How we passed the time aboard the Yorktown between strikes
Tokyo Rose soothes us with the music
Salvator Paul Cannava Fire Control Man 2nd Class USS Yorktown December 1943
click onto radio to hear Tokyo Rose, August 14, 1944
During times of leisure, we discovered many forms of entertainment. Tokyo Rose became a real morale booster, despite her claims of our failures and imminent demise, she played Big Band music which was something we all thoroughly enjoyed.
While laying anchor in Majuro we had swimming parties off of the ship. Marine guards with their rifles at the ready watched the ocean water for sharks. On occasions a launch would take us to small islands or atolls where we were able to play a little baseball. Between innings, and on the way to the atolls, we would drink beer and be in high spirits. Sometimes intense showers or storms would cool us down and save us from the hot sun. The breeze, aboard the Yorktown, would cool us on a regular basis.
The forecastle of the Yorktown proved to be a fascinating spot to sit and enjoy the ocean, watching the ship cut through the waves and experiencing the rhythmic rise and fall of the focil as it cut its way through the ocean was relaxing. Sometimes the ocean was calm and the waves bounced easily off of the steel hull of the Fighting Lady. At other times, waves of water towered over the Yorktown as we split the sea causing spray to fall onto the flight deck.
The fantail offered an entirely different view especially at night. The ship's large turn screws turned up the water forming a wake with flashes of phosphorus that marked the path we cut through the Pacific Ocean.
Another beautiful sight occurred when there was a full moon high in the sky. The illumination from the moon allowed a full view of all the ships in the task force. This was an incredible power to behold.
The ship's band would play on the hanger deck, dazzling and thrilling us with renditions of Big Band music of the late 30's and early 40's.
I love the ocean. Being aboard the Yorktown and seeing the ocean early in the morning, late at night and under the sparkling sun provided me with many wonderful and fascinating hours. The smells and sights of the sea and the feel of solid steel amongst the miles of endless ocean will always be present in both my mind and my body.
And lastly, the memories of times shared with shipmates, through fear and failure, victory and success will be with me always. We endured, and were better off for the experience and for knowing one another through a time of great conflict.
Tokyo Rose sends a
to the crew of the USS Yorktown
after attack on Randolph
The Randolph was burning, more explosions followed the hit, sirens started, and GQ sounded. Fortunately, most of the crew of the Randolph were up forward watching a movie on the hangar deck when the Kamikaze hit. Pawloski described the events this way.
"Weary sailors were searching for good seats at the movie…. Suddenly, at 8:07, a Kamikaze took precedence over the entertainment by crashing into the starboard side of the ship, below the flight deck. The twin-engine Japanese bomber exploded, instantly erupting fires everywhere."
"Fire fighters leaped into action impulsively while damage control parties applied their valuable training. The flames were under control at midnight and completely extinguished by 6:00 A.M."
"Twenty-five men had been killed and 106 wounded from the Kamikaze visit. The sultry yet annoying voice of Tokyo Rose poured out loud and clear over the ship's radio. Japan's lady broadcaster announced that the prearranged attack had been planned for the USS Yorktown CV-10 and added: 'Think you're nice and safe at Ulithi don't you? Well, we're fixing a little surprise for Yorktown.'"
Navy records show that the USS Randolph was repaired and
returned to duty in less than three weeks. Later research indicated that the
kamikaze was a Japanese "Frances," a twin-engine bomber. Pawlowski,
Gareth L. 1971. Flat Tops and Fledgings: A History of American Aircraft
Carriers. Castle Books, New York.
RAY POTTER ABF 3 Yorktown
A STRONG SHIP
I WAS SOMEWHAT TAKEN BY YOUR COMMENTS ON HOW STRONG A SHIP THE "LADY' WAS.. ANYONE WHO WAS ABOARD HER COULD TELL YOU THAT THEY COULD FEEL THE STRENGTH IN HER WHEN THEY WERE AT SEA. I WOULD SIT OUT AT NIGHT AND FEEL THE SURGE OF HISTORY AND COMPANIONSHIP.
THAT'S WHAT THE LADY OFFERED AND A GREAT MANY OF US TOOK AS A HARD BOUND DUTY. SHE HELPED TO CHARTER MY LIFE COURSE AND I'VE NEVER REGRETTED THE TIME ABOARD HER.
STRANGE, THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS I'VE FELT HER CALLING ME LIKE A LONG LOST RELATIVE. I HOPE TO BOARD HER ONE MORE TIME AND SEE MY COMPANIONS BEFORE I PASS ON. BELIEVE ME WHEN I SAY THAT IT WAS ONE HELL OF AN EXPERIENCE.
I was saddened to read that Bill Schaffer AOM Second Class had passed away. I had this Roy Acuff record "Crash on the Highway." I loved country music and played it (on the Yorktown) often. I guess Bill didn't care for the country music because one day when I was playing this record he said to me "Russo, if I hear that God Damn thing one more time I'll throw it over the side."
Later, I thought Bill had left the area so I put the record back on.
Well! Bill walked in, took the record off the player and threw the player over the side!~just as he said he would!
All my 134 pounds of manhood could do was watch it sail so beautifully into the Pacific Ocean.
They were in a hurry to get the Yorktown out to fight!
Having nothing to do aboard the Yorktown for the first month, I got the ship's Instruction Book and started exploring the Air Department spaces. I came to one bulkhead that was indicated as a "storeroom" but there wasn't a door. We cut a hole there and discovered a large, much needed, storeroom!
During one of the enemy raids, our Assistant Gunner Officer, Pat Patterson, from Waco Texas shouted on the bullhorn "Southerners, man your battle stations, Yankees take cover." Capt. Boone wasn't too happy about this.
Robert A. McPherson, Rear Admiral (ret.) USS Yorktown
I was in Union Station in Chicago. I was wearing my USS Yorktown CV 10 cap and I passed a group of young men of about junior high school age. One boy broke from the group and asked, "Sir, did you actually serve on the Yorktown?'
I replied, "Yes."
This young man's face lit up. He said, "can I shake your hand, sir?" I said, "you bet you can."
After shaking my hand he went on to tell me that his father had taken him aboard the Yorktown and how much he loved the ship. He said he loved the Yorktown so much that he named his pet dog "Yorktown."
Turning away and taking a few paces he started to catch up with his group when all of a sudden he did a complete 'about face' and gave me a REAL military salute.
As I returned his salute, I walked away very proud to have served on the USS Yorktown and being able to say "Yes, I served my country on the Fighting Lady."
Note: You can buy and wear this hat at the Yorktown's Ship Store
USS Yorktown "Museum" at Patriot's
Not quite the truth
I was an AO in A-4 squadrons between 64-69 on the
Hancock, Oriskany, FDR and the Shang
The wife + I just spent a few days in Charleston and I naturally wanted her to see how I lived for almost 5 years. Its my opinion that the people that made the Yorktown "commercially acceptable" did us as former sailors and the the public a disservice
berthing areas were never that bright/open/clean and what the they did to the
mess decks is a joke. They covered the flight deck with "something"
the wood I think they should have left a small portion of a berthing area just exactly like it was ( sweep/swab only) and at least one table in the mess decks with one of the steel trays so the guide could show visitors how we had to eat in heavy seas. They could have left a little piece of the F D showing the wood too. I understand that they wanted to show several different naval aircraft ( sign "this type was never on the class ship". Also what made up the 27C Mod , (there are probably
Some of y'all who were on her before the mod I belong to the Hancock assoc and we have some are "straight deckers" Anyhow I wanted to show Mary how I lived and really didn't get to.
Peter Schwab former AO2 USN 61-71
(BTW yahoo has a group for all ships/all rates who
served off Nam
yahoo groups TGYC Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club
may you have
Fair Winds and
Picture-in truth, we were stacked 5 high and had to have a procedure to get out during General Quarters and reveille so we wouldn't all jump on each other.
"Yorktown" Picks Miss Fighting Lady 1945 Life Magazine
November 12, 1945
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