Thursday, August 20, 2009

USS Cassin Young

Across the pier from the Constitution is the USS Cassin Young, a World War II Destroyer. Built in California and commissioned on December 31, 1943, Cassin Young first experienced combat in April, 1944, attacking Japanese strongholds in the Caroline Islands.
She was named after a navy commander who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Cmdr. Young was in command of the repair ship Vestal which was moored alongside the battleship Arizona.

When Arizona blew up, he was blown overboard along with many members of his crew. With Vestal taking on water from several hits and set afire from the blazing inferno that had been 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 form the water and stood athwart the gangway. It was Ted Young...

"Where the hell do you think you are going?" he asked the first sailor. "We're abandoning ship" the sailor replied. Young roared "You don't abandon ship on me!" Cmdr. Young got the fires under control, picked up survivors from Arizona and managed to move Vestal across the harbor where he beached her for later salvage.

Cassin Young was promoted to captain and given command of the heavy cruiser San Francisco. On the night of November 12-13, 1942, during the Battle of Guadalcanal, Capt. Young died amidst an avalanche of shellfire from three Japanese warships. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross, and a year later the USS Cassin Young was commissioned, honoring this gallant officer.

After fighting the Japanese and surviving several Kamikaze attacks, Cassin Young was decommissioned May 28, 1946 but brought back into service on September 7, 1951 with the outbreak of the Korean Conflict. She patrolled the waters around Korea as well as performing routine duties in the Atlantic and Caribbean waters before being decommissioned again on April 29, 1960.

Today, Cassin Young is maintained and staffed by the National Park Service and volunteers as an example of the type of ship built, repaired and modernized in the Charlestown Navy Yard.


  1. Looks like a lot of fun! My kids would love to go explore these ships:)

  2. That looks like the kids had lots of fun checking things out!