USS Yorktown – Charleston, South Carolina

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The USS Yorktown, docked at Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant, was the tenth aircraft carrier to serve in the United States Navy.


Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The ship was commissioned on April 15, 1943 and was a key player in the Pacific Offensive that defeated Japan in 1945. The Yorktown received the Presidential Unit Citation and earned 11 battle stars for her service in World War II.

Yorktown Aerial

Larry Gleason, Aiken Aerial Photography, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

After World War II, the Yorktown was decommissioned and underwent an extensive modernization. Her new angled deck made it easier to operate jet aircraft, and she was recommissioned in the early 1950s as an anti-submarine attack carrier.

Patriots Point Aerial

Larry Gleason, Aiken Aerial Photography, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

She served again in the Pacific during the Vietnam War, earning five battle stars. One of her final missions was the recovery of the Apollo 8 crew in 1968 after its mission to the moon. The Yorktown was permanently decommissioned in 1970.

Yorktown at Patriots Point

E. Karl Braun of North Charleston, 2011 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The ship is famous for more than just her war time missions. The Academy Award-winning movie The Fighting Lady was filmed aboard the Yorktown, as was the movie Tora! Tora! Tora!, which recreated the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Don Baham of Dublin, California © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Today, the Yorktown is one of the Charleston area’s most popular attractions. Special events are offered throughout the year, and groups may even reserve a night to camp aboard the carrier for a truly one-of-a-kind experience.

Patriots Point

David C. Berry of Beaufort, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Below she is seen next to the destroyer LAFFEY (DD-724), also known as “The Ship That Would Not Die.” While in service in Okinawa, LAFFEY not only survived attacks from 22 Japanese bombers and kamikaze aircraft on April 16, 1945, but she also shot down 11 of the attacking aircraft. She is the only surviving Sumner-class destroyer in North America.

Yorktown Patriots Point Charleston

Paul Contreras of Charleston, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The Yorktown is listed in the National Register, which describes it as follows:

The USS Yorktown (CV-10), the second of the Essex-class aircraft carriers to be built by the United States Navy, was constructed between 1941 and 1943 to Bureau of Ships specifications by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Newport News, Virginia.

The Yorktown was decommissioned in 1970, and in 1975 was moored in the Charleston Harbor, where it is part of the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum. The ship served with distinction in the Second World War as a primary element in the United States’ military campaign against Japan in the Pacific Theater of Operations. The Yorktown is important, not only as a surviving World War II aircraft carrier, but as one of the most important of these ships.

The ship was named for an earlier aircraft carrier Yorktown (CV-5), which was sunk at the Battle of Midway in 1942. The new Yorktown initiated many technical improvements for the other two dozen Essex carriers, becoming a model for new carrier design. The Yorktown underwent numerous modifications and alterations during its years of military service in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, but it is still expressive of the technology, design, and distinguishing characteristics of the World War II-era aircraft carrier.

LAFFEY is also listed in the National Register:

The destroyer USS Laffey (Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer) was built to Bureau of Ships specifications at the Bath Iron Works, Maine, in 1943-1944. The ship served with the United States Navy in the Atlantic and Pacific fleets in World War II and saw later service in the Korean War. The Laffey is the only surviving Sumner-class destroyer. The ship performed convoy escort duty in the Atlantic during May 1944 and afterward assisted with the screening of the Normandy invasion forces and bombardment of Utah beach and the German-held port of Cherbourg. The Laffey moved to the Pacific to join the Fast Carrier Task Force in November 1944. The Laffey supported the amphibious landings at Ormoc Bay and Mindoro and the invasion forces at Lingayen Gulf in the Philippines. During the World War II invasion of Okinawa Island in April 1945, the Laffey was attacked by Japanese kamikazes and suffered five kamikaze hits, three bomb hits and two near misses. The crew, despite heavy casualties and extensive damage, repulsed the attackers and saved the ship. In comparison, the Laffey outperformed any other destroyer or carrier in this most important campaign and for her efforts received a Presidential Unit Citation.

USS Yorktown Info

Address: 40 Patriots Point Road, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

USS Yorktown Map

USS Yorktown – Add Info and More Photos

The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State and create a permanent digital repository for our cultural landmarks and natural landscapes. We invite you to add additional pictures (paintings, photos, etc) of USS Yorktown, and we also invite you to add info, history, stories, and travel tips. Together, we hope to build one of the best and most loved SC resources in the world!

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22 Comments about USS Yorktown

Barbara Jarnell says:
July 24th, 2015 at 4:34 am

They appear not to use angles flight decks today?

Debra Collins AppleNo Gravatar says:
April 16th, 2015 at 3:48 pm

My father, Capt. Vincent (Rip) W. Collins was Executive Officer of the USS Yorktown plus previous to becoming the EO, he had the squadron CAG 55. The years were 1961-1964 I spent a great childhood roaming (always escorted) the magnificent ship and was proud of my Dad. I still love the smell of diesel and steel! My brother has the beautiful oil painting of The Fighting Lady presented to my Dad hanging in his living room. Ahhh, the memories.

U.S. Navy Retired says:
April 12th, 2015 at 1:15 am

Even though I never served aboard her, the Yorktown was my inspiration to join the Navy 1955. My brother served aboard during the early 50's and I went to Bremerton to visit him abt. 1954 while they were adding the new angled flight deck. Got to eat a meal with the crew, explore the ship, take a shower and watch a movie from the movie booth on the hanger deck that my brother was in charge of showing. Wow, for a 15 year old small town country boy that was quite an experience. She started me off in the right direction, I never had any regrets. "Thank you Yorktown."

wilbur hill jr.No Gravatar says:
September 24th, 2014 at 9:24 am

I would like to view the crew list from 1968.

Larry KhareNo Gravatar says:
July 9th, 2014 at 3:19 am

I served aboard The Fighting Lady from 4/11/1967 to 5/1/1970. I was in V-3 Division and have a lot of great memories. Recovery of the Apollo 8 is one of them.

Stephanie NicholasNo Gravatar says:
April 3rd, 2014 at 3:07 pm

My father was aboard the USS Yorktown from 69-70. He was the youngest member aboard ship when it made it first trip to the arctic circle. We just went through his old photos of that day and I was able to see his certificate. I had a great time learning about his journey.

physics1200No Gravatar says:
March 23rd, 2014 at 8:11 pm

My son has just arrived with his NJROTC high school class. Can’t wait to here about his trip. Proud Mom

Harod BerkshireNo Gravatar says:
March 20th, 2014 at 7:35 am

I was aboard the Yorktown in 1978 and we were allowed below decks at that time. She is an amazing Girl. I was in the Air Force and would have loved to flown off her deck.

SCIWAYNo Gravatar says:
March 19th, 2014 at 10:16 am

Hi, Angela. A link to the website is provided above the map on this page. I hope that helps. Thanks for commenting!

Angela RiversNo Gravatar says:
March 19th, 2014 at 9:45 am

Hi, I would like to know more info on the USS Charleston, because I would like to bring our Cub Scout Pack 206 Zion Missionary Baptist Church to experience this wonderful time. Thank you, Angela Rivers

patty sharpNo Gravatar says:
March 7th, 2014 at 6:16 pm

My father served on the Fighting Lady during World War II; he was the first loader on the 5′ 38 #1 mount. I am enjoying talking about the ship right now.

Patrick StoneNo Gravatar says:
February 18th, 2014 at 10:21 am

Can anyone tell me if they allow you below decks into the firerooms? I was on the Shangri La as a BT and would like to revisit an Essex style carrier.

Woody Roe RM1No Gravatar says:
December 10th, 2013 at 1:52 pm

I was aboard the Lady 1967 through 1968. She was a great ship and I had many
friends there. I did go back and visit her … lots of good memories there.

Chris FryNo Gravatar says:
November 24th, 2013 at 1:06 am

I was on board The Fighting Lady in the GA Division, 03/1968 – 02/1969, “Grasshopper 102”. The USS Yorktown that sank off Midway was the CV-5 ship. The one that is now at Patriot’s Point is the CV-10, which was built after the CV-5 sank. Hope that helps.

bob dixNo Gravatar says:
October 13th, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Did this ship at any time have the number 10 in large letters on its hull opposite side of the conning tower?

Gerard ZimmerNo Gravatar says:
June 26th, 2013 at 3:28 pm

What a great place to visit. Enjoyed the afternoon exploring the ship. My wife (who hates things military) even enjoyed herself.

Danny HarrellNo Gravatar says:
April 24th, 2013 at 11:40 am

Served aboard The Fighting Lady from 1/4/67-6/2/70. Have been back to visit her many times and will go back many more. Started in 1st Div., then off to 3rd Div., when I made rate. Left as BM2.

Grasshoper102No Gravatar says:
April 23rd, 2013 at 3:41 pm

I thought the Yorktown sank at Midway.

Harold Berkshire USAF 1952-1953No Gravatar says:
February 20th, 2013 at 10:48 am

I toured the Yorktown in 1977 or ’78 – quite an experience!

tammy chandlerNo Gravatar says:
January 5th, 2013 at 2:16 pm

I love it! I have been many times! The kids love walking through also.

Chantell McCallNo Gravatar says:
March 9th, 2012 at 10:14 am

I’ve been on board before!

ChrisNo Gravatar says:
November 15th, 2011 at 2:09 pm

I think that the block numbers look great!

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