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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 Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comm Fate
CV22, 7/1943- CVL22 Independence (ex-CL59 Amsterdam) 427 New York SB, Camden 1/5/1941 22/8/1942 1/1/1943 stricken 8/1946
CV23, 7/1943- CVL23 Princeton (ex-CL61 Tallahassee) 429 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) 431 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) 432 New York SB, Camden 17/12/1941 17/1/1973 28/5/1943 aviation transport 5/1959, stricken 11/1959
CV26, 7/1943- CVL26, 5/1959- AVT2 Monterey (ex-CL78 Dayton) 433 New York SB, Camden 29/12/1941 28/2/1943 17/6/1943 aviation transport 5/1959, stricken 6/1970
CVL27 Langley (ex-Crown Point, ex-CL85 Fargo) 443 New York SB, Camden 11/4/1942 22/5/1943 31/8/1943 to France 1/1951 (La Fayette)
CVL28, 5/1959- AVT3 Cabot (ex-CL79 Wilmington) 434 New York SB, Camden 13/3/1942 4/4/1943 24/7/1943 aviation transport 5/1959, to Spain 8/1967 (Dédalo)
CVL29, 5/1959- AVT4 Bataan (ex-CL99 Buffalo) 441 New York SB, Camden 31/8/1942 1/8/1943 17/11/1943 aviation transport 5/1959, stricken 9/1959
CVL30, 5/1959- AVT5 San Jacinto (ex-Reprisal, ex-CL100 Newark) 442 New York SB, Camden 26/10/1942 26/9/1943 15/12/1943 aviation transport 5/1959, stricken 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

4 sets 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 class cruisers to carriers. It allowed to receive new aircraft carriers already in early 1943.

Cleveland class light cruisers were used as design base. Hulls were blistered improving stability, and increasing the breadth at about 1.5m. Only seven ships had armoured belt, first two did not have side armour. Internal arrangement was altered slightly; machinery became unaltered. Despite growth of displacement, breadths and draught, speed was decreased slightly. Flight deck had one catapult (all ships received one more in 1944-1945). Hangar dimensions were less than on of Bogue and Casablanca escort carriers and that predetermined the main lack of design, small air group. Under the design artillery included two 127/38mm DP guns, 8 twin 40mm and 16 single 20mm guns. However after trials of Independence 127mm guns were replaced by two quadruple 40mm Boforses, all later ships were commissioned with this 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 planned, and Essex was commissioned earlier, than Independence.

Ship protection (CVL22, 23): There were only 16mm plating at waterline and 51mm main deck.

Ship protection (CVL24-30): 127mm belt was closed at ship ends by 127mm bulkheads and connected with 51mm main deck.

Modernizations:  1944 - 1945, all survived: + 1 H-II-1 catapult (2nd).

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.

early 1950s, all survived: - SP radar; + SPS-4 radar, SLR-2 ECM suite

late 1950s, all survived: - SK, SG, SPS-4 radars, SLR-2 ECM suite; + SPS-6, SPS-8, SPS-10, SPS-17 radars, WLR-1 ECM suite

1960s, some survived: - SPS-17 radar; + SPS-40 radar, ULQ-6 ECM suite

Naval service: Princeton 24/10/1944 was badly damaged as a result of 250kg air bomb hit from Japanese D4Y bomber and followed fire. She was finally torpedoed by cruiser Reno. Independence 20/11/1943 was damaged by hit of Japanese air torpedo and was under repair 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 kamikaze and returned to service in January, 1945.

Belleau Wood 1943

Ivan Gogin, 2014-15