Guests will meet me at Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum shoreside. You will need to buy your individual tickets for admission to Patriots Point, www.patriotspoint.org/. When our tour is over you may tour the ships and self guided tours on the ships. As I lead them down the pier to the USS Yorktown (CV-10) I will give a brief discussion and answer questions about the development of US Navy aircraft carriers and their success in World War II. Once we reach the flight deck of Yorktown, I will talk about the air war in Vietnam and answer questions. The air war situation in Vietnam lead to the establishment of the Navy's Fighter Weapons School or Top Gun. I will lead my guests to an F-8 Crusader fighter and explain its development, use and its record in the Vietnam War. Next we'll move to the F-4J Phantom and discuss its development and use in the Vietnam War and how Top Gun changed the outcome in the air war. The next aircraft we'll discuss is the F-14 Tomcat which was used in the movie Top Gun in 1986. We will finish at the F-18 Hornet discussing its history and how Top Gun is still in business today training our Naval aviators to win an air war. Anytime a guest has a question I will be glad to answer in as much depth as they desire. After the Topgun experience, you may visit the other ships and displays at Patriots Point.
I have a Masters in History. As a naval officer, I graduated from Navy Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun) in 1983 and the Naval War College. I worked at Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum for 17 years and am familiar with all aircraft located onboard the USS Yorktown (CV-10) leading tours almost daily during my time there. As a naval flight officer I have over 3000 hours in the E-2C aircraft with 415 arrested landings aboard our aircraft carriers at sea. I have landings on the USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67), USS Eisenhower (CVN-69) and USS Nimitiz (CVN-68). I also have flight time in the F-14 Tomcat, EA-6B Prowler and F/A-18 Hornet.
We will be using the Essex class aircraft carrier USS Yorktown (CV-10) at Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum on Charleston Harbor in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.
The History of Top Gun on USS Yorktown