Pictures: Life and Death of the USS Yorktown

USS Hornet

Follow the USS Yorktown from the moment her keel was laid, through sea trials and into the Battle of the Coral Sea. Damaged in that battle she is repaired in Hawaii after which she sets sail in her final voyage for the battle for Midway. There she is heavily damaged from the air and eventually sinks after being torpedoed by a Japanese submarine.

The beginning

At the shipyard
shipyardCourtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command
This Sept. 3, 1935 photo shows the USS Yorktown under construction about 17 months after the keel was laid.

Launching dayshipyardCourtesy of the National Archives
This April 4, 1936 photo shows the USS Yorktown (CV-5) afloat in the James River immediately after launching at Newport News Shipbuilding.

Awaiting sea trialsshipyardCourtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command
This June 1937 aerial photo shows the completed USS Yorktown docked at Newport News Shipbuilding while awaiting sea trials.

At Newport NewsshipyardCourtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command
This Sept. 29, 1937 shot of one of the USS Yorktown’s 5-inch anti-aircraft guns was taken while the ship was moored at Newport News Shipbuilding’s Pier No. 1.

A high-speed runshipyardCourtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command
This circa 1937 photo shows the USS Yorktown conducting a high-speed run, possibly during its sea trials.

At sea shipyardCourtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command
This undated but early photo shows the USS Yorktown underway at sea.

At Norfolk
shipyardCourtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command
Tied up at Naval Operating Base , the USS Yorktown is shown flying the two-star flag of Rear Adm. Charles A. Blakely, Commander of Carrier Division Two.

Planes on deckPlanes on deck Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command This undated Navy photo shows the USS Yorktown with its air wing on deck.Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command
This undated Navy photo shows the USS Yorktown with its air wing on deck.

Preparing for the PacificPreparing for the Pacific Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command This June 1940 image shows the USS Yorktown at Naval Air Station, North Island in San San Diego embarking aircraft and vehicles prior to sailing for Hawaii.Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command
This June 1940 image shows the USS Yorktown at Naval Air Station, North Island in San San Diego embarking aircraft and vehicles prior to sailing for Hawaii.

Next Page, Coral Sea

Battle of the Coral Sea

In the Coral Sea

In the Coral Sea Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command The USS Yorktown is shown operating in the vicinity of the Coral Sea, April 1942. The photograph was taken from from a TBD-1 torpedo plane that has just taken off from its deck.Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command
The USS Yorktown is shown operating in the vicinity of the Coral Sea, April 1942. The photograph was taken from from a TBD-1 torpedo plane that has just taken off from its deck.

Battle of the Coral SeaBattle of the Coral Sea Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command The USS Yorktown's Bombing Squadron Five (VB-5) SBD-3 aircraft are shown forward on the carrier's flight deck during operations in the Coral Sea, April 1942.Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command
The USS Yorktown’s Bombing Squadron Five (VB-5) SBD-3 aircraft are shown forward on the carrier’s flight deck during operations in the Coral Sea, April 1942.

Repairs from the Battle of the Coral Sea

Repairs from the Battle of the Coral Sea Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command The USS Yorktown undergoes urgent repairs at Dry Dock # 1 in the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, 29 May 1942, following damage sustained in the Battle of the Coral Sea. It left Pearl Harbor the next day to participate in the Battle of Midway.Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command
The USS Yorktown undergoes urgent repairs at Dry Dock # 1 in the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, 29 May 1942, following damage sustained in the Battle of the Coral Sea. It left Pearl Harbor the next day to participate in the Battle of Midway.

Battle of Midway

The USS Yorktown underway at MidwayThe USS Yorktown underway at Midway Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command This image of the USS Yorktown was taken on the morning of June 4, 1942, shortly after the beginning of the Battle of Midway.Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command
This image of the USS Yorktown was taken on the morning of June 4, 1942, shortly after the beginning of the Battle of Midway.

The USS Yorktown on fireThe USS Yorktown on fire Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command This famous image taken during the Battle of Midway by Bill Roy shows the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown (CV-5) shortly after it was hit by three Japanese bombs on June 4, 1942.Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command
This famous image taken during the Battle of Midway by Bill Roy shows the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown (CV-5) shortly after it was hit by three Japanese bombs on June 4, 1942.

Following a bomb attackFollowing a bomb attack Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command The USS Yorktown is shown burning from a Japanese bombing attack shortly after noon on 4 June 1942 during the Battle of Midway.

Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command
The USS Yorktown is shown burning from a Japanese bombing attack shortly after noon on 4 June 1942 during the Battle of Midway.

Damage controlDamage control Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command Firefighters at work on board USS Yorktown after the ship was hit by three Japanese bombs shortly after noon on 4 June 1942.Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command
Firefighters at work on board USS Yorktown after the ship was hit by three Japanese bombs shortly after noon on 4 June 1942.

Another view of the YorktownAnother view of the Yorktown Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command This view shows the giant plume of smoke coming from the USS Yorktown after it was attacked by Japanese planes during the Battle of Midway. The USS Astoria is shown in the left background.Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command
This view shows the giant plume of smoke coming from the USS Yorktown after it was attacked by Japanese planes during the Battle of Midway. The USS Astoria is shown in the left background.

 

Caring for the woundedCaring for the wounded Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command Navy corpsmen treat casualties on board the USS Yorktown shortly after the carrier had been hit by Japanese bombs on 4 June 1942. The dead and wounded shown were members of a machine gun crew.Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command
Navy corpsmen treat casualties on board the USS Yorktown shortly after the carrier had been hit by Japanese bombs on 4 June 1942. The dead and wounded shown were members of a machine gun crew.

Repairing the flight deckRepairing the flight deck Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command Damage control teams struggle to repair the damaged flight deck of the USS Yorktown during the Battle of Midway.

Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command
Damage control teams struggle to repair the damaged flight deck of the USS Yorktown during the Battle of Midway.

Next page: The end

The End

Under attack at MidwayUnder attack at Midway Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command This June 4, 1942 Navy photograph shows the USS Yorktown as it was struck on the port side, amidships, by a Japanese Type 91 aerial torpedo during the mid-afternoon attack by planes from the carrier Hiryu.Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command
This June 4, 1942 Navy photograph shows the USS Yorktown as it was struck on the port side, amidships, by a Japanese Type 91 aerial torpedo during the mid-afternoon attack by planes from the carrier Hiryu.

The Yorktown on fireThe Yorktown on fire Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command The deck of the USS Yorktown burns after a Japanese attack during the Battle of Midway.Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command
The deck of the USS Yorktown burns after a Japanese attack during the Battle of Midway.

Torpedo attackTorpedo attack Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command Two Type 97 attack aircraft from the Japanese carrier Hiryu fly past the USS Yorktown amid heavy anti-aircraft fire after dropping their torpedoes during the mid-afternoon attack of 4 June 1942.

Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command
Two Type 97 attack aircraft from the Japanese carrier Hiryu fly past the USS Yorktown amid heavy anti-aircraft fire after dropping their torpedoes during the mid-afternoon attack of 4 June 1942.

Taking on waterTaking on water Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command The USS Yorktown begins to list after sustaining multiple attacks from Japanese planes during the June 1942 Battle of Midway.Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command
The USS Yorktown begins to list after sustaining multiple attacks from Japanese planes during the June 1942 Battle of Midway.

Preparing to abandon shipPreparing to abandon ship Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command The crew of the mortally wounded USS Yorktown leans against the list of the sinking ship as they prepare to evacuate during the Battle of Midway.Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command
The crew of the mortally wounded USS Yorktown leans against the list of the sinking ship as they prepare to evacuate during the Battle of Midway.

Listing badlyListing badly Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command The USS Yorktown lists after multiple Japanese attacks during the Battle of Midway, forcing the crew to escape to a waiting destroyer.Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command
The USS Yorktown lists after multiple Japanese attacks during the Battle of Midway, forcing the crew to escape to a waiting destroyer.

Abandoning shipAbandoning ship Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command The crew of the USS Yorktown dons life jackets before abandoning ship during the Battle of Midway.Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command
The crew of the USS Yorktown dons life jackets before abandoning ship during the Battle of Midway.

Life rafts in the waterLife rafts in the water Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command Life rafts dot the water between the sinking USS Yorktown and a waiting destroyer as the carrier's crew abandons ship during the Battle of Midway.

Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command
Life rafts dot the water between the sinking USS Yorktown and a waiting destroyer as the carrier’s crew abandons ship during the Battle of Midway.

Japanese sub attackJapanese sub attack Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command Despite the heroic efforts of the USS Yorktown's captain and a salvage crew, who appeared to be on the verge of saving the ship, the flattop was mortally wounded on the afternoon of June 6, 1942 when a Japanese submarine penetrated its destroyer screen and launched four torpedoes. One broke the back of the destroyer USS Hammann, which is shown sinking in this photo from the Yorktown. Two others struck the carrier.Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command
Despite the heroic efforts of the USS Yorktown’s captain and a salvage crew, who appeared to be on the verge of saving the ship, the flattop was mortally wounded on the afternoon of June 6, 1942 when a Japanese submarine penetrated its destroyer screen and launched four torpedoes. One broke the back of the destroyer USS Hammann, which is shown sinking in this photo from the Yorktown. Two others struck the carrier.

Rolling overRolling over Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command The USS Yorktown sank just after dawn on June 7, 1942.Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command
The USS Yorktown sank just after dawn on June 7, 1942.

Last glimpseLast glimpse Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command The USS Yorktown slips under the waves after helping to sink two of the four enemy carriers destroyed during the Battle of Midway.Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command
The USS Yorktown slips under the waves after helping to sink two of the four enemy carriers destroyed during the Battle of Midway.

USS Yorktown insignia USS Yorktown insignia Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage CommandCourtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command

Via: Dailypress