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Picture 180

My son and I aboard the USS Yorkown after my return from Al-Anbar, Iraq in 2007.

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Comment by Richard Samuel Najjar on June 17, 2011 at 5:32pm

A Tiger Cruise sounds great.  USS Enterprise was always a sort of cornerstone of the U.S. Fleet.  When I was in submarines back in the mid-70s, a fellow torpedoman -- who had started his Navy career in mine warfare -- told me that he was aboard an armed minesweeper during President Kennedy's hastily assembled blockade of Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  When a number of Soviet warships and helos appeared and attempted to intimidate them, the then newly commissioned Enterprise, with it's unmistakable "cube" shaped superstructure and "crome dome," appeared over the horizen with the air around her dark with U.S. Navy intercepters.  Not wanting a confrontation, the Soviets lit out and left them alone.  I heard that the Enterprise was the last carrier built ahead of schedule and under budget -- let's see the Navy do that again with the "next" Enterprise.

 

 

Comment by Kevin T. Curran on June 17, 2011 at 12:50pm
Going aboard my old Carrier, USS Enterprise, in July for a Tiger Cruise. Figure its my last chance before they decommission her. Going to be a bit odd since women are serving on her now as well as all of the new social media software available, etc...LOL
Comment by Richard Samuel Najjar on June 17, 2011 at 10:48am

Thanks James.  The hanger deck of the Yorktown is an excellent museum of beautiful World War II naval aircraft including an F4F Wildcat, F6F Hellcat, TBM Avenger, SBD Dauntless (mentioned), UH-34 helo,  many in flying condition.  There is actually an Army B-25 Mitchell too in commemoration of the Doolittle Raiders from the original USS Hornet.    The upper flight deck is home of an F4 Phanton II, A-6 Intruder, F8 Crusader, F14A Tomcat, some twin engined ASW types, an SH3 Sea King, and a number of other (more) modern aircraft.  There are also various museums throughout the forward hanger deck and the next deck below.   

 

To date, my son only made that one trip to the Patriots Point Maritime Museum.  Fortunately, the Boy Scouts are invited to stay aboard on supervised night campouts.  As an assistant scoutmaster, I might need to look into that for our troop.

Comment by Richard Samuel Najjar on June 17, 2011 at 12:08am

Our human resources director's father served aboard the original Yorktown (CV-5) and was aboard her when she went down after the Battle of Midway.  It must have been sureal for him when clear photos of the wreakage, sitting upright and pretty much intact were released through National Geographic after almost 60 years.  You are right about the name juggling and the commissioning of the next available Essex-class to carry the Yorktown name.  There are a few names, by Navy tradition and policy, that the Navy will always have in the water, names like Yorktown, Lexington, Enterprise, Essex, Ticondaroga, Intrepid, Ranger, Independence, Saratoga, Mobile Bay, and newer names like Midway, Philippine Sea, Coral Sea, Guam, Okinawa, Peleilou, Leyte, etc.  An unusual and humorous story was the press interview of President Roosevelt immediately after the Doolittle Raid from the deck of the [first] USS Hornet in early 1942.  The reporters were bombarding the president with demands that he tell them where the bombers were launched from.  Did they come from the Aleutians off of Alaska, from Russia, or from China perhaps?  FDR kept telling them, "Look fellas, all of that is top secret, please don't keep asking me questions I can't answer."  The reporters, not to give up so easily demanded that they had a job to do and that the American people deserved to know.  Finally, the president said,  "Alright then, it is against my better judgement to tell you boys what I'm about to say."  At this point, everybody leaned toward the president and they were so stone quiet, you could hear a pin drip.  "Well ... those bombers," the president said, "well, you see, they came from a land called ... Shangri La."  Immediately, the reporters, realizing that they'd been had, flung their notebooks and pencils on the ground, waved their arms in the air, and stormed away at having been conned by the president.  Later in the war, an Essex-class carrier was indeed named USS Shangri La.    

 

My son will be packing tomorrow for a week long summer campout with his troop and other Boy Scout troops in the region on the shores of the Intercoastal Waterway out in the country near Charleston, SC.  He will be working on more merit badges toward his Life and Eagle requirements and doing some fishing, swimming, rifle shooting, and some shooting on the skeet range on his spare time.  He should make Eagle before he is 14, depending on what kind of community project he can get approved.  The Order of the Arrow was a big moment for him ... and sort of unexpected.  He was selected for that two years ago and that motivated him to continue. 

Comment by Kevin T. Curran on June 16, 2011 at 6:05pm
I always forget there was a 2nd Yorktown commissioned in honor of CV-5 that went down valiantly at the battle of Midway. Guess it was originally supposed to be the Bon Homme Richard. I have been to the Intrepid and loved the neat stuff they had for the Mercury program, etc. Wow! BSA order of the Arrow..now that's impressive!!
Comment by Richard Samuel Najjar on June 15, 2011 at 11:22pm

Difinitely visit her.  She is moored at Patriots Point on the Cooper River just across from Charleston, SC.  USS Yorktown is an Essex-class fast carrier and 23 in the class were built during World War II.  Yorktown fought in the hectic and fast paced Battle of the Philippine Sea followed by the decisive Battle of Leyte Gulf where the Imperial Japanese Navy was delt it's last major blow before going on the defensive for the last year of the Pacific War.  Yorktown and her many sisters served in the U.S. Navy as CVAs and CVSs (ASW) thoughout Korea, Vietnam and most of the Cold War.  Yorktown was decommissioned in 1975.  Her sister USS Intrepid is moored in New York City as another maritime memorial.  Some other ships at Patriots Point include the famous Allen M. Sumter-class destroyer USS Laffey which was at the Normandy invasion and the Pacific War, the USCG Cutter Tanny, a Pearl Harbor veteran which later fought and destroyed a Nazi U-Boat, and the World War II fleet submarine USS Clamagore, veteran of the late Pacific War and early Cold War.

 

The picture is of me and my [then] 9 year old son Lian Yu shortly after my return from Al-Anbar, Iraq during the Surge in 2007.  Lian Yu was born in China and became a member of our family in 2003 just after his 5th birthday.  He is an all "A" honor student, trumpet player in the district wide school symphonic orchastra, avid camper and senior ranking Boy Scout with membership in the BSA Order of the Arrow.  He loves shooting and fishing. 

Comment by Kevin T. Curran on June 15, 2011 at 10:59pm

Yorktown was classic WW2 ship....I need to check that out!!

 

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