William Tompkins built 307 different model ships at a scale of 1/600. Mr. Tompkins started building his massive collection when he was in his early teens, and he continued to make highly detailed models throughout his lifetime. The fleet of model ships includes a wide array of models that span several decades, if not more, so the collection offers an insightful view of naval evolution over time. A portion of William Tompkins’ fleet of 1/600 scale model ships is on display in the Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum in Carlsbad, CA.

Originally laid down as a cargo ship in 1939, USS Long Island (CVE-1, 1941) was acquired by the US Navy and refitted as the first escort carrier in 1941. The ship served in the Pacific during WWII transporting aircraft to various bases, and also as a training carrier in San Diego. The USS Long Island was decommissioned in 1946, and was eventually refitted for different commercial configurations—including as a floating student hostel. The ship was scrapped in 1977.

Exhibit added: May 6, 2014 - Last modified: January 25, 2024

Presented by The Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship