World War Two aircraft carrier brings veteran together with younger generation

F6Fs_on_USS_Yorktown_Aug_1943

A decommissioned World War Two aircraft carrier, the Yorktown, has brought two generations together ensuring the remembrance of World War Two continues.

Carter and Jack Hanson are 10 year old twins from Raleigh in North Carolina. They first got interested in the war after playing battleship on their computer. Hooked on the navy their parents took them to visit the Yorktown aircraft carrier which is now housed at Charleston in South Carolina.

Both twins were excited by their visit where they learned about the role of aircraft carriers during the war and the brave soldiers, men and women who manned them.

One of the soldiers they learnt about on the visit was Robert Harding, a veteran who served on the Yorktown during World War Two.

The twins were able to get in touch with Robert via email and started a friendship that blossomed over the internet.

Harding was a plane handler on the Yorktown and went on to tell the boys many stories about life on-board the carrier and about the war.

Aft view of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Yorktown (CVS-10) during her deployment to the Western Pacific from January to July 1960.
Aft view of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Yorktown (CVS-10) during her deployment to the Western Pacific from January to July 1960.

Desperate to unite the twins with Harding, a visit to the Yorktown was organised for everyone to meet up.

Harding says that before the boys got in touch with him he hadn’t really told anyone the stories about his life during the war. The three friends spent an entire day together on the Yorktown, where they explored the ship and Robert could bring to life the many memories he has of his time on the ship.

The twins say thatlearning aboutRobert’s war time experiences has changed their lives for good.

The Yorktown was a class of three US-built aircraft carriers – the Yorktown, Hornet and Enterprise. They were commissioned in 1937 and followed the Ranger, which was the first US aircraft carrier ever built. The Yorktown designers took the experiences of the Ranger and updated it to produce the Yorktowns, the CBS Evening News reports.

Panoramic image of Yorktown at Patriots Point - Wikipedia
Panoramic image of Yorktown at Patriots Point – Wikipedia

The three ships saw their first military action in the Pacific and this was where two of ships were also destroyed. Yorktown was sunk at the Battle of Midway and Hornet was sunk in the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands.

Enterprise was the only surviving Yorktown that was built. It became the most decorated ship in the US Navy and she was eventually decommissioned in 1960.