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fighting ships of the world

UNITED STATES NAVY (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA)

AIRCRAFT CARRYING SHIPS

SANGAMON escort aircraft carriers (1939-1940 / 1942)

Santee 1942

Sangamon 1943

No Name Builder Laid down Launched Comm Fate
ACV26, 7/1943- CVE26 Sangamon (ex-AO28, ex-Esso Trenton) Federal, Kearny // Newport News 13/3/1939 4/11/1939 1940 // 25/8/1942 damaged 4/5/1945, never repaired
ACV27, 7/1943- CVE27, 6/1955- CVHE27 Suwannee (ex-AO33, ex-Markay) Federal, Kearny // Newport News 3/6/1939 4/4/1940 1940 // 24/9/1942 helicopter escort carrier 6/1955, stricken 3/1959
ACV28, 7/1943- CVE28, 6/1955- CVHE28 Chenango (ex-AO31, ex-Esso New Orleans) Sun SB, Chester // Bethlehem, Staten Is 10/7/1938 1/4/1939 1939 // 19/9/1942 helicopter escort carrier 6/1955, stricken 3/1959
ACV29, 7/1943- CVE29, 6/1955- CVHE29 Santee (ex-AO29, ex-Seakay) Sun SB, Chester // Norfolk N Yd 31/5/1938 4/3/1939 1939 // 24/8/1942 helicopter escort carrier 6/1955, stricken 3/1959
  

Displacement standard, t

10494

Displacement full, t

23875

Length, m

160.0 wl 168.6 oa

Breadth, m

22.9 wl 32.1 oa

Draught, m

9.32 full load

No of shafts

2

Machinery

General Electric geared steam turbines, 4 Babcock & Wilcox boilers

Power, h. p.

13500

Max speed, kts

18

Fuel, t

oil 4780

Endurance, nm (kts) 23900 (15)

Armament

ACV26, 29: 2 x 1 - 127/51 Mk 15, 4 x 2 - 40/56 Mk 1/2, 12 x 1 - 20/70 Mk 4, 31 aircraft (F4F Wildcat fighters, SBD Dauntless dive bombers, TBD Devastator, TBF/TBM Avenger torpedo bombers, SOC Seagull, F4F-P Wildcat reconnaissance planes)

ACV27, 28: 2 x 1 - 127/51 Mk 15, 4 x 2 - 40/56 Mk 1/2, 12 x 1 - 20/70 Mk 4, 31 aircraft (F4F Wildcat fighters, SBD Dauntless dive bombers, TBF/TBM Avenger torpedo bombers, SOC Seagull, F4F-P Wildcat reconnaissance planes)

Sensors

SC, SG radars

Complement

1080 (1945)

Aircraft facilities (fd - 3,963 m², ha - 1,268 m² / 6,761 m³): Flight deck: 153.0 x 25.9 m. Hangar: 60.4 x 21.0 x 5.33 m. There were 2 lifts in center line (6.3 t, 10.4 x 12.8 m). There was 1 H 2 catapult. Aircraft fuel stowage: 674 100 l. 

Year fighters dive bombers torpedo bombers
11/1942 Sangamon 12 F4F-4 9 SBD-3 9 TBF-1
7/1943 Santee 12 F4F-4 9 SBD-5 13 TBF-1
11/1943 Sangamon 12 F6F-3 9 SBD-5 9 TBF-1
10/1944 Chenango 24 F6F-3 --- 9 TBM-1
4/1945 Santee 18 F6F-5 --- 12 TBM-1

Ship project history: These carriers were laid down as oil tankers of -3 type named Esso Trenton, Markay, Esso New Orleans and Seakay. Later they were purchased by Navy and commissioned as naval tankers AO28, 29, 31 and 33. Early 1942 the decision to rebuild them to convoy aircraft carriers was accepted, and on February, 14th they were re-classified to AVG (subsequently an index was replaced by CVE). Works were conducted from February till August, 1942. Sangamons were significantly larger than the ships converted from -3 type vessels. Cargo tanks were extant: ship could carry 12876t of fuel, but in practice this possibility did not been used. By the end of war a part of cargo tanks began  be used to store ship fuel oil: that has raised the general fuel stowage to 4780t; the endurance has accordingly increased to 23900(15)nm.

In comparison with escort carriers rebuilt from dry cargo ships, Sangamon possessed better damage tolerance (for the account of better compartments arrangement), a huge endurance and, thanks to the bigger sizes of flight deck, could carry heavier aircrafts. However planed in 1942 conversion of the same type tankers to aircraft carriers had refused because of crisis of the tanker tonnage, preference was given to cheaper ships of Casablanca class in hulls cases of dry cargo carriers.

Modernizations:  1943, all: - 2 x 1 - 127/51; + 2 x 1 - 127/38 Mk 12

1944, all: - SC radar; + 1 H 2 catapult (second), SC-2 radar

To 1945, Sangamon, Suwanee, Chenango: + 2 x 4 - 40/56 Mk 1/2, 6 x 2 - 40/56 Mk 1/2, 9 x 1 - 20/70 Mk 4

To 1945, Santee: + 2 x 4 - 40/56 Mk 1/2, 6 x 2 - 40/56 Mk 1/2, 7 x 1 - 20/70 Mk 4

1/1946, Suwanee, Chenango: 2 x 1 - 127/38 Mk 30, 2 x 4 - 40/60 Mk 2, 10 x 2 - 40/60 Mk 1, 21 x 1 - 20/70 Mk 10, 2 catapults, 31 aircraft, SC-2, SG radars

1/1946, Santee: 2 x 1 - 127/38 Mk 30, 2 x 4 - 40/60 Mk 2, 10 x 2 - 40/60 Mk 1, 19 x 1 - 20/70 Mk 10, 2 catapults, 31 aircraft, SC-2, SG radars

Naval service: Esso Trenton (Sangamon) and Seakay (Santee) were bought by USN 22/10/1940, Esso New Orleans (Chenango) 31/5/1941 and Markay (Suwanee) 26/6/1941. They were commissioned as fleet tankers in summer 1941.

Sangamon 4/5/1945 was badly damaged by hit of kamikaze and never repaired. Suwannee 25/10/1944 was damaged by hit of kamikaze, next day again received bomb hit, repaired till February, 1945; 24/5/1945 she was damaged by internal explosion and repaired about one month.

Santee 25/10/1944 was damaged by kamikaze and in 16 minutes has received hit of a torpedo from Japanese submarine I56, she was badly damaged and repaired till March, 1945.

Santee 1942

Ivan Gogin, 2014-15