USS Yorktown (CV-10), Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum
The USS Yorktown, an Essex-class aircraft carrier, permanently on display at the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum in Charleston, SC, was commissioned on April 15, 1943. At that time, her flight deck was constructed of wood planking over structural steel supports. In the 1950's, an angled flight deck was added to accommodate jet aircraft. This flight deck consisted of concrete over structural steel. The ship was decommissioned in 1970 and in 1975 was towed to her present location in Charleston to become the center-point of the Maritime Museum. Over the years, the steel sub-pan beneath the wood and concrete decks began to corrode and the aircraft began leaking during rainstorms. This became a problem for the ship which housed the museum's Medal of Honor display. A portion of the existing deck needed to be removed and replaced with a water-tight alternative.
Thomas & Hutton Engineering was chosen by the owners to design a new water-tight system for covering the flight deck. Their solution was to remove the existing wood and concrete decks and replace with 1/2" steel plates resting on 3" angles welded to the structural supports. Palmetto Construction Group was awarded the general contract for the job and Parker Rigging was the successful steel erector. The job was divided into four phases, each approximately 1/4 the area of the entire flight deck. The initial contract was only for phase 1, which was the area directly adjacent to the bridge superstructure and encompassed approximately 20,000 square feet. Approximately 275 steel plates 1/2" thick, averaging 4' wide and 20' long were installed and the joints were welded with full-penetration single bevel groove welds. This amounted to almost 8000 linear feet of the full-pen welds. All welds were then ultrasonically tested by an independent testing laboratory. Also during this phase, several of the existing gun batteries had to be rigged off of the ship to allow for the flight deck replacement. Parker Rigging performed the rigging and crane work to remove and reinstall these gun batteries. This phase was completed on time and on budget. After completion of phase 1, the owners awarded phase 2, again approximately 20,000 square feet of flight deck, to Palmetto Construction Group and Parker Rigging. Almost identical to phase 1, that portion of the project was also completed on time and on budget. Phases 3 and 4 (located at each end of the ship) have been put on hold for the time being.
Parker Rigging continues a valued working relationship with the USS Yorktown. Since the flight deck replacement, Parker Rigging was awarded the steel erection contract to install a new elevator system to allow handicap access to the flight deck. Also, Parker Rigging continues to provide crane and rigging services to lift aircraft and other items onto the flight deck.