By Ed Wenck
It was an active warship throughout the Cold War, and saw action in Vietnam and the Persian Gulf. It’s been retrofitted for jet landings and sailed the Arctic Circle. It’s served as a museum and even an NCAA basketball court.
And on Wednesday, September 6, the USS Midway will host the 2017 CEDIA® Awards Celebration.
If you’d like a shot at receiving an honor aboard a floating piece of U.S. history, we’ve got good news: This year, CEDIA has waived the entry fee for home technology professionals. Yep, it’s free to enter — we’ll get to details on that process in a moment. First, About the Ship
The Midway, currently docked in San Diego, was commissioned just after the end of World War II. The U.S. Navy had been beefing up its fleet as it fought in the Pacific, and the Midway — named after the battle that saw the Allies deliver a crushing blow to Japan’s naval forces — was the largest ship on the planet from its launch through 1955.
Early on, the carrier saw a good bit of cold-weather duty, even gaining membership in “The Royal Order of the Blue Nose,” a designation for operations north of the Arctic Circle. During the 1950s, the Midway was deployed numerous times in the Mediterranean.
Planes launched from the deck of the Midway saw both the first and last air-to-air kills of Russian-made MiG fighters during the Vietnam conflict. (The first two occurred on June 20, 1965, the last on January 12, 1973.)
Originally designed for propeller-driven fighters, the Midway underwent several retrofits as jet aircraft became ubiquitous in carrier warfare. The deck saw the crash of a Korean-era jet during testing, and footage of the wreck was used in Hollywood films. In 1966, the Midway underwent its biggest upgrade, and the deck of the carrier was enlarged from 2.82 to 4.02 acres.
After the crew of Midway and its attack wing (CVW5) ran bombing missions in the latter stages of the American involvement in Vietnam, the men on deck and in the air received the Presidential Unit Citation. As Saigon fell in 1975, the Midway was pressed into service as a rescue ship — hundreds of American personnel and Vietnamese citizens sympathetic to the U.S. landed on the ship after being shuttled out of South Vietnam via helicopter. In the chaos, a South Vietnamese Air Force officer took off in a single-engine prop plane with his wife and five children. Spotting the Midway, he dropped a note outlining the incredible gamble he’d taken, and the Midway responded: the deck was cleared as men pushed Huey choppers into the sea — an image that became iconic.
After suffering two accidental explosions in mid-1990 that claimed the lives of two service members, the Midway was pressed into service again, this time in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. The Midway launched hundreds of sorties over the Gulf region as Kuwait was liberated from its Iraqi invaders in a war that lasted less than six weeks. A Floating Museum
In 2004, the ship was docked permanently in San Diego and converted into a museum. Midway.org
Exhibits range from the crew's sleeping quarters to a massive galley, engine room, the ship's jail, officer's country, post office, machine shops, and pilots' ready rooms, as well as primary flight control and the bridge high in the island over the flight deck. Especially popular are the museum docents you'll meet throughout the ship. Each is eager to share a personal story, an anecdote, or amazing statistic, adding to your amazement throughout your adventure.
Family-oriented activities for all ages abound: two types of flight simulators, short films, climb-aboard aircraft and cockpits, interactive exhibits, "Ejection Seat Theater," and much more.
The Midway has also hosted an open-air NCAA hoops game on its deck, as well as private events — including the upcoming 2017 CEDIA Awards.
CEDIA AWARDS 2017
ENTRY IS FREE FOR 2017
Deadline: May 12, 2017 (Manufacturer deadline is July 12.)
Winning a CEDIA Award means that you’ve been honored among the best in our industry — by a jury of your peers.
For home technology professional members, entries are now being accepted in the following categories:
* Home Cinema
* Integrated Home
* Media Room
* Innovative Solution
* Auto, Marine and Aircraft
* Special Project
* Lighting Installation Design
* Multiple Dwelling Unit Design
Trophies for Best Dressed Rack and Best Documentation will also be awarded, along with new design-build categories judged by a panel of architects and designers. Plus, the top entries worldwide will be honored as Global Winners.
For manufacturers, entries are now being accepted for the Best New Product and Product Hall of Fame awards. New for 2017: Winners will be announced at the CEDIA Awards Celebration Wednesday, September 6 — so winning products will benefit from increased visibility throughout the CEDIA 2017 show.