The Yorktown, the American Worker and Three Days

We must have this ship back in three days!

Commander of the Pacific Fleet, Admiral Chester Nimitz

 

On Labor Day we honor the American worker and the repair of the USS Yorktown tells us why.  Badly damaged at the battle of the Coral Sea, it was estimated that the Yorktown would take three months in drydock to repair.  That was unacceptable.  With the battle of Midway looming the Yorktown had to be gotten back into action if the US was to have any chance at all against the Japanese fleet with its heavy advantage in flattops.

What happened next was a true miracle.  1400 civilian dockyard workers and sailors swarmed over the Yorktown, working night and day for 72 hours.  Hawaii Electric staged rolling blackouts in Honolulu to generate the enormous power necessary for the mammoth repairs.  The Yorktown sailed for Midway on May 30, 1942 with civilian workers still on board, completing the repairs.  At Midway, four days later, Yorktown’s role in the victory was absolutely crucial,  her planes sending the Japanese carrier Soryu to the bottom before the Yorktown herself was sunk.

When Americans look back at that victory they should remember the American workers who were essential to that victory and the miracle they performed in three days and nights of non stop work on the Yorktown.

6 Responses to The Yorktown, the American Worker and Three Days

  • T. Shaw says:

    The arsenal of democracy . . . .

    OT: My handy-dandy calendar (a Christmas present) tells me that (not sure about the veracity) 3 September 1777 was the first time that patriots carried the Stars and Stripes into battle. It was in a revolutionary contingency operation at Cooch’s Bridge, Delaware.

  • PM says:

    Prime example of industry and manufacturing efficiently with purpose.
    Those words that are on banners in plants (that remain on this soil) for ‘motivation’ of workers would probably be better understood by presenting the story of the Yorktown as an ideal to all levels of employees.

    “who cares, whatever, establishment, corrupt, bigots, racists, benefits, them/us … ? in it for me, graft, theft, black marketing …”

    … and then there’s the problem stated in that last sentence of Gen. MacArthur in the Sept. 2, 1945 post.

    Instead of ten trillion to sixteen trillion in three years, there’d be ten down to five and counting.

  • Mary De Voe says:

    T. Shaw says:

    OT: My handy-dandy calendar (a Christmas present) tells me that (not sure about the veracity) 3 September 1777 was the first time that patriots carried the Stars and Stripes into battle. It was in a revolutionary contingency operation at Cooch’s Bridge, Delaware.

    I pass Cooch’s Bridge several times a week and never knew why there were cannons and military paraphenalia. A lot more respect the next time I pass. Being from New Jersey, Rockingham, Washington Rock, the Battle of Monmouth, the Battle of Trenton. Thanks T. Shaw, a lot more respect.

  • T. Shaw says:

    Mary,

    God bless the working man and woman.

    God bless the brave men and women that made us free and today all over the World keep us free. Bless them all.

    I hear there are annual Monmouth Battle re-enactments.

    I twice have been to the Continental Army’s main line of defense in the Battle of Brooklyn on tours led by historian-author Barnet Schechter – The Battle of New York and The Devil’s Own Work, etc. The line ran across what now is the high point of Greenwood Cemetery, wherein are buried many famous Americans of the 19th and 20th centuries, including Boss Tweed. The plaque on the Minerva Monument reads, “The Place Whereon Thou Standest is Holy Ground.”

    And, God Bless America!

  • Mary De Voe says:

    Thank you, Donald for the post about the skirmish at Cooch’s Bridge in Delaware. When I read Head of Elk, it hit me, as I live in Elkton. When I was growing up and young men would ask to where I wanted to go, I would ask to go to Washington Rock from where one could see the whole of central New Jersey. It is truly breathtaking. I read and reread Smugglers’ Woods by Arthur Pierce about the smugglers turned privateers to raid the British supply fleets. My dad would bring us to the Old Barracks where there was displayed lead balls, chewed, with teeth marks in them because there was no anesthesia. Casimir Pulaski is buried near here as he was wounded and died here in Maryland. Route 40 is named the Pulaski Highway. a new birth of FREEDOM.
    T. Shaw, my favorite person of the Battle of Monmouth is Molly Pitcher because she had courage I only hope I have when the time comes. Thank you both very much.

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