Abandon Ship Given on USS Yorktown (CV-5)

Looking forward on the flight deck of USS Yorktown (CV-5) shortly after she was hit by two Japanese aerial torpedoes, 4 June 1942. Men are preparing to abandon ship. Island's port side is at right, with the curved supporting structure for the Primary Flight Control booth at top. Knotted lines in the foreground were apparently used to evacuate the island's upper platforms. The planes which scored torpedo hits were shot down either in passing the Yorktown or in attempting to pass through the fire of her escorting vessels. Not one of the attacking squadron returned to its carrier. By 1447 firing ceased. The Yorktown, listing heavily to port, was losing speed and turning in a small circle to port. She stopped and white smoke poured from her stacks. The screening vessels began to circle. Inside the Yorktown all lights had gone out. The Diesel generators were cut in, but the circuit breakers would not hold and the ship remained in darkness. The list gradually increased to 26 Degrees. Without power nothing could be done to correct it. The Commanding Officer and the Damage Control Officer thought it probable that the ship would capsize in a few minutes, and at 1455 orders were given to abandon ship. Inside, men clambered over steeply sloping decks in total darkness to remove the wounded. After an inspection on which no living personnel were found, the Commanding Officer left the ship. Destroyers closed in to pick up survivors.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
United States Naval Historical C
Date Photographed: 
Thursday, June 4, 1942
USS Yorktown (CV-5)
Battle of Midway