Sadly we had only a few days to spend in San Diego. With such little time it makes it very difficult to decide which attractions you want to experience.
With my husband being a US Navy veteran, it seemed appropriate to visit the USS Midway Navy Carrier. The megaton carrier and its Museum were voted the number one thing to do in San Diego in 2015 by Trip Advisor.
Honestly, it wasn’t my first choice of places to see. But knowing that it meant a lot to my husband, I graciously succumbed to the idea and I’m so glad I did! For anyone who loves the movie “Top Gun”, it’s a must see attraction! We spent hours on this fascinating and historic piece of Naval history under a “robins egg” blue sky.
Active duty military and reserve personnel are welcomed in at no charge and retired veteran admission is a mere $10, while general admission at the gate is $20. I highly recommend taking the “audio tour” that is available in many different languages and explains in detail what you are seeing.
There were also veteran museum docents (pictured above) available who provided additional information when needed. There are also plenty of staff members who can answer any questions as well. On several occasions, the docent would share some of their own personal stories.
It was more fascinating than I would have ever imagined. The flight deck of the carrier is one of the most impressive sights I have seen yet. The military aircraft displayed were utilized heavily in WWII and in Desert Storm.
The museum docents were showing and narrating video clips regarding take offs and landings. Both Phil and I were fascinated by how they launched the aircraft and even more amazed how they landed on a moving vessel.
It was hard to leave the flight deck of the ship, but there was so much more to see. The exhibits include the sailors sleeping quarters, massive galley, engine room, the ship’s jail, officers quarters, machine shops and the pilots ready room to just mention a few
We toured the primary flight control bridge that towered high over the flight deck. We then moved on to the new Battle of Midway Theater where they feature a new movie that takes you inside the Battle of Midway.
The history and statistics of this carrier are quite impressive. The Midway museum gives you the feel of what it would be like living in this “city on the sea”.
You can visit the exhibits showing the different departments like the radar scope – pictured right, control room – pictured upper right, and part of the boiler room – pictured above left. The carrier is a masterful feat of engineering and pretty awe-inspiring after walking through this multi level floating battlewagon.
I insisted on going over to the park and seeing the oversized statue replicating the iconic photograph taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt after WWII was claimed a total victory. He captured a young sailor who grabbed a young lady and couldn’t resist the urge to give her a celebratory kiss.
It was later revealed that they did not know each other and was considered by some as an unwanted sexual advancement. They did however meet in later years and she admitted it was not a romantic kiss, but was sparked by emotions brought on by that days’ spirited celebration. Her name was Greta Zimmer Friedman who passed away at the age of 92 in October of 2016. It’s a beautiful statue that symbolizes the exhilaration that many felt with the end of a tragic war that changed the lives of some many people all over the world.
I highly recommend visiting the USS Midway Museum. It is a very family friendly attraction and is visited by people who come from all the world to see this historic icon.
You, Me and the Dock would like to salute the men and women who have and are currently preserving and protecting this great country. The lives that were lost will not be forgotten and will live on in the memories of all the people who not only live in the United States of America, but others who also seek the same freedoms we cherish and enjoy.
Author: Gay Isis
Photography: Gay Isis
Associate Editor: Maureen Scopel
Article Layout: Anthony Scopel
Technical Mastering & Support: Matt Kemper
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