The USS Yorktown (CV-5) was an American aircraft carrier, which was a lead ship of her class. It sailed in the Pacific waters and was sunk at the Battle of Midway, during World War II. The USS Yorktown CV-5 was laid down on May 21, 1934, at Newport News, Virginia, by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co. Sponsored by Eleanor Roosevelt, the Yorktown was launched on April 4, 1936, and was commissioned at the Naval Operating Base, Norfolk, Virginia, on September 30, 1937. Her first commander was Captain Ernest D. McWhorter.
The Yorktown aircraft carrier trained in Hampton Roads, Virginia and in the southern drill grounds off the Virginia capes into January 1938. After performing naval exercises along with her sister-ship USS Enterprise (CV-6) in February 1939, the USS Yorktown (CV-5) sailed for the Pacific on April 20, 1939, but two years later sailed back to the Atlantic where it conducted four four patrol. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the undamaged American carriers assumed great importance, as there were only three in the Pacific: USS Enterprise (CV-6), USS Lexington (CV-2), and USS Saratoga (CV-3). The USS Yorktown departed Norfolk on December 16, 1941 for the Pacific, her secondary gun galleries studded with new Oerlikon 20 mm guns. She reached San Diego 30 December 1941 and soon became flagship for Rear Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher’s newly formed Task Force 17.
After having been supplied, the Yorktown put to sea on February, 1942, bound for the Coral Sea. Between May 4 and May 8, 1942, she successfully participated in the Battle of the Coral Sea in which her planes sank and seriously damaged Japanese ships. But, on the afternoon of June 4, 1942, near Midway Atoll, after her planes had sunk the Japanese aircraft carrier Soryu, the USS Yorktown (CV-5) was hit on the port side by two torpedos fired by Japanese planes and was mortally wounded.
The USS Yorktown was 770 ft long, weighed 19,800 tons, and had a draft of 25 ft 11.5 in (7.91 m). She was propelled by 4 Parsons geared turbines, 120,000 shp (89 MW) and had a top speed of 32.5 knots. The Yorktown could carry 90 aircraft, and was fitted with 8 × 5 in/38 cal gun mounts, 4 × Quad 1.1 in/75 cal gun mounts, and 30 × 20 mm Oerlikon cannons.