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.
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 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.
1975, this historic ship was towed from Bayonne, NJ to Charleston, SC to become the centerpiece
Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum.
The USS LAFFEY (DD-724)
"The Ship That Would Not Die"
The USS LAFFEY (DD-724) is the most decorated World War II era US Destroyer still in existence.
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
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)
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.