I found myself sitting in the Wardroom (the Officer's Galley) of the USS Yorktown at Patriots Point on the eve of its 40th Anniversary celebration talking with Rear Admiral James Flatley III, wondering how in the world I got lucky enough to get this interview, and hoping very sincerely I do it justice. Saturday, August 27th, 2016, the Patriot's Point Naval & Maritime Museum celebrated four decades in Charleston, by welcoming nearly 5,000 visitors to roam the decks of the USS Yorktown Aircraft Carrier, the USS Laffey Destroyer, the depths of the USS Clamagore Submarine, and the numerous exhibits on property. There were throngs of people there of all walks of life...everyone from young kids and families, to students, to military veterans in their eighties and nineties wearing their service hats.
The day beforehand the ship had been a bit quieter, hosting a Naval graduation ceremony and a somewhat smaller number of guests, including the Admiral and myself. In the paragraphs that follow I hope you'll get a sense of why I was so excited to be sitting with Rear Admiral (RADM) Flatley learning about his flying days and all about the servicemen who had made the Yorktown famous over the years.