Crew's Logbook

Why was The Battlecruiser, and its people, special to you?

Richard Bishop, Gladstone Oregon, 14 February 2018

"Yorktown was my final sea command. It was a great way to cap off my career. It was also one of the greatest crews I could have wanted to serve with. Even at the end of my career I learned so much from those guys in Engineering. There are too many to try and list them all by name. The ramming by a Soviet navy ship, meeting Vice President and Mrs. George HW Bush, and the Statue of Liberty birthday all helped make that tour on CG-48 phenomenal. AND, who can forget all those training drills and OPPE's! Remembering those quiet nights on the mid-watch where you really got to know your fellow crew members. I'm glad that so many can make the reunion. See you all there."

Lee Watson, Delaware, 3 February 2018

“USS Yorktown (1985-88) was my very first shipboard duty station.  The crew was the most accepting group of young men and "old salts" ever hand picked. From our stays in Pascagoula, Mississippi to my two Med cruises, I enjoyed the camaraderie with shipmates, and I will always remember their names. Whether you were standing beside me at muster every morning or I was confiscating your personal electronic equipment, I took pride in knowing those sailors had my back no matter what. The USS Yorktown is the ship I will always claim the best, from the mast to the sonar dome, from 1st Division berthing to the aft gun mount. My finest naval memories are with those fine men I served and sailed with. As I type this, I can still hear/feel "Eye of the Tiger" blaring from the speakers as we approach Norfolk!”

Wilson McBride, Texas, 4 October 2017

"('94-'97) Yorktown was my first ship and I came aboard her with two handfuls of friends from boot camp. Scared out of my mind and lost, the current crew members made me feel at home. The two deployments I remember while on her were exciting to say the least. Before her second to last deployment I was ordered TAD to SIMA in MS, then I was assigned to the USS Inchon support the 'smart ship' manning needs. That was the last time I saw her and I was never ordered back. I regret never getting the chance to say goodbye to the ol' girl or the friends I had made while on Yorktown. RIP Ol' Girl !!"

Greg Piecora, Florida, 22 September 2017

"Not a day goes by that I talk to someone about my time on the Yorktown. The men I served with taught me the meaning of hard work and how to be successful. I will be forever grateful to all the Chiefs that guided me, taught me leadership and put a boot to my butt when I needed it. Special thanks to the Officers that were patient with me and taught me how to be a Navy Sailor. To everyone that served on the USS will forever be my brothers!"

Brian Cosker, Connecticut, 20 August 2017

"For nearly 50 years my 93-year old Grandfather, a WWII Darby Ranger and POW has attended reunions across the country. I was lucky to go on several trips with him. Wether the Rangers stormed the same beach-head or not, the camaraderie they shared at the reunions is something I will always remember.  In 1996 my grandfather encouraged me to join the Navy. He said it would be the best thing I ever did in my life. To this day the greatest time of my life was the four years I spent with you. I don't want to ever loose those memories and I am looking forward to many more..."

Barry Bloxom ('83-'88), North Carolina, 15 August 2017

"Glad to see so many old friends have left a message. Play hard / work harder. Craig, Ray, Jimmy Bell, Glidden,Brown, the Mule we had some great times. Cip we gave you a hard time because we cared."

Michael Alvin Ledbetter ('95-'98) Hubert, North Carolina, 9 August 2017

"Yorktown was my 2nd ship in a career spanning 24 years. I served onboard her from 1995 -1998. The memories and friends I made aboard this great ship will last a lifetime. I earned my ESWS pin on her, and this was one of the proudest moments in my Naval Career.  She took me to some of the most beautiful places in the world. One of the best memories will be chasing down the "Go Fast boats" and retrieving all those bundles of the “good stuff.”  I was onboard during the smart ship concept- loved that idea. I served with a lot of great men. God bless the “Battle Cruiser” and all who served aboard her.  Rest in Peace Mrs. Mary- Yorktown’s sponsor and great American Patriot."

Phillip A. Cipriani Jr. Perrysburg, OH, 30 July 2017

" I am a United State Sailor, retired. I am what I am, and I am where I am because of the good leadership examples I was able to see while on Yorktown. I owe gratitude to many great Yorktown leaders. For example,  the Yorktown’s Chief's Mess; Master Chief Morrison; Senior Chief Bunting; Senior Chief Johnson; Chief Warrant Officer Sewell (God Rest his Soul) who wrote my first flag letter signed by RADM Ready; Master Chief Zimmerman who encouraged me to study hard to earn my ESWS Pin, and I was the first A-ganger to earn ESWS.  The United States Navy chose me, and I chose to be a successful United States Sailor. I am not perfect, and I work hard every day to improve who I am. My shipmates are my extended family, and like my siblings I may not agree with them a hundred percent of the time or they with me, but please know you’re my ‘familia.’ I would serve our Navy again and again even in today's climate. Fair Winds and Following Seas from Perrysburg Ohio named for the great Commodore Perry." 

Reggie Pasicarlos (EMCS '84-'89) Las Vegas, NV, 29 July 2017

"Duty on board the USS Yorktown CG 48 was the highlight of my naval career. Best command I have served and 'Best' crew I ever served with. I was ordered on board as one of the plankowners, commissioned her, had some good times and bad times on board and ports we visited. I still remember the 6-years I was on board with the awesome shipmates from the start to beginning, 1984. Naval Station Norfolk, Pascagoula, MS, Sea Trials, Shock Trials, Guantanamo Bay Training, Med Cruises, Black Sea (rammed by Russian ship), Haifa, Israel, Libya and other ports to name a few. I left on January 31, 1989 after completing 21 years of Naval Service. Reminiscing those days is 'Priceless.' Thanks for those who are laboring to make the reunions possible for all the Yorktown Crew. God bless and regards to everyone who served wherever you are."

David von Mosch (GSM ’89-‘91), 24 July 2017

“I reported aboard Yorktown in August of 1989 as a new sailor straight out of GSM “A” School, right behind one of my classmates, GSM3 Mike Boyle. I remember that I could not wait to join the fleet, and looked forward to being on one of the “new” cruisers! Upon joining the crew of The Battlecruiser, I was assigned to Main 1, where I met some of you…guys who would shape my Navy career and instill in me characteristics that still manifest themselves in my career today. Guys like GSM2(SW) Chris Head, the LPO for Main 1 and my first real boss in the Navy. GSM2 Minh Dang, who took me under his wing and made sure I learned all that he could impart…Chris and Minh were also quite often my liberty buddies too! GSM1(SW) Jimmy Payne, who was Oil King at the time and would go on to a long career as a commissioned officer. GSE1 Jeff Bringhurst, GSE2 Federique, EN2 George Harris, EN2 David Jones, EN1 Carl Foraker, CWO2 Sewell, and so many more whose names escape me at the moment. One very special mention goes to GSCS Ted Uchiek…Senior Chief set one heck of an example for me, and he set me straight when I needed it. The advice he gave a young, sometimes headstrong, kid from Texas, pointed me in the right direction well beyond Yorktown and the Navy. As is so often in life, you do not really realize what you have until it is gone, and the crew of Yorktown turned out to be that for me. After Yorktown, I went to GSM “C” School and reported to a Spru-can that it turns out Ted Uchiek had commissioned…the USS Stump. While I would eventually come to remember my time there fondly as well, it was quite a wakeup call to find out just what an outstanding organization Yorktown and her crew had been; we were the best, and I knew that, but I did not really appreciate it. I guess I was lucky, I started my Navy career as a member of one of the best commands in the fleet…Yorktown and her crew set the standard for me, a standard that still guides me to this day. I can only hope that there is a command out there today, which shares the camaraderie and dedication to excellence that all of you put into our time on The Battlecruiser!”

Richard Yanku, JOC, USN (ret), Suffolk, VA 10 July 2017

"Twelve years into a Navy career one might expect a sailor to have served underway several times and on more than one ship. When this JO1 crossed the gangway in Norfolk on 25 Nov 1984, it was my first time doing so. Even though my tour was cut short by billet deletion in July 1986, my shipmates will always be held in the highest regard for their unwavering dedication and professionalism in teaching this 30-year-old rookie the ropes. Thanks for the Memories!"

Rowland Ketchersid, 22 April 2017

“The USS Yorktown was my first ship. The first few people I came in contact with were folks I knew from Great Lakes Naval Training Center- Joe Mayo and Darryl Royal. Phillip Cipriani was an EN, and we were in boot camp together. My first ship came with a lot more first underway, followed shortly by my first bout of seasickness. This was my first time out of sight of land, seeing dolphins, flying fish, and the Caribbean.  It was my first time to see Europe. I walked the Holy Lands in Israel. I experienced my first taste of combat as short lived as it was. Most of ‘my firsts’ were 'my lasts.' Going back will never recreate the wild-eyed excitement and experiencing something for the first time. It would never be the same again.” 

Ray Hiestand, 21 April 2017

“The experiences I had on Yorktown were a whole Navy career wrapped up in 5 years. From the fun times in 'Goula during pre-commissioning, two med-cruises, and countless hours operating and repairing the engineering plant, my time there is still influencing my career. Being 22 years old heading across the Mediterranean into unknown activity, with a generator down, no phone to call for help, just me, a tech manual and a Fluke Multimeter. That's learning! I still take too long to call for help, but that's not a bad thing. Thank you to the crew, the Navy, and the ship for all the memorable moments!” 

RMC (SW) David "Hammer" Altwies, USN, Ret. 18 April 2017

“I checked aboard Yorktown before Christmas 1992. Captain Mike Mullen was the Skipper and he told me to ‘go fix radio.’  Yorktown was the second ship in a row where I had to 'fix radio.' Before all was said and done, the OC Division received the Green ‘C,’ which helped the ship get the Battle ‘E,’ and we were designated the ‘Top Dog’ Division.  In 1993 Yorktown received orders to blockade Haiti, and this was the first time in 23 years I had ever been 'Emergency Recalled' for anything.  We had just returned from a North Atlantic cruise, and I was taking well-earned leave, and naturally, I wasn't a happy camper.  I retired from the Navy April 1994 just before Yorktown deployed to the Adriatic Sea because of tensions in Bosnia. My time on Yorktown, December 1992 through April 1994, was a good experience.  We had a great crew and Chief's Mess.  I am looking forward to next year's reunion in Knoxville.”  

George R. Harris, 15 April 2017

“The Yorktown was my first ship and the experience led to my career in the Navy and my success in life. I reported aboard January 1987 as a HTFN and I departed an HT2. My first assignment on the ship was A-Gang and then the HT Shop. I had many mentors on board the ship: GSE1 Hiestand, EN1 Foraker, and CWO Sewell to name a few. During my time on board Yorktown I learned how to trust people and the meaning of the word Shipmate. I learned about myself, gained confidence, became a wiser man, and an accomplished Sailor. I believe my Shipmates encouraged my decision to make the Navy a career, establish a goal to become a Chief Petty Officer, and retire from the Navy. I will always remember my service on Yorktown as one of the BEST experiences in my life. Thank you Yorktown and Crew for making me see what true camaraderie really is.” 

Jimmy Cooper, 8 April 2017

“The only thing I would change about my time on Yorktown is I would have been a better shipmate. That being said I loved my time on Yorktown.  The rest of my 11+ years in the Navy never measured up to Yorktown and its people.  Our small reunion (90-04 group) spent time together in May 2014 and this reminded me of just how special that time on Yorktown was with all of my shipmates.  Present day, I promote and manage a nonprofit homeless ministry and I am close to receiving my Bachelor’s degree.  I attribute my determination to help homeless people and complete my degree to the five years I spent with my ‘brothers’ on the USS Yorktown.  Victory is Our Tradition … yesterday and today.” 

Darin Walter, 3 April 2017

“I left Yorktown July 1989 and I wanted to keep in touch with the men I served with, but life always seemed to get in the way. When the ship was decommissioned I was not aware and I was saddened, like missing the funeral of a close friend. It really affected me. This motivated me to contact friends: Greg Piecora, Rudy Bohannon, David Black, and Mike Hirsch. I began developing a crew list after months of telephoning, following leads, and Internet searches and I found 250 shipmates! This led to the five of us creating the first reunion, July 2009. Five years later, July 2014, the second reunion, was bigger and better. I felt joy seeing others like me rekindle old friendships. I am looking forward to this third reunion, and it will be the best one ever. My Navy career lasted five years and the memories and friends re-kindled at reunions are priceless. I look forward to seeing old and making new friends.”

 Jim 'Gruff' Green, 30 March 2017

"Yorktown and the Aegis Program have done me well ... I also think we are some of the best people of our nation."

Craig Mass, 30 March 2017

"Absent a reliable father, the officers and senior enlisted men molded me into the man and leader I am today.  Their leadership, mentoring, and talent continue motivating me today to achieve and overcome. They invented servant leadership."