USS Yorktown (CV/CVA/CVS-10) is one of 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers built during World War II for the United States Navy. She is named after the Battle of Yorktown of the American Revolutionary War, and is the fourth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name. Initially to have been named Bon Homme Richard, she was renamed Yorktown while under construction to commemorate USS Yorktown (CV-5), lost at the Battle of Midway in June 1942. Yorktown was commissioned in April 1943, and participated in several campaigns in the Pacific Theater of Operations, earning 11 battle stars and the Presidential Unit Citation.
Decommissioned shortly after the end of the war, she was modernized and recommissioned in the early 1950s as an attack carrier (CVA), and then eventually became an antisubmarine carrier (CVS). She was recommissioned too late to participate in the Korean War but served for many years in the Pacific, including duty in the Vietnam War, in which she earned five battle stars. Late in her career she served as a recovery ship for the Apollo 8 space mission, was used in the movie Tora! Tora! Tora! which recreated the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and in the science fiction film The Philadelphia Experiment. Yorktown was decommissioned in 1970 and in 1975 became a museum ship at Patriot's Point, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. She is a National Historic Landmark.
This film is a military documentary told using archival footage from the point of view of the crew of the aircraft carrier the Fighting Lady, a pseudonym for the Yorktown. Scenes highlight the functions and duties of The Fighting Lady and crew activities, and maps illustrate the movement of the Pacific fleet and its engagement with the Japanese in 1943 and 1944. Footage shows the following: A-24 Dauntlesses, TBF Avengers, Hellcats and other aircrafts as they flew out to the carrier, and the August 30, 1943, strafing and bombing mission over Japanese held Marcus Island, from preparation on the carrier to debriefing. Later scenes cover 1944, when the U.S. forces took Kwajalein Island, the Marshall Islands, Truk Islands, and Caroline Islands through air assaults and troop landings. Mitsubishi Zero-Sens (Zekes) engaged the U.S. Navy assault force and the ship squadron returned to the Marshall Islands for repairs, munitions, and rest and recreation. En route to the battle area, the Fighting Lady encountered and downed a Japanese reconnaissance plane. On the eve of battle, sailors attended church services. Prior to the U.S. assault, the Japanese attacked the U.S. squadron and U.S. planes took off for the Marianas and the Guam Islands where they successfully fought at the Tinian and Mariana Islands. The Japanese and U.S. task forces then fought in the Philippine Sea, where planes engaged in dogfights while ships performed evasive manoeuvres. Final scenes show U.S. casualties buried at sea.
Background information courtesy the US National Archives and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_York...)