While we were at San Diego Comic Con SDCC 2017, we decided to have a look at the USS Midway Museum. We like to walk from our hotel to the convention center once or twice during SDCC and we always pass by the museum. Usually we are too busy to stop and look or we come by too late and it is already closed. This time the stars aligned and we walked past the museum while it was open and we didn’t have any pressing matters on the schedule.
This video covers the Main Floor portion of the tour. Our guide was informative and fun. The volunteer guides are made up primarily of prior service, many of whom actually served on the Midway.
The USS Midway Museum is a maritime museum located in downtown San Diego, California at Navy Pier. The museum consists of the aircraft carrier Midway (CV-41). The ship houses an extensive collection of aircraft, many of which were built in Southern California.The USS Midway was America’s longest-serving aircraft carrier of the 20th century, from 1945 to 1992. Approximately 200,000 sailors served aboard the carrier, known for several naval aviation breakthroughs as well as several humanitarian missions. It was the only carrier to serve the entire length of the Cold War and beyond. It is now berthed in San Diego, the original home of the Navy’s TOPGUN fighter school.
Midway opened as a museum on 7 June 2004. By 2012 annual visitation exceeded 1 million visitors. As of 2015 Midway is the most popular naval warship museum in the United States. The museum has over 13,000 members and hosts more than 700 events a year, including more than 400 active-duty Navy retirements, re-enlistments, and changes of command. The museum also hosts approximately 50,000 students on field trips and 5,000 children in its overnight program annually.
Admission includes a self-guided audio tour, narrated by former Midway sailors to more than 60 locations, including sleeping quarters, engine room, galley, bridge, brig, post office, foc’s’le, pilots’ ready rooms, officers quarters, primary flight control, and “officers country”. Other features include climb-aboard aircraft and cockpits, videos, flight simulators, and a narrated audio tour for youngsters.
The museum is berthed at Navy Pier which has more than 300 parking spaces. It also is within walking distance of public transportation and other downtown San Diego waterfront attractions.
In addition to private events, the museum has become a popular media venue. In 2012 it hosted a nationally broadcast NCAA basketball game between San Diego State University and Syracuse University. American Idol has filmed an episode on Midway, as have the Travel Network, Discovery Channel, FOX News, The Bachelor, Extreme Makeover, History Channel, and Military Channel.
After taking in all the interesting stuff on the Midway, I suggest eating at the Fish Market next door. It is hard to miss as the 25 foot tall “Unconditional Surrender” statue is right next door.