Naval & Maritime Museum: Patriots Point Home to the USS Yorktown

where honor, pride, and adventure unite

Patriots Point

The sights, the sounds, the view – it’s all amazing at Patriots Point. Take a learn and experience critical times in American History at the naval & maritime museum.

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

Patriots Point strives to preserve the living history of our nation’s bravest men and women while telling their stories in honorable, educational and engaging ways.

The PPDA also oversees the stewardship of over 350 acres of property on Charleston Harbor, much of which is currently under lease by a golf course, a collegiate athletic complex, hotels, and more.

Since opening, Patriots Point has become one of the state’s most popular tourist attractions with more than 270,000 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.

USS YORKTOWN

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. YORKTOWN received the Presidential Unit Citation and earned 11 battle stars for service in World War II.

In the 1950s, 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). YORKTOWN was decommissioned in 1970 and placed in reserve.

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

USS LAFFEY

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.

USS CLAMAGORE

The only GUPPY III submarine preserved in the U.S., the USS CLAMAGORE (SS-343) is Patriots Point iconic Cold War submarine. Check out the timeline below to learn more about its history.

Aircraft

You have the opportunity to experience the 10 most significant aircraft in U.S. carrier aviation history

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.

The exhibit features more than a dozen components that simulate life during wartime.

Medal of Honor Museum

The Medal of Honor Museum features interactive exhibits that tell the stories of the brave Americans who have served and protected the U.S. with remarkable courage.

The Medal of Honor Museum pays special tribute to American heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice, ranging from the very first Medal of Honor recipients during the Civil War all the way to the War On Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is also home to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. Society members share the distinct honor of wearing our nation’s highest award for military valor.

 

Text provided from the official Patriots Point Website | Video Created in Partnership with our friends Charleston Locals