On Friday, I took a trip up to Charleston, SC from Savannah to visit Patriot’s Point, home of the USS Yorktown (CV-10) and USS Laffey (DD-724), both veterans of World War II and the Cold War. This post concentrates on the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown (CV-10); subsequent posts will feature the Laffey and the park’s Vietnam Experience. She was commissioned in 1943 and named after the first aircraft carrier to be named after the Revolutionary War battle, USS Yorktown (CV-5), which was damaged and sunk during the Battle of Midway in 1942. She was decommissioned for seven years in 1947, but recommissioned in 1953 and served until she was decommissioned again in 1970. The Yorktown saw service in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War along with conducting antisubmarine operations throughout the Cold War. She was also the recovery ship for the Apollo 8 mission, the first manned mission to reach the moon. In 1975, she was transferred to Patriots Point in Charleston where she became a museum ship and centerpiece of the park.
As a radio hobbyist, I’m always interested in the communications and command and control spaces of the museum ships I visit. You can see a number of those spaces on the Yorktown, including one of the radio rooms, Radio III, and the ship’s Combat Information Center (CIC). Both spaces are filled with equipment representative of what was used during the ship’s career.
The Yorktown‘s Hangar Deck contains aircraft types that saw service aboard her during World War II and the Korean War. Among them are an F4F Wildcat, F6F Hellcat, SBD Dauntless, TBM Avenger, FG-1D Corsair, AD-4N Skyraider, and TF-9J Cougar. The F4F, F6F, SBD, and TBM are World War II era aircraft. The FG-1D is a World War II and Korean War era aircraft. The AD-4N and TF-9J are Korean War era aircraft. Outstanding close air support aircraft, both the FG-1D and AD-4N are among my favorite military aircraft.
The Yorktown‘s flight deck is home to Vietnam War and Cold War era aircraft. These include an A-4C Skyhawk, A-6E Intruder, A-7E Corsair II, E-1B Tracer, EA-3B Skywarrior, F-4J Phantom II, F-8K Crusder, F-14A Tomcat, F/A-18A Hornet, H-3 Sea King, S-2E Tracker, and S-3B Viking. Almost everyone loves the F-4J and F-14A, but the A-4C Skyhawk, A-6E Intruder, and S-3B Viking are among my favorite military aircraft.