Most Influential Ship?

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by renrich, Nov 30, 2007.

  1. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    I hope this subject has not been discussed before but what individual ship in WW2 in all the combatant's navies had the most influential and illustrious war record. This would include all ships of all navies active in the war and although they were called boats, it would include submarines. Please understand I am talking about an individual unit such as USS Tang or U525 or HMS Warspite. I would do this in a poll but don't know how to set it up. I have my candidate picked and will post it later. Have at it.
     
  2. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    The Essex class carriers.

    Not a single war loss (although two were severely damaged and knocked out of the war).
     
  3. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    IMO The most influential ship that influenced WW2 aviation was the Ostfriesland, the Captured German WW1 ship that was sunk by Billy Mitchell. That acted really ushered in the age of naval aviation as a serious offensive force.

    What was the name of the Japanese destroyer that McClusky's Dive Bombers followed to find the Japanese fleet? That destroyer probably tipped the balance in one of the greatest Naval Battles ever!

    .
     
  4. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    The aircraft carrier. And specifically, as syscom3 stated, the Essex Class.

    TO
     
  5. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    HMS Illustrious.
    Her attack on Toranto had a major influence on Pearl Harbour. Indeed had the attack not taken place Japan may well have delayed the attack and who knows what would have happened.
    Her participation in the battles of the Med went a long way to securing Malta and she played her part in the Pacific.
    In design her armoured deck became standard on all carriers after the war.
    Not bad.
     
  6. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    He's talking about a specific ship!
     
  7. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    Ooops :!: :oops:

    OK, how about three (3) specific ships, Enterprise, Hornet, Yorktown. They turned the tide of the Pacific War at Midway.

    TO
     
  8. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    For Canada it has to be the HMCS Haida a Tribal Class destroyer its battle honours
    ARCTIC 1943 - 1945
    ENGLISH CHANNEL 1944
    NORMANDY 1944
    BISCAY 1944
    KOREA 1952 - 1954
    Ships sunk


    April 26, 1944 T29 Torpedo Boat
    April 29, 1944 T27 Torpedo Boat
    June 9, 1944 ZH1 Destroyer
    June 9, 1944 Z32 Destroyer
    June 24, 1944 U971 U-Boat
    July 15, 1944 UJ1420/UJ1421 Trawler
    August 6, 1944 M486 Minesweeper
    August 6, 1944 SG-3C
    September 6, 1944 VEDETTE Patrol

    Plus just for you Reinrich the crew were honourary citizen's of Texas for their work rescuing the crew of a 29 in 49:)
     
  9. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    Any planes destroyed?
     
  10. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Please, as mentioned by comis, a specific ship. Not a class of ships. Like Glider who picked HMS Illustrious.
     
  11. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    USS Essex, followed by the USS Enterprize.
     
  12. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    She was laid down on 16 July, 1934. Because of replacement of reduction gearing and over 1200 boiler tubes she was not completed until 18 July, 1938. She was said to have cost $25M. She displaced 19,900 tons. She was 761 feet on the water line and 83.25 feet on the beam. She drew a little over 21 feet and she exceeded 34 knots on trials. Her weapons were 81-85 aircraft but she also mounted(in the beginning) 8-5 inch 38s, 16- 1.1s and 16 smaller MGs. She had a patch of armor at the water line over machinery and boiler spaces and had a heavy protective deck. She had 3 lifts and could catapult AC from her hangar deck. She was 200 miles south of Pearl Harbor, having been delayed because of bad weather after delivering planes to Wake, on December 7, 1941. The commander of her little force that day was Bill Halsey and her weapons that day were TBDs, SBDs and F4Fs. Later she would carry F6Fs, TBFs, SB2Cs, F4Us and F4U2s(night fighters) She was in the Marshall Island raids, the Doolittle raid on Japan, Midway, Guadalcanal landings, Eastern Solomons(damaged) Santa Cruz(damaged) Battle of Guadalcanal, Gilbert Islands, Kwajalein, Truk Raid, Iwo, Okinawa(took a kamikaze) and many Pacific raids 1942-45. Her air group, along with the Yorktown's did the majority of the damage at Midway. Without her the victory in the Pacific would undoubtedly have been longer in coming. She was the USS Enterprise. There is no telling the amount of tonnage of Japanese shipping her AC put on the bottom or the number of Japanese AC she was responsible for downing. She earned her keep and then some. The Big E will go down in history as the fightinist ship in US Navy history.
     
  13. Arsenal VG-33

    Arsenal VG-33 Member

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    I'm going with the grand old USS Missori BB-63.
     
  14. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    renrich, No doubt about it :!:

    TO
     
  15. magnocain

    magnocain Member

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    I agree
     
  16. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    Seeing as how I served in USS Essex (CV-9) from 1960 to 1964, I have to give the old girl the nod. BTW, Essex motto was "E Navibus Pugnisima"...
    The Fightingest Ship.

    The fourth Essex (CV-9) was launched 31 July 1942 by Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co. sponsored by Mrs. Artemus L. Gates, wife of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Air; and commissioned 31 December 1942, Captain D. B. Duncan command ing. She was reclassified (CVA-9) on 1 October 1952, and (CVS-9) on 8 March 1960.

    Following her shakedown cruise Essex sailed to the Pacific in May 1943 to begin a succession of victories which would bring her to Tokyo Bay. Departing Pearl Harbor, she participated with TF 16 in carrier operations against Marcus Island (31 Aug ust 1943); was designated flagship of TF 14 and struck Wake Island (5-6 October); launched an attack with TG 50.3 against the Gilbert Islands where she also took part in her first amphibious assault, the landing on Tarawa (18-23 November). Refueling at se a, she cruised as [367] flagship of TG 50.3 to attack Kwajalein (4 December). Her second amphibious assault delivered in company with TG 58.2 was against the Marshalls (29 January-2 February 1944).

    Essex in TG 68.2 now joined with TG 58.1 and 58.3, to constitute the most formidable carrier striking force to date, in launching an attack against Truk (17-18 February) during which eight Japanese ships weresunk. En route to the Marianas to sev er Japanese supply lines, the carrier force was detected and received a prolonged aerial attack which it repelled in a businesslike manner and then continued with the scheduled attack upon Saipan, Tinian and Guam (23 February).

    After this operation Essex proceeded to San Francisco for her single wartime overhaul. She then joined carriers Wasp CV-18 and San Jacinto (CVL-30) in TG 12.1 to strike Marcus Island (19-20 May) and Wake (23 May). She deployed wit h TF 58 to support the occupation of the Marianas (12 June-10 August); sortied with TG 38.3 to lead an attack against the Palau Islands (6-8 September), and Mindanao (9-10 September) with enemy shipping as the main target, and remained in the area to supp ort landings on Peleliu. On 2 October she weathered a typhoon and 4 days later departed with TF 38 for the Ryukyus.

    For the remainder of 1944 she continued her frontline action, participating in strikes against Okinawa (10 October), and Formosa (12-14 October), covering the Leyte landings, taking part in the battle for Leyte Gulf (24-25 October), and continuing the search for enemy fleet units until 30 October when she returned to Ulithi, Caroline Islands, for replenishment. She resumed the offensive and delivered attacks on Manila and the northern Philippine Islands during November. On 25 November, for the first ti me in her far-ranging operations and destruction to the enemy, Essex received injury. A kamikaze hit the port edge of her flight deck landing among planes gassed for takeoff, causing extensive damage, killing 15, and wounding 44.
    This "cramped her style" very little. Following quick repairs we find her with 3d Fleet off Luzon supporting the occupation of Mindoro (14-16 December). She rode out the typhoon of 18 December and made special search for survivors afterwards. With TG 3 8.3 she participated in the Lingayen Gulf operations, launched strikes against Formosa, Sakishima, Okinawa, and Luzon. Entering the South China Sea in search of enemy surface forces, the task force pounded shipping and conducted strikes on Formosa, the Ch ina coast, Hainan, and Hong Kong. Essex withstood the onslaught of the third typhoon in 4 months (20-21 January 1945) before striking again at Formosa, Miyako Shima and Okinawa (26-27 January).

    During the remainder of the war she operated with TF 58, conducting attacks against the Tokyo area (16-17, and 25 February) both to neutralize the enemy's airpower before the landings on Iwo Jima and to cripple the aircraft manufacturing industry. She sent support missions against Iwo Jima and neighboring islands, but from 23 March to 28 May was employed primarily to support the conquest of Okinawa.

    In the closing days of the war, Essex took part in the final telling raids against the Japanese home islands (10 July-15 August). Following the surrender, she continued defensive combat air patrols until 3 September when she was ordered to Breme rton, Wash., for inactivation. On 9 January 1947 she was placed out of commission in reserve.

    Modernization endowed Essex with a new flight deck, and a streamlined island superstructure, on 16 January 1951 when recommissioned, Captain A. W. Wheelock commanding.

    After a brief cruise in Hawaiian waters she began the first of three tours in Far Eastern waters during the Korean war. She served as flagship for Carrier Division 1 and TF 77. She was the first carrier to launch F2H "Banshee" twinjet fighters on comba t missions; on 16 September 1951 one of these planes, damaged in combat, crashed into aircraft parked on the forward flight deck causing an explosion and fire which killed seven. After repairs at Yokosuka she returned to frontline action on 3 October to l aunch strikes up to the Yalu River and provide close air support for U.N. troops.
    On 1 December 1953 she started her final tour of the war, sailing the China Sea with the Peace Patrol. From November 1954 to June 1955 she engaged in training exercises, operated for 3 months with the 7th Fleet, assisted in the Tachen Islands evacuatio n, and engaged in air operations and fleet manuevers off Okinawa.

    In July 1955 Essex entered Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for repairs and extensive alterations, including installation of an angled flight deck. Modernization completed, she rejoined the Pacific Fleet in March 1956. For the next 14 months the carri er operated off the west coast, except for a 6-month cruise with the 7th Fleet in the Far East. Ordered to join the Atlantic Fleet for the first time in her long career, she sailed from San Diego on 21 June 1957, rounded Cape Horn, and arrived in Mayport, Fla., on 1 August.
    In the fall of 1957 Essex participated as an anti-submarine carrier in the NATO exercises, "Strike Back," and in February 1968 deployed with the 6th Fleet until May when she shifted to the eastern Mediterranean. Alerted to the Middle East crisis on 14 July 1958 she sped to support the U.S. Peace Force landing in Beirut, Lebanon, launching reconnaissance and patrol missions until 20 August. Once again she was ordered to proceed to Asian waters, and transmitted the Suez Canal to arrive in the Taiw an operational area where she joined TF 77 in conducting flight operations before rounding the Horn and proceeding back to Mayport.

    Essex joined with the 2d Fleet and British ships in Atlantic exercises and with NATO forces in the eastern Mediterranean during the fall of 1959. In December she aided victims of a disastrous flood at Frejus, France.
    In the spring of 1960 she was converted into an ASW Support Carrier and was thereafter homeported at Quonset Point, R.I. Since that time she has operated as flagship of Carrier Division 18 and Antisubmarine Carrier Group Three. She conducted rescue and salvage operations off the New Jersey coast for a downed blimp; cruised with midshipmen, and was deployed on NATO and CENTO exercises. In November she joined the French navy in Operation "Jet Stream" and since that time has continued her widespread activ ities in protection of freedom and peace.

    Essex received the Presidential Unit Citation, and 13 battle stars for World War II service; 4 battle stars and the Navy Unit Commendation for Korean war service.

    She was a good ship.....

    Charles
     
  17. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Good stuff on the Essex, Charles. During the Battle of Santa Cruz, the Big E, though damaged, landed, without mishap, 47 planes in 43 minutes. Because the Hornet was badly damaged the Enterprise had to take in her planes as well as her own. At the last enough room on the flight deck was left so that only the number one wire could be used. When the flight deck was filled so operations were stopped to strike planes below there were still 21 TBFs aloft.
     
  18. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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  19. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Would agree on the Essex class as a whole as being the most influential ships of the war. Charles, great post.
     
  20. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    I am sticking with the Big E as my pick but my sentimental favorite warship of WW2 was the USS Salt Lake City, CA25 because one of my uncles served on her 1941-43 during all her surface actions. Am currently reading a book about USS Dale, a DD during WW2 and an interesting point was made by a tin can sailor on the Dale about SLC during the Battle of the Komondorskis, March, 1943. Two US cruisers, Salt Lake City and Richmond a somewhat elderly CL along with 4 DDs engaged two Nachi class CAs, 2 Tama class CLs and 4 IJN DDs. When the US task force commander Adm. McMorris in Richmond realised how outnumbered they were he ordered the US ships to retire with the Richmond in the lead. The DD sailor said at one point the Richmond was as much as 6000 yards in front of the Salt Lake. Anyway the SLC did most of the fighting in a stern chase with the 2 Jap CAs. The Nachi class had a 2-3 knot speed advantage on the SLC and they mounted 10- 8 inch guns each so periodically they veered out of line astern to present their full broadsides and when they did they had 20-8 inch guns trained on SLC at ranges as close as 18000 yards. The DD sailors said the IJN salvoes were very tight and since they were screening SLC they were definitely in harm's way. Here is the interesting observation. The SLC and her sister Pensacola were the first two US CAs built after the first naval treaty after WW1 which limited cruisers to 10000 tons and they were the only US CAs with four turrets, one triple superimposed over one twin forward and the same arrangement aft. All subsequent US CAs had only one triple turret aft with two forward. The significance of this was that SLC during a good portion of the fight could only fire from her after turrets, the forward turrets being masked by her superstructure. Because of the unusual turret arrangement, one turret could engage one Jap CA and the other could engage the other CA, at least giving both enemy ships something to worry about. If the US CA had been one of the more modern cruisers, there would have been only one turret to engage two ships with. Anyway, the SLC fired more than 800 rounds of 8 inch shell and my uncle who was a CGM said they were moving ammo from the forward magazines to the after guns and they ran out of AP then used up the HC and at the end were firing star shells.
     
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