Friday was probably the first time in a long while that 750 sailors have been aboard the USS Yorktown, scrubbing and painting the historic aircraft carrier at the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum.

But there they were, sprucing up “The Fighting Lady” in a preview of Trident United Way’s Day of Caring event on Sept. 13, when thousands of volunteers will fan out across the tri-county area for civic-minded projects.

On Friday 2,400 members of the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command and Joint Base Charleston were volunteering for United Way events including the Yorktown work.

“It’s pretty cool, I’ve never been here before,” said Ensign Josh Jones, 23, of Portland Ore., who was cleaning display cases aboard the Yorktown. “So, I’m looking at the exhibits while I clean them.”

Together, the sailors were putting in an estimated 4,500 hours of collective work on the Yorktown.

“The significance of so many sailors being on the Yorktown at one time is huge,” said Patriots Point Executive Director Mac Burdette.

Sailors from the “nuke school” regularly volunteer at Patriots Point, but not in such numbers, he said.

“It is incumbent upon current sailors to preserve the legacy of those who came before them,” said Lt. j.g. Genevieve Pike of the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command.

The volunteers on Friday also were busy landscaping and painting Dubose Middle School in Summerville and Park Circle in North Charleston.

Air Force volunteers also visited veterans to record their histories, and made repairs and improvements to the Summerville Miracle League field.

Reach David Slade at 937-5552 or Twitter @DSladeNews.