Sunday, September 21, 2014

Aloha to New England - USS Cassin Young

The USS Constitution has company at the Charlestown Navy Yard - the USS Cassin Young.  From the National Park Service (link),

USS Cassin Young was built by Bethlehem Steel Corporation at San Pedro, California and commissioned on December 31, 1943. Assigned to the Central Pacific, Cassin Young first experienced combat in April 1944, attacking Japanese strongholds in the Caroline Islands. In June, the ship escorted American amphibious forces that invaded the islands of Saipan, Tinian and Guam. In August, the ship was reassigned to Task Group (TG) 38.3, which included several aircraft carriers. For the remainder of the Pacific war, Cassin Young would be in the forefront of the naval offensive against the Japanese.

The destoryer is named for an American Hero.  Again from the NPS (link),

USS Cassin Young bears the name of a navy commander awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Commander Young was in command of the repair ship USSVestal which was moored alongside battleship USS Arizona. When USS Arizona blew up, he was blown overboard along with many members of his crew. With USS Vestal taking on water from several hits and set afire from the blazing inferno that had been USS Arizona, the remaining crew began to abandon ship. 

Just as the first of the crew began to flee "a figure, like some sea creature, rose from the water and stood athwart the gangway. It was Ted Young... 'Where the hell do you think you're going?' he asked the first sailor. 'We're abandoning ship,' the sailor replied. 'Get back aboard,' Young roared, 'You don't abandon ship on me!'" Commander Young got the fires under control, picked up survivors from USS Arizona and managed to move USS Vestal across the harbor where he beached her for later salvage.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Cassin Young was promoted to captain and given command of the heavy cruiser USS San Francisco. On the night of November 12-13, 1942, during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, Captain Young died amidst an avalanche of shellfire from three Japanese warships. For his conspicuous gallantry in the face of the enemy, he was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross. USS Cassin Young (DD793) was commissioned in 1943, honoring this gallant officer.

Above is the officer's mess.  Below is a peak down in the sailors' bunks.

Learn more about the USS Cassin Young at this link.

The Charlestown Navy Yark is now a National Historical Park. From its website (link),

Established in 1800, Charlestown Navy Yard served the fleet with distinction--especially proving its worth in each of the nation's wars--until its closing in 1974. The men and women of its workforce built more than 200 warships and maintained and repaired thousands. From its inception the yard was in the forefront of shipyard technology, from building the Navy's only ropewalk to making itself a center of missile and electronics conversions. In its 174-year history, Charlestown Navy Yard played an important role in the birth, growth, and continued effectiveness of the U.S. Navy.

When the Charlestown Navy Yard closed in 1974 after nearly 175 years of serving the fleet, 30 acres became part of Boston National Historical Park. The National Park Service now maintains an important part of the ship yard, and as part of the Park Service's interpretive program, USS Constitution, in connection with the United States Navy, and USS Cassin Young are preserved as representatives of the kinds of vessels built in this yard. Together they represent a 200-year-old tradition of building fine ships for the Navy.

The Marine Barracks are now serve as Administrative Offices for the National Park Service.   The Commandant's House (above) has been preserved for meeting space. 

Do you know any Navy sailors - past or present?  One randomly selected commenter from this week's blogs wins a book choice from my convention stash.   Comments are open through Saturday, September 27, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, September 28.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Charlestown Korean War Memorial


  1. Great piece of history. Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. what a fun post! My family is all army. No navy :)

  3. I don't personally know any Navy sailors.

  4. I'm a former Navy Sailor and so is my husband. I still know LOTS of sailors!

  5. My former husband was in the Navy and my current father-ib-law was in the Navy.