USS Midway CV-41

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This unique lithograph is among the most striking portrayals of U.S.S. Midway ever created. It depicts the aircraft carrier in all its glory and includes notes and facts about the vessel, such as the ship’s history and vital statistics.

Text from the Portrait:

The first Carrier to be permanently homeported overseas, the powerful force for freedom, USS Midway (CV-41), adds a new dimension to the carrier concept of offensive readiness.


First carrier with an armored flight deck, and the first ship too large to pass through the Panama Canal, USS Midway is one of three carriers started near the end of World War II. Her keel was laid 27 October 1943, she was commissioned 10 September 1945 and she takes her name from the Battle of Midway.

Midway’s first major operation after shakedown was an exercise in the North Atlantic where she conducted tests to evaluation the performance of various aircraft in extreme cold. After training cruises in the Caribbean, Midway sailed to Norfolk with scientific observers and fired a German V2 rocket… the first time such a weapon was fired from a moving platform at sea. In December 1954, Midway sailed on a world cruise that took her to Cape Town, South Africa and Colombo, Ceylon [Sri Lanka]. She then joined the Seventh Fleet off Formosa [Taiwan].

In October 1955, Midway was decommissioned and underwent modernization at Pudget Sound. She returned to active service in September 1957. During the next eight years she operated in the Pacific and in 1965 Midway’s aircraft flew 11,000 combat sorties over Vietnam and the Gulf of Tonkin where Midway’s aircraft downed the first three North Vietnam MIGs of the conflict. Homeported at Alameda, California, Midway was again decommissioned in 1965 to undergo the most extensive modernization ever completed on a naval vessel. Today Midway is operationally equivalent to the newest conventionally powered carriers. She is able to launch and recover aircraft one-third heavier than her sister ship, USS Coral Sea (CV-43), and during her final days of the Vietnam War (1972) Midway played a major role and was awarded the Presidential Citation for combat operations which included downing the last MIGs of the war.

In September 1973, the men of Midway and Air Wing Five moved with their families to Yokosuka, Japan, setting a historical precedent as the first carrier team to be homeported overseas. Over the years Midway’s mission has been challenging and arduous. Her performance has been unparalleled… a performance record well recognized by the honors and awards she has earned, exemplified by her second consecutive Nay Award for the finest food service afloat, and her personnel are proud to be part of the Midway tradition.

Midway’s Gallant Array of Awards Include

  • Presidential Unit Citation
  • Navy Unit Commendation (3 awards)
  • Meritorious Unit Commendation
  • Navy “E” (4 awards)
  • Navy Expeditionary Medal (2 awards)
  • China Service Medal
  • WWII American Campaign Medal
  • WWII Victory Medal
  • Navy Occupation Service Medal
  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (2 awards)
  • Vietnam Service Medal (4 campaigns)
  • Humanitarian Service Medal
  • Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (5 awards)
  • Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation, Gallantry Cross w/Palm
  • Vietnam Campaign Medal

Constant Readiness Spirited by Patriotic Pride

Attack Carrier Air Wing Five was commissioned in 1938 as Carrier Air Group Yorktown and in 1942 it participated in the first US carrier air offensive of World War II.

After the Battle of Midway (1943) where USS Yorktown (CV-5) was lost, the Group (renamed Carrier Air Group Five) continued attacking the enemy from aboard the “new” USS Yorktown (CV-10) and from USS Franklin (CV-13).

Deployed to Korea in 1950 the Group achieved the first air-to-air victory in jet aircraft. It was awarded three Navy Unit Commendations and compiled the most months in air combat. In 1964, the group participated in repulsing North Vietnamese attacks against the USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy.

As of March 1973, (now named Attack Carrier Air Wing Five) the Wing had made nine combat cruises aboard various carriers and in September 1973, the Air Wing departed the United States aboard USS Midway (CV-41) to be homeported overseas.

This work was completed in 1983.