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fighting ships of the world

UNITED STATES NAVY (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)

AIRCRAFT CARRYING SHIPS

INDEPENDENCE light aircraft carriers (1943)

Monterey 1945

Cabot 1963

No Name Builder Laid down Launched Comm Fate
CV22, 7/1943- CVL22 Independence (ex-CL59 Amsterdam) New York SB, Camden 1/5/1941 22/8/1942 1/1/1943 stricken 28/8/1946
CV23, 7/1943- CVL23 Princeton (ex-CL61 Tallahassee) New York SB, Camden 2/6/1941 18/10/1942 25/2/1943 sunk 24/10/1944
CV24, 7/1943- CVL24 Belleau Wood (ex-CL76 New Haven) New York SB, Camden 11/8/1941 6/12/1942 31/3/1943 to France 9/1953 (Bois Belleau)
CV25, 7/1943- CVL25, 5/1959- AVT1 Cowpens (ex-CL77 Huntington) New York SB, Camden 17/12/1941 17/1/1973 28/5/1943 aviation transport 5/1959, stricken 1/11/1959
CV26, 7/1943- CVL26, 5/1959- AVT2 Monterey (ex-CL78 Dayton) New York SB, Camden 29/12/1941 28/2/1943 17/6/1943 aviation transport 5/1959, stricken 1/6/1970
CVL27 Langley (ex-Crown Point, ex-CL85 Fargo) New York SB, Camden 11/4/1942 22/5/1943 31/8/1943 to France 1/1951 (Lafayette)
CVL28, 5/1959- AVT3 Cabot (ex-CL79 Wilmington) New York SB, Camden 13/3/1942 4/4/1943 24/7/1943 aviation transport 5/1959, to Spain 30/8/1967 (Dedalo)
CVL29, 5/1959- AVT4 Bataan (ex-CL99 Buffalo) New York SB, Camden 31/8/1942 1/8/1943 17/11/1943 aviation transport 5/1959, stricken 1/9/1959
CVL30, 5/1959- AVT5 San Jacinto (ex-Reprisal, ex-CL100 Newark) New York SB, Camden 26/10/1942 26/9/1943 15/12/1943 aviation transport 5/1959, stricken 1/6/1970
  

Displacement standard, t

10622

Displacement full, t

14751

Length, m

182.9 wl 189.7 oa

Breadth, m

21.8 wl 33.3 oa

Draught, m

7.39 full load

No of shafts

4

Machinery

General Electric geared steam turbines, 4 Babcock & Wilcox boilers

Power, h. p.

100000

Max speed, kts

31.6

Fuel, t

oil 2633

Endurance, nm (kts) 13000 (15)

Armour, mm

CVL22, 23: belt: 16, bulkheads: 127, main deck: 51

CVL24 - 30: belt: 127 on 16mm plating, bulkheads: 127, main deck: 51

Armament

CVL22, 23: 2 x 4 - 40/56 Mk 1/2, 8 x 2 - 40/56 Mk 1/2, 22 x 1 - 20/70 Mk 4, 30 aircraft (F4F Wildcat, F4U Corsair, F6F Hellcat fighters, SB2U Vindicator, SBD Dauntless, SB2C Helldiver dive bombers, TBF/TBM Avenger torpedo bombers, SOC Seagull reconnaissance planes)

CVL24 - 30: 2 x 4 - 40/56 Mk 1/2, 8 x 2 - 40/56 Mk 1/2, 22 x 1 - 20/70 Mk 4, 30 aircraft (F4F Wildcat, F4U Corsair, F6F Hellcat fighters, SBD Dauntless, SB2C Helldiver dive bombers, TBF/TBM Avenger torpedo bombers, SOC Seagull reconnaissance planes)

Sensors

SK, SC-2, SG radars

Complement

1569

 

Aircraft facilities (fd - 3,773 m², ha - 1,313 m² / 6,957 m³): Flight deck: 169.2 x 22.3 m. Hangar: 78.6 x 16.7 x 5.3 m. There were 2 lifts in center line (12.7 t, 12.8 x 13.4 m). There was 1 H 2-1 catapult. Aircraft fuel stowage: 462 700 l.   

 

Year fighters torpedo bombers / attackers ASW planes
11/1943 Independence 28 F6F-3 9 TBF-1 ---
6/1944 Monterey 34 F6F-3 8 TBM-1 ---
7/1945 Belleau Wood 25 F6F-5 9 TBM-3 ---
6/1952 Bataan 15-20 F4U-4B --- 10-15 AF-2S/W

Ship project history: In 1942 it appeared that the USN would not be able to get any fleet carriers before 1944 (planned date for the completion of Essex). President ordered the Navy to convert Cleveland cruisers to carriers. It allowed to complete new aircraft carriers already in early 1943.

As base for creation of Independence class design Cleveland class light cruisers were used. For providing of stability hulls were equipped with blisters, that increased breadth at about 1.5m. Construction of armoured belt demanded some alterations; them have managed to fulfil only on last seven ships (first two never received side armour). In remaining internal "stuffing" of the ships, including main machinery, remained without alterations. Despite growth of displacement, breadths and draught, speed was decreased slightly. So, San Jacinto on trials 14220t displacement and 104805hp of engine power reached 31.74kt speed.

Flight deck has been equipped by one catapult (all ships received one more in 1944-1945). Sizes of hangar were less, than on escort carriers of Bogue and Casablanca classes, that has predetermined the main lack of design: small number of air group.

The artillery as designed included two 127/38mm DP guns, 8x2 40mm and 161 20mm MGs. However after trials of Independence 127mm guns were replaced by two quadruple 40mm Boforses, all subsequent ships originally received the same armament.

As a whole Independence class carriers appeared as rather successful, but too cramped ships. Their air group was three times less, than on Essex, and endurance twice. Besides, Essex class carriers (for which temporary replacement Independence class was built) were built much faster, than originally planed, and lead-ship was commissioned earlier, than Independence!

Ship protection:  CVL22 and 23 had only 16mm plating at waterline.

Modernizations:  1944 - 1945, all survived: + 1 H-II-1 catapult (second).

To 1945, Independence, Belleau Wood, Bataan: - 18 x 1 - 20/70, SC-2 radar; + 2 x 2 - 40/56 Mk 1/2, SP radar

To 1945, Cowpens, Langley, Cabot: - 2 x 4 - 40/56, 22 x 1 - 20/70, SC-2 radar; + 1 x 2 - 40/56 Mk 1/2, 5 x 2 - 20/70 Mk 4, SP radar

To 1945, Monterey: - 2 x 4 - 40/56, 22 x 1 - 20/70, SC-2 radar; + 1 x 2 - 40/56 Mk 1/2, 8 x 2 - 20/70 Mk 4, SP radar

To 1945, San Jacinto: - 2 x 4 - 40/56, SC-2 radar; + 1 x 2 - 40/56 Mk 1/2, SP radar

1/1946, Independence, Belleau Wood, Bataan: 2 x 4 - 40/60 Mk 2, 10 x 2 - 40/60 Mk 1, 4 x 1 - 20/70 Mk 10, 1 catapult, 30 aircraft, SK, SP, SG radars

1/1946, Cowpens, Langley, Cabot: 9 x 2 - 40/60 Mk 1, 5 x 2 - 20/70 Mk 24, 1 catapult, 30 aircraft, SK, SP, SG radars

1/1946, Monterey: 9 x 2 - 40/60 Mk 1, 8 x 2 - 20/70 Mk 24, 1 catapult, 30 aircraft, SK, SP, SG radars

1/1946, San Jacinto: 9 x 2 - 40/60 Mk 1, 22 x 1 - 20/70 Mk 10, 1 catapult, 30 aircraft, SK, SP, SG radars

1946 - 1948, all survived: catapult was replaced by H 4B.

Naval service: Princeton 24/10/1944 was badly damaged as a result of hit of 250kg bomb from Japanese D4Y bomber and following fire. She was finally torpedoed by cruiser Reno. Independence 20/11/1943 was damaged by hit of Japanese air torpedo and repaired till August, 1944; 1/7 and 25/7/1946 she was badly damaged at nuclear tests off Bikini and sunk at tests of new weapons 29/1/1951. Belleau Wood 30/10/1944 was badly damaged by hit of kamikaze and repaired till January, 1945.

Belleau Wood 1943

Ivan Gogin, 2014-15