Yorktown Salvaged

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Carl Schwamberger
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Yorktown Salvaged

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 13 Aug 2020 02:34

Assumption is Yorktown was not sunk by a submarine attack June 1942 & was returned to Oahu. How long would a salvage/repair effort require to return her to either minimal emergency combat readiness for service in the SPac, or for a more complete rehab to full or enhanced capability? At this point all I have to go on is the example of the Enterprise later in 1942, and the previous repair of the Yorktown. That suggests a fairly optimistic view. Any experts able to weigh in here?

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Re: Yorktown Salvaged

Post by paulrward » 13 Aug 2020 03:06

Hello Mr. Schwamberger :

Just to get your secenario clear, did the submarine attack on the Yorktown occurr, with the resultant damage,
but not sink the Yorktown, or did the submarine attack NOT occurr, with no additional damage to the Yorktown
other than that which she had sustained in the air attacks at Coral Sea and Midway ?

It makes a big difference.

Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward

Note: I am getting two drydocks ready for her, one at Pearl Harbor, the other at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.
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Re: Yorktown Salvaged

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 13 Aug 2020 03:37

Two possible forks in the PoD...

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Re: Yorktown Salvaged

Post by paulrward » 13 Aug 2020 05:04

Hello Mr. Schwamberger :

I will keep it short, as it is getting late, and my root canal is acting up.

Long stories short :

If the Yorktown has NOT been hit by the I-168's torpedoes, the Yorktown would have been towed by the
Vireo to Pearl Harbor at a speed of about 3 knots, which means that it would take about 300 hours to
get back to Hawaii. Of course, another ship almost certainly would have been dispatched to speed the
towing operation, so we can assume that the Yorktown would have arrived sometime around June 14.

While towing, damage control parties would have been trying to seal off compartments, and de water
anything they could. Arriving at Oahu, they would have to make a determination as to whether the ship
was drawing too much water to get into Pearl Harbor. It might have been possible to reduce her draft
with camels, if so, then the next task is to get her into the one drydock large enough for her.

Assuming they manage to put cofferdams on the worst damage, and pump out enough water to get
her drydocked, then the real work begins. The hull shell plating would be repaired, and enough jury
rigged structure put in to keep in in place. Cleaning the boilers, repairing the corrosion on the turbines,
and replacing the miles of copper wire that have been soaked with sea water will take several months,
and this work would be performed merely to get her into shape to steam under her own power to
the West Coast. Figure they get lucky with the damage, she leaves for the U.S. the middle of September.

Arriving there, I would send her to Puget Sound, where they have a carrier sized drydock. This time,
The work would have to be of a higher standard. In effect, you are practically fitting the ship out for
a second time. Of course, I would take this opportunity to fit a new anti aircraft suite, a new radar,
and perform any upgrades necessary to make her more fire resistant. This work would take six to eight
months at a minimum, ( as an example, look how long some of the Pearl Harbor BBs took to repair )

My best judgement: Sometime in April, 1943, the Yorktown rejoins the Enterprise and the Saratoga for
more battles in the Pacific.


Now, what if the I-168's two torpedoes hit the Yorktown, but she does not sink. Well first,it must be
remembered that June 5th and 6th were days of increasing wind and sea state. And, the Hull of the
Yorktown was very badly damaged. She had a significant amount of ' Sag ' amidships, and the hull was
tortionally twisted from bow to stern ( I learned this from a survivor of the Yorktown, now departed,
who was one of the men who went back aboard her with Captain Buckmaster to try to save the ship.
His description of the conditions on the Hanger Deck, and the sounds the ship was making after
the torpedoes hit were absolutely hair raising, and he stated that they got off by the skin of their
teeth ! After his death, his widow got in touch with me, and told me he had left me a nice keepsake
of the Yorktown which I prize greatly )

So the Yorktown has a broken keel, and massive flooding. But, somehow, she still floats. Okay, the
Vireo continues her task as Tug, and the destroyers step up their effort to provide damage control
to the Yorktown. Pumps are put aboard, more weight is jettisonned, the ship is stripped, and all the
time, they are making 2-3 knots back to Pearl . ( No faster, as the hull would not take the strain )

Arriving at Hawaii, the Yorktown would have to stay outside Pearl Harbor until she could be cofferdammed
and pumped out. Under the conditions, with divers working over the side in the open sea, this would
take a good month. When it was completed, the ship would be pumped out, and brought into the harbor
to be drydocked.

In the drydock, the boilers and turbines would have to be stripped out, and the keel repaired. This would
take at least three months. Then, patched up and fairly water tight, the Yorktown would be TOWED
to the West Coast at about 6 knots. Figure about 500 hours, or about three weeks.

Arriving at Puget Sound, the ship goes into drydock, and the temporary keel repairs and hull patches are
removed, and the ship is straightened with hydraulic jacks and wedging. At this point, some sort of survey
would have to be made to determine if the ship was worth repairing, as it is now the end of 1942, and
the repairs will take at least a year. New boilers, turbines, reduction gear, and a whole new hotel plant.
All new wiring. Massive re inforcement of the damaged keel and hull. With all of the new Independance
CVLs and Essex CVAs coming into service, it simply might not be worthwhile expending all that money
on a 20,000 ton carrier when there would soon be a whole bunch of 30,000 ton Essex's coming on line. In
this case, the hull would be patched up, floated out of the drydock, and put aside somewhere out of the
way until the war was over, and she could be sold as scrap. The ship's bell could be removed, and put on
a new Essex class that would be given the name Yorktown.

That would be my best judgement as to what would happen to the Yorktown.


Mr. Schwamberger, you might want to read, ' The Battle to Save the Houston, October 1944 to March 1945 '
by John Grider Miller

It is a great book, and will teach you the lengths to which the officers and men of the USN will go to save their
ship.


Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
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Kingfish
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Re: Yorktown Salvaged

Post by Kingfish » 13 Aug 2020 09:10

The strategic picture would certainly influence the decision on how and when to get her back on the front line.

With 4 Japanese carriers settling on the bottom, and Wasp and Saratoga reporting for duty, the US could afford to park Yorktown at Puget Sound for a thorough and extensive repair and refit.
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Re: Yorktown Salvaged

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 13 Aug 2020 12:27

Have not read the full damage reports for five & six June, but the fragments I have read indicate the fire/boiler spaces were not flooded when the damage control parties returned aboard sixth June. Specifically that the engine room parties were working on relighting boilers when the submarine torpedoes hit. If this is correct then the Yorktown may have made part of the return to Oahu under power. A understanding of what spaces were actually flooded would be helpful here.

Neither is it clear why a rudder was jammed. If this could not be cleared then towing all the way to dry dock is necessary.

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Re: Yorktown Salvaged

Post by OpanaPointer » 13 Aug 2020 13:29

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
13 Aug 2020 12:27
Have not read the full damage reports for five & six June,
Well then! https://www.history.navy.mil/our-collec ... -1942.html
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Re: Yorktown Salvaged

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 13 Aug 2020 16:43


Those are for May, not June. I'm doing searches on that site, but no new details yet.

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T. A. Gardner
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Re: Yorktown Salvaged

Post by T. A. Gardner » 13 Aug 2020 18:04

As to the gist of the original question: I would expect Yorktown to go into a yard on the US West Coast (Bremerton or Hunter's Point most likely) and spend about a year being repaired. Much like Enterprise was later upgraded, the Yorktown's damage would be sufficient that the upgrades would be included in the repairs. These would include: A much better AA outfit. Rerouting avgas lines to the exterior of the ship and protecting them better. Adding new torpedo defense blisters giving better stability and protection to the ship. Modifications in armor protection. Upgraded electronics. New catapults with greater load capacity, removing the hanger catapult, etc. The plant would be overhauled, but not replaced.

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Re: Yorktown Salvaged

Post by OpanaPointer » 13 Aug 2020 19:07

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
13 Aug 2020 16:43

Those are for May, not June. I'm doing searches on that site, but no new details yet.
Crosseyed on a cell phone, you're lucky its the right ship. :lol:
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Re: Yorktown Salvaged

Post by OpanaPointer » 13 Aug 2020 19:07

I suspect a serious overkill on men and equipment if a wounded bird farm showed up just then.
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Re: Yorktown Salvaged

Post by Thumpalumpacus » 13 Aug 2020 22:43

Nine months seems a fair judgement, considering the damage of May and June.

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Re: Yorktown Salvaged

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 14 Aug 2020 01:58

It's looking like even a attenuated fast track repair program does not get the Yorktown into the critical SPac battles of 1942

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Re: Yorktown Salvaged

Post by T. A. Gardner » 14 Aug 2020 15:42

If you look at various other ships with damage, Saratoga spent about 6 months after receiving a single torpedo hit in the yards. Here you have Yorktown with keel damage torpedo hits--more than one, and other damage residual from Coral Sea. Like Saratoga and then Enterprise, Yorktown would receive torpedo defense bulges after the hull was repaired. So, 9 months to a year seems about correct for everything to get done.

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Re: Yorktown Salvaged

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 15 Aug 2020 12:54

Hmm.. Saratoga departed Oahu 9 February after temp repairs, and 8" cannon removal. Departed Bremerton 22 May for San Diego. Slightly over 90 days for the core repairs of one torpedo hit & assorted upgrades. Another month up front for the initial work fitting a patch and rehabbing the three flooded boiler rooms. Still not looking good for Yorktowns multiple torpedo holes and bomb damage.

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