USS Yorktown (CV-5) was an American Yorktown-class aircraft carrier built by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company in Newport News, Virginia. It was commissioned at Naval Station Norfolk in Norfolk, Virginia, on April 4, 1936. 

Yorktown had an overall length of 246.7 meters, a beam of 26.2 meters, a draft of 6.6 meters, a maximum speed of 32.5 knots, and a range of 14,400 miles at 28 knots. It had a complement of approximately 2,200 personnel and 90 aircraft.

Yorktown took part in several operations during World War II (WWII), including the Battle of the Coral Sea May 4-8, 1942, and the Battle of Midway on June 4-7, 1942. During the Battle of Midway, Japanese Aichi D3A bombers successfully attacked Yorktown. Three bombs hit their targets: the first at the midship elevator on the starboard side; the second inside the starboard side exhaust stack, which crippled five of the nine boilers; and the third at the aft elevator on the starboard side. Despite this, Yorktown was able to recover and continue to launch aircraft. Later in the battle, Japanese Nakajima B5N torpedo bombers delivered two torpedo hits along the port side of the carrier, destroying its rudder system. Unable to move, Yorktown was towed by destroyer USS Hammann for transit back to Pearl Harbor for repairs. On the morning of June 7, 1942, while under tow, the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) submarine I-168 attacked both vessels, sinking Hammann and striking Yorktown twice on the starboard side, causing the carrier to capsize and sink.

In May 1988, a joint U.S. Navy and National Geographic Society expedition led by Robert Ballard rediscovered Yorktown. It was sitting upright and intact on the seafloor at a depth of approximately 5 kilometers. On September 9, 2023, Ocean Exploration Trust and partners surveyed Yorktown during the Ala ‘Aumoana Kai Uli expedition, which was funded by NOAA Ocean Exploration via the Ocean Exploration Cooperative Institute. At the time, Yorktown was intact, listing on its starboard side, and embedded in seafloor sediment. Bomb damage was noted on its main deck near the midship elevator and on the lower section of the bridge. There was also extensive damage on the portside of the hull, which was likely caused by a torpedo(s).

Over 14 hours of video was collected of Yorktown using remotely operated vehicle Atalanta. The video was processed into still images and color corrected using Adobe Photoshop 2024. 9,819 images were used to create six photo models of the site that include the port side, the bow and starboard section, upper portion of the stern, lower portion of the stern, bomb damage on the deck, the island, and the exhaust stack. These individual models were aligned together in Rhinoceros 8 to create one model and then uploaded to Construkted Reality. 

A full annotated video of this dive can be viewed on SeaTube.

Site Name: USS Yorktown (CV-5)

Type: UCH

UCH Vessel Date Built: April 4, 1936

UCH Vessel Date Sank: June 7, 1942

Hull Material: Steel

Official Number: CV-5

Expedition Number: NA154

Expedition Name: Ala ‘Aumoana Kai Uli

ROV Dive Number: T1001

ROV Dive Date: September 9, 2023

Location: Hawai‘i

Depth: 5 kilometers

Length: 246.7 meters

Width: 26.2 meters

ROV Used: Atalanta

Camera Information: Insite Mini-Zeus HD

Video or Stills: Video

Number of Images Used/Format: 9,819/JPG

Image Alignment Percentage: 79%

Number of Tie Points: 937,061

Link to Raw Video Footage: Link to come

Time to Complete: 82 hours

Orthomosaic Views Available: No

Images Available: Yes

Animations Available: Yes

Available File Exports/Location/POC:

Link to NOAA Ocean Exploration Project Page:

Software: Agisoft Metashape Professional Version 2.1.0, Rhinoceros 8

Developer: Raymond Phipps, NOAA Ocean Exploration explorer-in-training, April 8, 2024.

Credit: Model courtesy of NOAA Ocean Exploration, Ala ‘Aumoana Kai Uli expedition.