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The world's most comprehensive encyclopedia of the militarry weapons of the 20th centurT

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USS Intrepidin Action with giart coiow 4-view and cutaway

Battle of Midway
Battle of the Muianas -
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Collect these Weapon F

forthcoming issues of
The US PcrcrtrcCarrier Fleet l94l-5
OnJy the enormous industrial capacity of the United States
couJd have produced the canier task forces which broke the
lapanese fleet. Bythe endof the war 75 Essex'-classcarriets
were in sereice, with utother I I in consttttction. In addition
namerous light caniers (CVL) had heen built, together with
neaily 80 escort catriers (CW1. These'Jeep'caniers
provided vital anti-submarine cover, as well as afucraft
transport, convoy escorts andfleet carrier supply duringthe
advance on flapan, The table below record,s the actions of the
cawiers that sewed in the Pacific war. Those ships listed in
bold ate featured in this publication.

Aboard US^S Essexin May 1943.ltwas the advenl ofEssexandherststersftips

which finally swung the Pacificwar infavour of the United States.


AV.3 I.ANGI-EY (AVl 1937 Sunkbyb0nbingoil la\a2712142 :: Fr:s!f: ai Ja!anese s!trender ii T0kyo CVE,58 CORBEGIDOR 3'l 8.43 Gilben ls, l\y'arshall ls, New G!inea,
t)(cv 1) (cv) 1 922 9ar Sarpan, Guam
c\, i: :: :3 isl!j5 CVE.61 MANILA BAY 5.1 0.43 Ma.shall ls. Kwajalein, Eniwerok.
Kavienq, Solomons, Rabaul, Leyte,
'Lexington' class Phi ipp nes, damaged (Kam k6z€)
Linqayen 5/1/45
cv-z rtxtNGToN 14.12.21 Pacilic raids 1 942. Sunk ar Coral Sea 'lndependence'class CVE.62 NATO[,1A BAY 1 4 I0 43 i\ila6ha ls, Kav eng, New C!inea,
Bt5t47 Leyle Philippines, lwo J ma, 0kinawa
cv-3 SARAToGA 16 11 27 Torp€doed olf Hawaii 1 1/1/42, Bouga nvi le, s€ver€ damage (t0rpedo)
damaged (Kamikaze) 7/6/45
G be( 20/1 I /43, Palau, L€yre
Cuadalcara , lorpedoed Solomons s
cvt-53 sT. r"0 23 10 Saipan, Pa au,sunk{byJapanes€l eer
31/8/42, E S0l0mof s, B0ugainville, CVt-23 PFlNCtT0l -: - r: Eouga nvi le, Gi ben ls. Kwajalein,
ar Samar acrion) Leyle 25/1 0/44
Gilbe( ls, Kwaj€lein, Efiwer0k, Paciiic Fniwer0k, H0 andia, I\4arianas, Palau,
CVE.65 WAKE ISLANO 4 I1 43 Ph pprfes, lwoJima, damaged
ra ds 1!44. operared wirh Br rish t. sunk a1 Levre 25/l 0/44
lKamikaze) 0klnawa 3/4/45
Fleer I944 severe damaUe (Kamikazel CVL 2r ::--:r : .:: G be( ls, Kwaialein, Truk road, New
CVE 66 WHI][ PLAINS 1 5I1 43 Sa oan Rora. Trnran. Palau. damag.
lwo Jina21l2l45 Gurnea i\,4afafas, Pala!. severe dama!€
1 gunfire and Kamikaze al Samar acll0f)
lKamika?e j at Leyre 30/1 0/44. w0 J ma
tevte 29/l 0/44
'Yorktown'class CVt-25 :-,',::',, -:.:) G lbe( ls, Kwajalein, Iruk raid, New
CVT.68 KALININ BAY 27 ll j3 Severedamage(Kamikazeandg!nl real
Gr nea, Mar anas, Palau, Levte,
Samar act on) Leyte 25/1 0/44
Philippines, woJim€
cv-5 YoRKT0WN -::l CVE-69 KASAAN BAY 4 I2 13 P !r rra ninq and transpo( (all€r
30.9.3i Pacific raids
Sea. sunkar [.4idway
1 942, damag€d al C0ral
CVL 26 '.'.',-:r: Gi ben ls, Kwajalein, Truk raid, New
- Al antic Seruic€)
G! nea, l\.4ar anas, Palau LeIe
cv-6 CVE'70 BAY 2 .1:
ENTERPRTSE Pearl Harbor {aircralt on yl, Midway,
21 i-: :' : :l FANSHAW Sa pan. damaged (bombs) Philipp ne
12.5.38 (wajalein. Eniwelok, [,4ariaias,
C\| -:', Pa au, "o

Guadalcanal land ngs, Kwajalein. Truk Sea. damaged (gunlire ar Samar acli0n)
Lefle, Phtl ppifes, lwoJima
ra d, Hol andla, Saipan, Philippine Sea.
CVL 28 l::
' ,: :l leyte25l10l44
Palau, Leyle. lwoJ ma, damagedrwice
Kwalalein, Trukraid, Philippine Sea.
CVI.71 KITKUN BAY 1 5 I2 J3 Sa !an, T nrai, Guam, damaqed
6uam, Palau, Ley1e. Philipplnes, lwo
(l(amikazel ar 0kinawa Kam kaz€ -Samar action) Leyre
1 1 /4/45 and
J ima
'- 25t14t44
CV-8 HoR]'ltI
CVt 2! ::-::', t3 Hollandia. lvlarianas
CVE.72 TULAGI 21 12t3 wo Jima. 0k nawa
?0 10 41 000linle raid 1 8/4/42. lvl dway,
21 11 0 | 42
sunk al
CVL :0 ::', -: l,rlarianas, Palau, Leyrs, Philippines,
CVE 73 GAN1BIEF BAY 2812;r Sa pan Tinian, Palau, sunk (qunfir€) ar
Santa Uuz lwoJ ma
leyre 25/1 0/44
CVE 74 NENTNTA BAY ;rl: Sa par Guam, Pala!, damag€d
'Wasp'class 'Long lsland'class -
1 iyph00nsl December I 944, 0kin6wa
CVE 75 HOGGATT BA\ i:l \4ar anas. Phil ppires,0kinawa
cv-7 wAsP 25.4.40 Guadalcanal l6ndings, sunk al E. il: -. ,- .-, Aircraft transpon, 6uada canal CVE 76 KAOASHAN BAY '3 r:: Pa au Leyre. s€vere damage (Kam kaze)
Solomons 1 5/g/42 L ngay€f 8/1/45
CVE MARCUS SLql\D 2i ] 1I Palau. Leyre. Adm ra ry lslands
CVF SAVOISLAND 32J] Pelelreu. Leile drmage (Kam kaz€) ln
'Essex'class 'Bogue'class Ph I ppines5/1/45,0k nawa
c\/E.7s OMIVIANTY 8AY 'i 2 14 Palau. Levre. Phi ippines, sunk (bV own
cv-g EssEx 31.12.42 Bougainv I e, Gilbe( ls, Kwajalein, CVE.g BOGUE ASW 0perati0ns Allanric, lranspofl and s de afrer Kam kaze damaqel 4/1/45
Tr!k ra d, l\4ar anas, Palau, Leyte, lwo
supply Pacilic 1o €nd ol war CVE 80 PETFOF 8AY i8 7 44 Lele,0krnawa
Jima, damaged (Kamikaze) 25/1 1 /44 C,!., .::-:: Aitctall lransponto combat areas c\/E.82 SAGINA\,IBAY 2344 Pa au, Leyre,0k nawa
CV 10 YOBK]OWN 1 5.4.43 0ilben ls, Kwaja e n, Truk raid, 1 942-45 cvE.83 SAFGENT 8AY 9.3 44 Philipp nes, lwoJ ma,0kinawa
Hollandia, lVarianas, lwo Jima 20842 Marsh6 I lslands, 0lh€Nise aircrail CVE-84 SHAN4ROCKBAY ]5344 Philipp nes, lwo Jlma. 0kinawa
CV.lI INTBEPID 6.8.43 Kwalalein, l0rpedoed Truk raid, Palau
: taf,sp0n
c\/t.85 SH]PLEY 21.3 44 0kifawa
Leyre. s€vere damage {Kamikaze} 01l :,: :--:'.':_: 15942 ASW 0p€rari0ns, supply and lranspoil c\/t-86 SITKON BAY 28.3.44 Transpon and s!pply
Luzon 25/l 1 /44 and also oll 0kinawa 24243 Aircrall ranspon lo combal areas cvE-87 STEAIVER BAY 4.4 44 Transpon and supply
r 6/4/45 l,: -: :::-,', 12443 Ai.crafl Ianspoil CVE 88 CAPE ISPTRANCE 9.4 44 Transpon and supply
CV,] 2 HORNEI 25.11.43 Maranas Paiau. Leyle. lwo Jrra s443 Aircralr ranspon l1 943 and 44 in cvE,89 TAKANIS BAY .15.4.44 Trans!0il and su0plV
CV.1 3 FRANKL N 31.1.44 Guam, Pala!, Leyre, damaged Pacific) CVF.9O THITTS BAY 21.4.44 Trafspon and supply
(Kamikaze) Luzor 5/1 0/44 aid
CVE 91 t\ilAKAssAf STRATT 29 4 44 IransFon and supplV
30/1 0/44, severe damage (bombs i i: [\/E.g2 WINDHAI\4 BAY 3.5.44 Ianspo(
Training and
Kyushu I 9/3/45 'Sangamon'class cvE.!3 t\,lAKtN|SLANO S544 LeIe, lwoJ ma,0kinawa
CV 14 TICONDEROCA B 5.44 Pala!, LeFe sever€ damage
cvt-94 LUNGAPOINT 14 5.44 Philipp nes, damag€d {Kamikaze) al
{Kamikaze) Formosa 2l /1 /i5 cvE-26 SANGAMoITI ?5842 N. Alrica. Gilben ls. Kwaialein, lwoJima.0k nawa
CV. I 5 BANDOLPH s.1 0.44 lwoJ ma Eniwer0k, l\,4arianas, damag€d ar Leyle
cvt 95 sEA
B|SMABC( 20.5.44 Sunk (Kamikaze) wa lina 21 12l 45
CV.1 6 1 FXINGTI]N 11243 0ilbe( ls Ho andra rorpedoed cfl 25/1 0/44, damaged {Kamikaze)
CVE 96 SALA|IIAUA 26.5.44 Phi ipp nes, severe damage (Kamikaze)
l(waja e n 4ll 2/43 Mar anas Pa au 0kinawa 4/5/45
L nqayen 1 3/1 /45, 0kinawa
Leyle. (as I agslr p damage C\rt.27 SLI\{ANt: 24942 N. Ahica. Gi ben ls, Kwaialeio,
cvE.97 H0LLAN0|A 1.6.44 Transpon and supply
lKamikaze) luzon 5/l 1114 !{J ma [niwetok, New Guinea, Saipan,
CVE 98 KWAJALEIN 1.8.44 Transpon aid supply
CV.] 7 EUNKER HILL 20.5,43 Eouga nv e.6 lb€ri s. Kwara e I i'il damaged ar Leyre 26/1 0/44, 0kinawa
CVE 9g AO[/IBALTY ISLANDS 1 3,6.44 Transpoil afd s!!DlV
ra d, Ho and a, I\y'ariaias Pala! Leylg CVE.28 CNENANGO 19I42 N. Africa, Gilbeil ls, Kwajalein,
CVE,1 OO BOUGAINVILLE 1 8.6.44 Transoon and suDply
lwoJima, severe damage (Kamrkaze Enlw€rok, Saipan, 6uam, Levre, okinawa
CVE,I 01 I\iIATANIKAU 24.8.44 Transpon and supp y
0kinawa 1 1 /4/45 CVT 23 SANTEE 24.8 42 N. Africa, Guam, severe damage al
cvE 1 02 ATTU 30.6.44 Transpo( and s!pply
CV 18 WASP 24.11.43 New Guirea, [,4ar anas, Palau, LeIe, Leyre 25/l 0/44, 0kinawa cvE,l 03 fl01 6.1.44 Transpon aid s!pply
lwoJima, damaged (bomb) olf KyushL
cvt,r 04 MUN0A I 1 44 Jranspo( and supply
1 9/3/45
CV.1 9 HANCOCK 15 4.44 Phrl ippines, lwo Jima, damaged 'Gasablanca'class
(explosion) 21 /1 /45 and aqain 'Gommencement Bay' class
(Kamikare) 7/4/45 CVE.55 CASABLANCA 8.7.43 Jranspon afd [aining
CV 20 BTNNINGTON 6 8,44 lwo Jima CVE 56 LISCOI\,1E BAY 7.8.43 Sunk (submarinel 2411 1 /43 in S0l0m0ns CVE 106 BL0CKISLAN0 30 l2 44 0k nawa
cv.31 BoN Ht]lvtNlE BTCHABD 26 1 1 .44 BaidsonJapan CVI 57 ANZIO ?1843 l\y'akln, Kwajalein, New Guinea, Saipan. CVE.107 GILBIRI ISLANDS 5 2 44 0k nawa
Guam CVE.I09 CAPTGL0UCESTEF 534,J Arcove'i.,tr'l'r!Vessels
Aircrqrlt Carriers
of fhePacificWdr
The Pacific War was to a large extent the war of the aircraft
canier; from Pearl Earbor to Okinawa, it was the effective The full strength of the American
use of the carrier forces which proved decisive. Fot the first F ast Carrier Tas k force in the P acifi c :
the light fleet carrier Langley /eads
time, battles were fought with hundreds of miles of ocean the big carrier Ticonderoga and
between the c ombatants. three battleships.

From the moment that Japanese carrter aircraft struck at the US Paciflc A rash attempt by rhe Jap=-.=.= ='.' -s.a:-d brought on
Fleet's anchorage on 7 December 1941, a new era in naval wariare was the next battle in June i:-2 : *: :=:- -::eritgenCe and
born. Although naval air power had already proved its ability to strtke at much improved tactrcs r.::: :'.'.'=.- iecrsive. The
an enemy fleet sheltering in its own harbours, Pearl Harbor was the Japanese lost therr four frcr.:--::.; and with
dawn of carrier warfare across the broad oceans, in a way that pre-war them the best{rained aircre'.','s -:- :-: :-:as :nal followed
theorists had never imaedned.
The reason for this Iay in the fact that the battleships with which
aircraft-carriers had been meant to fight were now sunk or disabled. For
at ieast six months the US Paclflc Fleet could only take the offensive with
rts carriers, and so the concept of the fast carrier task force was created,
using the carriers' dive-bombers and torpedo-bombers as long-range
substitutes for the 406-mm (16-rn) gnrn. Because the tactics and the
arrcraft were comparatively primitive, the flrst attempts by the US Na\,ry
to carry the war to the Japanese were barely effectrve, and there was
iittle that could be done to stop the Japanese carriers from overrunningr Japanese naval aircrews. Ti.= l::=' l.l ,: , .,
the Philippines and the Dutch East Indies. The USS Homef flew off a slaughterof hundreds of ser:-:-s'--:: :.-:': ::. l
daring rard by North American B-25 Mitchell bombers against Tokyo tn the remnants of the Impena. \=.-.",'.'=:= .. ..- : .:.'
April i942, and a series of pinprlck raids was made on Wake Island and there were hardly any pilo:s .=:' ::: ':.= -- -::.=: =
other outposts, Survlvols of the once-migh:. : - : t= - - : - :i.:!.. - :- i.:t j .'. :t: j-.:.( i: -:S
The first pitched battle, in the Coral Sea, was fought in May i942 to stop moorings inJapan, unable:, :.-.= :=:: :: ,-',-.='--r.- --:.::::uel
the Japanese from gaining a foothold in Port Moresby, New Gutnea, It
cost the Americans one of their biggest carriers, the USSlexmglon, but
:he amphibious operation was called off after the smali carrier Siorlo
sunk, What distingulshed the battle was the fact that the opposing
',,ras f6FHellcatswaitingfororders tostar:e.:!-€-. i:.-;rs:r'e::eislandof the
Yorktown (C7. J 0 ). S he w as th e secon c c: :i e is.- e: :-':.-s. a:: d 'rras
fleets never came within sight of one another: it was the first carrier- commrssioned in April 1943. Only thrx ::.c::.'s .::er ;+'a s on her way to
versus-carrier battle. the Pacific.

: USS Langley American Aircraft Ca:riers of the Pacific War

The potentiai of naval aviation was so
clearly seen at the end of World War I
that the US Navy wanted to press
ahead with the construction of aircraft
carriers. But to grain practical experi-
ence before building new ships it was
essential to carry out experrments, and
the quickest and cheapest way was to
convert an existrng ship,
The biq fleet coliier/uplter (AC,3)
was taken in hand in March 1920. A
month later she was renamed USS
Langley (CV.l) and started trials in
July 1922. The ship which emerged
was flush-decked, with two hinged
funnels on the port side, The former
coal holds had been converted to
workshops, accommodation and
storerooms, while the former upper
deck was now the hangar. The biggest
drawback to the.Lang)ey was her low
speed, for the 5335-kW (7, i50-shp) tur-
bo-electric machinery was badly
underpowered, In sewice the.Langley
could only make 14 knots, whrch was
some 7 knots below the speed of the
battle fleet. However in spite of this
handicap she sewed with the fleet, gear. When she was first commis- ventional aucra.ft, and iike the arres:::
and for five years she played the role sioned she had a British system of lon- gear, this procedure is still stancia::
which was to be taken over so success- gihldinal wues, which were intended today.
fully by lhe Lexington and Saraloga to engage hooks in the landing gear of The veteran 'Covered Wagon'spen:
from I92B onwards, the aircraft, and prevent it from slew- her short war sewice as a humble au-
Although originally designed to ing ftom srde to side, However, the US craft transport. On 27 February lg42 a
operate 24 aucrafl, her capacious han- Navy added a back-up system oftrans- group of Japanese naval bombers
gar allowed a maxrmum of 33 to be verse wues, whose retarding action operating from Bali caught her en
accommodated. She did not stop oper- was achieved by hangring sand-filled route for Tjilatjap in Java, and sank her
ating aucraft until 1936, when she was shellcases on the ends. This system with five bombs,
converted to a seaplane carrier and (refined into a proper hydraulic arres-
redesignated AV.3. AJter a short refit ter system) ultimately proved better, Specification
she reappeared in April 1937 wlth a and rc the basis of all modern carrier USSlangrJey (CV.l)
short flight deck, as the forward part landings, Another innovation was a Displacement: i1,050 tons standard,
had been removed, pair of flush-mounted pneumatic cata- 14,700 tons fl:l] load
One most important contributions pults on the flight deck; intended for Dimensions: Ienqth 165.3 m (542 ft 4 in)
made to naval aviation by Ihe I'angley seaplanes, they later proved that they overall; beam 19,96m (65ft 6in); Complement: -i-- :::=-. - :
was to test various systems of arrester could speed up the launching of con- draught 7.32 m (24 ft 0 in) men


: USS Lexington hull ftom the explosions ruptured the

avlation gasoline tanks, so that even
after the fires had been extinqmished
USS trexrngton (CV 2'
Displacement: :: ,-- --..
:-: -: -
Under the Washingrton Treaty the US Marshall Islands and thereafter saw li- the lethal vapour continued to seep 47,700 tons i:* -:=:
Navy was allowed to conveil two in- mited actron in the South West Pacific, through the ship. About an hour after Dimensions: .=:.:-.-. --.:: - :ii
complete 33,000-ton battle-cruisers Not until she was joined by the newer the attack a chance spark ignrted this U ln) OVeraU ::l:- :: : - -. . : . -
into aucraft-carriers, The ships chosen catter Yorhown in March 1942 did vapour, and the ship began to suffer over flighto::i ::,-;.-.- :.: - ._ -
were the -Lexinglon and Saratoga, and lhe Lexington really begin to flex her a series of devastating internal ex- O in)
the opporrunity was taken to incorpo- muscles, plosions. Six hours after the first hit the Machinery: {-s:-.::- .'
rate many ideas from a cancelled car- After a short refit at Pearl Harbor the order was given to abandon ship, and electric de--','+:-:- :
rier desigm of 1919. When completed ship retwned to the Coral Sea, where after escofiing destroyers had res- (210,000 shp)
in 1925 the USS.Lexmgrton (CV,2) was a the Japanese cariers were supporting cued as many of her crewmen as Speed: 34 k-:-
remarkable ship, with a massive 'is- an attack on Port Moresby, New possible the blazing vweck was torpe- Armour: bel: -:l:::- : --
land' superstructure on the starboard Guinea. On 8 May her Douglas SBD doed. Surprisingly only 216 lives out of 25 mm (i rnl :-:,:- :=:-.' i
side, flanked by hvo twin 203-mm (8- Dauntless dive-bombers attacked the 2,95I were lost. lower deck 2:---: :::: -',
in) gnrn turrets forward and two alt. Siokaku and Zuikaku, but wrthout In her short war career the lexrng- 38-76mm'-.--:.:, ::::: ::
At the time of Pearl Harbor the ship scoring any hits, Unfortunately whrle foir had failed to inflict severe damage 152 mm (6 ;..
was delivering aircraft to the US this attack was in progness a Japanese on the enemy, largely as a result of the Armament: --. --:i- =.;.-.'---.--' :
Marines on Midway Island, and so counter-strike succeeded in hitting the inexperience of her air gnoup and be- tn) AA 3C j- rj - -
escaped the disaster. She was hurried- Lexington with huo torpedoes on the cause of faulty tactical US Navy doc- ple 27 94-r,-::. - -----. -:-:. :--.
ly refitted, losing her cumbersome port side, and the ship also suffered trine, and the loss ofa big carrier was a Aircraft: .-:;: --:=-:'=:= :: -
203-mm (B-in) guns and four l27-mm
(S-in) quns, although she received a
hvo bomb hits and several near mis- heavy price to pay for the Coral Sea bombe:s a:.: -- :-::+::.::--:::-
ses, The whip' of the 270,7-m (888-ft) victory,
few single 20-mm Oerlikon guns to
supplement her meagne close-range
anti-aircraft amament.
The Lexington's fust operation was
an abortrve attempt to relieve Wake
Island immediately after Pearl Harbor,
but at the end ofJanuary 1942 she pro-
vided drstant cover for a raid on the
ffi usA

USS Saratoga
-Lke her srster l,exrngton, the USS Tlre USS Saratoga(CY.3) in March
Sarctoga (CV.3) was launched in 1925 1932 with a large part ot her air
after three years of conversion from an group at the forward end of the tlight
rncomplete battle-cruiser hull, Like deck. She and her sister'tought' each
her srster she played a major role in other in annual manoeuvres.
developing the concept ofthe fast car-
rier task force, and from 1928 the wo
ships took part in the annual 'Fleet power, and reached Pearl Harbor six
Problem' or war game of the Pacific days later; repairs took sx weeks to
FIeet. complete.
At the trme of Pearl Harbor the 'Sara' In- 1943-4 the Saratoga took part in
was back at San Diego on the US west the great'island-hopping' drtve across
coast undergoing a short refit, but she the Pacific, and in 1944 was detached
sailed shortiy afterwards and took part to the East Indies, where she cooper-
with her sister 'l:ex' in an aborttve ated with the British and Free Prench
attempt to relieve Wake Island. During in attacking Japanese positions in Java
her reflt the four twin 203-mm (B-in) and Sumatra, On 2l February 1945 she
turrets were removed, and in their was hit by a kamikaze while support-
place she received four twin 127-mm rng the landings on Iwo Jima. BY now
(S-in) dual-purpose mountings, She she was showing her aqe, and
was torpedoed by a JaPanese sub- although repaired was restricted to
marine off Hawaii, on I I ianuary 1942, traininq duties at Pearl Harbor,
and needed four months of rePairs. On 25 July 1946 the striPPed hull of
The 'Sara' was used to ferry fresh the Saratoga was sunk in Bikini Atoll
aircraft out to the Central Paciflc, and during a series of nuclear tests,
so mrssed the Battle of Midway, but she
was a welcome reinforcement bY B Specification
June, the day after the sinkrng of the USS,Saratoga (CV.3)
Yorktown. Her fiqhters and dive- Displacement: 36,000 tons standard,
bombers were given the task of soften- 47,700 tons tuI] ioad
ing up the defences of Guadalcanal on Dimensions: length 270.66m (BBBft
7 Augrust 1942 before the big amphi- O in) overall beam 32.2 m (105 ft 6 in)
brous landing by the US Marines, The hull; draught 9 75 m (32 ft 0 in)
Japanese responded vigorously to this Machinery: 4-shaft steam turbo-
challenge, and by 20 Augnrst a power- electrlc delrverrng 156660 kW
fr:l carrier task force was nearing the (21C 00C snp)
Eastern Solomons. Speed: 34 knots
The Saratoga, Enterprtse and l4lasp Armow: belt 152 mm (6 in); flight deck
were heavily engaged rn the Battle cf 25 nn i- Ln). matn deck51 mm (2 in):
the Eastern Solomons, but the Sara Ic.,';er deck 25-76 mm (1-3); barbettes
escaped lightly, Not untrl 3I Augnxt dLd 152 rr:- (t n)
she sustain damage, when she was tor- Armament: (rn 1945) eighttwin 127-mm
pedoed by the submarine 1-68 just af- (5-rr) dual-purpose 24 quadruple 40-
ter dawn, The carrier was not badlY mm Bciors AA fvvo twln 40-mm AA and
damaged by the hit, in spite of having 1620-rur AA gutrs
one boiler room flooded and another Aircraft: (1945) c7 hghters and l8 tor-
partly flooded, but an electrical failure nann-hnmhcr: 'Sara'rnSeptem ber 1944, painted in replaced the 9-inch guns. DesPite
At"*pi";;"ii- -91: I iz3 orficers and Camouflage Measure 32 / I I A. Twin 5' her age she was still the biggest US
soon put her machrnery out of action.
TWo hours later she qot back limited enlisted men inch and lightAAgvns have carrier, if not the most capacious.

on the flight deck The Yorktown might have suwived

USS Yorktown The bomb went through three
decks before exploding and numer-
even this heauy damage, for bY flrst
ILght on 6 June salvage pafiies had put
The USS Yorktown (CV.S) was the transferred to the Pacific aJter Pearl ous fires were stafied The damage out the fires and had started to pump
Iead-ship of a new class of aircraJt- Harbor, Under Rear Admlral Frank J. control parties brought the fires under out flooded compartments, But the
carrier authorized out of President Fletcher she was sent to the South control, and the shlp was able lo return submarrne 1-168 put two more torpe-
West Pacific in the spnnq ol 1942 and to Pearl Harbor for repalrs. does into her, and early next morning
Roosevelt's fublic Works Administra-
tion, the Federal unemployment relief took part in the Battle of the Coral Sea Working around the clock. the re- she capsized and sank.
agency, She and her sisterEnterpnse Her Arr Group 5, comprising 20 Glum- pair teams were able Ia gel Yorktown
(CV,6) were authorized in 1933, and man F4F Wildcat fighters, 38 Douglas back in actlon in only fow days, just in Specification
were followed by the Hornet (CV.B) SBD Dauntless dive-bombers and 13 trme for the Battle of Midway ln June USS lorktown (CV.8)
five vears later. Douglas TBD Devastator torPedo- 1942. At a crucial point in the battle Displacement: 19,800 tons standard,
The design was a develoPment of bombers, played a major role in the Yorktown's dive-bombers took part ln 27,500 tons tu]I load
battle, sinhng the light carrrer Sioho the attack on the Japanese carriers, Dimensions: length246.1m (809 ft 6 in)
that of the Ranqer, vnth an 'open' han-
gar rather than the 'closed' type of the in a brilliant attack lasting only I0 mi- and her aircraft were the only ones overall; beam 25,3m (83ft 0in);
Lexington and Saraloga, to allow up to nutes. On the next daY, B MaY, her able to mount a search for the surviving draught 8.53 m (28 ft)
30 aircraft to be carried, This arrange- dive-bombers inflicted damage on the Japanese canier Hiryu. Even after the Machinery: 4-shaft geared steam tur-
ment proved htghly successful, and cafiier Zuikaku, but in return a force of Yorktownwashit by three 250-kg (551- bines delivering 89520 kW
Nakajrma BSN'Kate' torpedo-bombers 1b) bombs she was able to operate her (120,000 shp)
formed the basis for the even more
successful'Essex' class. and Aichi D3A 'Val' dive-bombers aircraft, and it was not until she was hit Speed: 33 knots
The ship was commissioned in penetrated a dense screen of flghters by tvvo torpedoes that she was fu]ly out Armour: belt 102 mm (4 in); main deck
and enrnfte to score a devastating hit of action. 76 mm (3 in); lower deck 25-76 mm (1-
September 1937, and was hurriedlY
3 in)
lFft e Yorktown (CIl.5) andiersr'sfers Armament: (1942) eiqht 127-mm (0,5-
were prototypes for the successful in) AA, four quadruple 27,94-mm (1,1-
'Essex' class. Much smaller than the in) AA and 16 12.7-mm (0.S-in)
'L e x ing tons', they cou ld actu allY
carry more aircratt.
Aircraft: (1942) 20 flghters, 38 dive-
bombers and 13 torPedo-bombers
Complement: 2,919 officers and en-
listed men
The Bcilfle oI tlidwag


r Above: Flight deck crew preparing for take-otf.

Their efficiency determined the number of sorties
which could be flown from each carrier.

Left:TheYoth.ownieels assle turns to port to

avoidJapanese dive-bmbers during theBatile o!
Midway. A desttoyer keeps station on her
The attack on the Solomon Islands and New particular, they bele'.'=: :.": = s=:::-: t:::-::
Guinea was only a phase in the grand strategrc at the Coral Sea ba::-e ::aj ::::- 1.";'; j=::--
design to maintain a vast defensive perlmeter aged, if not sunk, anj :.:: :.:::-: :.:: ::-'.' :,',-:
of Japanese bases across the Pacific. As the US carriers would be :=::-; ---.::.
American carriers had not been caught at Midway Island u'-s :*::-:: :.:: -. -:_.---_<.
Pearl Harbor and as the wily Admiral Chester able carrter' by fly.t:'; -:- :: :.:j-.'.' :-:::J ::
W. Nimitz had refused to be drawn into any of possible, and on 2E \1:'.' -:-- --.=='--:-:::-:i
the traps laid for the Pacific Fleet, his opponent Frank Fletcher sailec :::: i==:- li-:.:: ;,--:
Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto determined to Task Force 16 (En::;.:-.: -.: -:-'---=:: -.j
force his hand, Task Force 17 (Ycr-<-',',:- ',',-=--. :::-_: .'.'.r
The objectlve was to be Midway Island, half- joined early on 4 lvla-,- :-:
-=!-:-:-i: p':--:ed
way across the Pacific and vital as an outpost in Midway very hari i-: :. :::-::. :.: s::re-
the defences of Pearl Harbor, Yamamoto was basedarrcraJtwere t:-: .: --' :. :'_: ::i:-aJe
aware that rf he did not succeed in eliminating Nor was any grea:-=: s-::::-r =::-:'.-=: c',- jre
the Pacific Fleet before the end ol 1942 the USA first three waves c: :.=r-:: =-:-=:: :: ,'.:arch
would get stronger and stronger until she couid only four planes s'-:.-'.':j :-'.-= :: jte nlne
overwhelm Japan by sheer industrial might. strike squadrons -,.,'e:: -.nJrout in-
Midway, he was convinced, was a prize for flicting any dan:a;: ::-:: -=:::.ese
which Nimitz must fight, and he planned to The fowth ailac-< :.:'.',-=-.-=: -<:::ked out the
draw the Americans into a cunningly baited .4|kagt, Kaga ani -r:--, - :. : ','.':- co-ordrnated
trap. attack, This left --:--,:- ::l: undamaged
What Yamamoto did not reckon wrth was the but undetected=e :-=: .^rcraft foliowed the
degree to which US intelligence had pene- -:
US aircraft back:: -:-:
Thls time
trated the Imperial Japanese Navy's codes, the Americans ::-:-< := :ar,i knocks, but in
Although the final objective was not clear until spite of severe i.::--=;= ':e Yorktown did not
the last minute, Nimitz had a fairly clear idea of sink, and she -,';as ai-= :: ccntinue operating
the nature of the operations, In contrast the her aircraft. Bu: -r. _.:-ese had been led into
Japanese were badly inficrmed; on one pornt in the fatai deduc::::- 'rere were now no US
carriers afloa: -:r :< '-r.3:- had assumed there
was only one, a: j -:-:-.- seen that one on fire An air-dropped torpedo explodes agarnsl lie
TBDs of W-6 parked aft on the flight deck of the Yorktown3 srde amidsllps; ffie end for her. After
Enterprisg at tle start of the Battle of Midway. Only and apparen:l-,- s-:-.--lr :: was logical to de- further torpedo hits from a J apanese submarrne
four of these aircraft returned to the ship. duce that ther: '.'.'::: :-:ne left, Only when it shesank

The Douglas SBD Dauntless dive-bomberwas the

decisive weapon in the Batfle of Midway.

The Grumman F4F Wildcat performed well

against the more agileJapanese opposition during

: TTqq
LJ \.' IJ Enterprise
bombers fintshed off the damaged bat- Right: The U SS Enterprise (C7.6') ttdfl
tleshrp Hiei, and next day devastated a aircratt ranged on the after partof
troop convoy of I I ships with no fewer the flight deck. N o flying operations
than 26 bomb and sx torPedo hits are in progress; the crewmen are
Enlerpnse was finally given lenelthy clearly relaxing on deck.
repairs in the United States and did not
reiurn to the Pacifrc until mid-1943. On
25 November 1943 one of her Aven-
eters achieved the world's first night
ktll at sea. She took part In the massive
strike on Truk in February 1944, and in
the famous 'Martanas Turkey Shoot'
during the Battle of the Philippine Sea
the followrng June, She continued in
action into 1945, suwivinq two kami-
kaze attacks. A thtrd kamrkaze strike
on 14 May flnally brought her career to
an end, ior she had to return to the Below: Hellcats spotted on the Port
United States for ma.lor repatrs and starboard catapults. Although
As the holder of 19 Battle Stars the aircraft could take off in the ordinary
'Big E' was a candldate for Presewa- way, catapulting them sPeeded uP
tion as a memortal but eifcns to save the launch of a large strike and
her came to nothlng and Lr: l95B she enabled more of the flightdeck to
was sold for scrap. releasing her name be used.
for the first nuclear

::s s:andard

force. Althougr: i''-::. l:1-.'.':. :: 'c'.-
Fsplrltu Specification Armament: (1942) eiqht 127 mm (S-in)
USS Hornet Santo to avc-d ::-.-.1 :-:-k
marines, she sc::-:: :i:-'.' -:, l:l:ber
sub- USS Hornet (CV.8)
Displacement: 19,000 tons standard,
AA, four quadruple 27.94-mm (1.]-in)
AA, 30 20-mm AA and nine 12 7-mm
- to attack Japa:,:s: :l:;:=:s ::.d c: 25 29,100 tons full load
Dimensions: lenglh 252,2 m (827 ft 5 in
(0. 5-in) machtne-gnrns
Aircraft: (1942) 36 fighters, 36 dive-
October me:':.=_-:: :1.=i= llIIl€rS
OnCe mOIe r-'.:.: :="-'-:::='-.:: CIUZ overall; beam 34,8 m (114 ft 2 in) over bombers and 15 torpedo-bombers
On 26 Oclob:: ='::: ::.: :"": sldes flight deck; draught 8.84 m (29 ft 0 in) Complement: 2,919 officers and en-
had locateC ::.: 1,*.:::-: : ':-e lwo Machinery: 4-shaft geared steam tur- Iisted men
American caII-::s .=-:.::.:i ar- aLr bines delrvering 89520 kW
strike (a total cl -:: :.:::a:. ',';:,-le ihe (120,000 shp)
four Japanese car:-ets ia'.:.::ei most Speed: 33 knots The new carrierHomet(CV.8) on
of their 2OZ atrcrail E-: ':::.-I='.:.e Hor' Armour: belt 64-102 mm (Zt/z-4in): trials in l94l . Shewas commissioned
net's torpedo-Lc r:.i s:-' ::. i otve- main deck 76 mm (3 in); lower deck sevenweeks before Pearl Harbor
bomberi wele - r. '.:...: ":a'1 27 25-76 mm (l-3 in) and left for the Pacific inMarch 1942.
Japanese strike atrcrail b:cke through
ifr-e fighter screen and sccred six
bomb and two torpedo :'llis :n the Hor-
nel, Although herotc eiiorts were
made to extlngnxsh the flres anci get
the carrter under way, fow hours later
another Japanese strlke scored a tor-
pedo hil and two more bomb hlts BY
now the American destroyers screen-
ing the Hornet were dangterously ex-
poled, with the Japanese searchLng for
ihem in the darkness. The dectsion
was taken to scuttle the Hornet but to
the Americans' dismay several torpe-
does failed to detonate, and a total of
430 127-mm (S-ln) shells fired at the
carrier's waterline had no appreclable
effect. The waterlogqed hulk was
abandoned, but the Japanese found it
impossible to tow her' and finally two
Tapanese destroyers gave the Hornel
her death-blow in the early hours of 27
American Aircraft Carriers of the Pacific War
USS Wasp
Under the terms of the Washingrton
Naval Treaty the US NavY was res-
tricted to 135,000 tons of aircraft-
carriers, and so could onlY build a
funher 14,?00 tons ofcarriers after the
completion of Lexington, Saratoga'
Ranger, Yorktown and EnterPrise
ThG in 1935 an improved version of
the Ranger was ordered, also with
modest speed and light armour but big
aircraft chpacity. The opportunrty was
taken to eiadrcate the worst faults of
the Ranger, and the new carrier was
given a proper island supentructure
and better compartmentatlon
The USS WasP (CY.T) was comms-
sioned in April 1941, and from the au-
h-mn of that year was in the Atlantic on
training duties. Late in March 1942 she
went tb the Mediteranean to fery
RAF SDitfues to Malta. At the begin-
ninq of July she left San Diego for the
Pacific and took part in the Guadalcan-
worthy of all American carriers, and The W asp (CY.Z ) at Pearl H ar bor on I
al landinqs, where her aircraft flew her loss provided important lessons for August 1942, a month before she was
more than 300 sorties. She mrssed the sunk
the future, A board of enquiry showed
Battle of the Eastern Solomons as she
that the majority of the damage was
had been detached to refuel and she Specification
caused by the third torpedo-hit, for the
returned to Noumea to take on board a L|asp (CV.?)
consignment of flghter aircraft for the
lrst two hits had Ieft the machinery and USS
a,.rxrlLary power undamaged. Howev- Displacement: i4,700 tons standarr
US Marines on Guadalcanal 20,500 tons tuI] load
Early in the afternoon of 15 Septem-
er the shock of the exploslons and the
'.'. hLD of the hull had knocked out elec- Dimensions: length 225.93m (74-::
ber 1942 the lzVasp flew off her fiqhters ::---al swrtchboards and the damage 3in) overall; beam 24.61 m (80 ft 9 --.
but shofily afterwards she was htt by :cntrol oretanization, Thereafter a draught 8,53 m (28 ft 0 in)
three torpedoes fired by the Japanese Machinery: 2-shaft geared stearn :-:'
senes of subsidiary explosions of
submarine 1-19. T\ivo of the torpedoes
struck her on the Port side near the
i:ombs, torpedoes, ammunttion and bines delivering 55950 k',"'
aucraft fuel tanks lwecked the ship. (75,000 shp)
aviation gasoline tanks, while the third Speed: 2972 knots
Armour: belt 102 mm (4 in): mall: :-.l
Port protile ol the WasP.I/er tal/ lower decks 38 mm (l/z in)
funiel made her unique among US Armament: (1942) eight 127-mm (!-*
carriers. Y{ AA, fow quadruple 27,94-mm (l --:.
AA and 30 20-mm AA quns
1: Aircraft: (1942) 29 fighters, 36 d:'
bombers and I5 torpedo-bombe:s
Complement: 2,367 officers a:.c =.-.
listed men

E tns Essex
,:. actlon only three units of the class
'.'.':re damaged by enemy action; apart
:::m the Franklin (CV. 13) all returned
Speed: 33 knots
Almour: belt 64-i02 mr. '2 :-- ---.
fliqht deck 38mm 1l .--. .--:-;::
Aect mm (3 rn), mal:. :=:,' l:
:c-lve service after sustaintng se-
La:::::: ::.-----
The 'Essex' class can claim to be the '.':re battle damage. (l7zin); turrets and
most cost-effective and successfui air- (11/z in)
craft-carriers ever built. The specifica- Armament: (1943),2 -:--:::. :',-
tron, issued in June 1939, was for an
USS Essex (CV.9) AA, 11 quadruPle i--:,::. :-. :. -:-:-
improved 'Yorktown' class' but with Displacement: 27,100 tons standard, and 44 20-mm AI' ;-::
displacement increased by 7,000 tons
ll ,00 tons full load Aircraft: (1943 a :.;:.-::j- :: : =
to provrde stronger defensive arma- Dimensions: Iength 267.21 m (876ft bombers and .i'-::=:-': ::-:=:i
ment, thicker armour, more Power and
: -:) overall; beam 45.0 m (147 ft B in) Uomplemenl: : -:- .* --:: : - -
above all, more aviation fuel With :'.'.r flLght deck; draught 8.69 m (28 ft listed men
more than 6,300 tons of oil fuel the en-
durance was 27360 }rn (17,000 miles) : -:)
at 20 knots, while 690 tons of gasoline
Machinery: 4-shaft qeared steam tur-
i:res delivering 1 I 1900 kW U.SS Essexbem g:::e= : -' ='.
and 220 tons of ammunitron pushed up Harbor in I942.
the number of sorties which could be -:.1 C00 shp)
flown, Above all, the same number of
aircraJt could be carried, although in
practice many more could be carried;
ihe nominal strenqth was 82 but bY
1945 IOB ofthe latest aircraft could be
Eleven of the class were ordered in
1940 and a further i3 were burlt during
World War II. Building times were ex-
tremelv short; USS Essex (CV 9) was
built in 20 months, and the wartlme
average was cut to l77z months
The lead-shlp ofher class, theEssex
reached the Pacific in MaY 1943' bY
which time the worst was over, but she
saw considerable heavy fighting with
USS lntrepid in Action

The USS lnlreprd (CV I l) was the third ship of 25 aircraft, but during a night atiack on the task Tfie U.SS Intrepid(C'V.l I) trailing smoke after a
force Nakajima B5N 'Kate' torpedc-bombers kamikazehit.ln all shewas hitthree times by
the Essex' class, not only the largest class of kamikazes and torpedoed once, butsuwived.
major warships ever built but also the most equipped with one of the flrst Japanese radar
effectrve. She and four of her sisters were sets succeeded rn hitting the r;'recrd. The
ordered under Fiscal Year 1940 programmes, shrp's own nrght-frghters were ccnple:ely out- after two months the ship was ready to join her
while the remaining six were ordered under witted. sister Bunker Hill and the CVLs Cabol anc
FY 1941 A further 15 were iard down during The torpedo hrt right aft and ',',':ecked the Independence in TG 38.2, part of Task Force
the war. and l7 of them entered service before rudder. Thanks to her heavy under.'.'::er pro- 38
VJ-Day tectron 1n lrepld was in no danger c: s r:.kin g but On 28 Auqust 1944 the task group sailed fron
The Intreptd rruas floated out of her butlding to enable her to be steered a rna<esnli: satl' Eniwetok to start the process of softening up
dock on 26 AprLl 1943, and such was the speed had to be erected at the forwarc =:-i :f lhe Japanese delences as a prelrrde to the landings
ol n'arirme cc:s:ruction that she was commis- flight deck, The damaged carrier iinc: j s-,:-".'- on Morotai and Palau, and early the followinq
sroned cn .5 Aulsi less than four months la- ly back to Majuro, covered by the 1Lg:r: l::r-.r month Palau itself was attacked. On 12-13
:er and :r-.; 2l :::nlhs after being laid down Cabot, a pair of ctuisers and four aies:r:'.':rs September the attacks switched to the centra-
Her firs: :as< ','.'as :: inish her sea trials and There further repairs were carrted c:: -:i :le Phihpprnes, to keep the defenders guessing
allcr,-rer ra-.'.' lr=','.' :: shake down', and when lonq haul back to Pearl Harbor for :'x.:-:r ::- The results of this strike were devastating: 59
the sh:r s --:;::..-1:-:: 'r'as ready lhe ttme pairs. The ship went into dry dock ": ,-:::. shrps sunk and 478 aircraft destroyed, On 6
came tc eni:ar< :,.r 1,r ;rrcup By late 1943 the Harbor on 26 I'ebruary, nine days a::=r ::: Cc:ober TG 38 2 sailed from Ulrthi to begtr-
flyrng sc:rcc's rai :,'-c::jed enormously and attack. A month later she was back rn :i= - - :::acks on Formosa, rernforced by another
rted States, at Hunter's Potnt in San Fr=:.:.s:' :sser carrier, Hancock.
there was nc srar:lie :: '.'.-e.i-:raLned aircrew cLass USS
to make Eocd ihe -:sses -: ba::le cut they still for a three-month refit and rePair fre fasl carners ranged far and wide in therr
needed a perroci :i :ra-nl:ig at sea :-:s: icr :argets On I0 October TG 38.2 hi:
Combat expenence r:d s:r:-,"i, ::e need for
Return to the Pacific 1s:s t:: Anamr-O Shima, Okinawa anci
new tactics, partrcularli- -r a-r i=:erce and The opportunrty was taken to upda:= ::.: :-<-sr-:r-a C'ln:c' i'wo days later the target was
these tacltcs could onl; i:e =i-er-- -= j ,','-::t an radars and provide more anti-atrcraf: ;:::-s r::: ::- i:rnosa (Tarwan); bY lB October
embarked air group. \\-hen /ntreprd sarled on 9 June her fligh: :::.: :r l=:s -:. ;.1 in the Philippines were being
The Intrepid left for the Pac;nc ai:er a
-.'.'as packed wrth vehicles and a varre:-'' ::
-S :... l:-:: ::r1:i encrmous nrmraa rrrac nrrrood
". damage was caused

shakedown cruise lasting barely rcur mon:hs Arm,,-and US Navy aircraft, Shipptnq'.'.'as .:, ,: :: s a::a:k cn Luzon on 21 September re-
After passing through the Panama Canal she preaLcus lo allow the vast hangar ani :-;:.: s*-:: j .:- :re deslructton of 35 merchant ships
headed westwards across the Paclflc, arrivtng deck space of a carrier to be wasted. a:.i .:.= =:-: :-, a-rcrali The whole operation agains:
at Pearl Harbor on l0 January 1944. There she ln\eptC ''vould not become fully opera::::=. ::,: F:-.rccli:es cost TF 38 a total of 54 aircraft
runtrl she'was back in the Central Paciftc C:.:= :.=:.-,- :: :hem tn deck accidents, but in return
;oined the lead-ship oiher class, the USSEssex
and a converted ex-light crulser, the USS at Pearl Harbor her air group began ihe .ai:- - : - Jacanese ships and 1,000 aircraft were des-
Cabot, tn Task Group 58.2, part of Task Force rious task of workrng up to full effrcrenc;'' -:-i :r:'_.'-i
58 (TF 58). Their first task was to attack
Japanese bases in the Marshall Islands, to pro-
vide support for the landrng on Kwajalern Atoll
on 3l January, and they were under a new
commander, Admiral Marc A. Mitscher' Dur-
lng these operations lhe Intrepid and TG 58.2
attacked Ror, but her air group suffered no
On 17 February TF 58 started a more risky
operation, a three-day raid on the main enemy
base, Truk in the Caroline Islands. As before,
the purpose was to prevent the Japanese from
lnflrcting severe losses on a planned amphi-
bious landing, in this case the Eniwetok land-
ings. Despite the strong defences of Truk the
raid was a gireat success. US Navy aircraft sank
47 shrps, including a light cruiser, three des-
troyers and a large tanker, and in addition des-
troyed I25 aircraft. The cost was not excessive,

:ti on
The Intreptd played an lmportant role ln the
Battle of Leyte Guli On 23 October TG 38.2 was
posrtioned east of San Bernardrno Strait in
order to defend the landing beaches from an
assault by the powerful Japanese surface
fories approaching from the west, In fact one of
Intreptd's Curtiss SBZC Helldlvers was the flrst
to srght Admiral Kurita's Force 'A'at dawn, and
this led to the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea, The
,Infreprd and the small carrier Cabot flew off the
flrst strike, which crippled the heavy cruiser
Myoko with a torpedo hit and hit the 64,000-ton
battleship Musashi wrth one torpedo and one
bomb, lnlrepid's air group also took part in the
flnal strike, together with those of the Enter-
prise, Essex, Franklin and Cabot. Their re-
peated torpedo and bomb hits finally sank the Whrle:r:-..:..= . .
Musashi, and after the loss of the battleship the struggle:,,.:
remainder of the force retired. lzaza <*::':' -
farther a: - -= -
Kamikaze went thr:-:.-. .-.=
On the next day the /nfrepid took part in the ploded r:. ::.: :: :

Battle of Cape Engano when TF 38 mrstook the truction l:: --:= -.

Japanese decoy group, the Frrst Mobile Force, was go: ..:.r=i
for the main group. However most of the re- severe:ha:::-= .:.,-
- :-. :,: :ask The USSIntrepid(CY.I I) trailing smoke after a maining Japanese carriers were sunk, the to the Un:::: -:'. =.
: : : ::_: ers kamikaze hit. In all she was hit three times by Zuiho, Zuikaku, Chitose and Chiyoda going and 85 'r.': -.:-:= - ,
r:-:: ::jar kamikazes and torpedoed once, but survived.
down to carrier strikes, After two days of almost returned.: _'-.'.-
contrnuous action the fast carriers were show-
after two months the ship was ready to jorn her ing signs of strain, but with the destruction of
sister Bunker Hill and the CVLs Cabol and the Japanese surface forces the worst seemed
Independence in TG 38.2, part of Task Force to be over, But the Japanese were about to 1

38 initrate suicide or kamikaze attacks, and these
On 28 Augnrst 1944 the task group sailed from were to test the morale of the task force to the 3
Eniwetok to start the process of softening up utmost. Off Luzon on 29 October Ihe Inlreptd 4
Japanese defences as a prelude to the landrngs was the first to be hit, when a damaged 5
on Morotai and Palau, and early the followinet 6
Japanese aircraft crashed on the deck. Fortu- 7
month Palau itself was attacked, On 12-13 nately damage was slight, but l0 men were
September the attacks switched to the central killed and six wounded. She was able to con-
Phrlippines, to keep the defenders guessing, tinue in action, On the next day TG 38 4 was not
The results of this strike were devastating: 59 so lucky, and the Franklin and Belleau Wood
shrps sunk and 478 aircraft destroyed, On 6 were both set on flre by atrcraft deltberately
October TG 38 2 sailed from Ulithi to beqin diving onto their packed decks.
attacks on Formosa, reinforced by another The task force was pulled back to Ulithi to
'Essex' class carrier, USS Hancock. rest and effect repairs, but soon after the ships
The fast carriers ranged far and wrde in their arrived on 2 November they were hurriedly
quest for targets, On l0 October TG 38,2 hit recalled to Luzon to provide support for the
bases on Anami-O-Shrma, Okinawa and troops fighting ashore. On 25 November the
Sakishima Gunto; two days later the target was Intrepid was still at sea, providing continuous
bases on Formosa (Tarwan); by IB October ground support and drawing fuel and stores
targets rn lruzon rn the Phrlippines were being from the Fleet Train. Durrng a series of air
hit, Once again enormous damage was caused, attacks a burning Japanese aircraft suddenly
TF 38's attack on Luzon on 21 September re plummeted into the lnlreprd's flrght deck, start- 21

sulted in the destruction of 35 merchant ships ing fires amongr the planes and ordnance.
and 300 aircraft. The whole operatton against
the Philippines cost TF 38 a total of 54 aircraft,
many of them in deck accidents, but in return
iabo- I 50 Japanese ships and 1,000 aircraft were des-
and troyed,



-..= ,lntreptd played an important role in the
-. -= :: Leyte Gulf. On 23 October TG 38,2 was
.,-s-:-:ned east of San Bernardino Strait in
-: j=: :c defend the landrng beaches from an
....:.: by the powerful Japanese surface
.- ::=s approaching from the west. In fact one of
,,. Curtiss SBZC Helldivers was the first
'- --=;rds
s- lnt Admiral Kurita's Force 'A' at dawn, and
,-.,. ,ed to the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea, The
:.:prd and the small carrier Cabof flew off the
.'. .

-:s: strrke, which crippled the heavy cruiser

.'..'.':<o with a torpedo hrt and hit the 64,000-ton
: =::Leship Musasht with one torpedo and one
..::D. Intrepid's air group also took part in the
--:-al strrke, together with those of the Enler-
Frankltn and Cabof, Their re-
_:.'.-.e, Essex,
:=a:ed torpedo and bomb hits flnally sank the Whiie fireflghters and damage control parties ATBF Avenger torpedo-bomber leaves the
,'.,'--sasir, and after the loss of the battleshrp the struggled to contarn ihe fires a second kaml- Intrepid'sport catapult, while two more wait with
kaze smashed into the cleck about 23 m (75 ft) wingsfolded.
::narnder of the force retired.
farther aft. The bomb carrred by the aircraft
Kamikaze went through the wooden flL-qht deck and ex- fore starting the long haul back to Pearl Harbor
On the next day the lnlreprd took part in the ploded in the hangar. caustng even more des- and San Francisco, arriving on the US west
iattle of Cape Engano when TF 38 mrstook the tructron, The fire raged ior iwo hours before rt coast in January 1945,
_iapanese decoy group, the Frrst Mobile Force, was got under control and damage was so Such was the efficrency of the navy yard
::r the main group. However most of the re- sevbre that the shrp r.r'culd ha,.'e to be sent back organization that the Intreptd sailed from Hun-
narninq Japanese carriers were sunk, the to the United States In a-l 69 men were killed ter's Point on 20 February, bound for the war
Zuiho, Zuikaku, Chitose and Ciiyoda going and 85 wounded. The screll wounded carrier zone once more, and she arrived at U1ithi on 13
jown to carrier strikes. After two days of almost returned to Ulithi for e:i-etgency repairs be- March, She now formed part of TG 58.4 wrth the
continuous action the fast carriers were show-
rng siqns of strain, but with the destruction of 65 Detentioncells t0l
rhe Japanese surface forces the worst seemed USS rnfrepidcutaway drawing key 66 Aviation lubricating oil tank
Plottrng room
102 Air f lask stowage
io be over, But the Japanese were about to 1 YE antenna r, C'ane j b pump room 103 Torpedo stowage
2 SG surfacewarn ng radar r- n ifr hook 67 40-mm and 20-mm M 104 Gas trunk
rnrtrate suicide or kamikaze attacks, and these antenna i: L ie rafts ammunrtron stowage 105 Pump rooms
were to test the morale of the task force to the 3 SKarrwarn ng radar : i : fe net rack 68 Bombstowage 106 Fru t and vegetable
antcnna :r Artennadown leads 69 Bombvanesstowage stowage
utmost. Off Luzon on 29 October the Inlreptd 4 Reparrpatform :areen 70 Rol ercurtainopeningsrn 107 26Jt molorwhaleboal
was the first to be hit, when a damaged 5 SM radarantenna ra !\ reessmast hangar sides 108 40-mm Bofors gun
6 Mastheadplatforrn :e ilig rangewrreless ng 71 Avration ubricatingoil mount ng sponson
Japanese aircraft crashed on the deck. Fortu- 7 MK4frrecontrolradar : - L.rdder (inside mast) 72 40-mm AA ammun tron 109 40-nrm Bofors gun
nately damage was shght, but l0 men were antcnna :: F!esnge20mm stowage mounting sponson
B MK3Tdirectorfor5-. Oer Kon mountings 73 Rocketmotorstowaqe TTO Blue uniform and coat
krlled and six wounded. She was able to con- guns r-l: ghtdeck
ji C. ley deck
74 Crew's berthing stowage
tinue in action. On the next day TG.38.4 was not 9 Targctdeslgnator pot i-l 75 DamagecontrolHO 111 Motorconlrolroom
starboard l- Fctrrdquadruple40-mm 76 Crew s mess 112 Steeringgearroom
so lucky, and the Franklin and Belleau Wood 1 0 40-mm Bof ors mounr".l i ou nli ng 77 CIC (Combat lnformation 1 1 3
Aviation eng ne stowage
were both set on fire by aircraft deltberately 11 MK51 director l2 Foiecast edeck Ccnt re) I I 4
Foulblade screws and
12 Navgatrngbridge jl Afchor:30.000-lb 78 Pottrnqroom prope ler shaft
drving onto therr packed decks. 13 Flagbrdge -ilock ess bower anchor 79 Bombiuzemagazrne 115 Rudder
16 Slern40-mmquadruple
The task force was pulled back to Ulithi to 14 s-inhandllng roomand
readyscrviceammuf i:
-- " Jrn oecK
:'i Second deck
B0 FoMard
auxrlrary machrne 1
mou nti ng
rest and effect repairs, but soon after the ships l5 5-in/38twrn DPgun .:6 rh rd deck B1 Generalorpatform 117 Wakwav
l- 82 Medicalstores 'l
Two s ngle 20 mm
arrived on 2 November they were hurriedly mountrng
16 MK5l director i3
f:ounh deck
Frrstplatform 83 No 1 boilerroom

Oerlikon AA gun
recalled to Luzon to provide support for the 11 Six s nglc 20-mm Oe' . : - :3 Secondplatform 84 Bo ier uptake space mo u nlrngs
troops fighting ashore. On 25 November the M gun mountings aC Hold 85 No 2boilerroom Two sing e 20 mm
t8 Three 40-mm Bofors ai Siore 86 No.1 machineryroom Oerlikon M gun
lntrepid was still at sea, provrdtng continuous quadruple mount nqs :: Charn Jocker 87 No.3boilerroom mount ngs
qrround support and drawrng fuei and stores (three alt) ,3 Sump tank BB Clothesand sma lstores 120 10 slngle 20 mm Oerlikon
19 36-in searchlrght al Wdtcrtight rrunk 89 Firebrickstowage AA gun mountrngs
from the Fleet Train. During a sertes of air 20 Sing c 20 mm Oerl Lc- .:,- a5 Pumproom 90 Barbers shop 121 5-in/3Btwin MK32DP
attacks a burning Japanese aircraft suddenly gun a6 lrcendiary bombs Stowage 9T Ath eticgearstowage mou nti ng
21 Three single 20 nrnl tl Pyrotechnlcsstowage 92 Genera workshop 122 5-ln/32 DP mounting
plummeted into thelntreprd's flrght deck, start- Oerlikon AA gun 58 Torpedo exercrse heads 93 Crew's toilet 123 40-mm Bofors mountlng
ing fires among the planes and ordnance. mountings stowage 94 Crew'swashroomand 124 40 mm Bofors mounting
22 Trash burnersmoke D c: 5-o Br ge water machinery and showers 125 Ensign staff
23 Stack hood pump room 95 No.4boierroom 126 MK4 radarantenna
24 24 in scarch ight 60 Alcoho stowage 96 No.2 machineryroom 121 SC anlenna
25 Trunnion 6 l!rilammable liquid store
1 97 Aftauxilarymachnery 128 Ma st
26 Mount captain's blast h:: I 62 Gasol nc tank roonl 129 Vedical ladder
27 Trainer's lelescope 63 5 rn hand ing and projectile 98 Bomb stowage 130 Radar p atform
2A Side access door stowagc 99 Rocket motor stowage T3l Banle gaff
29 Barbettc (fixed to sh pt 6,1 Snrallarms magazine 100 Aviatron stores 132 YJ antenna



USS /ntrepid in Action
Yorktown, Langley and lndependence. Next
day they sailed to begin operations against the
Japanese home islands, the final phase of the
Pacific war. Now Ihe kamikaze aircraft were
the only serious threat from the Japanese, for
the once-mighty fleet of submarines and sur-
face ships was largely immobilized by lack of
On 18 March the ship suffered sllght damaqe
when a kamikaze exploded only 15 m (50 ft)
away showering her with burnlng debris,
However on 16 Aprrl she was not so lucky: two
kamikaze aircraft chose her as their target, and
atthough one missed by a few feet the second
crashed into her flight deck, The engtne
plunged through the planking tnto the hangar,
causing a big fire and puttrng her out of action
once more. This tlme, however, casualties
were lighter: 10 men killed and 87 wounded
It was the end of the war for the 1n freprd. She
returned to San Francisco and was back wrth
TF 38 in July in time for the Japanese surrender
on 15 Augnrst.

:r lF.
lr t.

Iu -:

E tliili I



^ r* 1.. ^0r*' :r I
*4-.W r }cP'

it {
Left: Smoke pours from tlre Intrepid
during heavy air raids on Kyushu in
theJapanese home islands. A
burningJapanese bomber burst into
flame 50Ieet away Irom thecarrier,
showering her with fuel and debris.
From the light crur'ser Santa Fe jl
Iooked as if the carrier had blown up,
but her damage control parties dealt
swiftlywith the fires.

Below and right: Starboard profiIe

( and bow and stern views of the USS
Intrepid. .Sft e ls painted in
Camouflage Measure 32/3A, which
she carried from J une ) 944, when she
returned to the Pacific after repairs.
D uring her th ree mon f/rs ln dock sle
received three additional quad 40-
mm Bofors gunmountings below the
island, and twomorewere resitedto
improve sky arcs.

:j lt il- rli- t
llii iil
iiir ili
ir -:-- i;!
ill jii

il' ii

'--- '
American Aircraft Carriers of the Pacific War
rL:i it'
L eft : S m oke pour s from
fft e


| '
during heavy air raids on Kyushu in
the Japanese home is/ands. A
burning J apanese bomber burst into
flame 50 feet away from the carrier,
showering her with fuel and debris.
F rom the light cruiser Santa Fe jf
looked as if the carrier had blown up,
but her damage control parties dealt
swittly with the fires.

Below and right: Starboard profile

and bow and stern views of the USS
Intrepid. Sft e r's p ainted in
Camouflage Measure 32/34, which
she carried trom J une I 944, when she
returned to the Pacific after repairs.
During her three months in dock she
r eceiv ed three ad ditional qu ad 40 -
mm Botors gun mountings below the
island, and two more were resited to
unprove slq arcs.


iili ti

ilii I

ili, ii
iLlr I

illi !" il'


: USS Franklin
The flfth unit of the 'Essex' class was pled the light carrier Chiyoda and second strike. At first the damage did Specification
authorized in 1940 but was not started flnished off the Zwkaku. The Franklin's not seem serious for the bombs had not USS Franklrn (CV.13)
until a year after Pearl Harbor as there run ofgood luck ended on 30 October, penetrated below the hangar deck, D-isplacement: 27, 100 tons standard,
were no shpways of the right lengrth While defending the Leyte Gulf land- but as the aircraft caught fire their 36,500 tons tull load
available. However, her builders, ing area she and the light carrier were bombs and rockets, as well as the Dimensions: length 267.21 m (867 ft
Newport News Shipbuilding Com- attacked by five kamikaze aircraft spare ordnance in the hangar, started Bin); beam 45.0m (147ft 8in)'over
pany, made up for the delay by com- which had broken through the flghter to explode. Toxic smoke was drawn fllght deck; drausht 9.40 m (30 ft l0 in)
pleting her in less than 14 months. screen: she lost 56 dead and 60 wound- through the ship's ventilation system, Machinery: 4-shaft geared steam tur-
The USS Franklh (CV, 13) was com- ed, while 33 aircraft were destroyed with the result that many of the 724 bines delivering I I 1900 kW
missioned at the end of January 1944 by the fue which followed. She had to dead were suffocated (another 265 (I50,000 shp)
and joined Task Group 58,2 exactly sx return to Bremerton Navy Yard for ma- were wounded). The ship lay dead in Speed: 33 knots
months later for an attack on the Bonu:r jor repairs, and did not renrn ro active the water for three hous as the engine Armour: belt 64-102 mm (2t/z-3in);
Islands, From then on she was con- service untrl February 1945 rooms and boiier rooms could not be flight deck 38mm (l/zin); hangar
stantly in action: during an attack on As part of TF 58 the .FranlJrn attack- manned, deck 76 mm (3 in); main deck 38 mm
Formosa and the Ryukyus in October ed Kyushu in the Japanese home is- Finally the fires were put out and on (ltlzin); turrets and barbettes 38mm
she was hit by a bomber which lands on 18 March. On the next day two the next day the Frankljn was able to (IVzin)
crashed on deck, and hvo days later Yokosuka D4Y'Judy bombers made a get up steam once agarn, She limped Aircraft: (1945) 74 fighters, 15 dive-
her deck-edge lift was hit by a bomb daring low-level attack and hit the back to Pearl Harbor and then across bombers and 30 torpedo-bombers.
which killed three men, Franklin with two 25C-kg (551-lb) the Pacific to New York Navy Yard for Complement: 3,240 oftcers and en-
During the Battle of Surigao Strait on bombs just as she u'as prepanng her Iengthy repairs, She did not reappear listed men
24 October 1944 the Franklin's aircraft until after the end of the war, and never
sank a destroyer, and then attacked Tfie Franllin (C7. 13) was wtted by returned to full commission, being laid Although cleaned up, tfte Franklin
the giant battleship Musas}j in the fire alter being hitby bombs off up permanently in resewe in Febru- still shows her battle scars on her
Sibuyan Sea, On the next day, during Kyushu on I 9 March I 945, but still got ary 1947. return to the USA. Shewas never
the Battle of Cape Engano, they crip- home. recommissioned.

the Prrncelon, The bombs oassed does, after the destroyer lrwin had
USS Princeton through three decks before exploding, missed her with four.
and the blast started fierce fires in the
To meet the acute shortage of carriers hangar. Sx armed Avengers caught Specification
after Pearl Harbor the US Navy de- fire, and their torpedoes exploded, USS Pnnceton (CVL.23)
ctded to complete nine 'Cleveland' adding to the carnage, At 10.10, about Displacement: 11,000 tons standard,
class light cruisers as carriers. The halfan hour after the attack, other ships 14,300 tors full load
Amsterdam (CL.59) Tallahassee were ordered alongside to take off all Dimensions: length 189.74 m (622f|
(CL.61), New Haven (CL.76), Hunting- but essential fireflgrhters and damage 6 in) overall; beam 33,3 in (109 ft 3 in)
ton (CL.77), Dayton (CI',78), Fargo control personnel. over flight deck; draught 7.92m (26ft
(CL.B5), Wilminston (CL.79), Buffalo The light cruisers Birmingham and 0 in)
(CL.99) and lVewark (CL.100) thus be- Reno lay alongside, pumping water Machinery: 4-shaft geared steam tur-
came the USS lndependence and providing power for pumps, and brnes delivering 74600 kW
(CVL.22), Princeton (CVL.23), Belleau all the while ships and friendly aucraft (100,000 shp)
Wood (CYL.24), Cowpens (CVL.25), fought off Japanese air attacks, At 14.45 Speed: 3172 knots
M onterey (CYL,26), Langley (CYL,27), it appeared that all flres were out, but Armour: belt 38-127mm (l/z-S-in):
Cabot (CVL.28), Bataan (CVL.29) and at 15.23 lhe Princeton blew up rn a main deck 76 mm (3 in); lower deck
San Jacinto (CVL.30). Although rt was huge explosion. The blast swept the 51 mm (2 in)
an ingenious conversion, the results crowded decks of lhe Birmingham, Armament: (1943) hvo 127-mm (S-in)
were disappointing, for the small han- killing 229 men and wounding another AA, hvo quadruple 40-mm Bofors AA,
qar (65.5 m/215 ft by 17.7 ftt/58 ft) could 420; the carrier herself had over I00 nine twin 40-mm Bofors AA and 12 20-
accommodate fewer aircraft than that men killed and 190 injured. Surprising- mm AA gmns
of the 'Sangamon' class CVEs, 33 in- ly the shattered hulk of the Princeton Aircraft: (1943) 24 Grumman F4F Wrld-
stead of the 45 planned, However, this was still alloat, but wrecked beyond cat fighters and nine Grumman TBF
any hope ofsalvage. At 16,00 she was Avenger torpedo-bombers
T h e P rinceton ( CYL. 2 3 ) w a s abandoned and the crurser Reno was Complement: 1,569 officers and en-
converted on the stocks from the hull ordered to sink her with two torpe- listed men E
of the light cruiser Tallalassee.
Although cramped, the CVLs were
fast and could keep up with the Fast
Carrier Groups. Later they operated
The Bqtfle of legfe Gulf
The so-called Battle of Leyte Gulf was in fact a torpedoed three heavy cruisers, Admiral Kun-
series ofair-sea battles spread over a vast area, ta's ships came under heavy air attack as they
it was not only the climax of the war in the passed through the Sibuyan Sea, and eventual-
Pacific but also the greatest naval battle of ly the mighty Musashi succumbed to an esti-
history. All the classic warship types were en- mated total oi 19 torpedo hits. However, her
gaged, from battleships and carriers down to sister )zamalo and the smaller battleships
destroyer escorts, all fulfillinq their designed Nagato, Kongo and Haruna survived and con-
roles. tinued to plough towards San Bernardino Strait.
Once the Marianas had fallen in Augmst 1944 Thanks to a mix-up in communications, the
the Japanese high command knew that deieat US fast carriers left the small escort carriers off
stared the country in the face, A1l that could be Samar to face a ferocious bombardment from
hoped for was a gambler's throw, an all-out Kurita's ships while they chased after Ozawa's
offensive by the remaining capital ships and empty carriers, Fortunately for the Americans
carriers agalnst the next big amphibious land- therr Jeep carriers', destroyers and destroyer-
rng, As soon, therefore, as Aliied forces were escorts put up such a stout resistance that Kuri- A signalman on the tlight deck of a carrier of the
reported moving into Leyte Gulf in the Phrlip- ta eventually withdrew and missed the chance Fast Carrier Group, with a 'Washington'-class
pines, Plan 'Sho-l'was put into action. It called to destroy the vulnerable invaston force. battleship in the background.
for the Japanese forces in North Borneo and The Americans now took a terrible revenqe
eisewhere to divide into three forces. From on the Japanese Ozawa's carriers were hunted ans of Pearl Harbor, andwere all butwiped out.
Borneo, Force 'A', a portion of the First Strike down off Cape Engano the Chjtose, Chiyoda, Leyte was the end of the Imperial Japanese
Force under Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita, was to Zuikaku andZuiho w-ere all sunk. While trying Navy as an effective force, With no fuel for
pass through the San Bernardino Strait to attack to force their way through Surigao Stralt Nishi- operations and no aircrew to man new aircraft,
the US landing forces from the north off Samar; mura's and Shrma s forces came under a with- the remaining carriers were reduced to swing-
a Second Strike Force, commanded by Vice enng nlght attack frcm Admiral Oldendorls ing idly at thelr moorings, waiting for the inevit-
Admiral Kiyohide Shima, was to join with Force oid battleships, some ci :nem salvaged veter- able air attacks which would sink them.
'C' (also from Borneo and part of the First Strike
Force) under Vice Admiral Shaji Nishimura) to
pass through Surigao Strait to attack the land-
ings from the south, finally the main carrier
force, the First Mobile Fleet from Japan under
Vice Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa (whose carriers
had hardlv anv aircraft) was to lure the Amer-
ican carriers iway from the Phihppines while
the First and Second Strike Forces dealt with
the landings and their warship support before
dealing with the returning US carriers with the
460-mm (18. I-1n) guns of the super-battleships
Yamato and Musashl, part of Force 'A',
Like other complex Japanese battle plans, it
went wrong almost from the beginning. Off
Palawan Force 'A' was ambushed by two US
submarines, which radioed the news and also

Right: A blazing kamikaze plane hurtles towards

the flight deck of ffte Essex assfi e vainly tries to
alter course.

Below:Japanese shells falling arnong the escort --

carrieis of Carrier Division 25 during the battle off
Samar. On tfie riglt St 1,6 ca n be seen burning.
ffi-= USS Bogue
The urgent need for air cover for con- support grroup sank no fewer than 13
voys in the Battle of the Atlantic was U-boats, while planes from her sisters
met by converting mercantile hulls Card, Core, B\ock Island andCroatan
rnto small aircraft-carriers. In the sum- helped to sink another 20.
mer of 1941 both the British and the The USS Bogue joined the Atlantic
Americans converted merchantmen Fleet in February 1943 as the Battle of
into the flrst experimental 'escort car- the Atlantic reached crisis point. On
rrers or CVEs, and when these Proved her fourth crossing of the Atlantic her
t.lreir worth orders went out for the fllst aircraft sank their first U-boat; two
oroduction class of 21 CVEs from US more followed on her next trip. On the
.:hLpyards. Of these I I went straight to seventh crulse, lale in July 1943, her
::re Royal Navy as the 'Attacke/ class, aircraft sank one U-Boat, and one ofher
'.','hile ihe rematnder became the US escorting destroyers sank another,
lrlavy s 'Bogme' class, Being conver- The worst point of the battle was
sioni of partially completed hulls' the now over, and the tide had turned
Boqrue' class was a great improvement against the U-boats. The hunter-killer
:n the prototypes, and had a full-lenqth gioups could not take the offensive
:anoai. with tvvo centreline lifts The against U-boats farther out in the Atlan-
tic, and in November-December 1943 she was operatrng as part of Captarn G. The escort carrier Bogne (CVE.9)
USS-8ogue (CVE.9) and her sisters Barrier Force. with Grumman Avenger TBFs on her
lard (CVE, 11) and Core (CVE 13) the Bogue and her qEoup accounted J. Dufek's Second
for three U-boats, After a short break In the closinq months of the war the wooden flight deck.
:','en had tv\ro catapults, They carried
early in 1944 to ferry aircraft to the UK Bogrue was sent to the Paciflc, ferrytng
:3 aircraft, and the Bogue was laun- arrcraft and slores to oullylng garri- l5 400 tons full load
:red tn January 1942. she returned to submarlne-hunting,
and in March helPed to sink U-575 sons, but wrth the collapse of Japan she Dimensions: Iength 151. I m (495 ft B rn)
Wrth a good outfit of air-warning overall; beam 34.0 m (l 1 1 ft 6 in) over
Three more U-boats were sunk bY was re-assrgned to the 'Magrrc Carpet'
::dar and more space than the des-
operations, ferryrng PoWs and ser- fliqht deck; draught 7.92 m (26 ft 0 tn)
': -'lers and frtgates, the escort carrlers September 1944, when the Bogue re-
tumed to the United States for a period vicemen back to the United States, Machinery: l-shaft geared steam tur-
:.ade giood flagships for'hunter-killer' brne delivering 6340 kW (8,500 shP)
:: antt-submartne suPPort groups, on traintng duties, Her last hunter-
'.',:rch were betng established rn the killer mission in April 1945 accounted Specification Speed: iB knots
for the Iast of 13 U-Boats, U-546, when USS 8osrue (CVE.9) Armoru: none
1-rrlrr1r of 1942. The Boque and her Armament: two 127-mm (S-rn) AA, four
Displacement: I1,000 tons standard,
twin 40-mm Bofors AA and 12 2O-mm
iir Port profile of the 'Bogae' class, AA gnrns
I i showing the ex-mercantile hull Aircraft: (1943) 12 Grumman F4F Wtld-
t clearly. Despite lft eriaustere desr'gn cat frghters and 12 Grumman TBF
R.; r -..
they were agreal success, Avenger torpedo-bombers
p ar ticularly in a n ti- s u bm arine Complement: 890 officers and enlisted
warfare in the Atlantic. men

ings in North Afrrca in October and rugqed enough to be returned to ser-
::' :;
USS Sangamon November 1942, and then transferred
to the Pacific, where they operated

Iess interference wlth flying opera- with CarDiv 22 in the South Pacific, The
- : .-"'::sLon of escort carrters was Sanlee returned to the Atlantic in Specification
- :- -: -:.=se:rtorlty in 1942, but the rate tions. Provision was made ior two cata-
March 1943, operating south of the USS Sangamon (CVE.26)
: ...:.-. useful utility carriers pults, although the second unit was not
Azores and off the coast of Brazil with a Displacement: 10,500 tons standard,
::'. ar:rght Lnto service was li- installed untll 1944, and a number of
- . - r : :-:: ,-.':mber of hulls available Iarge openings in the sides provided hunter-killer gEoup, but rejoined her 23,875 tons fuI] load
sisters in the Pacific in February 1944, Dimensions: lenqth 168,71 m (553 ft
: :.-'.'.',-, r':rlt US Narry oilers, the good ventilation for the hangtar'
- The Sanlee (AVG.29, later CVE29) as the great 'island-hopping' drive 6 in) overall; beam 34,82 m (l14 ft 3 in)
--: - - :: --.: -:.3 2B), Santee (AO 29) over fligiht deck; draught 9.32 m (30 ft
across the Pacific got under waY.
, . . ,; - -:-l 3l) and Suwannee was the first to be commissioned, on 24
All four took part in the Battle of 7 in)
- :: commssion
:1?:l oul of Auenrst 1942, followed a day later by
the USS Sangamon (CVE.26); the Leyte Gulf, forming'Taffy One' (under Machinery: 2-shaft gteared steam tur-
r ] '- -:- " ::5sl>J
--- r-\ dlrl
^-'l were im- Suwannee (CVE.27) was commls- Rear Admiral Thomas L. Sprague) as bines delivering 10070 kW
part ofTask Group 77.4. On 25 October (13 500 shp)
:-- -:i -f cilnerstructures sioned on 24 September, five daYs af-
Speed: IB knots
-' - .. .-:. :::.','elsLonlastingsx ter the Ciena.nEro (CVE.2B), The acute the .Santee was badly damaqed bY a
shortage of cairiers in late 1942 and kamikaze attack, and shortly after- Armour: none
earlv 1943. combined wlth their good wards by a torpedo hit from the sub- Amament: two l27-mm (S-in) AA, 1wo
turn of speed and aircraft capacity marrne ,l-56, but managed to survive, quadruple 40-mm Bofors AA, seven
meant that these new carliers were Then a kamikaze hit the Suwannee, tu/1n 40-mm Bofors AA and 21 20-mm
used with the main fleet more than having missed the Sangramon, In spite AA gnrns
other CVEs, and frequently operated ofthese hits all three were operational Aircraft: (1942) i2 Grumman F4F Wild-
together. AII four supported the land- by the spring of 1945. The Sangamon cat fighters, nine Douglas SBD Daunt-
was badly damaged by a kamikaze hit Iess dive-bombers and nine Grumman
off Okinawa on 4 May i945, and lost I l TBF Avenger torpedo-bombers
dead, 2l serrously wounded and 25 Complement: 1,100 officers and en-
missing, but like her sisters, proved Iisted men



uss st Lo
American Aircraft Carriers of the Pacific f/u
The success of the converted CVEs and had supported the amphibious
.:d to a fresh destgn being prepared landings in Sarpan, Eniwetok, Tinian
lom the keel up', using a mercantile and Morotai. In October 1944 she
iesign as a basrs but tailorinq it to meet formed part of 'Taffy Three', part of the
IVE needs, rather than adapting a hull vast armada which fought the Battle of
:r the slipway, These adaptations Leyte Gulf, 'Taffy Three', the most
'.','ere more concerned with ease of northern group of escort carriers
:rnstruction than any radtcal improve- covering the amphibious landing, had
:.ent in operational capability. In all, 50 already suffered a qrmellinq bombard-
::rts of the 'Casablanca' class (CVE.55- men from Japanese surface warships
. 14) were authorized late in 1942. for the best part of 3 hours durinq the
-:-lihough the flight deck was short morning of 25 October i944, After a Iull
r00 fV152,4 m by 108 fV32,9 m), two ofabout t hour thekamrkazes made a
-is and a catapult were provided, and low-level attack, flve Zeros comtng in
rs there were two propeller shafts at low level before climbing rapidly to
.:.ere was qreater manoeuvrability I525 m (5,000 ft) and then drving with one shaft. To speed up manu- straight onto the flight deck. One of a
:acture, triple-expansion steam parr attacking the Fanshaw Bay sud-
:-achinery was chosen, but in other denlv switched to the Sf 16, strikrng
::spects the'Casablanca' design took her ilioht deck aft. The two bombs
:.e best of the'Sanqamon', 'Bogue'and slung u"nderneath the Zero set offgaso-
?rLnce Wrlliam' classes, and was a line, bombs and ammunitron in the
::nsiderable success, hangar, and wrecked the ship, Specification The new escort carrier-!,7tara':
The USS Sf ,6
(CVE,63) was laid The kamikaze hil at 10.53, and five uss sr 16 (cvE.63) (CVE.63), which was subseq;.:'-t
j:wn as the Chaptn Bay (AVG,63) at minutes later a hugte explosion devas- Displacement: 7,800 tons standard, renamedSt L6 to release tie.::-:e
:enry Kaiser's Vancouver shrpyard in tated the carrier. She sank about I hour 10,400 tons full load {or a bigger carrier.
-:nuary but in April she was re-
1943, later, with 100 dead and many injured, Dimensions: length 156. 13 m (512 ft
:zmedMidway in honow of the recent the first American shrp sunk by kamt' 3 tn) overall; beam 39,92 m (108 ft 0 in) Armament: one ----::.:
:attle and entered sewice under that kaze attack. over flight deck; draught 6,BO m (22 ft erght twin 40-mm B::::: -:-:. ,:-
.=.ame in October 1943, The name was 6 in) 20-mm AA guns
.:.:n allocated to a much bigger car- Machinery: 2-shaft vertical triple- Aircraft: (October 19;; .- l:* .: :
:-er as it was considered too important TJ" expansion delivering 6715 kW F4F Wrldcat fighters ar.: - l: --:..- '-

::rsuch a minor warship, and on 15 (9,000 ihp) TBF Avenger torpedc-: :: :.:,
September 1944 CVE,63 became the Speed: 19 knots Complement: 860 ofhcc:-: ::.r :- .

ISS StI6. The little carrier had already Armour: none men
:ade two ferry tdps out to the Pacific
Below: The port profile of the
'C asablanca' class,' fhese shrps were B ottom : The Sl L6 blow s u p af t e :
an improved version of fhe Bogn:e being set on fire byJapanese v:::::
design, tailored for faster during the battle off Samar n
construction. October 1944.

Baffle ol the Philippine Secl
::r, i-!tl,.

I ,!"1,:n:*:' :'i I ''

:t l.i:r -

.1.i.', J -"-

.f;,:- *&

stead the Amerrcan Admiral Raymond A Japanese aircraft plummets into the sea over the
Spruance had launched heavy attacks on the sinall carrierKitkun Bay (CIIE.71) during the
invasion of S aipan in J une I 9 44.
Japanese arrfields, wiprng out the aircraft on
Guam and Rota, What remains unexplained to
thrs day is the fact that Kakuta failed to warn
Ozawa of this failure rn the plan, and continued
to reassure him that the Americanswere suffer-
ing a heavy rate of attrition. Nor were the
Americans short of intelltgence about Ozawa's
movements, for their submarines had spotted
the carriers moving through the Phtlipptnes,
The Japanese carrier force was out in
strength: the light carriers Zuiho, Chttose,
Chiyoda, Hiyo, Junyo andRyuho and the fleet
carners Tatho, Shokaku and Zuikaku, as well as
frve battleshrps, 12 crutsers and 27 destroyers,
and 24 submarines. But this force was dwarfed
by Task Force 58: the light carriers Langley,
Cowpens, San Jacinto, Pnnceton, Monterey,
Cabot, Belleau Wood andBataan, the fleet car-
riers Hornet, Yorktown, Bunker Hill, Wasp, En-
terpnse, Lexington andEssex, as well as seve!
battleshrps, 21 cruisers, 62 destroyers and 25
submarrnes. Even these heavy odds were
lengthened by the superior trainrng of the The Japanese carrier Zuho under attack from the
American aircrews, for the Japanese ptlot- air group of the Enterprise durin g the Batt]e of the
- i -- --'-i-r tralning progrramme had totally failed to keep Philippine Sea. Note the unusual camouflage and
:-::la:: ir- up wrth wartime attntion, and many of Ozawa's deckmarkings.
American Aircraft Carriers of the Pacific War
!ilots were barely capable of landing on board June the 'Great Marianas Turkey Shoot'. Even
-_rerr carrlers. when stretched to the limit, the US Navy's pilots
Spruance divided his force into four task were more skilled: after the strike on 20 June
jrroups (TGs 58.I, 58.2, 58.3 and 58.4) and a the aircraft returned to their carriers al 22.45,
tsattle Line (TG 58.7) under Admiral Willis A' many of them virtually out of fuel. In a ciassic
air- siqnal Vice-Admiral Mitscher ordered the car-
-ee, To attack the carriers the Japanese riers to turn on their landing iights, to make
:raft would first have to fly through a barrage of
::rti-aircraft fire ftom the Battle Line, and then swe that the pilots could find a friendly deck in
ight off each carrier task group's combat air the darkness. Losses were heavy, but 116 air-
catrol and face the fire from their escorts. The craft landed safely. The remaining 80 crash-
-and attacks had done nothing to weaken this landed or 'ditched' nearby, allowing des-
lefence in depth, but Ozawa had no idea of troyers to pick up the majority of the aircrew.
-,vhat sort of opposition his pilots would be fac-
Double talk, double think Curtiss SB2C H elldiver dive- bombr.
On 18 June the main Japanese force moved In retrospect it is difficult to criticize Ozawa's
:rto position to the west of the Marianas, and handling of the battle. The major tactical error,
cetached the van force of three ligtht carriers attacking the Battle Line, was the result of the
':nder Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita, with the in- naval pilots' Iack of experience. The extraor-
:ention of launching the first strikes next morn- dinary lies told by Kakuta led Ozawa to believe
ng. When the Van Force launched its strike of that his four strikes would have much more
16 fighters and 53 bombers it was detected by effect than they did, and he was even misled
jre Battle Line on radar, givlng time for the US into believing that his aircraft were safe in
carriers to launch every available fighter. They Guam, whereas in fact they had been des-
:nflicted grievous losses on the Japanese (42 troyed, Given those circumstances, and the
aircraft) and the only damage achieved was a fact that he was vastly outnumbered it would
bomb hit on the battleship South Dakota. have been difficult to do better,
Even iJ Ozawa had been biessed with better
The Marianas Turkey Shoot Iuck and a more capabie subordinate he would Yokosuka D4Y I J udy' dive - bom ber.
A second strike was launched from the six have needed a miracle to give him victory
carriers of the Main Body: 48 fighters and 62 against TF 58. The best that could have hap-
bombers, but 10 minutes after the launch- pened would have been a few US carriers
seguence had begnrn, the US submatrne Alba- badly damaged ot even sunk, That would have
core torpedoed the carrier Tarho. Once again resulted in a short respite, but the Japanese
ihe massed anti-aircraft fire of the Battle Line were now being overwhelmed by sheer num-
slaughtered the air strike, shooting dovm 79 out bers. Not only were trained pilots in short supp-
of the tIO aircrafl and all that was achieved Iy; even the raw materiais and oil for which
was a near-miss. A third strike of 47 aircraft Japan had gone to war were difficult to trans-
managed to avoid the Battle i:ine but found port to Japan, because of the lack of shipping. It
very few targets, and lost only seven planes. A was now impossible for Japanese shipyards to
fourth strike launched from 11,30 also lost its maintain shipping at pre-war levels. The fleet
way; only 33 out of82 aircraft iound TG 58.2, and could not get sufficient refined oil, and was MitsubishiAiM3 'Zero', based in the Philippines.
sulfered heavy losses, forced to use volatile oil from Borneo - a major
The Japanese carriers had made the cause of the explosions which destroyed the
strongest possibie effort and had failed to inilict Talho and Sho.kaku,
more than trifling damage on TF 58. Al 12.22 On the American side there were bitter re-
Ozawa suffered a further setback when the criminations against Spruance, particularly by
submarine USS Cavalla put four torpedoes into Adiniral William Halsey and his supporters.
the Sfiokaku, She blew up and sank at 15.10, They felt that the caution of Spruance had lost
foilowed shortly afterwards by the Talho. But TF 58 the opportr:nity to sink all Ozawa's car-
Ozawa had no intention of giving up, for he still riers, and thus eliminate the ImperialJapanese
believed that Kakuta's land-based forces had Navy, What the critics cotild not accept was
inilicted heavy casualties, and he therefore felt that Spruance's dispositions at all times took
that his 102 remaining aircraft could turn the account ofthe overriding need to prevent Oza-
tables on Spruance. In addition Kakuta had told wa from evading his task erroups and getting at
him that many of the survivors of the carrier the vulnerable amphibious forces off Saipan, Abomberloses awing after being stilckby a
strikes had landed safely on Guam. No mercy would have been shovrn to Spruance S-inch shell from lIe carrierYorktown of tie
Next day the two opposing fleets were mov- il his carriers had lost Ozawa, and massive Island otKwaialein.
ing to the north west on roughly parallel
coruses. When Spruance learned of Ozawa's
position it was late in the afternoon, and he was
faced with a difficult choice. A strike against
the Japanese carriers would be at maximum
distance, and the return flight to the carriers
would have to be made in darkness. Neverthe-
less at 16.20 he ordered an all-out strike by 85
fighters, 77 dive-bombers and 54 torpedo-
The Japanese could oniy launch 80 aircraft
bef,ore TF 58's tempest overwhelmed them,
The light cawier Hiyo was sunk by two torpe-
does; the Zuikaku, Junyo and Chiyoda were
badly damaged, and other ships were dam-
aged. Ozawa managed to extricate the rem-
nants of his forces without further loss, but he
had lost what he knew to be the iast chance ofa
decisive victory. His inexperienced pilots had
been shot down in such numbers that the
American pilots had called the air battle on 19
Dicrg of the I'larionas Turkeg Shoot
The lapanese paid dearly for thefu attempt to ofuttzd the invasion of the
Maianas. T ask F oree 5 8 utder Admiral Sptaance held off and then stttck 2, Aftertwo days ofaerial essault US naval
back at Ozawa's Fitst Mobile Fleet. While the Anterj,can viclory may not tnits clqsed into bombardJapanese grotnd
have seemed decisive in view of the fact that the lapanese managedto defences. Seven battleships and more than 20
cruisers pounded the enemy positions
exticate most of their fotce, the fact that the maiortty of Eained Japanese for 48 hours prior to the assault.
aituew lay with thefu aircraft wrder the Philippine Sea meant that the
Imperdlal Narry would never again he able to wage effective canier wat.


L At ftust light on I I June 1944

TaskForce 58 under Admtal
Spnance unJeashed an aerial
bomb atdment against the ^& G\, iil,i:*,,tj$"i'::ili::'i'r'L,1,,,.:,,".
Japanese air forces onthe
Marianas. Hellcats, Avengers and
Helldivers shot up the enemy
warphnes and completely
neutrclized any aerialthreat to
the US invasion force kom the
J ap anes e - he ld islands.


lSJune l944Japanese ia,...,

l. '.',. I ,
lstMobileFleet riil;: rl{i:}r-
sails fromPhilippines
'a ,:
. :ja.

west. Tj 15.32hours l9June
" 15.24hours
f;-'ir: : J9June
F\ -.; )
:F.i+j n-''

)>:?!&r =

the UStask forcethe
app r o ac hing Jap anes e Ile et
Iiunchedmissiveairshkesagar'nst \- X \<
.\1 '+:,:>;!\.-
the Americans at 08.30 (5A), 09.00 (58) ---=::- :
, KtS---. 6. Unseen by the Japanese, two US su.bmafines
and 14.00 (5C) on 19 June. They had hoped to
catch the tls fleet unawares, but they met with had been shadowing the opposing fleet
a mutderous cuttain of anti-aircraft fte. Those that
At on 19 June the submarines torpedoed
got thrcugh then contended with US Helhcats. Japanese air the cafii$ Taiho (6A) and at 12.18 a similarfate
Iosses were 253 against 30 Ameilcan, befel Shokaku (68). Both sank by mid-afternoon.
3, Alertedbythe
A 4, uS Marines stormed ashore on Saipan on the morning of l5 June.
stufircd afidpunjshed N Despitethefow.daysofsoftening'up,welldug'
forces onthe
Maianas, a counter
force ofJapanese
ships sailed east
Phiippines on 15
Task Force 58.

34i44+ .


llJune 1944
Task Force 58 spearheads
US inv asion o f Marianas.

,: '-.,-.aircraft
:.!--'; had to find their
-. sluPsand landinthedatk.
'...:. Risking torpedo attack by
il.1{1 Japanese subs, Admiral
; :';< '::
.:: Mitscherorderedlandingt
',. ights to be switched onto recover
the bulk of his strike force. 80 aircraft
ran out of fuel and crashed, but I 16 got safely home.

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6 o
Armed Forces of the World

Theancient kingdom ofJordan has possessed

an established army from the time when most
European nations were still throwing shar-
pened stones at one another, and over the
centuries the kingdom has remained a remark-
able bastion of stability in a turbulent region.
Today the Jordanian 'armed forces are"still
manned on an all-volunteer basis for well
trained units that are now in a state of transi-
tion from what was once a British-orientated
establishment into a more outwardJooking
formation using equipment from the USSR on
one side and from the USA and UK on the
other side of the superpower divide.

The Jordanian army

ln terms of equipment ihe Jordanian army is
one of the most powerful in the Middle East,
and is mechanized to a high degree. lt has
recently undergone a major re-equipment
programme with new American M60 MBTs,
and with new 155-mm and 203-mm self-
propelled artillery, and still has some M60 'Gaskin' missile sites are being established to The CASA C-2I2 Aviocar provides thelight
MBTs to be delivered. However, the main tank defend the airfields alongside lmproved tansport element of ]ordan's single air transport
force still consists of M47 , M48 and Centurion HAWK missiles and gun installations A single squadron. The aircraft is well suited to 'hot and
MBTs, though these are currently being re- transport squadron uses an unusual mix-of high' operations in the Middle East.
placed by the British RoF Khalid MBT, an ex- aircraft including Lockheed C-130 Hercrles,
port model of the Chieftain MBT. These tanks CASA C-212 Aviocars and Rockwel Sabrel ner Order of Battle
are backed up by Ferret scout cars, a large 75As. The Royal Flrght has a Boerng 727 ae,d a Army
force of about 850 M113 tracked APCs and-a Riley Dove for King Hussein's use. A /arge One independent Foyal Guards Brigade
small remaining batch of Saracen wheeled helrcopter squadron is based on rre Aerosoa- Five armoured brigades
APCs. Some towed artillery still remains, as do tiale Alouette lll, Siko's<y S-76s ano a nrrmber Six mechanized brigades
large numbers of heavy mortars and recoilless of Hughes 500D trainers Helrcopters on order Two infantry brigades
rif les, but air def ence depends on a mix of 'l 00 include 24 Bell AH-'l S Cobras to be f itted with 16 artillery battalions
Vulcan 20-mm cannon, M42 40-mm self- TOW anti-tank missiles Training aircraft n- Two anti-aircraft defence brigades
propelled Bofors guns, Redeye and SA-7 clude Cessna T-37C let rra rers, a number of Three airborne battalions
'Grail' man-portable missiles, and a force of BAe Bulldogs and six Pitts S-2s; Jordan has Air Force
lmproved HAWK, 54-6 'Gainful' and SA-9 one of the few air forces to operate this last Three interceptor squadrons (F-5, Miraqe F.1
'Gaskin' batteries. Anti-tank defence is pro- type, a highly aerobar c tra ner.
One strike squadron (F-5)
vided by TOW and Dragon ant -tank missiles. The f ull combat aircraft strength of the One OCU (F-5)
The primary striking forces using these Jordanian air force ls 94 aircraft. As far as is One transport squadron
weapons are organized mainly at brigade known none of tl-,ese are used in lraq, but One helicopter squadron
strengths. One of these brigades is an lnde- some transport aircraft have been operated in One Royal Flight
pendent Royal Guards Brigade, whrle the bulk sLpport of Jorda^ a^ troops with the lraqi
of the armour is centred in the f ive arnro;red 'o'ces Vo'e l-proreo Hawk missiles have Jordanian Khaltd fanks are som e of the most
and six mechanized briqades. n receri Vears powerful armoured tighting vehicles in the Middle
been offered bV tre U.ited States for airfield East. Essentially a late model Chieftain modified to
the army has been mucli concerned w tn .ter- defence to oJSt tne ex-Soviet missiles now in suitJordanian requirements, the Khalid has the
nal security, chiefly concern'rg t^e aci \ r es serv ce. /aleslandmost accurate of fire control systems.
of the PLO, and recently sorie 3,OOO ar--1
volunteers have been involved on the lrac
side in the lran-lraq conflict. lnternally the
army can call upon some 65,000 regular per-
sonnel, 3,550 wellarmed and comprehens ve-
ly organized Mobile Police Force personnel
and a further 7,500 Civil Militia.

The Jordanian navv

The naval element of the Jordanian forces is
small (300 personnel) and based at the south-
ern port of Aqaba. lt has nine small patrol craft
with a further three about to be delivered.
The Jordanian air force
The Jordanian air force has some 7,500 per-
sonnel, and is currently in the process of con-
verting its three interceptor squadrons to a
mix of Dassault-Breguet Mirage F.1s and
Northrop F-5Es and F-SFs, and the last few
Northrop F-5As are about to be retired. A furth-
er F-SE squadron is devoted to the ground-
attack role. At the same time all air force bases
are being 'hardened'and extra dispersal fields
are being constructed. 54-6'Gainful'and SA-9