Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Yorktown

The Yorktown aircraft carrier is harbored in Charleston, South Carolina. It is one of the ships that can be explore at Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum (40 Patriots Point Rd, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464). One thing that is difficult to convey in just one sketch is just how huge this ship is. The upper deck must have been several football fields in length.

Patriots Point Development Authority was established in the 1970s to develop the naval and maritime museum on Charleston Harbor with the World War II aircraft carrier, USS Yorktown as its centerpiece. It’s also home to a fleet of National Historic Landmark ships, the Cold War Memorial and the only Vietnam Experience Exhibit in the U.S., the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, and the agency's official Medal of Honor Museum. Patriots Point strives to preserve the living history of our nation's bravest men and women while telling their stories in honorable, educational and engaging ways.

We explored the inner bowls of the ship winding up metal staircases and narrow passageways.  It felt liberating to get out on the huge open each, so I  took some time to settle in and sketch.

Every section of the ship has been converted into a museum to showcase the history of the Yorktown and ships like her. Initially to have been named Bonhomme Richard, it was renamed Yorktown while under construction to commemorate USS Yorktown (CV-5), lost at the Battle of Midway in June 1942. Yorktown (CV-10) was commissioned in April 1943, and participated in several campaigns in the Pacific Theater of Operations, earning 11 battle stars and the Presidential Unit Citation.

Decommissioned shortly after the end of the war, it was modernized and recommissioned in February 1953 as an attack carrier, and served with distinction during the Korean War. It was later modernized with a canted deck and eventually became an antisubmarine carrier and served for many years in the Pacific, including duty in the Vietnam War, in which it earned five battle stars. Late in its career, it served as a recovery ship for the Apollo 8 space mission, and was used in the movie Tora! Tora! Tora! which recreated the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

1 comment:

Mechtraveller said...

Really looking forward to visiting USS Yorktown next month. Like the sketch! :)