Well, I think that the only person who will enjoy this blog is Archie but I may be surprised.
To get started San Diego is one of the major navy bases of the US. The majority of its aircraft carriers are stationed here when not on active duty and so when it was time to mothball the USS Midway it was decided to do so here. However rather than just mothball it the powers that be decided to turn it in to a museum.
My hotel is in, what is now called, the Gaslamp Quarter however it was originally called the Stingaree area because it was very near the harbour and you could get stung there quicker than swimming with stingrays. So since I was so near to the harbour I decided I would pay a quick visit to the USS Midway. How wrong was I? 4.5 hours later wrong.
It was an amazingly interesting museum. It’s obviously stocked with all the aircraft of whatever sort ever that ever flew off the Midway’s decks. As you enter the Hangar deck you are given an audio soundtrack which will guide you round the whole carrier.
It’s simply a case of keying in the number attached and listening but in addition there are videos from an airman or someone from the carrier telling you about a particular incident associated with the plane / helicopter. Many of the exhibits also have a docent beside them. No idea what “docent” means. It’s not a term associated with museums at home but it is frequently used here. Anyway, these particular docents were all retired servicemen, who in one capacity or another had served on board the USS Midway. They were all very happy to answer questions about the aircraft, themselves or anything else. So between the three methods you are treated to an interactive experience throughout your visit.
The Tomcat - the type used in TopGun
Pilots’ lounge - the chairs used all have a name for each pilot in the corp who is on active duty. Pilots wait here to be called on deck.
The Flight deck - takeoff
The bridge, captain’s and admiral’s quarters