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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Patriot Point - Charleston, SC

I really prefer to ride the country roads, but sometimes I have to venture into cities to visit places that I want to see.  One such place was Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Musuem in Charleston, South Carolina.  I had read about Patriot Point so while on  our way from Charlotte, NC to Savannah, GA my son and I stopped in Charleston to look around and visit Patriots Point.

Patriot Point lies on the northern side of Charleston Harbor, just off of I-17 on appropriately named Patriots Point Road.  Patriot Point Naval & Maritime Museum opened January 3, 1976.  There are four vessels in the harbor including the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown, destroyer USS Laffey, "The Ship That Would Not Die", submarine Clamagore, and Coast Guard cutter Ingham (which has since been moved to the Miami Dade Historical Maritime Museum).  There are numerous war planes on the deck of tthe USS Yorktown.  Patriot Point also houses the Congressional Medal of Honor Society and the Medal of Honor Museum.

We bought our tickets (currently $16 for 12 years old and up, $13 for 6-11, Free for active military in uniform, $13 for seniors and active military w/ ID) and proceeded towards the ships.  We stopped and looked at the anti-aircraft gun near the start of the pier leading to the ships.
The pier leading to the USS Yorktown was lined with US flags.  It was stirring sight and really made both of us feel very proud of our armed forces.
We were amazed how big the USS Yorktown was.  On board there were numerous exhibits explaining life and battle on the carrier.  We were able to tour many levels of the carrier.  While descending to lower levels I could sense the closeness and teamwork a crew must have to be successful.  There was not a lot of place for "alone time."
We toured the deck and saw many war planes and looked at the take off/landing area of the carrier.  It is an impressive ship.
A helicopter on the deck of the USS Yorktown
From the deck we had a great view of historic Fort Sumter.

After touring the carrier we visited the submarine.  I don't think I would do very well in a sub!  Not enough space.  It doubled my appreciation for our submariners.  The Clamagore is just a little longer than a football field and less than 30 feet wide at its widest point.
Door on the Clamagore.  That sure is a small door.
Next we visited the famed USS Laffey - The Ship that Would Not Die.  We spend a good amount of time exploring the Laffey and reading the various exhibits.  The exhibits on all the ships were very informative and interesting.
The Coast Guard cutter Ingham was docked right beside the USS Laffey and is a neat ship to tour.

We spent about 3 hours at Patriots Point, but one could easily spend a lot more.  We were constrained by time.  I highly recommend that you stop by Patriots Point if you are near Charleston. 
The Yorktown as seen from the bow of the Laffey.  Note all small the people are, this is one large boat!

The photo below is of the sleeping quarters on the SS Laffey
I salute all our military veterans and current members of our armed forces.  Thank you for your service to this great country.


  1. Good posting! I've toured several carriers, one battleship, one sub and a couple of destroyers on trips and while working a contract for the Navy. The quarters that the men and women had to live in are "tight" as you mentioned.

    Still, it beats a hole in the ground....which is what the Marines and Army contend with sometimes...

    I happily join you in your salute of the brave men and women of the US Armed Forces

  2. Touring the ships was great, it made me appreciate even more the men and women who live and work on them.