U.S.S. Midway, San Diego, CA., Jan. 9, 2013

January 16th, 2013 | Posted by Steve in California | Museums | Ocean | Ships | War Birds

I did a visit to the Midway on July 21, 2012.  A post is in this website detailing that visit.  My son & daughter-in-law wanted to tour the Midway so after we left Seaport Village we drove the short distance to the aircraft carrier.

Hopefully this post will show some items not covered in that older post.

This day was not nearly as busy as last July, but the museum still had a respectable crowd.  The first thing you see as you walk into the ship is this display.

1 8860 JPJ plaque

Not much farther along you enter the hangar deck where I got this photo of a tail gunner in a WWII era SBD Dauntless dive bomber.  The 50 caliber machine guns should look familiar.  They have been operational in the U.S. arsenal for over 90 years now.  It is seems that this particular design is hard to improve on.  I show similar guns in a photo from my Oct. 20, 2012 post from the War Eagles Air Museum in Santa Teresa, NM.

2 8861 Dauntless

Heading toward the bow of the Midway is this display of a GE J79 Turbo Jet.  Engines like this powered F-4 Phantoms, F-104 Starfighters, B-58 Hustlers, and A-5 (or A3J) Vigilante jet planes to name a few.  General Electric built over 17,000 of these over a production run of about 30 years.

3 8871 J-79 GE Turbo Jet

Going further forward you enter the Forecastle and other areas.  One large room near the forecastle housed the anchor chains.  The Midway has about 2000’ feet of anchor chain.  I assume this is in two 1000’ runs.  Each link weighs about 135 pounds.

4 Anchor Chains

From there we got in line for a Bridge tour inside of the island.  I was unable to get a Bridge tour on my last visit so this was a treat.

I’ve been through the island of an aircraft carrier once before.  In 1991 the Bon Homme Richard was being prepared for scrap at the Southwest Marine yard in San Pedro, CA.  I was invited to bid on the electrical gear and given the run of the ship.  I spent a little time on the Bridge and somewhere I may even still have a snapshot of that.

The Midway is a museum ship and is in far better condition than a ship being prepared for scrap.  The Bridge looks freshly painted and may even be cleaner than it was while operational.

After climbing very narrow and very steep stairways we entered the Air Operations Center.  The spaces are close and cramped.  I put on the fisheye lens and shot away.  This is the space.  The “Boss” is the Air Boss.  He is in charge of every air operation within a 5 mile radius.  The “Mini” is the Mini Boss or the second in command.

5 8890 Flight Operations Center

The Air Operations Center is at the back of the island.  From there we made our way forward along a catwalk to the Bridge.  This is the nerve center and where the ship is steered.  Steering is via a large ship’s wheel with handles and about 3′ in diameter.  Its kind of like in the movies except the wheel is made of brass.  The wheel is not directly attached to the rudders, but to sensors which transmit movements of the wheel to the rudder control.

Behind the Bridge is a small living space for the Captain in case he can’t get to his larger quarters further below.

We didn’t enter into the Combat Information Center or CIC unless I just didn’t recognize it as such.

6 8898 On the Bridge

7 8899 On the Bridge

When we left the Bridge we walked down more stairs narrow and steep like the ones we came up.  All through the ship I saw old ‘Navy’ style transformers and voltage regulators.  As we descended these stairs I saw the oldest ones yet.  Here are two 15 Kva transformers hooked in a ‘Closed Delta’ configuration.  The large file from the camera clearly shows the manufacturing date of 8-2-43!

8 8900 2 Xfmrs in Closed Delta 8-43

Down at the flight deck we reentered the island to see the Captain & Admiral’s areas.  This is a photo of the Admiral’s living room on board.

9 8901 Admirals living room

Not far from there are rooms devoted to electronic gear.  This is an operational Radar Screen & Station.

10 8907 Radar Screen & Station

Not far from that was this display of the Radio & Communications room.

11 8908 Radio & Communications room

Back on the flight deck I got this shot just as we were preparing to leave.  It is of an A-6 Intruder with a load of dummy bombs.

12 8922 A-6 Intruder

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