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Commissioned in 1945, the US Government’s USS Midway is truly in a class of its own. This legendary aircraft carrier was the first battle carrier ever built. For a decade, she held the distinction of the largest naval vessel in the world (in fact, she was one of the largest human-made moving objects ever made).
The Midway has an armored flight deck—the equivalent of four acres reinforced with three and a half inches of steel armor—for the launch and recovery of aircraft. In her years of service, she supported troops in both combat and rescue missions, from Southeast Asia to the sub-Arctic. The Midway became the longest-serving aircraft carrier in the 20th century.
After 47 years, the carrier was decommissioned in San Diego, California. But she was about to serve her country in another way. In 2004, the USS Midway reopened as a museum docked in San Diego Bay. In fact, the Midway is the most visited historic naval ship museum in the world. And about 30 percent of visitors are from other countries.