Sunday, May 01, 2005
Visit to Patriot's Point in Charleston, South Carolina
Recently I went to Charleston, South Carolina. This is a beautiful town with a rich history. The food is excellent and the weather was great in April (I hear that it is hot in the summer...).
At Patriot's Point, which is across the river in Charleston, there is a US aircraft carrier docked there the USS Yorktown. This carrier was named after the first USS Yorktown which was sunk at the battle of Midway.
The carrier is fascinating and there are also planes on board, as well as the US Medal of Honor museum as well as a destroyer, the Laffey, a coast guard cutter, a WW2 submarine and a Vietnam naval support replica.
US Navy planes are VERY rare. I went to an aircraft museum in Phoenix (they moved their collection to Seattle - see link) once and the curator told me that the US Navy claims planes whereever they are found, forever. Thus if you find a plane and restore it, the navy wants it back. In practical terms, this reduces the incentive for anyone to dredge up and restore the US Navy planes - in some instances, you can horse-trade with the Navy that if you restore one plane they'd let you keep another one, or something like that.
This plane, the Wildcat, used to be hanging in O'Hare airport in Chicago. It is beautifully restored.
F4F Wildcat Butch O'Hare inside USS Yorktown