The Many Shapes of Midway

Over its 47 year career, the aircraft carrier USS Midway became one of the most famous ships in the United States Navy. Commissioned just two weeks after the end of World War II, the USS Midway was the ‘tip of the spear’ for the United States, often placed at the center of the most important events of the late 20th century. Over the more than four decades the Midway was in service, the ship adapted to the times… literally changing its shape to accommodate advancements in jet technology. The Midway underwent several major ‘retrofits’ that greatly improved its performance. This is the story of these incredible changes, including its last transformation from active carrier to the interactive museum it is today. Located in San Diego, California the USS Midway Museum welcomes over a million visitors a year and works to preserve the historic USS Midway and the legacy of those who serve, inspire and educate future generations, and entertain museum guests.

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Operation Frequent Wind Operation Frequent Wind
Operation Frequent Wind

Considered by many to be the 30 most dangerous hours on board the aircraft carrier USS Midway, Operation Frequent Wind was one of the largest...

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The Brink The Brink
The Brink

On August 23, 1958 the communist-led Chinese forces launched a massive artillery barrage of two small islands off the coast of Taiwan, where...

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Captain John C. Ensch Captain John C. Ensch
Captain John C. Ensch

The combat missions seemed endless. First, he and his co-pilot shot down two North Vietnamese fighter jets only minutes apart...

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Captain James D. Reily, Jr. Captain James D. Reily, Jr.
Captain James D. Reily, Jr.

He was responsible for all the supplies aboard a floating city of 4,500 voracious young men. From eggs to pens to equipment weighing tons...

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Stephanie Dinh Stephanie Dinh
Stephanie Dinh

As Saigon collapsed around her, she and her family ran to a rescue helicopter destined for the USS Midway. Stephanie experienced firsthand...

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Captain Herbert A. Zoehrer Captain Herbert A. Zoehrer
Captain Herbert A. Zoehrer

The shortest flight of his career was over in “10 or 15 seconds” — when a botched catapult launch dumped Herb Zoehrer's aircraft...

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Senior Chief Petty Officer Edward J. Murray Senior Chief Petty Officer Edward J. Murray
Senior Chief Petty Officer Edward J. Murray

He defied the odds to make sure that Navy aircrews could rely on their 75 planes during combat missions...

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Chief Warrant Officer Rudy Shappee Chief Warrant Officer Rudy Shappee
Chief Warrant Officer Rudy Shappee

The son of a fisherman, he was an enlisted man who “came up the hawsepipe” to become Chief Warrant Officer aboard Midway...

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