The nation’s oldest aircraft carrier museum, the USS Yorktown (CV-10) is turning 70 and Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum is inviting everyone to join in on the celebration. On Sunday, April 14, Patriots Point will host a ‘Tribute to the Yorktown,’ complete with a full day of activities, programs and fun for the whole family!Throughout the day, the museum will provide visitors with a unique opportunity to walk in the steps of the men who served aboard this historic ship. An expanded Open Cockpit Sunday will provide access to even more aircraft on display and living history programs will give visitors a chance to meet and interact with sailors who served aboard the ship. At 2 p.m., the Charleston Community Band will perform in Hangar Bay III aboard the USS Yorktown, along with several musical groups throughout the day. These special programs are free with purchase of regular admission.At 7 p.m. that evening, the party will kick off with performances by Charleston jazz icons Lonnie Hamilton, III and Ann Caldwell, followed by a very special USO-style show presented by Brad and Jennifer Moranz. Food and beverages will be available for purchase and guests can dance under the stars to music from WWII. Tickets for this special evening are $20 and can be purchased at the Patriots Point ticket office, or online. (There is a small convenience fee for tickets purchased online.) Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
“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.”
“Our celebration will honor ‘The Fighting Lady’s’ platinum anniversary by bringing her to life through educational and living history programs, as well as unforgettable musical performances that evening,” Burdette continued. “The USS Yorktown is more than just a Lowcountry landmark, she’s a national treasure. We hope everyone will join us on April 14 to celebrate her seventy years of service to our country.”
About the USS Yorktown
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.