

External links

* [http://www.midway.org San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum] .
* [http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/m10/midway-iii.htm history.navy.mil: USS "Midway"]
* [http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/41.htm navsource.org: USS "Midway" (CV-41)]
* [http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=Alameda,+CA&ie=UTF8&z=19&ll=37.794483,-122.283422&spn=0.001903,0.00349&t=h&om=1 ex-"Midway" caught on Google Maps in Alameda during her final voyage]
* [http://speakingofhistory.blogspot.com/2006/07/podcast-34-touring-uss-midway-in-san.html A Podcast from Speaking of History about a tour of the USS Midway in July of 2006]


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