While on vacation in Charleston, SC we spent an afternoon touring the USS Yorktown. The Yorktown was commissioned in 1943 and served in WWII. It was an essex-class carrier, which were the largest ships in the war. What made this ship special to me was the fact that it was a sister ship to the USS Bunker Hill that my father served on in the South Pacific. You can take several self-guided tours of this great lady so that's exactly what we did. One of the tours takes you inside the ship and you pass the radio room that has been restored and set up with mannequins to give a sense of realism. My dad was a radioman on the Bunker Hill. I spent couple of minutes just imagining what it was like to work in that environment. It was a special moment that I will never forget. I still get a chill thinking about it.
When you board the Yorktown, the first thing you enter is the hanger deck and there are a number of planes on display. I love the war birds.
Who doesn't want their photo taken with a carrier based war bird from WWII?
Even though the P-51 Mustang is considered the best and most famous of WWII aircraft, my favorite plane from the era is the F4-U Corsair. I think those gull wings are just too cool for words. They make this fighter beautiful and evil at the same time. This plane dominated the skies in the South Pacific as a carrier based fighter.
The Yorktown was retrofitted to accommodate jets and actually served in Vietnam from 1965-68. There are a variety of aircraft displayed on her flight deck.
These 40mm "Pom-Pom" guns served to deter incoming enemy aircraft. The Yorktown and other carriers bristled with anti-aircraft weapons. My wife makes a great gunner's mate. If you spend any time in Charleston, go out to Patriots Point and see the displays. There is a destroyer moored next to the Yorktown and there is a "Vietnam Experience" presentation as well. have a blessed week.