Over 25 Years with the Lady
On this the Silver Anniversary (1968) of the Fighting Lady, one asks not for a regurgitation of the Quartermaster's log but for the answer to the question, "what makes YORKTOWN's story significant?" To this there is but one reply: the men who sail her. It is they who are the lifeblood of the ship and it is they who create rather than observe her history.
Picture: USS Yorktown's keel was originally laid and still is marked Bon Homme Richard. After the sinking of the CV5 USS Yorktown, the BHR was renamed USS Yorktown CV 10.
YORKTOWN sails the Pacific today as before and her crew share the same experiences as their 1943 counterparts. In so doing, they write new chapters in a history as gallant and distinguished as ever recorded by any ship of the United States Navy.
"The Fighting Lady" has traveled over 200,000 miles, close to the distance to the moon. The Yorktown required 1,000 gallons of fuel per hour to reach full speed. The "Battling Bitch" was a drinker, consuming 3.4 million gallons of fuel.
The very name itself is as old as the country which she serves. YORKTOWN, the battle marking the defeat of the British in 1781 and the beginning of a new nation; the 16 gun sloop of war which sailed with the African Squadron from 1839 to 1850. Her initial task was to protect the interests of the whaling industry . Her vivid history included capturing slave-trading ships as she endeavored to suppress the slave trade while making her way from one exotic port to another. This first Yorktown ultimately struck a reef off the Isle of Mayo and sank;
The gunboat commissioned in 1889 which saw action in both the Spanish American war and World War I;
The second Yorktown saw service to all parts of the world and assisted in the suppression of the Philippine Insurrection and in protecting American nationals endangered by the Boxer Rebellion at the Chinese ports of Shanghai, Chefoo and Taku.
Finally, the Second Yorktown saw action in World War One and was eventually sold to private interests in 1921,
and the carriers whose men, through sweat and spirit, shaped the events of World War II and the lives of generations thereafter.
USS YORKTOWN Keel Laid 1 December 1941,
Launched 21 January 1943,
Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Sponsor.
Commissioned 15 April 1943
Captain J.J. "Jocko" Clark U.S.N. Commanding Officer.
Damn It! Jocko roared to his 120 officers and 2,500 enlisted men,
"If you can't run, walk. If you can't walk, crawl.
But get the job done.
And if you can't get the job done...
get the hell off my ship.!"
Click here for the
free previews of the Academy Award Winning Movie about
the USS Yorktown, "The Fighting Lady.
This section written by Historian Lt. jg W.P. Laino with updating by PH2 Daniel A. Bernath USS Yorktown 1968-1970)
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