The Navy has asked the Charleston museum that houses the U.S.S. Yorktown to fix it or junk it. The World War II aircraft carrier U.S.S. Yorktown was commissioned in 1937, and is now sitting on the Charleston harbor at the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum. Museum director Dick Trammell says he’s not that concerned about the Navy’s ultimatum to make repairs on the ship, or dispose it.
Estimated costs say it would cost about $100 million to put the carrier on dry dock and repair it. Trammell says the Navy is going after all carriers.
“The Navy had sent out letters to every historic naval ship in America telling them they wanted those ships dry docked every 10 to 15 years, and that we all had to make a decision, we either dry docked or scuttled them. But, those basically were to be the two choices,” says Trammell.
Trammell says after he heard this “ultimatum,” the next question that came up was: ‘And if we don’t?’
“I have serious doubts they’re gonna want to come and get it. If they did, they would have to take a whole lot of ships in America. But, it is something that they are looking at. The survey the ships every year, and it would be inconceivable to I think that they would. I think what they are really trying to do is create action,” says Trammell.
As for the shape of the ship: “We definitely need some repairs, but in order to do those repairs we need to have a cofferdam that would enable us to drain the water to do those repairs. For instance, a cofferdam, the first estimate to build a cofferdam around that ship is $16 million. We had to borrow the $9.2 million to fix the Laffey in an emergency situation, so we sure don’t have the $16 million,” says Trammell.
Trammell explains what they plan to happen next: “What we want right now, what we would love to have is the money to work on the interior of the Yorktown haul. If we could re-mediate the haul and come up with a dehumidification system, that could go a long way in the long, long-term preservation of the haul,” says Trammell.
Trammell says there are some repairs to be made, but the ship is not in danger of sinking.