Photo Archive
Yorktown San Diego 1940 oh view 02.jpg (31255 bytes)
Yorktown at San Diego 1940 (click to enlarge)
USS Yorktown

Yorktown Class Aircraft Carrier

The name ship of the Yorktown class (other members were Enterprise CV-6 and Hornet CV-8), USS Yorktown CV-5 secured her place in history at Coral Sea and Midway. Seriously damaged at Coral Sea, she made it back to Pearl. Repairs were estimated to take 3 months. It was ordered they be done in three days. Intelligence intercepts indicated the Japanese fleet would mass near Midway Island, and every US carrier was needed to spring the trap. The ensuing battle in which the surface combatants never saw each other was a stunning setback for the Japanese. Four IJN carriers and one heavy cruiser were lost at Midway. Dautless dive bombers from Yorktown were instrumental in this victory. But Yorktown herself was disabled by Japanese dive bombers and torpedo planes. Still afloat and her list apparently under control, she was torpedoed and sunk by a Japanese submarine. 

These exceptional US Navy Historical Center photos, a number of which I've never seen before, document Yorktown's short but illustrious career. The Center assembled these photos in conjunction with a recently aired National Geographic special documenting the locating and filming of  the sunken Yorktown in 18,000 feet of water  near Midway. Most of them are captioned. I've organized them in approximate chronological order. Also check out photos of Yorktown's sister ship USS Hornet CV-8.

USS Yorktown (CV 5)
Vital Statistics

Commissioned: 30 September 1937
Displacement: 19,037 tons light ship, 23,507 tons normal (25,484 full load)
Length: 809' 6" oa, 770' wl, Beam: 83'3" wl, 109'6" extreme

Hangar Deck: 546' x 63'
Armament (as designed): eight 5"/38 (8x1), sixteen 1.1", 24 .5-cal mg
Performance: 120,000 shp, 32.5 knots maximum

Aircraft: 85 (various combinations of
Wildcat, Avenger, Dauntless, and Devastator)
Complement: 306 officers, 2,613 enlisted

Note that there were external differences between Hornet and her sister ships Yorktown and Enterprise.
Among other things, Hornet's flight deck was 12' longer than that of Yorktown and Enterprise

Click thumbnail image to view full size picture

Yorktown San Diego 1940 oh view.jpg (76777 bytes)
Outstanding overhead view, San Diego 1940. Deck is crammed with planes in pre-war bright colors
Yorktown 1937 at anchor.jpg (61857 bytes)
1937 at anchor
Yorktown 1937 Hampton Roads.jpg (50217 bytes)
1937 at Hampton Roads, Virginia
Yorktown 1937 bow on view.jpg (85581 bytes)
Bow on view 1937
Yorktown 1937 stern trials.jpg (72237 bytes)
Steaming stern ahead!
Yorktown 1937 stern quarter.jpg (81033 bytes)
Yorktown 1937 port dock view.jpg (52654 bytes)
Yorktown 1937 starboard dock view.jpg (61744 bytes)
Yorktown fitting out Newport News 37.jpg (93483 bytes)
Fitting out at Newport News
Yorktown 1937 head on.jpg (63616 bytes) Yorktown 1937.jpg (70232 bytes) Yorktown 1938 oh view.jpg (135927 bytes)
Yorktown 1937 port side profile.jpg (33090 bytes)
1937 profile
Yorktown 1938 to 40.jpg (78198 bytes)
Yorktown Coral Sea flight ops Apr 42.jpg (108567 bytes)
Launching SBD Dauntless at Coral Sea
Yorktown Pearl 42.jpg (88412 bytes)
Undergoing repairs at Pearl after Coral Sea
Torp planes pass Yorktown.jpg (88306 bytes)
Under attack
Yorktown torpedoed June 42.jpg (65593 bytes)
Yorktown torpedoed
IJN Torp plane.jpg (120685 bytes)
The view from Yorktown
Yorktown Astoria CA 34 gun gallery.jpg (96295 bytes)
View from 5" mount, Astoria in distance, smoke from fires wafts overhead
Yorktown bomb damage repair.jpg (129120 bytes)
Bomb damage repair to flight deck
Yorktown casualties.jpg (122056 bytes)
Bomb damage and casualties
Yorktown deck scene.jpg (81266 bytes)
Deck scene as ship takes on sharp list
Yorktown hit June 42.jpg (121786 bytes)
Yorktown hit
SBD Ditching near Astoria.jpg (123783 bytes)
Unable to land on the damaged Yortown, an SBD Dauntless ditches aside heavy cruiser Astoria
Benham w Yorktown survivors.jpg (93449 bytes)
Excellent photo of DD Benham with Yorktown survivors
Portland transfers men to Fulton.jpg (98904 bytes)
Heavy cruiser Portland transfers Yorktown crew
Destroyers pick up survivors 02.jpg (83868 bytes)
Picking up survivors
Yorktown abandoned.jpg (70173 bytes)
Destroyers pick up survivors.jpg (67647 bytes)
Picking up survivors
Yorktown burning 4 June 42.jpg (34591 bytes)
On fire
Hamman sinking.jpg (60458 bytes)
DD Hamman, torpedoed while attending the stricken Yorktown, breaks apart and sinks
Yorktown listing.jpg (55336 bytes)
Yorktown after abandonment.jpg (61435 bytes)
The abandoned Yorktown
Yorktown capsized.jpg (50018 bytes)
Yorktown capsizes and sinks
hiryu burning.jpg (111288 bytes)
IJN Carrier Hiryu buring. Note massive hole in flight deck