Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum

USS Yorktown

Patriots Point Development Authority was established in the 1970s to develop a naval and maritime museum on Charleston Harbor with the World War II aircraft carrier, USS Yorktown as its centerpiece. It is the home to the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum and a fleet of National Historic Landmark ships, the Cold War Memorial and the only Vietnam Experience Exhibit in the U.S. and the Congressional Medal of Honor Museum.

Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum strives to preserve the living history of our nation's bravest.

Since opening, Patriots Point has become one of the state's most popular tourist attractions with close to 300,000 visitors each year. The Yorktown boasts one of the largest education and overnight camping programs in the nation, with more than 40,000 school age children attending these programs each year.


"The Fighting Lady"

The USS YORKTOWN (CV-10) was the tenth aircraft carrier to serve in the United States Navy. Under construction as BON HOMME RICHARD, this new Essex-class carrier was renamed in honor of YORKTOWN (CV-5) sunk at the epic Battle of Midway (June 1942). Built in an amazing 16 ½ months at Newport News, Virginia, YORKTOWN was commissioned on April 15, 1943. World War II’s famous “Fighting Lady” would participate significantly in the Pacific offensive that began in late 1943 and ended with the defeat of Japan in 1945. The USS Yorktown received the Presidential Unit Citation and earned 11 battle stars for service in World War II.

In the 1950s, The USS Yorktown was modernized to operate jet aircraft as an attack carrier (CVA). In 1957, she was re-designated an anti-submarine aircraft carrier (CVS), and would later earn 5 battle stars for service off Vietnam (1965-68). The ship also recovered the Apollo 8 astronauts and capsule (December 1968). The USS Yorktown was decommissioned in 1970 and placed in reserve.

In 1975, this historic ship was towed from Bayonne, NJ to Charleston, SC to become the centerpiece of Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum.


"The Ship That Would Not Die"

The USS LAFFEY (DD-724) is the most decorated World War II era US Destroyer still in existence. DD-724 was named in honor of LAFFEY (DD-459), sunk during the Naval Battle for Guadalcanal (13 November 1942). Both ships were named in honor of Seaman Bartlett Laffey, a Civil War Medal of Honor recipient.

On February 8, 1944, the newly commissioned USS LAFFEY (DD-459) was commissioned and later supported the D-Day landings at Normandy.

Shortly after V-E Day, the LAFFEY Was transferred to the Pacific Fleet. On April 16, 1945, while operating off Okinawa, she was attacked by 22 Japanese bombers and Kamikaze killing 32 and wounding 71 of the 336-man crew. The heroic crew shot down 9 Kamikaze aircraft and saved the damaged ship earning her the nickname: "The Ship That Would Not Die." For it's valiant service during World War II, the USS LAFFEY (DD-724), was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation and earned five battle stars.


The USS CLAMAGORE (SS-343) is a Balao-class submarine. Built in 1945 for the United States Navy, she was still in training when World War II ended. A National Historic Landmark, she is the only known surviving example of a GUPPY type submarine.

The Vietnam Experience Exhibit

Become part of the crew, as Patriots Point brings the history of the Vietnam War to life in this fully immersive 2 ½ acre exhibit that brings Marine officers to life through holograms in an exciting 3-D production.

Set in a "Brown Water Navy" support base and a U.S. Marine Corps artillery fire base during the Tet Offensive and the Battle of Khe Sanh in 1968.

Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum provides free tickets to the Ralph A. Johnson Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Charleston, SC for PTSD treatment for combat veterans in the Vietnam Experience.


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