Open Cockpit Sunday, February 19th

Have you ever wondered what it was like to be involved in something greater than one’s self? Have you ever wanted to climb into a Navy cockpit and imagine being a Naval Aviator and flying at Top Gun or landing on an aircraft carrier at sea? Sunday, 19 February, is your chance to fulfill a [...]

Our Oldest Volunteer, Ernest “Larry” Melin

Patriots Point volunteer Ernest “Larry” Melin recently celebrated his 90th birthday onboard USS Yorktown. Officially, our oldest living volunteer, Larry served in the Army Air Corp from 1942 to 1946. After his enlistment, his aptitude and high grades had the Army Air Corp pointing him towards pilot training, but just as quickly the need for [...]

Laffey’s Shipyard Visit 2009 – Recap #2

As we prepare for Laffey’s return in two weeks…lets take a look back at Laffey’s visit and repair work at Deteyen’s Shipyard back in 2009. Below are images of Laffey being worked on in drydock…see more on our Flickr site…

USS Laffey Departure 19 August 2009 Recap #1

We will be taking a look at a few old Laffey posts as we near her successful return to Patriots Point the week of 22-27 January 2012. Today we’ll look at the post of Laffey’s departure 0n 19 August 2009 from Patriots Point to have her hull replaced. Former crew members, Patriots Point staff and [...]

First Helicopter Mercy Mission 1944!

On 03 January 1944, Commander Frank Erickson, United States Coast Guard, flew his Sikorsky HNS-1 Hoverfly helicopter in history’s first mercy flight. After an explosion sank the destroyer USS Turner, DD-648, Commander Erickson delivered over 40 units of blood plasma to a hospital at Sandy Hook, New Jersey. He had launched amid snow squalls from [...]

Navy Catapult Launch Improvement 1962

On 19 December 1962, an E-2A Hawkeye, flown by naval aviator Lieutenant Commander Lee Ramsey was catapulted from the flightdeck of the USS Enterprise (CVAN-65) during the first at sea test of a nose-tow gear designed to replace the catapult bridle system and reduce the time required between aircraft launches on aircraft carriers. This gear [...]

Patriots Point’s F-4J Phantom

The McDonnell F-4 Phantom (eventually became McDonnell-Douglas and then bought by Boeing) was a tandem-seat fighter-bomber designed to fill the U.S. Navy’s fleet defense fighter role. The advent of Soviet jet bombers with long range anti-ship missiles dictated that the U. S. Navy acquire a fighter that could quickly climb and accelerate to intercept the [...]

1960 Navy World Altitude Record With Payload

On 13 December 1960 an A-3J Vigilante crewed by naval aviator Commander Leroy Heath and bombardier-navigator Lieutenant Henry Monroe ascended to an altitude of 91,450.8 feet with a payload of 1,000 kilograms (2,402.62  pounds).  The setting was overhead Edwards Air Force base in California and the official world record broke the previous record by the [...]

USS Yorktown CV-10 Keel Laid, 70 Years Ago Today!

Today seventy years ago, the keel of the USS Yorktown was laid at Newport News Shipbuilding, not far from the battle site of Yorktown, Virginia. The mighty Fighting Lady (nickname given by her crew in World War II) is now a museum ship fighting the ravages of time instead of the Imperial Japanese Navy, and [...]

Pearl Harbor Day Events At Patriots Point

Next Wednesday marks the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the entrance of the United States into World War II. Just recently, historian Craig Shirley in his new book, December 1941, noted that President Franklin Roosevelt and his war cabinet had considered declaring war against Japan, Germany and Italy on the night [...]