American carriers

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Thorlifter, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    I have a number of questions regarding American carriers at the time of Pearl Harbor. At the day of the attack, the US had 7 large carriers in the Pacific; Yorktown, Langley, Saratoga, Enterprise, Hornet, Lexington, and Wasp. They also had the Ranger in the Atlantic.

    Langley was lost in February 42 near Australia
    Lexington was lost in May 42 at Coral Sea
    Yorktown was lost in June 42 at Midway
    Wasp was lost in Sept 42 in the south pacific
    Hornet was lost in Oct 42 at Santa Cruz

    1942 was a bad year for Carriers.....

    1. How soon after Pearl Harbor did a keel for a new carrier get started?
    2. I'm assuming it was the Essex class carrier, right?
    3. How soon did the new carriers become operational?
    4. When did the smaller carriers start being produced and what class were they?
    5. Are the smaller carriers what they call escort carriers?
    6. Other than the Ranger in the Atlantic, were there any others pre Pearl Harbor?

    Yes, some of this stuff I could look up. I just thought it would make for a good discussion here.

    As a side note, the Saratoga, Ranger, and Enterprise were the only carriers to survive the entire war.
     
  2. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    #2 Vincenzo, Jan 9, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
    Langley at time was a seaplane tender, yes they can embark landplanes but sure it's not a large carrier, i think is not best of a CVE
    Wasp was in Atlantic same for Yorktown and Hornet

    Essex and Yorktown (essex class) operate vs marcus island 31st august 1943

    the first CVE go in operation in summer '42, the first CVL in august '43
     
  3. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    #3 Thorlifter, Jan 9, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
    Vincenzo, the Yorktown was sunk in June of 42. No way it was at the Marcus Islands in August. And I believe she was a Yorktown class, not Essex.

    U.S.S. Essex was not even commissioned until December of 42.
     
  4. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    Thor, Vincenzo is talking about the the second Yorktown (CV-10) which was an Essex class.
     
  5. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    #5 Aaron Brooks Wolters, Jan 9, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
    This site will give you all the dates you are looking for. Launch, Commissioned, Retired lost etc. And it has a boat load of photos.
    http://www.navsource.org/

    1.) Yorktown/CV5 Lost on June 7th, 1942.
    2.) Yorktown/CV10-Initially named Bon Homme Richard after Captain John Paul Jones' Bonhomme Richard (note different spelling), in turn named to honor Benjamin Franklin. Renamed, 26 September 1942, in tribute to USS Yorktown (CV-5), lost three months earlier at the Battle of Midway, thus becoming the fourth US warship to bear the name of a town in Virginia, where the climactic battle of the American Revolution was fought in the autumn of 1781. The name Bon Homme Richard was subsequently assigned to CV-31.

    There were carriers being built already which is the reason they came back as quick as they did. Once the United States knew that war was unavoidable they started ramping up. And once they started they didn't look back. If a carrier was lost, one already being built was renamed or they immediately laid down another keel as with the case of the Wasp CV7 lost on the 15th of September 1942 and the new keel was laid on the 18th of September 1942 and she was commissioned on November 24th 1943.

    As for the Jeep Carriers or Escort Carriers the Independence CVL22 was the first. Launched on August 22nd,1942 and commissioned January 14th, 1943.
    Prewar list of carriers.
    LANGLEY (CV 1)
    LEXINGTON (CV 2)
    SARATOGA (CV 3)
    RANGER (CV 4)
    YORKTOWN (CV 5)
    ENTERPRISE (CV 6)
    WASP (CV 7)
    HORNET (CV 8 )


    Hope this helps.
     
  6. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    thor you need read again my reply.

    n.b. operational get also several months later of commission
     
  7. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    #7 Thorlifter, Jan 10, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2012
    My mistake Vincenzo. :( I forgot about the CV-10 Yorktown so you are correct. And thanks for the website link ABW. I'll study that in more detail today.

    So if I understand the timeline regarding the Yorktown, CV5 was lost on June 7th '42. CV10 was renamed to the Yorktown on September 26th '42.
     
  8. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    According to the website that would be correct. He does his best to keep it updated and correct. So if folks find something that is not correct they are encouraged to let him know and he will set it right.:cool:
     
  9. machine shop tom

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    The Independence was not a Jeep or Escort Carrier---she was a "light" (hence the CVL designation). Jeep, or Escort Carriers were designated CVE.

    Here is some info on CVE classes and origins:

    Escort Carrier Notes

    tom
     
  10. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the correction Tom. Sorry about that.:oops:
     
  11. machine shop tom

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    Hey, no problem. My dad was on the Fanshaw Bay, CVE 70.

    tom
     
  12. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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  13. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    Thor,

    Only Enterprise (CV-6), Sara (CV-3) and Lex (CV-2) were in the Pacific December 7, 1941. Yorktown (CV-5), Hornet (CV-8) and Wasp (CV-7)were in the Atlantic and came later to the Pacific theater and in that order.

    Keel of the Essex was laid: 4/28/41 (Source: wikipedia), launched 7/31/42 commissioned: 12/31/42. First
    wartime operation: Marcus Island 8/31/43. Yorktown (CV-10) followed by about 4-6 months later. but went to war with Essex.

    The light carriers (with sufficient speed and protection to play with the big boys (fleet (full sized) carriers) were based on light cruiser hulls
    introduced starting with Independence (CVL-22), laid May 41, lanched August 42, and commissioned in January of 43. The initial nine were
    in commission by December of 43. The first operational use of a CVL was in the company of Essex (CV-9) and Yorktown (CV-10) on the
    Marcus Island raid. The first fiver were in action by the Fall of 1943.

    CVE escort (or jeep) carriers were based on commercial freighter or tanker hulls and about 10-15 knots slower, operating an airgroup
    complement of roughly similar size as a CVL (but different in composition and aircraft types).

    Best source-reading (and a great read with lots of detail on carriers and aircraft) is Lundstrom's First Team covers carrier operations
    (with enphasis on fighter squadrons) through Midway (June 1942). He has a sequal First Team that covers the Guadacanal campaign
    through early 1943.
     
  14. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Excellent. This is exactly what I was looking for.
     
  15. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    Are their any light/escort carriers preserved?
     
  16. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Messy, this list isn't complete at all, but it gives you an idea. It appears that almost all CVL's and CVE's were sold for scrap. I couldn't find any that still exist today.

    CVL-22 Independence – Sunk in atomic weapons testing
    CVL-23 Princeton – Sunk 24 Oct ’44 Battle of Leyte Gulf
    CVL-24 Belleau Wood – Sold for scrap 21 Nov ‘60
    CVL-25 Cowpens – Sold for scrap ‘60
    CVL-26 Monterey – Sold for scrap ‘71
    CVL-27 Langley – sold for scrap ‘64
    CVL-28 Cabot – Sold for scrap ‘02
    CVL-29 Bataan – Sold for scrap ‘61
    CVL-30 San Jacinto – Sold for scrap 15 Dec ‘71


    CVE-26 Sangamon – Sold for scrap ‘60
    CVE-27 Suwannee – Sold for scrap ‘62
    CVE-28 Chenango – Fate ????
    CVE-29 Santee – Sold for scrap ‘60

    Bogue Class Escort Carriers (CVE-6 through CVE-21, CVE-23, CVE-25, CVE-31 through CVE-54)
    (British D70, D40, D24)
    Number completed – 45
    Appears all but one was sold for scrap. CVE-21 was sunk by U-549

    Commencement Bay Class Escort Carriers
    CVE-105 Commencement Bay – Scraped after ‘71
    CVE-106 Block Island – Sold 23 Feb ’60 (Fate ???)
    CVE-107 Gilbert Island – Sold for scrap 1 Nov ‘79
    CVE-108 Kula Gulf – Sold for scrap ‘71
    CVE-109 Cape Gloucester – Sold for scrap
    CVE-110 Salerno Bay – Sold for scrap ‘62
    CVE-111 Vella Gulf – Sold for scrap 22 Oct ‘71
    CVE-112 Siboney – Sold for scrap ‘71
    CVE-113 Puget Sound – Sold for scrap ‘62
    CVE-114 Rendova – Fate ????
    CVE-115 Bairoko – Fate ????
    CVE-116 Badoeng Strait – Sold for scrap ‘72
    CVE-117 Saidor – Sold for scrap ‘71
    CVE-118 Sicily – Sold for scrap ‘60
    CVE-119 Point Cruz – Sold for scrap ‘71
    CVE-120 Mindoro – Sold for scrap in Hong Kong ‘60
    CVE-121 Rabaul – Sold for scrap 25 Aug ‘72
    CVE-122 Palau – Sold for scrap 13 June ‘60
    CVE-123 Tinian – Sold for scrap 15 Dec ‘71
    CVE-124 through CVE-127 cancelled

    Casablanca Class Escort Carriers (CVE-55 through 104)
    Number built – 50
    Number lost – 5
    Number retired – 45
    Still exists – 0
     
  17. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    I found this link with info on the Jeep Carriers. According to the info, 78 were made from 41-45.
     
  18. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    I would love to see one and compare. I spent a few days on the Yorktown as a kid, would be cool to compare the differences.
     
  19. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    If ever a class of ship exceeded all expectations the Escort Carriers has to be the one
     
  20. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    Messy,

    None of the USN light or escort carriers (CVLs or CVE's) are left or preserved however, there is a former RN Majestic Class Light Carrier that is a museum in Mumbai, India, if you are ever out that way. The Majestic class were a bit larger than the USN Independence Class CVLs. basically intermediate in size between the CVLs and Yorktowns/Essex Class (Probably closer to the Yorktowns). Sadly, the USS Cabot (CVL-28) was in New Orleans for about a decade before it was scrapped in 2000 while efforts were made unsuccessfully to preserve it as a museum.

    Also an addendum to Thor,

    There was at least one escort carrier prior to Pearl Harbor and used throughout 1942 in the Pacific: The USS Long Island (originally AVG-1 then ACV-1 before classification as CVE-1 in 1943) She was commissioned in 6/2/41. She brought the initial load of marine fighters (19) and dive bombers (12) to Guadacanal in August 1942. Four USN Fleet Oilers of the Cimmaron Class (USS Sangamon, CVE-26) were converted to CVE's by the Fall of 1942: These were a bit larger than the many escort carriers bult on the C-3 cargo hulls (Bogue/Block Island (CVE- 8 and 9) Class and subsequent). For example, the flight deck of the Sangamons was 502 x 81 ft whereas the Bogue Class possessed flight deck dimensions of 439 x 70 ft. Commissioning of the Bogues began about the same time as the Sangamons. Most numerous were the Casablanca Class CVEs with flight decks ~ 500 x 108 ft, which I believe began appearing in the summer of 1943.
     
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