Vietnam veterans from around the country are in San Diego to mark the 40th anniversary of the Vietnam War on April 30.
On Friday, many took private tours of USS Midway and were able to see locations that are off limits to the general public.
Veteran Pete Dunn, who is making his first return to the ship since the war, said the experience took them back to 1975.
“It just brought back so many memories of being in that hot fire room," he said. The minimum temperature was like 120.”
On Sunday, a commemorative event will be held to mark 40 years since Operation Frequent Wind: the evacuation of Saigon.
About 125,000 Vietnamese were transported by helicopter to several Navy ships off the countries coast — USS Midway among them.
“It was chaotic; helicopters flying everywhere. Everybody wanted to just get out of there," said Jim Perttula, who is in San Diego from Cincinnati.
The flight deck has ribbons tied to it in remembrance of those lost in the war.
The Wall that Heals will be on display 24 hours a day and open to the public for free beginning Saturday, with a ceremony at 11 a.m. that day.
The ship also has displays about Vietnam in addition to regular museum exhibits.
Tickets for events and tours are available through USS Midway Museum website.