Visiting The USS Midway

While I was in San Diego last week I visited the USS Midway.

I’ve had a hard time with this post because the ship is so damn big it’s hard to convey what it feels like when you’re on her. I tried to find an angle that would allow me to get the whole ship in the frame, but no luck. I did get the USS Ronald Reagan from across the bay (Photo later) but the best I could do was pieces of the Midway and I’m not happy with the results.

The Midway Museum has done a great job of preserving the ship and they give everyone an audio tour setup with random access capability. Everything they think is interesting has a number on it and you punch in the number to hear about it. It’s well worth your time if you’re in the San Diego area. Pictures, or even video, can’t begin to convey the scale of this giant. You have to experience it in meatspace.

The cavernous hanger deck:

The hanger deck doesn’t look or feel like a ship. It feels like a large open building (Or hanger, duh) on the ground. I’m sure there are times at sea when you get a sense of movement, but not tied up at the dock.

Right away, inside the hanger deck, I was confronted with an old nemesis, the J79. An overly complex, cold ware relic that was strapped in pairs to the F4, providing the oft quoted saw that the F4 proved a brick could fly with a big enough engine strapped to it. I was in the helicopter engine shop, but a gas turbine is a gas turbine and since we shared space with the F4 guys we sometimes helped each other out. Fortunately my MOS was depot level repair and I was in the USMC reserves so I never had to deploy to a ship.

And here’s the brick itself on the flight deck:

And something new seen from something old: The newest carrier to enter service, CVN-76 the USS Ronald Reagan from the Midway:

And a closer look at the Reagan:

That is the shot I wish I could get of the Midway, but I didn’t have time to go across the bay and try to find a good vantage point.

And here’s the flight deck. This is a great example of not looking like a ship. It looks like airplanes parked on the ground, and even when you can see the water over the edge it still doesn’t feel like a ship.

The Midway’s Island:

Here’s a few weird things I found. Pneumatic tubes in the radio room:

For “Priority messages”. Can you believe the Midway participated in Desert Storm with tubes carrying messages? Where’s that RFC for TCP/IP over Bellamy tube again?

There’s an old saying I first heard on Army bases when I was a kid. Something about if something stands still long enough it gets painted white.

I’ve seen a lot of cable tray in my lifetime, but never one with the cables ALL painted white. Every single one.

And here’s some moron playing out his Top Gun fantasy in a T-2 on the flight deck.

(No, not THAT Top Gun fantasy you sick monkeys.) Check out the Heat Miser hair.

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