Port Call 3: Kiel, West Germany
From the Yorktown 1969 Cruise Book:
"Sailors impressed with modern Kiel were in for another surprise in Hamburg. Again, chaplain's tours took Yorktown crewmen to another popular European tourist stop. Hamburg, with a population of over two million, is a tribute to modern design and community planning.
Well over 600 sailors toured Hamburg. Crowded department stores jammed with German optical goods, mechanical toys, clocks, cameras and intricately carved figures lined the streets as far as the eye could see. An extensive bus tour into the suburbs included such sights as: hospitals, consulates, and the homes and palaces of various dignitaries
In the city itself, the tours stopped at St. Michael's Church, with its huge copper cupolae and splendid interior, the City Hall, with its famous Ratzellar, and the shopping district.
In Kiel, the Naval Memorial rose in plain view near our anchorage. Kiel and Hamburg were targets of extensive air raids during the [Second World] War, but have risen to new heights as modern industrial centers.
Local residents thronged to the ship on Sunday. The quay was so jammed with visitors that, fearing for the safety of the crowd, visiting was secured early after 4,989 visitors boarded Yorktown in one and a half hours."
From Naval Aviation News, February 1970:
"Thousands of Kiel residents stood in the bitter cold waiting to tour Yorktown when she visited that German city recently.
Local police authorities estimated 70,000 persons jammed the access streets leading to Yorktown's pier. After some 5,000 visitors had been accommodated, the chief of police requested that visiting be concluded since available police were unable to control the great crowd mobbing the pier, causing a serious traffic jam in the city's streets. Many Yorktown senior officers expressed the view that this must have been one of the largest crowds ever to attempt to visit a U.S. warship in a single day.
The previous day a German grandfather and his young grandson traveled 180 kilometers to visit the ship but arrived one day early. A naval officer, departing the ship, noticed the crying child and offered his assistance. The resulting tour of the ship, accompanied with refreshments, provided the U.S. Navy with two more enthusiastic supporters.
Rear Admiral J. Lloyd Abbot, Jr., ComCarDiv-16, and Captain W.F. Chaires, Yorktown's commanding officer, expressed pleasure at the enthusiasm of the visitors and the hospitality shown by the city to the Fighting Lady's crew."