Patriot_s_Point by MarijanStefanovic

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									Title:
Patriot’s Point

Word Count:
917

Summary:
Patriot's Point
Mt. Pleasant, SC

Charleston, South Carolina has long been a popular tourist destination.
Why not? It offers an historical district of some of the finest preserved
early American homes, fabulous shopping and restaurants, antebellum
plantations, the South Carolina Aquarium, great beaches and a temperate
climate. Located just a few minutes from the major downtown attractions,
just across the Cooper River via the striking Ravenel Bridge is Patriot’s
Point.

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Article Body:
Patriot's Point
Mt. Pleasant, SC

Charleston, South Carolina has long been a popular tourist destination.
Why not? It offers an historical district of some of the finest preserved
early American homes, fabulous shopping and restaurants, antebellum
plantations, the South Carolina Aquarium, great beaches and a temperate
climate. Located just a few minutes from the major downtown attractions,
just across the Cooper River via the striking Ravenel Bridge is Patriot’s
Point.

If you’re a navel veteran or military buff, you will want to spend a day,
maybe two, at Patriot’s Point. How often do you get the chance to wander
around an aircraft carrier like the USS Yorktown (CV-10)? Plus, they also
have the Coast Guard cutter, USCGC Inghan (WHEC-35) open for tours. Also
on site is a World War II – Korean War ear Destroyer, the USS Laffey (DD-
724). The Laffey won a Presidential Unit Citation for action off Okinawa,
April 16, 1945. Also available for touring is the USS Clamagore (SS-343).
The Clamagore is diesel submarine constructed near the end of World War
II but arrived too late to see action. Until it was replaced with a fleet
of nuclear submarines and decommissioned in 1975 and, it was a front line
submarine during the Cold War.

USS Yorktown

If you’re coming to Charleston for a visit then the USS Yorktown is a
must see. Looming on the horizon just across the harbor from the
Charleston historical district, it is hard to miss. From downtown
Charleston it is a quick trip up East Bay Street to the Ravenel Bridge –
the view from the top is amazing. Stay in the right lane – there are a
bunch of them on this new bridge and the first main street to the right
leads to Patriot’s Point.

The Yorktown alone is a full day if you try to see it all in one bite. Be
sure to wear your walking shoes. There is a lot to see but there are
narrow steps and tight quarters. If you have trouble walking, climbing
narrow stairs or you’re claustrophobic, this may not be the attraction
for you. They have done an excellent job with signage and there are tons
of historic pictures of the “The Fighting Lady” and her predecessor the
CV-5 which was sunk in the Battle of Midway but not before it helped
destroy the bulk of the Japanese fleet in the Pacific – including 4 of
their 6 aircraft carriers. The Battle of Midway likely shortened the war
in the Pacific by at least one year, maybe two.

The USS Yorktown that resides at Patriot’s Point is the CV-10. It was
under construction at the Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. at the
time of the sinking of the CV-5 it was originally was going to be named
the “Bon Homme Richard.” With the loss of the CV-5, it was decided to
rename the ship the USS Yorktown. It played a major role in World War II,
the Korean War and the War in Vietnam. The USS Yorktown is the oldest
aircraft carrier still afloat.

Inside the Yorktown is the Congressional Medal of Honor Museum which is
currently being remodeled. If it is open when you visit, do not miss this
exhibit. It is both moving and inspiring. Also on the hanger deck is a
mock up of the Apollo 8 spacecraft that was pulled from the ocean by the
aircraft carrier. Astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell and William
Anders were the first humans to orbit around the Moon. On January 3, 1969
they were on the cover of Time magazine as “Men of the Year.” Also on the
hanger deck is a flight simulator that allows you to land a space
shuttle.

Throughout the ship you can get glimpses of what daily life on an
aircraft carrier was like. From bunks to mess halls, from the engine room
to navigation, from the laundry to the infirmary, it is all open for
touring. The beauty of the self guided tour is that you can set your own
pace. One suggestion, don’t move too quickly and fight the urge to skip
sections. Tucked in unusual corners are some really interesting displays.
For example, deep in the bowels of the great ship is an interesting
display of the Charleston shipyard and dry dock. The real crowd pleaser
of the USS Yorktown is the flight deck.

On the flight deck is a collection of 25 different airplanes and
helicopters including: an A-4 Skyhawk, an A-6 Intruder, an A-7 Corsair,
an F-4 Phantom, an F-9 Cougar, and an F-14 Tomcat – the recently retired
fighter made famous by Tom Cruise in “Top Gun.” Bring your camera for
this stop. Not only are the aircraft interesting, the views of Charleston
just across the bay and the Ravenel Bridge are spectacular.

Note: it can be quite windy on the flight deck and it may feel 10 degrees
colder than the Mt. Pleasant shoreline. Dress accordingly.
If that not enough history for you, from Patriot’s Point in Mt. Pleasant
you can also take a boat tour of Ft. Sumter – the place the American
Civil War began. There is also a recreation of a Vietnam era base station
to tour.

Patriot’s Point also features an 18 hole professional golf course and
some nice accommodations. Plus it is only a few minutes from Shem Creek
and some of the best seafood restaurants not only in Mt. Pleasant but in
the entire country.

Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum
40 Patriots Point Road
Mount Pleasant SC 29464-4377
1-866-831-1720 (toll free)

								
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