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The Yorktown class was a class of three aircraft carriers built for the United States Navy and completed shortly before World War II, the Yorktown (CV-5), Enterprise (CV-6), and Hornet (CV-8). They immediately followed Ranger, the first U.S. aircraft carrier built as such, and benefited in design from experience with Ranger and the earlier Lexington class, which were conversions into carriers of two battlecruisers that were to be scrapped to comply with the Washington Naval Treaty, an arms limitation accord.
These ships bore the brunt of the fighting in the Pacific during 1942, and two of the three were lost: Yorktown, sunk at the Battle of Midway, and Hornet, sunk in the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands.
Enterprise, the sole survivor of the class, was the most decorated ship of the U.S. Navy in the Second World War. After efforts to save her as a museum ship failed, she was scrapped in 1958.
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