U.S. Navy - A Brief History of Aircraft Carriers

The Carriers header
A Brief History of U.S. Navy Aircraft Carriers
Part IIb - The War Years (1943)

Sources: United States Naval Aviation, 1910-1970 [NAVAIR 00-80P-1]
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships

All images below are hyperlinked to larger images for better viewing. All images are official Navy photographs.


picture, caption follows   Jan. 14, 1943 - USS Independence (CVL 22), begun as Amsterdam, (CL-59), commissioned in Philadelphia, Capt. G. R. Fairlamb, Jr., in command. The ship launched as CV 22 on 22 Aug. 1942 by New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N.J. This was the first of nine light carriers of her class constructed on Cleveland class cruiser hulls.
 
picture, caption follows   Feb. 17, 1943 - USS Lexington (CV 16) commissioned , Capt. Felix B. Stump in command. The ship was originally laid down as Cabot 15 Jul. 1941 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass., and renamed Lexington 16 Jun. 1942. She was launched 23 September 1942.
 
  Feb. 25, 1943 - USS Princeton (CV 23) commissioned at Philadelphia, Capt. George R. Henderson, commanding. The ship was originally laid down as Tallahassee (CL 61) by the New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N.J. She was reclassified as CV 23 on Feb. 16, 1942, and renamed Princeton on Mar. 31, 1942. The ship was launched Oct. 18, 1942. Following shakedown in the Caribbean, she was reclassified CVL-23 on 15 July 1943.
 
picture, caption follows   Apr. 15, 1943 - USS Yorktown (CV 10) commissioned at the Norfolk Navy Yard, Capt. Joseph J. ("Jocko") Clark in command. The ship was laid down 1 Dec. 1941 at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co. as Bon Homme Richard. It was renamed Yorktown 16 Sept. 1942 and launched 21 Jan 1943.
 
  Apr. 21, 1943 - Capt. Frederick M. Trapnell made a flight in the Bell XP-59A jet Airacomet at Muroc, Calif., the first jet flight by a Naval Aviator.
 
picture, caption follows   May 25, 1943 - USS Bunker Hill (CV 17) commissioned , Capt. J. J. Ballentine in command. The ship was launched 7 Dec. 1942 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass.
 
picture, caption follows   May 28, 1943 - USS Cowpens (CVL 25) commissioned, Capt. R. P. McConnell in command. The ship was launched Jan. 17, 1943, by the New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N.J.
 
picture, caption follows   Jun. 17, 1943 - USS Monterey (CV 26) commissioned, Capt. Lester T. Hundt, commanding. The ship was laid down as Dayton (CL 78) Dec. 29, 1941, by the New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N.J. and was reclassified as CV 26 Mar. 27, 1942. She was launched Feb. 28, 1943.
 
picture, caption follows   Jul. 8, 1943 - USS Casablanca (ACV 55), first of her class and the first escort carrier designed and built as such, was placed in commission at Astoria, Ore., Capt. S. W. Callaway commanding.
 
  Jul. 15, 1943 - New designations for carriers were established which limited the previous broadly applied CV symbol to Saratoga, Enterprise, and carriers of the Essex class, and added CVB (Aircraft Carriers, Large) for the 45,000 ton class being built and CVL (Aircraft Carriers, Small) for the 10,000 ton class built on light cruiser hulls. The same directive reclassified escort carriers as combatant ships and changed their symbol from ACV to CVE.
 
picture, caption follows   Jul. 24, 1943 - USS Cabot (CVL 28) commissioned, Capt. M. F. Shoeffel in command. The ship was laid down as Wilmington (CL 79). She was redesignated as CV 28 on Jun. 2, 1942, and renamed Cabot on Jun. 23. She was converted while building and was launched Apr. 4, 1943, by the New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N.J.
 
picture, caption follows   Aug. 16, 1943 - USS Intrepid (CV 11) commissioned in Norfolk, Va., Captain Thomas L. Sprague in command. She was launched 26 Apr. 1943, by Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Newport News, Va.
 
  Aug. 18, 1943 - The Secretary of the Navy establishes the Office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Air) with Vice Adm. John S. McCain as the first DCNO(Air).
 
picture, caption follows   Aug. 31, 1943 - USS Langley (CVL 27) commissioned, Capt. W. M. Dillon in command. The ship was originally named Fargo (CL 85) but laid down as Crown Point (CV 27) by the New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N.J. Apr. 11, 1942. The ship was launched on May 22, 1943.
 
  Oct. 16, 1943 - The Navy accepted its first helicopter, a Sikorski YR-4B (later an HNS-1), at Bridgeport, Conn., following a 60 minute test flight by Lt. Cmdr. F.A. Erickson, USCG.
 
picture, caption follows   Nov. 15, 1943 - USS San Jacinto (CVL 30) commissioned, Capt. Harold Martin, commanding. The ship was laid down as Newark (CL 100) on Oct. 26, 1942, by the New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N.J., and redesignated CV 30 and renamed Reprisal on Jun. 2, 1942. The ship was again renamed San Jacinto on Jan. 30, 1943, and converted while building to a light aircraft carrier. She was reclassified CVL 30.
 
  Nov. 17, 1943 - USS Bataan (CVL 29) commissioned, Capt. V. H. Schaeffer in command. Built by the New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N.J., she was originally laid down as Buffalo (CL 99) but was reclassified as CV 29 and renamed Bataan Jun. 2, 1942.
 
picture, caption follows   Nov. 24, 1943 - USS Wasp (CV 18) commissioned , Capt. Clifton A. F. Sprague in command. The ship was laid down as Oriskany on 18 Mar.1942 at Quincy, Mass., by the Bethlehem Steel Co.; renamed Wasp on 13 Nov. 1942; and, launched on 17 August 1943.
 
picture, caption follows   Nov. 29, 1943 - USS Hornet (CV 12) commissioned , Capt. Miles M. Browning in command. The ship was launched 30 Aug. 1943 by the Newport News Shipbuilding Dry Dock Co. Newport News, Va., sponsored by Mrs. Frank M. Knox, wife of the Secretary of the Navy.

Last Update: 15 June 2009