Fremantle is one of Australia's most historic cities, and is located just a few km to the west of Perth. Being so close to Perth it has no airfield of its own, and is not a place where you can normally see any aircraft. However, it's also home to Western Australia's main port, and as such occasionally plays host to some interesting ships, particularly those of the US Navy on R & R stops after deployment. In the past these were opened up to the public during their visit (good public relations), and gave an excellent opportunity to look around what would otherwise be a highly restricted area. Although the visits are still continuing, it's not known whether the public access is allowed any more in these days of greatly increased security measures.
Although commissioned just too late to see service during the Second World War, the USS Midway
was one of the longest serving WW2-era carriers in the US Navy, only being finally decommissioned
in April 1992. She was also one of the shortest of the US Navy's carriers, thus allowing her to
actually dock inside the harbour at Fremantle, rather than having to anchor outside. The problem
is apparently not the length of the harbour but the width, with the other carriers being unable to
turn around for departure (although it seems it was a pretty tight fit even for the Midway, with
only a matter of a few metres spare at each end during the turn!).
At this time the USS Midway was serving as part of the US Navy's western Pacific fleet, home based in Japan, with Carrier Air Wing CVW-5 embarked.
US Navy KA-6D Intruder
US Navy SH-3H Sea King
US Navy A-6E Intruder
US Navy E-2C Hawkeye
US Navy F/A-18A Hornet
|Visited on 13/15 November 1989|
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