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Reunion '11

San Diego, CA -  10-13 October 2011

USS MIDWAY (CV-41) TOUR

Built by Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, she was launched on 20 March  1945  and commissioned on 10 September 1945, She was the largest warship in the world for the first decade of her service. Every aspect of her construction included the most modern design innovations possible. Twelve Babcock and Wilcox boilers powered four Westinghouse geared turbines which developed 212,000 horsepower for a maximum speed of 33 knots. Midway was designed with two catapults, fourteen arresting cables, and six barriers.

She was decommissioned for the first time in October 1955. After being decommissioned, Midway underwent a modernization project to give her the capability to operate high performance jet aircraft. She was fitted with two steam catapults on the bow and a shorter steam catapult in the new angle deck. The purpose of the third catapult was to allow ready deck launches while keeping the landing area clear for recoveries in an "alert" situation. Additional improvements included the installation of a hurricane (enclosed) bow, moving elevator number three to the starboard deck edge aft of the island, enlarging the number one elevator to accommodate longer aircraft, new arresting gear, jet blast deflectors, and the largest aviation crane ever installed on an aircraft carrier. On recommissioning in September 1957, Midway's load displacement had grown from 55,000 to 62,000 tons.

February 1966 saw Midway decommissioned once again in order to undergo the most extensive and complex modernization ever seen on a naval vessel. This upgrade would take four years to complete, but yielded a much more capable ship and made Midway operationally equivalent to the newest conventionally powered carriers. The flight deck was increased in surface area from 2.82 acres to 4.02 acres. The addition of three new deck-edge elevators could now lift 130,000 pounds compared with 74,000 pounds of her sister ships, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Coral Sea. Two powerful new catapults on the bow, three new arresting gear engines, and one barricade were installed and rearranged to accommodate a change of 13 degrees to the angle deck. The smaller waist catapult was removed since it was ineffective in launching the now heavier aircraft. Modern electronic systems were installed, a central chilled water air conditioning system replaced hundreds of individual units. She was recommissioned on 31 January 1970.

Midway was decommissioned for the last time at North Island Naval Air Station in San Diego, California on 11 April 1992. She was stricken from the Navy List on 17 March 1997 and was stored at the Navy Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility, Bremerton, Washington. 

On 30 September 2003,she was towed to Oakland, California. Restoration work was performed before Midway was again taken under tow on 31 December. The Foss Maritime Company's Corbin Foss towed Midway down the coast of California, arriving in San Diego Bay on 5 January 2004. Midway was temporarily berthed at NAS North Island to load restored aircraft and also add ballast and equipment in preparation for her move across the bay to Navy Pier where she officially opened as the San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum on 7 June 2004.
 

Conceived and built during the desperate days of World War II, the carriers of the Midway class carried a crew of 4,500 and up to 70 aircraft. The 1,000 foot-long Midway was once the largest carrier afloat, growing from 45,000 tons in 1945 to 74,000 tons in 1991. However, she had a displacement about two-thirds that of contemporary nuclear-powered flattops. When operating at sea the ship was refueled every three days, burning approximately 100,000 gallons of oil a day.

 

We were able to tour the ship. A luncheon was served on the flight deck which was a real treat. Ernie gave a moving invocation which was really appreciated in today's secular world.

 

After the ship visit we were bussed out to Point Loma to the Cabrillo Monument.


Luncheon on the flight deck

Cabrillo Monument  --- View of San Diego from Cabrillo

 

Attendees Hospitality City Tour USS Midway Tour Banquet