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USS Yorktown CV-10
Patriot's Point Naval & Maritime Museum
Charleston, South Carolina

USS Yorktown

The Carrier: Both the Lexington and Yorktown were seriously damaged in the Battle of Coral Sea in early 1942. While the Lex took less damage, an explosion later that day lead to her being abandoned and sinking. The Yorktown limped back to Pearl Harbor. Ship yard engineers estimated that the Yorktown would require 3 months of work to be battle ready, Admiral Nimitz demanded that everything be done to get the Yorktown underway in less than 60 hours. The Japanese were sailing towards Midway, and all available carriers were needed. The Yorktown made it to Midway on time, and her air wings were critical in the amazing victory at Midway, but the Yorktown took more damage. This time, they were out of miracles, and the Yorktown went down shortly after the battle.

The Yorktown on display at Patriot's Point is the 2nd Yorktown, launched in 1943 in memory of the first Yorktown. This new ship took part in every major action in the Pacific from the time she arrived to the end of the war, earning 11 battle stars and the Presidential Unit Citation. The Yorktown went into mothballs until the mid-1950, when she was converted to a modern configuration angle deck carrier. The Yorktown supported the cold war, Apollo 8, and earned 5 battle stars in Vietnam.

The Museum: Yorktown is anchored at Patriot's Point, which is on the north side of Charleston Harbor in South Carolina. Take US-17 north from Charleston, and cross the Cooper River Bridge, then watch for signs. There is ample free parking.

Yorktown has the hanger deck and flight deck open, both of which have a number of aircraft on display. Much of the rest of the ship is also open on self-guided tours. These tours visit vertical sections of the ship, so there is a lot of up and down climbing. If you are in iffy condition, take the tours that you are most interested in first. The engine room is open, so that is a must-see. Many of the rooms that are hung below the flight deck are filled with museum displays and tributes. The island is not open for tours.

In addition to the carrier, there is a destroyer, Coast Guard cutter, submarine, and rebuilt Vietnam fire support base. The carrier is all one can do in a day, so I suggest doing this in two trips.

USS Yorktown
USS Yorktown
USS Yorktown

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