The US Navy's Five Aircraft Carrier Museum Ships


Jeff Head

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Staff member
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US NAVY AIRCRAFT CARRIER MUSEUMS



Currently (July 2013) there are five US Navy Aircraft Carrier museums. Four are of Essex class carriers commissioned during World War II which underwent the
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refit in the 1950s to modernize them. All were commissioned in 1943 & served into modern times. The last, the USS Lexington, was decommissioned in 1991 after 48 years service. The other is the USS Midway, namesake of a larger class carrier built at the end of the war. She underwent two major refits, in the 1950s & in 1970 greatly enlarging her flight deck for modern aircraft. She was commissioned in 1945 & decommissioned in 1992 after 47 years service.



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Name: USS Yorktown
Designation: CV-10
Class: Essex
Displacement: 41,200 tons (after modernization)
Commissoned: 1943
Decommissioned: 1970
Mueum Web Site:
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Location: Charleston, SC (Click
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for a map)




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Name: USS Intrepid
Designation: CV-11
Class: Essex
Displacement: 41,200 tons (after modernization)
Commissoned: 1943
Decommissioned: 1974
Mueum Web Site:
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Location: New York, NY (Click
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for a map)




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Name: USS Hornet
Designation: CV-12
Class: Essex
Displacement: 41,200 tons (after modernization)
Commissoned: 1943
Decommissioned: 1970
Mueum Web Site:
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Location: Alameda, CA (Click
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for a map)




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Name: USS Lexington
Designation: CV-16
Class: Essex
Displacement: 48,300 tons (after modernization)
Commissoned: 1943
Decommissioned: 1991
Mueum Web Site:
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Location: Corpus Christi, TX (Click
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for a map)




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Name: USS Midway
Designation: CV-41
Class: Midway
Displacement: 74,000 tons (after modernization)
Commissoned: 1945
Decommissioned: 1992
Mueum Web Site:
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Location: San Diego, CA (Click
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for a map)



PROPOSED AIRCRAFT CARRIER MUSEUM[


Currently, none of the more modern "super carriers," meaning none of the Forrestal Class, Kitty Hawk Class, or later aircraft carriers, have been saved and set aside as museums. However, there is an active effort underway to get the John F. Kennedy, CV-67, set up as an aicraft carrier museum in the New England area, She was a "super carrier," built to a modified Kitty Hawk standard, and was the last conventionally powered (meaning non-nulcear) aircraft carrier the United States built.

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Name: USS John F. Kennedy
Designation: CV-67
Class: Kitty Hawk
Displacement: 82,700 tons
Commissoned: 1968
Decommissioned: 2007
Mueum Web Site:
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Location: (Proposed Rhode Island)

SEE OTHER NAVAL SITES:

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bd popeye

The Last Jedi
VIP Professional
Great idea Jeff..

I've visited the Midway museum in San Diego. Very nostalgic for me where as i served aboard the Midway in '73 & '74. The Midway is the #2 maritime museum in the US. The Midway attracks about 1,000,000 visitors a year. The Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor is #1.

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Jeff Head

General
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  • #3
Great idea Jeff..

I've visited the Midway museum in San Diego. Very nostalgic for me where as i served aboard the Midway in '73 & '74. The Midway is the #2 maritime museum in the US. The Midway attracks about 1,000,000 visitors a year. The Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor is #1.
Wow! I did not know it was that high a visitor number on a year to year basis.

That is phenominal. I wonder what the count is for the other four on a year to year basis. I haver to believe that the Intrepid in New York City draws quite a few.

Several of these sites have a lot more than just the carrier as part of their museum. The Intredpid has a Space Shuttle on deck and an SST next to it, as well as a submarine, the USS Growler, SSG-577 which carried the nuclear aremed Regulus missiles. Only two such vessels were built and Growler is the only diesel powered strategic missile submarine to ever be made into a museum. In fact, for that reason they call the Inrepid Museum, "The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum." Like the Intrepid museum, other Museums also have 1-2 other ships or subs docked with them which also can be visited and boarded.
 

Jeff Head

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Thanks for posting the new thread Jeff!
You're weclome my friend. I hope you like it...and that some day, with you being in Houston, that you get dwon to see the USS Lexingotn in Corpus, if you haven't already.

The USS Texas was the US Navy's 1st museum ship...I believe you mentioned that you had visited her, is that right? If so, what did you think?



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Blackstone

Brigadier
Thanks for posting the old gals, Jeff. My wife and I attend USS Hornet New Year's Eve parties from time to time (great music and dancing, so-so food) and we plan to visit the Midway next time we visit San Diego.

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Jeff Head

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Thanks for posting the old gals, Jeff. My wife and I attend USS Hornet New Year's Eve parties from time to time (great music and dancing, so-so food) and we plan to visit the Midway next time we visit San Diego.

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That's a nice tradition for the Hornet. I did not know that they did that each year. They use the flight deck for the dance floor? The hanger deck? Or both?

There's just something really special about those old Essex carriers. Each of the museum vessels were launched in 1943 and served in combat in Wolrd War II. Then to have those huge retrofits in the 50s to give them the enclosed bows, the angled deck and ultimately the side elevators. The Lexingotn in partiicular that went on to serve until 1991! Lots of naval history resides in those old vessels.

The Midway too...though she was launched after the war, she was the apex of the World War II carrier design, and proved it by ultimately being converted into the first real supercarrier, though the first ones purpose built were the Forrestals. They learned a lot from the Modway though to get them there.

Wonderful to have them here so people can see and feel the history they are made of.

I am excitied to one day see a larger, supercarrier, like the JFK or some other as a museum. They represent a huge step forward themselves in carrier design which has now led to the Ford Class.
 

Blackstone

Brigadier
It's usually too cold and windy on top, so the organizers put three dance floors in the hanger deck. Fun times.
 

bd popeye

The Last Jedi
VIP Professional
Ranger, Saratoga and Forrestal groups all wanted to make those ships a museum but failed. they did have nice web sites. Ranger folks web site is still up and running. they are still trying even though Ranger has been removed from donation hold,

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I think Jeff posted that Saratoga folks have teamed up with the JFK group..

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Forrestal folks still have a website even thought they got shot down in 2006

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And the JFK group may have the best chance of getting the JFK.. I hope so!

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thunderchief

Senior Member
How much does it cost to turn aircraft carrier into museum ? Non-profit self-sustained NGO would have a hard time to pull it of in these economic conditions without government help .

On the other hand , you could try to do something like Chinese have done to Kiev , turn ship into hotel and theme park on commercial basis . It may not be pure and dignified as museum , but at least you would preserve something and avoid scrapping .
 

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