Virginia New Deal Navy Ships - Photo #1 - USS Yorktown (CV-5)


The aircraft carrier USS Yorktown (CV-5) at Newport News shipyard, where it was built between 1934 and 1936. It was launched by Eleanor Roosevelt on April 4, 1936, and saw significant action in the Pacific from December 1941 until August 1942, playing key roles in the Battles of Coral Sea and Midway, where it was sunk in October 1942. The Yorktown won three battle stars and other honors for WWII service. Sister-ship Enterprise is seen near the top of the image.

A second, larger USS Yorktown (CV-10) was built at Newport News and launched 21 January 1943, and like the first Yorktown, saw action in the Pacific war, earning 12 battle stars.

  1. USS Yorktown CV-5, Wikipedia, accessed 17 July 2017.
  2. Smith, Jason Scott, Building New Deal Liberalism: The Political Economy of Public Works, 1933-1956, Cambridge University Press (2009). “The PWA built the USS Yorktown, which launched in 1936. Other PWA defense-related projects include 16 destroyers, 4 heavy destroyers, and over 130 combat planes.” (p.133)
  3. Folsom, Burton W., and Anita Folsom, FDR Goes to War, Simon and Schuster Threshold Editions (2011). “In May 1934, the keel of the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown was laid, using Public Works Administration (PWA) funds, as well as that of the USS Enterprise in July.” (p.12)
  4. USS Enterprise CV-6,, accessed 17 July 2017. ”In 1931, the United States, still 55,000 tons under the carrier limit set by treaty, began planning two 19,800 ton carriers, to be designed and built using the lessons learned from the first four vessels. In the summer of 1933, pressed hard by newly elected president Franklin Roosevelt, Congress enacted a huge package of legislation - known collectively as the "New Deal" - which, amongst many other things, allotted $238 million for new naval construction, including nearly $40 million for the two new carriers. The first of these two ships, Yorktown CV-5, was laid down on 21 May 1934, at the Newport News shipyard. Her sister ship Enterprise, was laid down just two months later, on July 16. Largely built by workers paid by the Public Works Administration - one of the many new federal programs created by the New Deal - the two ships took nearly four years each to build and fit out.”
  5. Gouré, Daniel, The Battle of Midway Was Won With Stimulus Money, Lexington Institute, April 12, 2010.
  6. McKee, Brent, America's New Deal Navy: Aircraft Carriers, New Deal of the Day for September 15, 2015,, accessed 17 July 2017.
  7. USS Yorktown (CV-5), NavSource Naval History, accessed 17 July 2017.
  8. USS Yorktown (CV-5) - North Pacific Ocean, wreckage located, Living New Deal.