New Havener Bill Curran, a retired Navy lieutenant, sailed through a typhoon inside the U.S.S. Yorktown. More than half a century later, he stepped on board in calmer weather—in dry dock in South Carolina.
Curran, who served on the aircraft carrier in the 1950s, paid a visit to his old ship earlier this month. The vessel is now part of a museum in South Carolina. The museum, Patriots Point, sent in these photos and some information about Curran’s visit.
When he served on the ship, Curran was the Auxiliary and Repair Divisions’ officer in the Damage Control Unit. During his visit last month, he was able to visit parts of the ship normally closed to guests, including his old quarters and the damage control offices. Curran also contributed some stories to the museum’s oral history archives.
“Lt. Curran was also able to look through the 1952-1953 USS YORKTOWN Cruise Book, an artifact that resides in the Museum’s collections,” according to a press release. “He found himself and his old shipmates within the pages, resurfacing images of faces he had not seen in years and memories long forgotten.”
“Memories may fade, but above all, Lt. Curran looks back on his Navy experience with respect and admiration. He fondly remembered bailing some of his men out of the brig after a rowdy night, and remembered in awe the sheer force of a typhoon they sailed through off of Japan. Even then, he knew he and his shipmates were making history.”