A Sailor Recounts How His Aircraft Carrier Was Sunk During World War II

November 9, 2019 Topic: Security Region: Asia Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: USS YorktownCarriersBattle Of MidwayU.S. NavyWorld War IIRay Daves

A Sailor Recounts How His Aircraft Carrier Was Sunk During World War II

The tragic story of the USS Yorktown.

I didn’t think that was right. I knew I was not a hero. I was just a survivor.


After being rescued at sea by the destroyer Hughes on June 4, Daves and the other survivors watched in helpless horror two days later as a lone Japanese submarine evaded the destroyer screen and fired four torpedoes at the dead-in-the-water Yorktown and a destroyer, the Hammann. The Hammann was sunk immediately and the carrier went under the next day. Daves and the remaining crew returned to Pearl Harbor, where new assignments in the long war awaited them.

After surviving the war and moving to Spokane, Washington, Ray Daves married his girlfriend, Adeline Bentz. He became an air traffic controller in 1946––a job he held until retiring in 1974.  

Ray and Adeline had two daughters, Rayma and Janet (who provided them with five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren). Ray passed away on June 3, 2011––two days after his 91st birthday. (Following publication of the book Radioman, an Act of Congress, signed by President Obama in 2010, named the air traffic control tower at Spokane International Airport for Ray Daves.)

Originally Published December 24, 2018.

This article originally appeared on the Warfare History Network.

Image: Wikipedia.