USS Yorktown (CG-48)

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USS Yorktown (CG-48);04014806.jpg
USS Yorktown underway on 1 September 1985, in the Caribbean
Flag of the United States.svgUnited States
Namesake: Battle of Yorktown
Ordered: 28 April 1980
Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding
Laid down: 19 October 1981
Launched: 17 January 1983
Sponsored by: Mrs. Mary Mathews
Commissioned: 4 July 1984
Decommissioned: 10 December 2004
Struck: 10 December 2004
Motto: "Victory is our tradition"
Status: Stricken, to be disposed of. In reserve at the Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Badge: USS Yorktown CG-48 Crest.png
General characteristics
Class and type: Ticonderoga-class cruiser
Displacement: Approx. 9,600 long tons (9,800 t) full load
Length: 567 feet (173 m)
Beam: 55 feet (16.8 meters)
Draft: 34 feet (10.2 meters)
Speed: 32.5 knots (60 km/h; 37.4 mph)
Complement: 30 officers and 300 enlisted
Sensors and
processing systems:
Aircraft carried: 2 × Sikorsky SH-60B or MH-60R Seahawk LAMPS III helicopters.

USS Yorktown (DDG-48/CG-48) was a Ticonderoga-class cruiser in the United States Navy from 1984 to 2004, named for the American Revolutionary War Battle of Yorktown.

<i>Ticonderoga</i>-class cruiser class of US guided missile cruisers

The Ticonderoga class of guided-missile cruisers is a class of warships in the United States Navy, first ordered and authorized in the 1978 fiscal year. The class uses passive phased-array radar and was originally planned as a class of destroyers. However, the increased combat capability offered by the Aegis Combat System and the AN/SPY-1 radar system, together with the capability of operating as a flagship, were used to justify the change of the classification from DDG to CG shortly before the keels were laid down for Ticonderoga and Yorktown.

Cruiser Type of large warships

A cruiser is a type of warship. Modern cruisers are generally the largest ships in a fleet after aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships, and can usually perform several roles.

United States Navy Naval warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Navy (USN) is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world and it has been estimated that in terms of tonnage of its active battle fleet alone, it is larger than the next 13 navies combined, which includes 11 U.S. allies or partner nations. with the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, and two new carriers under construction. With 319,421 personnel on active duty and 99,616 in the Ready Reserve, the Navy is the third largest of the service branches. It has 282 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of March 2018, making it the second-largest air force in the world, after the United States Air Force.



Yorktown was launched 17 January 1983 and was sponsored by Mrs. Mary Matthews, widow of Nick Matthews, a prominent citizen of Yorktown, Virginia. [1] Yorktown was commissioned on 4 July 1984 at Yorktown, Virginia, and was designed to take advantage of the American Aegis technology. Among its various weapon systems were surface to air missiles (SAMs), anti-ship/anti-submarine missiles, torpedo launchers, and a mounted cannon. Yorktown's first deployment was from August 1985 to April 1986 and, among other things, involved the Achille Lauro hijacker intercept, two Black Sea excursions (in 1986 and 1988), and a trio of operations off the Libyan coast including Operation El Dorado Canyon and Operation Attain Document and Prairie Fire.

A ship sponsor, by tradition, is a female civilian who is invited to "sponsor" a vessel, presumably to bestow good luck and divine protection over the seagoing vessel and all that sail aboard. In the United States Navy and the United States Coast Guard the sponsor is technically considered a permanent member of the ship's crew and is expected to give a part of her personality to the ship, as well as advocate for its continued service and well-being. For passenger ships the sponsor is called a godmother if the sponsor is female, or a godfather if the sponsor is male.

Yorktown, Virginia CDP in Virginia, United States

Yorktown is a census-designated place (CDP) in York County, Virginia, United States. It is the county seat of York County, one of the eight original shires formed in colonial Virginia in 1682. Yorktown's population was 195 as of the 2010 census, while York County's population was 66,134 in the 2011 census estimate.

Torpedo self-propelled underwater weapon

A modern torpedo is a self-propelled weapon with an explosive warhead, launched above or below the water surface, propelled underwater towards a target, and designed to detonate either on contact with its target or in proximity to it.

The Soviet Burevestnik M-class frigate Bezzavetnyy intentionally hit Yorktown in 1988. USS Yorktown collision.jpg
The Soviet Burevestnik M-class frigate Bezzavetnyy intentionally hit Yorktown in 1988.

Yorktown received the Atlantic Fleet's "Top Gun" award for outstanding naval gunfire support in 1987. During the second deployment from September 1987 to March 1988, Yorktown participated in numerous U.S. and NATO exercises, as well as multi-national exercises with Morocco, France, West Germany, Tunisia, and Turkey. It was on this Mediterranean deployment that Yorktown gained worldwide publicity from operations conducted in the Black Sea as part of Freedom of Navigation program. [2] On 12 February 1988, while Yorktown was exercising the "right of innocent passage" through Soviet territorial waters, the Soviet Burevestnik-class frigate Bezzavetnyy (Russian : Беззаветный) intentionally collided with Yorktown with the intention of pushing her out of Soviet territorial waters. [3] The Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs at the time, Richard L. Armitage, acknowledged that the transit was not operationally necessary, but asserted that it was still a valid innocent passage under international law. [4]

NATO Intergovernmental military alliance of Western states

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 29 North American and European countries. The organization implements the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949. NATO constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its independent member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party. NATO’s Headquarters are located in Haren, Brussels, Belgium, while the headquarters of Allied Command Operations is near Mons, Belgium.

Morocco Country in North Africa

Morocco, officially the Kingdom of Morocco, is a country located in the Maghreb region of North West Africa with an area of 710,850 km2 (274,460 sq mi). Its capital is Rabat, the largest city Casablanca. It overlooks the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Morocco claims the areas of Ceuta, Melilla and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera, all of them under Spanish jurisdiction.

West Germany Federal Republic of Germany in the years 1949–1990

West Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, and referred to by historians as the Bonn Republic, was a country in Central Europe that existed from 1949 to 1990, when the western portion of Germany was part of the Western bloc during the Cold War. It was created during the Allied occupation of Germany in 1949 after World War II, established from eleven states formed in the three Allied zones of occupation held by the United States, the United Kingdom and France. Its capital was the city of Bonn.

In 1991, Yorktown was awarded the coveted "Old Crow's" award for electronic warfare excellence.[ citation needed ] In 1992 Yorktown was honored with the Marjorie Sterrett Battleship Fund Award for superb, sustained combat readiness.[ citation needed ]

Electronic warfare (EW) is any action involving the use of the electromagnetic spectrum or directed energy to control the spectrum, attack an enemy, or impede enemy assaults. The purpose of electronic warfare is to deny the opponent the advantage of, and ensure friendly unimpeded access to, the EM spectrum. EW can be applied from air, sea, land, and/or space by manned and unmanned systems, and can target humans, communication, radar, or other assets.

Marjorie Sterrett Battleship Fund Award

The Marjorie Sterrett Battleship Fund Award is presented annually by the U.S. Navy's Chief of Naval Operations to one ship in the U.S. Atlantic Fleet and one in the U.S. Pacific Fleet. A list of winners appears at the end of this article.

Yorktown conducted her third and fourth Mediterranean deployments as the world watched the end of the Cold War and the coalition victory in Operation Desert Storm. During the latter of these two deployments Yorktown participated in the first U.S. military exercises with the Romanian and Bulgarian navies, and played a key role in Operation Provide Comfort, which provided humanitarian relief and security for the Kurdish refugees in northern Iraq. In the summer of 1992, Yorktown participated in BALTOPS '92. During this cruise, Yorktown made a highly acclaimed port visit to Severomorsk, Russia, becoming the first U.S. ship to visit that port since the end of World War II.

Romania Sovereign state in Europe

Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. It borders the Black Sea to the southeast, Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, Serbia to the southwest, and Moldova to the east. It has a predominantly temperate-continental climate. With a total area of 238,397 square kilometres (92,046 sq mi), Romania is the 12th largest country and also the 7th most populous member state of the European Union, having almost 20 million inhabitants. Its capital and largest city is Bucharest, and other major urban areas include Cluj-Napoca, Timișoara, Iași, Constanța, Craiova, and Brașov.

Bulgaria country in Southeast Europe

Bulgaria, officially the Republic of Bulgaria, is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia and North Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, and the Black Sea to the east. The capital and largest city is Sofia; other major cities are Plovdiv, Varna and Burgas. With a territory of 110,994 square kilometres (42,855 sq mi), Bulgaria is Europe's 16th-largest country.

Operation Provide Comfort

Operation Provide Comfort and Provide Comfort II were military operations initiated by the United States and other Coalition nations of the Gulf War, starting in April 1991, to defend Kurds fleeing their homes in northern Iraq in the aftermath of the Gulf War and deliver humanitarian aid to them.

In 1993, Yorktown was awarded the Commander, Naval Surface Forces, Atlantic Ship Safety Award for a superior safety record. Yorktown has also been awarded two Navy Unit Commendations and a Meritorious Unit Commendation, and is a four-time winner of the coveted Battle Efficiency "E".

Navy Unit Commendation military award of the United States

The Navy Unit Commendation (NUC) is a United States Navy unit award that was established by order of the Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal on 18 December 1944.

The Meritorious Unit Commendation is a mid-level unit award of the United States Armed Forces. The U.S. Army awards units the Army MUC for exceptionally meritorious conduct in performance of outstanding achievement or service in combat or non-combat, the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps award units the Navy MUC for valorous or meritorious achievement or service in combat or non-combat, and the U.S. Coast Guard awards units the Coast Guard MUC for valorous or meritorious achievement or service not involving combat.

Yorktown served as Flagship for Commander, Task Group 4.1, during counter-drug operations in the Caribbean in May - July 1993. In August 1993, Yorktown participated in the joint military exercise Solid Stance in the North Atlantic. Yorktown's operations through the end of 1993 included an October - November excursion to the Caribbean to support the United Nations embargo of Haiti. In April - May 1994, Yorktown returned to the Caribbean as Force Air Warfare Commander during joint Exercise Agile Provider. While in the Caribbean, Yorktown served as flagship for Commander, Destroyer Squadron Six, coordinating a six-ship, twenty-six missile exercise. In the summer of 1994, Yorktown achieved a resounding score of 101 during naval gunfire support qualification.

In August 1994 Yorktown set sail for the Adriatic Sea as flagship for Commander, Standing Naval Forces Atlantic in support of the United Nations embargo of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. During this six-month deployment, Yorktown served as the Air Warfare Commander for the Adriatic Sea, participating in a joint task force of ships from the United States and eight European nations. In May - June 1995, Yorktown proceeded south to serve as Air Warfare Commander for the Caribbean Sea in support of counter-narcotics operations.

Yorktown firing at a target drone during a gun exercise CG-48 firing.jpg
Yorktown firing at a target drone during a gun exercise

In May 1997 Yorktown (with a reduced crew aboard) completed a five-month counter-narcotic deployment in the Caribbean followed by test operations with George Washington and her carrier battle group. During these periods Navy Manpower and Analysis Center (NAVMAC) conducted a detailed review of manpower requirements, and Operational Test and Evaluation Force (OPTEVFOR) verified the ship's ability to meet all required operational capabilities in the projected operating environment doctrine for Ticonderoga-class cruisers.

On 21 September 1997, a division by zero error on board the USS Yorktown (CG-48) Remote Data Base Manager brought down all the machines on the network, causing the ship's propulsion system to fail. [5] [6]

On 25 September 1999 Yorktown departed Pascagoula for a four-month counter-narcotic deployment in the Caribbean. Before beginning patrolling efforts, Yorktown embarked staff members from COMSECONDFLT. Supported by the helicopter detachment, the Second Fleet staff surveyed and photographed another island slated as a potential replacement for training exercises if the Navy was unable to continue at Vieques Island, Puerto Rico. The ship made port calls in Jamaica, Aruba, Cartagena, Rodman, Manta and Cozumel. During this deployment the USS Yorktown was the last US warship to transit the Panama Canal prior to it being turned over to Panama.

As of 2001, and since commissioning, Yorktown had completed five Mediterranean deployments. The cruiser was last homeported in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Her last deployment (Feb 2004-Aug 2004) was as part of the WASP ESG-2 (Expeditionary Strike Group 2) to the 5th Fleet AOR. She patrolled the Persian Gulf providing security for the Iraqi oil terminals and conducting maritime security operations.


Yorktown was decommissioned and struck on 10 December 2004. As of 2008, Yorktown was scheduled to be dismantled in the next five years along with her sisterships Vincennes and Thomas S. Gates. [7] Since her decommissioning, Yorktown has been berthed at the Naval Inactive Ships Maintenance Facility, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. [1] As of September 2016, the ship remained in Philadelphia. [8]

ex-Yorktown (CG-48), along with sister ships ex-Ticonderoga (CG-47) and ex-Thomas S. Gates (CG-51) laid up at Naval Inactive Ships Maintenance Facility, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Ticonderoga, Yorktown and Thomas S. Gates at Philadelphia.jpg
ex-Yorktown (CG-48), along with sister ships ex-Ticonderoga (CG-47) and ex-Thomas S. Gates (CG-51) laid up at Naval Inactive Ships Maintenance Facility, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Smart ship testbed

From 1996 Yorktown was used as the testbed for the Navy's Smart Ship program. The ship was equipped with a network of 27 dual 200 MHz Pentium Pro-based machines running Windows NT 4.0 communicating over fiber-optic cable with a Pentium Pro-based server. This network was responsible for running the integrated control center on the bridge, monitoring condition assessment, damage control, machinery control and fuel control, monitoring the engines and navigating the ship. This system was predicted to save $2.8 million per year by reducing the ship's complement by 10%.

On 21 September 1997, while on maneuvers off the coast of Cape Charles, Virginia, a crew member entered a zero into a database field causing an attempted division by zero in the ship's Remote Data Base Manager, resulting in a buffer overflow which brought down all the machines on the network, causing the ship's propulsion system to fail. [9]

Anthony DiGiorgio, a civilian contractor with a 26-year history of working on Navy control systems, reported in 1998 that Yorktown had to be towed back to Norfolk Naval Station. Ron Redman, a deputy technical director with the Aegis Program Executive Office, backed up this claim, suggesting that such system failures had required Yorktown to be towed back to port several times. [10]

In the 3 August 1998 issue of Government Computer News, a retraction by DiGiorgio was published. He claims the reporter altered his statements, and insists that he did not claim the Yorktown was towed into Norfolk. GCN stands by its story. [11]

Atlantic Fleet officials also denied the towing, reporting that Yorktown was "dead in the water" for just 2 hours and 45 minutes. [10] Captain Richard Rushton, commanding officer of Yorktown at the time of the incident, also denied that the ship had to be towed back to port, stating that the ship returned under its own power. [12]

Atlantic Fleet officials acknowledged that the Yorktown experienced what they termed "an engineering local area network casualty". [10] "We are putting equipment in the engine room that we cannot maintain and, when it fails, results in a critical failure," DiGiorgio said. [10]

Criticism of operating system choice ensued. Ron Redman, deputy technical director of the Fleet Introduction Division of the Aegis Program Executive Office, said that there have been numerous software failures associated with NT aboard the Yorktown. [10]

Because of politics, some things are being forced on us that without political pressure we might not do, like Windows NT. If it were up to me I probably would not have used Windows NT in this particular application ... Refining that is an ongoing process ... Unix is a better system for control of equipment and machinery, whereas NT is a better system for the transfer of information and data. NT has never been fully refined and there are times when we have had shutdowns that resulted from NT.

Ron Redman [10]


Bronze oakleaf-3d.svg
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svg
Joint Meritorious Unit Award-3d.svg
Navy Unit Commendation ribbon.svg
Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation ribbon.svg
Battle Effectiveness Award ribbon, 4th award.svg Navy Expeditionary Medal ribbon.svg
National Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg
Humanitarian Service Medal ribbon.svg Armed Forces Service Medal ribbon.svg Special Operations Service Ribbon.svg

See also


This article includes information collected from the Naval Vessel Register, which, as a U.S. government publication, is in the public domain.The entry can be found here.

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 "Yorktown (CG-48) - Final Determination" (PDF). NAVSEA, US Navy. 30 November 2010.
  2. Campbell, "USS Caron's Black Sea Scrape Furthered International Law, National Interest", The Virginian-Pilot and the Ledger-Star, 12 June 1988, at C3, col. 1.
  3. Aceves, William J. "Diplomacy at Sea: U.S. Freedom of Navigation Operations in the Black Sea". International Law Studies. 68.
  4. Lieutenant Commander John W. Rolph (December 2005). "Freedom of Navigation and the Black Sea Bumping Incident: How "Innocent" Must Innocent Passage Be?" (PDF). Military Law Review. 136: 146.
  5. "Sunk by Windows NT". Wired News . 1998-07-24.
  6. William Kahan (14 October 2011). "Desperately Needed Remedies for the Undebuggability of Large Floating-Point Computations in Science and Engineering" (PDF).
  7. "Navy sink list includes Forrestal, destroyers". NavyTimes. Retrieved 2011-02-12.
  8. "Inactive ship inventory" (PDF). NAVSEA, US Navy. 27 September 2016.
  9. "Sunk by Windows NT". Wired News . 24 July 1998.
  10. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Slabodkin, Gregory (13 July 1998). "Software glitches leave Navy Smart Ship dead in the water". Government Computer News. Retrieved 2009-06-18.
  11. DiGiorgio, Anthony (3 August 1998). "Letters to the Editor: DiGiorgio denies reported statements". Government Computer News. Retrieved 2009-06-18.
  12. Slabodkin, Gregory (31 August 1998). "Smart Ship inquiry a go". Government Computer News. Retrieved 2009-06-18.

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