Around this time of year we talk about the Battles of Coral Sea (May 7-8, 1942) and Midway (June 4-7, 1942). But between those two pivotal battles an incredible and heroic feat took place.
USS YORKTOWN had been damaged during the Battle of Coral Sea, having been hit by a bomb that pierced the flight deck, “…near the after end of the island, penetrated five decks down into the ship and exploded above the fourth deck. Its blast and the resulting fires killed and injured dozens of crewmen.” (history.navy.mil)
The damage was severe enough that YORKTOWN began to limp back to Pearl Harbor, arriving on May 27th. She was expected to be in dry dock for up to three months. What followed was arguably one of the most implausible and astonishing feats of shipyard work ever seen. Going into dry dock on May 28th, YORKTOWN sailed out of Pearl Harbor two days later, on May 30th. Her destination: Midway.
Sixty-nine years ago today, our Navy brothers were nursing a near-crippled carrier across the wide Pacific Ocean, wondering what fate awaited them. They could not have known that they were on the first leg of a two-way trip into glory.
For a more complete description of the repairs in Pearl Harbor, read, “The unsung heroes of Midway – May 1942.”