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Celebrating the USS Yorktown’s 70th Birthday

asmith May 02, 2013

The nation’s oldest aircraft carrier museum, the USS Yorktown (CV-10) turned 70 last month and Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum invited everyone to join in on the celebration.130414_YT_70th_USO_060

On Sunday, April 14, Patriots Point hosted a full day of activities, programs and fun for the whole family! Throughout the day, the museum provided visitors with a unique opportunity to walk in the steps of the men who served aboard this historic ship.  An expanded Open Cockpit Sunday provided access to even more aircraft on display and living history programs gave visitors a chance to meet and interact with sailors who served aboard the ship. Also during the day, the museum hosted a birthday celebration for ‘The Fighting Lady,’ complete with a special birthday cake and performance by the Charleston Community Band.  View a photo gallery of the USS Yorktown’s 70th birthday celebration.

The party kicked off later that evening, with performances by Charleston jazz icons Lonnie Hamilton, III and Ann Caldwell.  Later that evening, Brad and Jennifer Moranz presented a special 1940s USO-style show, “A Tribute to the Yorktown.” Guests enjoyed songs and dancing from the WWII-era and were invited to kick up their heels and join in.  View a photo gallery of the ‘Tribute to the Yorktown’

“For seventy years, the USS Yorktown has left an indelible mark on all those who walk her decks,” said Patriots Point Executive Director Mac Burdette. “She turned boys into men during times of war and peace. Ordinary citizens became heroes and courage was an everyday occurrence.  Today, she leaves visitors today with a greater appreciation for, and understanding of, the sacrifices of those who came before them.”

About the USS Yorktown

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt christens the USS Yorktown in April 1943.

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt christens the USS Yorktown in April 1943.

The USS Yorktown (CV -10) was one of 24 Essex-class carriers built during World War II for the United States Navy. Built in just 16.5 months, Yorktown was commissioned on April 15, 1943. Named after the American Revolutionary War’s Battle of Yorktown, she is the fourth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name.  Initially named Bon Homme Richard, she was renamed Yorktown while under construction to commemorate the USS Yorktown (CV-5), which was sunk during the epic Battle of Midway in June 1942. Like its namesake, the USS Yorktown (CV-10) was sponsored by Eleanor Roosevelt.

The Yorktown was modified twice at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (SCB-27A 1951-53 and SCB-125 in 1955).  Yorktown’s service spanned three decades and included participation in WWII and the Vietnam War. The ship also recovered the Apollo 8 astronauts and capsule in December, 1968. In 1974, the Navy approved the donation of the Yorktown to Patriots Point and the ship was towed from Bayonne, NJ to Mount Pleasant, SC to become the nation’s first aircraft carrier museum.

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