After Miramar we went straight to San Diego to visit the USS Midway Museum. This would be my first visit to a carrier ever ! The USS Midway was moored at her final restingplace at the Broadway Pier in the heart of San Diego. She opened her gates on the 7th of June 2004. In the first year a stunning 879,281 visitors where counted in the museum. A little history of the CV-41 'USS Midway': the Midway was the lead ship of her own class and was commissioned right after the second world war. Construction began in 1943 at the Newport News Shipbuilding Company in Newport News Virginia. She was launched on the 20th March 1945 and commissioned in September 1945. In 1955 she underwent an extensive overhaul that lasted till September 1957. The Midway traded in her first homeport Norfolk for Alameda. Off course the Midway was heavily involved in the Vietnam war from 1965 till 1975 in which Midway crews flew strike missions against military and logistics targets in North Vietnam. Also pilos from Midway downed the first (four) Migs credited to US forces during the war. Also the last air-to-air kill in the war was credited to a Midway squadron. Pilots from VF-161 'Chargers' downed a North-Vietnamese Mig-17 with an AIM-9 Sidewinder in January 1973. After her last Vietnam-cruise Midway was to be the first carrier to be homeported abroad. Yokosuka, Japan would become her new homeport on the 5th of October 1973. For extraordinary heroism and outstanding performance Midway's Attack Carrier Air Wing Five (CVW-5) received a Presidential Unit Citation signed by Richard Nixon. During the eighties the USS Midway cruised the western Pacific. In March 1986 the final carrier launch of a F-4S Phantom took place on the Midway.

On the 20th of June 1990 disaster struck the USS Midway after the ship was heavily damaged by two onboard explosions killing three firefighters and wounding eight. In 1991 she joined other carriers in the Persian Gulf to participate in Operation Desert Storm. In June 1991 she left for her final deployment to the Philippines to evacuate 20,000 servicemen and their families from Clark A.F.B. after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. In August 1991 she left Yokosuka for the last time and headed to Pearl Harbor. She was replaced by the USS Independence. She left Pearl Harbor for NAS North Island where she was decommsioned on the 11th of April 1992. Midway was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on the 17th of March 1997. In September 2003 she began her final voyage from Bremerton Washington to San Diego to prepare her for her future task as a Carrier Museum. At the time of our visit 23 aircraft where on display on the upper deck while 5 aircraft where displayed below deck. In all absolutely one of the topattractions San Diego has to offer. You get to see how the servicemen lived their daily lifes onboard the carrier during the several time-era's the mighty ship operated. Also many photo's, films and other great memorabilia where displayed. You could also take a seat in one of the cockpits that where situated on the lower deck (climb-aboard cockpits). After our visit we went back to the car for our two-hour drive to El Centro.