Planes and people on USS Midway’s flight deck.

USS Midway visitor takes photograph with selfie stick next to aircraft launching Shooter mannequin.
USS Midway visitor takes photograph with selfie stick next to aircraft-launching Shooter mannequin.

I hope you enjoy a few photos I took recently of planes and people (and helicopters) on the flight deck of San Diego’s USS Midway Museum. The historic aircraft carrier served longer than any other American carrier in the 20th century, spanning five decades from 1945 to 1992. Countless amazing stories have been lived by thousands serving aboard the USS Midway, and many of those stories continue today as docents and volunteers relate their personal shipboard experiences to visitors from around the world. San Diego’s unique aircraft carrier museum, now over ten years old, hosts over a million visitors a year.

Midway’s large flight deck, enlarged from 2.8 to 4 acres in 1966, today features a couple dozen restored aircraft that represent different eras of modern military history. The internet is jammed with pages showing and describing these aircraft in detail, so I thought I’d just provide a quick flavor of what it’s like to walk out on the flight deck on a typical San Diego day. If you’d like to take the cool self-guided tour of the ship, which I highly recommend, plan to spend at least an hour!

Lady walks past F-14 Tomcat fighter jet on USS Midway aircraft carrier's flight deck.
Lady walks past F-14 Tomcat fighter jet on USS Midway aircraft carrier’s flight deck.
Tourists at USS Midway Museum walk out onto one of the two horns that project over San Diego Bay.
Tourists at USS Midway Museum walk out onto one of the two horns that project over San Diego Bay.
Sign describes how to read Navy flag signals.
Sign describes how to read Navy flag signals.
Man lingers near F-8 Crusader, the US Navy's first supersonic fighter.
Man lingers near F-8 Crusader, the US Navy’s first supersonic fighter.
People sit on benches listening to a docent talk about launching airplanes from Midway's two steam-powered catapults.
People sit on benches listening to a docent talk about launching airplanes from Midway’s two steam-powered catapults.
Guy checks out A-7 Corsair ready to be launched from powerful catapult, which accelerated aircraft to 170 mph in about 3 seconds!
Guy checks out A-7 Corsair positioned to be launched from powerful catapult, which accelerated aircraft to 170 mph in about 3 seconds!
Young couple takes a look at E-2 Hawkeye, an Airborne Early Warning aircraft.
Young couple takes a look at E-2 Hawkeye, an Airborne Early Warning aircraft.
Looking south from atop the flight deck. Seen are the Unconditional Surrender statue, Tuna Harbor, and the Coronado Bay Bridge.
Looking south from atop the flight deck. Seen are the Unconditional Surrender statue, Tuna Harbor, and the Coronado Bay Bridge.
USS Midway visitors enjoy a sunny San Diego day near EKA-3 Skywarrior.
USS Midway visitors enjoy a sunny San Diego day near EKA-3 Skywarrior.
Visitors find out what it's like inside a CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter.
Visitors find out what it’s like inside a CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter.
Peering through cockpit of HO3S utility helicopter at the nearby HUP Retriever.
Peering through cockpit of HO3S utility helicopter at the nearby HUP Retriever.
This HO3S Dragonfly, first helicopter aboard the USS Midway in 1948, is undergoing restoration.
This HO3S Dragonfly, first helicopter aboard the USS Midway in 1948, is undergoing restoration.
Docent veteran talks about how aircraft landed on the flight deck using tailhooks and arresting cables.
Docent veteran talks about how aircraft landed on the flight deck using a tailhook and multiple arresting cables.
Exhibit on Midway's LSO Platform shows how Navy pilots landed in difficult conditions, relying on optical guidance.
Exhibit on Midway’s LSO Platform shows how Navy pilots landed in difficult conditions, relying on optical guidance.
Navy pilot mannequin in flight suit stands near FA-18 Hornet, painted as a TOPGUN enemy aircraft.
Navy pilot mannequin in flight suit stands near FA-18 Hornet, painted as a TOPGUN enemy aircraft.
A-6 Intruder bomber on display near USS Midway's superstructure.
A-6 Intruder bomber on display near USS Midway’s superstructure.
Volunteers work to restore SH-2 Seasprite, beyond orange nose of H-34 Seabat.
Volunteers work to restore SH-2 Seasprite, beyond orange nose of H-34 Seabat.
The huge flight deck of the USS Midway Museum hosts visitors from around the world, special military-related events, decades of history, and never-ending activity on San Diego Bay.
The huge flight deck of the USS Midway Museum hosts visitors from around the world, special military-related events, decades of history, and never-ending activity on San Diego Bay.

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Published by

Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

4 thoughts on “Planes and people on USS Midway’s flight deck.”

      1. If you really want to see everything–and there’s a lot–you’ll need a couple hours, at least! There’s just so much super interesting stuff–the hangar deck is almost like visiting the Smithsonian! A whole lot has been added since I first visited about ten years ago!

        Liked by 1 person

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