Title: Decorated Egg, USS Yorktown (CV-5)
Accession #: NHHC 1998-73-D
Medium: Animal Material
Location: Headquarters Artifact Collection, Naval History and Heritage Command
One egg, emptied of its contents, painted and signed. The egg is painted with an eagle with outstretched wings, gripping a cannon in its talons on a red field (the insignia of USS Yorktown), with USS Yorktown CV-5 written below it. The reverse of the egg is marked “This egg was with it on the bottom of the Pacific at 16,650’ 22 May 1998.” One side is marked “4 June 1942 / W.F. Surgi / AMM3c / VF-42 / CV-5”. The other side is signed by Dr. Robert Ballard.
The USS Yorktown (CV-5) was sunk at the Battle of Midway on 6 June 1942. In May 1998, famed underwater explorer Dr. Ballard led an expedition in search of the wreck of the Yorktown. She was discovered on 19 May 1998, at 16,650 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. Bill Surgi, the artist behind this egg, was an aviation mechanic attached to the Yorktown fighter squadron VF-42 at the Battle of Midway. He was aboard the US Navy support ship Laney Chouset during the expedition and positively identified the wreck as that of the Yorktown. This egg traveled to the wreck aboard the submersible vehicle that was documenting the wreck.