USS Midway, CV-41, the first of her class, was commissioned on September 10, 1945. Built with a straight deck, she was later to be modified with an “angled” flight deck that greatly improved her usefulness. She was active in the Vietnam War and in Operation Desert Storm, and as of 2008 she is a museum ship in San Diego, California. She is the only remaining US aircraft carrier of the World War II era that is not an Essex-class ship.
On January 12, 1973, The F-4 Phantom II of squadron VF-161 depicted in Stan’s painting had the last aerial victory of the Vietnam War, when Lt. Victor T. Kovaleski and Lt (jg) James A. Wise brought down a MiG-21 using a Sidewinder missile.
On her way to becoming a museum. the USS Midway began her long journey in 2003 where she went from the Navy’s Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility, in Bremerton, Washington, to Oakland California, On January 10th, 2004 the Midway was docked at the Broadway Pier in downtown San Diego. She opened to the public on 7 June 2004 where in her first year of operation, she welcomed over 879,000 visitors aboard.