Patriot's Point celebrates 75th anniversary of USS Yorktown

Patriot's Point celebrates 75th anniversary of USS Yorktown
Sunday was the 75th anniversary of the christening of the USS Yorktown. (Source: Live 5)
Sunday was the 75th anniversary of the christening of the USS Yorktown. (Source: Live 5)

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - The Patriot's Point Naval & Maritime Museum celebrated the USS Yorktown's 75th anniversary Sunday by re-christening the ship.

"Our commitment, with this re-christening, is that she's going to be here for another 100 years, doing the same thing that she's doing now" said Mac Burdette, Executive Director of Patriots Point.

Eleanor Roosevelt's granddaughter, Nancy Ireland, was there to re-christen the Yorktown. Eleanor Roosevelt first christened the ship back in 1943.

"It is an honor," Ireland said. "I could never live up to my grandmother's expectations, but it's wonderful to represent her."

Several veterans attended the ceremony, including a few original crew members who worked aboard the ship.

It took Ireland three tries before finally breaking the champagne bottle as part of the traditional christening ceremony, which she noted as "family tradition."

Ireland was referring to when her grandmother when she christened the boat in 1943. The boat left the dock seven minutes early, so Eleanor Roosevelt tried to break the bottle on the hull as the ship was pulling out.

Like Ireland, Eleanor Roosevelt was also unsuccessful on her first attempt. Roosevelt then threw the bottle at the ship's hall to successfully break it.

Some of the Yorktown's original crew took part in a meet-and-greet event with other former crew members.

"To me, it's just interesting to review what all happened. It brings back some memories," said WWII veteran Bill Watkinson. Watkinson  served as a pilot on the USS Yorktown.

The Yorktown also recently purchased the ribbons from the original champagne bottle Roosevelt used to christen the ship. A shipyard worker from Newport News, Virginia owned the ribbons until his death when they came into possession of the artifacts dealer. Patriots Point then purchased the ribbons from the dealer, according to Patriots Point spokesman Chris Hauff.

The ribbons will go on-display the weekend of the rechristening and can be viewed for a short time after.

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