Rowland White

A visit to USS Yorktown

In April this year, a business trip took me to Charleston, South Carolina.  Once the catalyst for the civil war, then city still has real historical charm.  It’s also home to over fifty USAF C-17 Globemasters from the 437th Air Wing and 315th Air Wings, USCG helicopters and a Boeing factory, now making the new 787.  All caught my eye as we landed and taxied in to the airport terminal.  But it was something else that really intrigued me.

As we circled down over an elegant bridge across the estuary, I spotted a big US Navy aircraft carrier moored on the north side of the water.  It was the USS Yorktown, a veteran of the Pacific war, Korea, Vietnam and, for anyone who remembers the Airfix model of the Sikorsky Sea King, the recovery of Apollo astronauts after splashdown.  She’s now a museum.

On the flight deck are well preserved examples of some of the US Navy’s recent hardware, from the huge Skywarrior to the F/A-18 Hornet.  In the hangar were some of the older aircraft.   I’ve added the pictures I took aboard the Yorktown to the gallery.

Also keep an eye out for the photos from the Vietnam exhibit ashore.  Of particular interest for me here was a Bell UH-1E from the legendary US Navy HA(L)3 Seawolves squadron.  Unlike most Hueys, this one has a forward facing M60 Gatling gun mounted on the port side of the cabin.  Firing at 6000 rounds per minute,in four months in 1968, the Sea Wolves burned through 275 M60 barrels and had to borrow new ones from other units.  Here’s a taster:

There are plenty more of the photographs I took posted in the GALLERY SECTION of the website.

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