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USS Yorktown (CV-5) Flight Plans, April 26, 1939
This is an extremely rare piece of WWII memorabilia---original April 26th, 1939, Flight Plans from the USS Yorktown (CV-5) Aircraft Carrier. With the outbreak of WWII in Europe, the USS Yorktown was training its new pilots and flight crews with intentions that the United States may find itself embroiled in another World War. This flight crew operations plan is for the "Bombing Squadron Five" for Flight Operations on 26 April, 1939. The flight plan features the type of plane, the pilot, the passengers for that training exercise, and the radio call and frequency. Listed below are 16 pilots along with 16 members of the flight crews. Also listed is the Senior Pilot on Board the Ship--The Relief Squadron Duty Officer and the Relief Pilot and Teletype Recorder.
In charge was D. W. Harrigan Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy Commander, VB-5. Copies were given to: The Squadron Commander; Squadron Duty Officer; All Pilots; Leading Chief; Line Chief; BB's; Ready Room # 2; VF-5; V-1; V-2; E Div; and Flag. Note--All planes will carry 180 gallons of gasoline.
In researching this fantastic piece from the USS Yorktown, I was disappointed in not locating a similar type of WWII era flight plans from the USS Yorktown. I went another direction and researched the pilots and fight crews mentioned on the flight plan. I located a military site of pilots and crews from the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps that were involved in Aircraft Accidents and Incidents. The site doesn't state if the person died or was hurt during combat. Twenty four members of this flight crew were found among the thousands that are listed on this site. Below is a short history of the USS Yorktown and its brave men.
Named after the Battle of Yorktown in 1781 the famous aircraft carrier was launched on April 4th, 1936, sponsored by Eleanor Roosevelt and later commissioned on September 30th 1937. During the next two years she and her crew prepared with all kinds of military maneuvers to get it ready for combat. With the bombing of Pearl Harbor she received combat orders on December 16th, 1941, and left Norfolk, Virgina, for the Pacific to battle the Japanese fleet.
After the fierce Battle of the Coral Sea the Yorktown was sent back to Hawaii for major repairs. After working around the clock for several days the Yorktown was sent back to the Pacific to help back-up "The Fighting Three"---The Hornet, the Wasp, and the Enterprise. During the Battle of Midway the Yorktown received heavy damage, mortally wounded she then went dead in the water. On June 6th 1942, she was struck on her port side by 2 torpedoes from Japanese submarines, who returned to finish the job. Mortally wounded she began listing to her port side. She reached a 26 degree list which prompted Commanding Officer C. E. Aldrich to abandoned the ship to save as many of the ships company as possible. After attempts to save the Yorktown fell short, the Lady at 7:01 on June 7th, 1942, turned on her port side, rolled up side down, and sank stem first in 300 fathoms of water.
The only sure way to find out those that were on the Yorktown during The Battle of Midway is to contact Lloyds Shipwreck Register of London. During her final stay for repairs at Pearl Harbor numerous men were added before she headed back to the Pacific. All the new paperwork about those new men went down with the ship. We may never learn all the identities of those who perished in June of 1942.
**Condition: The paper is quite clean with very light surface wear. The letters and numbers are in very good condition and can easily be read. I placed the paper in a glass metal picture frame. It can be removed to place in a picture frame of your choice.
These days, many of our children and young adults may never learn what the Greatest Generation went through during WWII. Moms and Dads, it is up to you to help them learn why so many young and older men would lie about their age to serve our country knowing that they my never come home to see their parents, friends and sweethearts ever again. And learn "Why God, Country and Family" in that order meant so much to them--why sacrificing everyday needs and wants no matter how small they were was for the good of the country. Those servicemen who loved their country so much were those who defended the USS Yorktown in June of 1942 under heavy fire. The night before, with tears streaming down their cheeks, the sailors were lying in their bunk beds spending hours reading letters from home over and over again and praying that after tomorrow, God willing, they will be able to write home to mom and dad again. A thought may have crept in their minds--will their sacrifice for their country be forgotten. Ask the WWII Vets who broke through the chained fence at the WWII Memorial in Washington D.C.--What do you think their answer would be. Moms and Dads why not set an example for your children the next time you are out and about--say thank you to a Vet who made it possible for you and your children to grow up in the Greatest Country on the face of the earth.
A piece of history to give a parent or friend who served on the USS Yorktown during the Battle of Midway in 1942. God Bless Our Vets Forever!!!
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Walt and Barb Roman, Macungie, PA
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