An American Heroine – From WWII To Vietnam

The USS YORKTOWN (CV-10) was the tenth aircraft carrier to serve in the United States Navy. Under construction as BON HOMME RICHARD, this new Essex-class carrier was renamed in honor of YORKTOWN (CV-5) sunk at the epic Battle of Midway (June 1942). Built in an amazing 16 ½ months at Newport News, Virginia, YORKTOWN was commissioned on April 15, 1943. World War II’s famous “Fighting Lady” would participate significantly in the Pacific offensive that began in late 1943 and ended with the defeat of Japan in 1945. YORKTOWN received the Presidential Unit Citation and earned 11 battle stars for service in World War II.

In the 1950s, YORKTOWN was modernized to operate jet aircraft as an attack carrier (CVA). In 1957, she was re-designated an anti-submarine aircraft carrier (CVS), and would later earn 5 battle stars for service off Vietnam (1965-68). The ship also recovered the Apollo 8 astronauts and capsule (December 1968). YORKTOWN was decommissioned in 1970 and placed in reserve.

In 1975, this historic ship was towed from Bayonne, NJ to Charleston to become the centerpiece of Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum.

Click here for an interactive timeline!


Take a ride to the moon and back inside this replica Apollo 8 capsule while listening to actual radio communication and watching video recorded during the mission.


In addition to supporting the funding of exciting new exhibits that bring history to life throughout all areas of Patriots Point, donations to the USS Yorktown Foundation provide need-based scholarships and funding for the one-of-a-kind learning opportunities offered by our education department. Consider a donation today to support the museum and our mission to “honor and educate.”

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Craft Stats

Displacement: 27,000+ tons (1943) 30,000+ tons (1956)
Length: 872 feet (1943) 888 feet (1956)
Speed: 30+ knots
Range: 14,000 nautical miles at 13 knots
Armament: (circa 1944) 12 X 5 in/38 cal guns (127 mm), 68 X 40mm 917 quad mounts, 61 X 20mm (single); (circa 1968): 4 X 5 in/38 cal (127mm)

USS YORKTOWN Signature Film Preview

  • Active Duty Military (ID required)
  • $17
  • In Person
  • Active Duty Military In Uniform
  • Free
  • In Person