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Release No: 640-03
August 29, 2003

Donation Contract Signed Transferring Historic Aircraft Carrier

Today, Acting Secretary of the Navy Hansford T. Johnson signed the donation contract officially transferring the historic aircraft carrier Midway to the San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum in San Diego. Before the ship opens to the public next year, SDACM plans to perform work necessary to transform the ship into a museum and memorial.

"I’m pleased to approve the transfer of the Midway, which is a significant step in the effort to bring this historic vessel to one of America’s finest cities," said Johnson. "San Diego is a natural location for a naval museum, and the historic aircraft carrier Midway will make an outstanding centerpiece."

Built at Newport News, the USS Midway was commissioned on Sept. 10, 1945, and has the distinction of being the first fleet carrier to be named after a World War II battle. It is the third ship to bear the name "Midway."

During 47 years of service, the USS Midway operated high performance aircraft and received many awards for the actions of its crew, including the Presidential Unit Citation for outstanding service during the Vietnam War.

The Navy donates ships as a way of preserving naval history and tradition, educating the public and commemorating the men and women who built and sailed these vessels. There are currently 46 museum ships displayed in 21 states across the country.

Further questions can be referred to the Naval Sea Systems Command Public Affairs at (202) 781-2975.

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