The aircraft carrier USS Midway, commissioned in 1945 and serving almost five decades in the fleet, will become a floating maritime museum in San Diego.

The Midway, along with Carrier Air Wing 5, was the centerpiece of the first complete forward-deployed carrier task group in a Japanese port. The carrier arrived at Yokosuka Naval Base in 1973, staying until 1992, when it returned to the West Coast for decommissioning.

Acting Secretary of the Navy Hansford T. Johnson announced Tuesday that the Navy will donate the 1,001-foot ship to the nonprofit San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum, according to a Navy news report Thursday.

“The interior of the ship has been primarily undisturbed. It’s in great shape,” Alan Uke, the museum’s executive director, told The Associated Press.

After being towed to San Diego, the ship will be anchored at the Navy Pier along San Diegos Embarcadero, a park along San Diego Bay.

The Midway museum will be the Navy’s 47th, and the fourth featuring an aircraft carrier.

Midway is the last remaining vessel of the World War II-era CV 41 class. The ship was named for the Battle of Midway, fought in the Central Pacific from June 4-7, 1942. During the battle, U.S. forces sank the four Japanese carriers that had attacked Pearl Harbor six months before.

In April 1975, Midway, USS Coral Sea, USS Hancock, USS Enterprise and USS Okinawa deployed to waters off South Vietnam when North Vietnam overran two-thirds of South Vietnam.

Ten days later, 7th Fleet Forces carried out Operation Frequent Wind. Hundreds of U.S. personnel and Vietnamese were evacuated to waiting ships after the fall of Saigon to the North Vietnamese.

The Midway also deployed numerous times for operations in waters around Korea, the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf.

In 1990, after Iraq invaded Kuwait, the Midway deployed to the North Arabian Sea as part of Operation Desert Shield. Beginning Nov. 15, the ship participated in Operation Imminent Thunder, an eight-day combined amphibious landing in northeastern Saudi Arabia involving about 1,000 U.S. Marines, 16 warships and more than 1,100 aircraft.

Midway launched aircraft sorties and Tomahawk missiles during Operation Desert Storm to liberate Kuwait from Iraq in February 1991, prior to decommissioning in 1992.

USS Midway

Commissioned: Sept. 10, 1945Length: 1,001 feetWidth: 183 feet at flight deckSpeed: 38 miles per hourPersonnel: 402 officers, 4,278 enlistedWeapons: 18 5-inch guns, 84 40mm guns, 68 20mm gunsAircraft: 137Displacement: 69,909 tons

— Sources: Naval Vessel Registry, and Dictionary of American Fighting Ships and United States Naval Aviation, 1910-1995

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