Essex Class

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Naval history of American aircraft carriers of the Essex Class. Aircraft carriers including USS Bon Homme Richard from launch to participation in major wars also notice board for naval historians & families of ex-crew of the Essex class aircraft carriers.

Displacement: 27,200 tons and 34,881 tons full load.  Sped 32.7 knots, range 15,000 nautical miles at 15 knots.   Compliment: 2682   Armament: Twelve 5-inch,  Thirty two 40mm     Forty six 20mm  and 91 aircraft 

    Essex Class Aircraft Carriers  (Click on name  of ship for further details)

USS Essex (CV9) 31st July 1942 Scrapped on 15th June 1975.
USS Yorktown (ex Bon Homme Richard) (CV10) 21st January 1943 Preserved as a memorial in June 1973.
USS Intrepid (CV11) 26th April 1943 Decommissioned on 15th March 1974.
USS Hornet (CV12) 30th August 1943 Decommissioned on 26th June 1970.
USS Franklin (CV13) 14th October 1943 Scrapped on 1st October 1964.
USS Ticonderoga (CV14) 7th February 1944 Scrapped on 16th November 1973.
USS Randolph (CV15) 29th June 1944 Scrapped on 15th June 1973.
USS Lexington (CV16) 26th September 1942 Became CVT in 1980.
USS Bunker Hill (CV17) 7th December 1942 Scrapped 1st November 1966.
USS Wasp (CV18) 17th August 1943 Scrapped 1st July 1972.
USS Hancock (CV19) 17th August 1943 Scrapped 31st January 1976.
USS Bennington (CV20) 26th February 1944 Decommissioned on 15th January 1970.
USS Boxer (CV21) 14th December 1944 Scrapped sometime after 1st December 1969.
USS Bon Homme Richard (CV31) 29th April 1944 Decommissioned on 2nd July 2971.
USS Leyte (CV32) 23rd August 1945 Scrapped on 1st June 1969.
USS Kearsarge (CV33) 5th May 1945 Scrapped on 1st May 1973.
USS Oriskany (CV34) 13th October 1945 Redesigned before completion to carry jets. Decommissioned on 30th September 1976.
USS Antietam (CV36) 20th August 1944 Scrapped 1st May 1973.
USS Princeton (CV37) 8th July 1945 Scrapped 30th January 1970.
USS Shangri La (CV38) 24th February 1944 Decommissioned 30th July 1971.
USS Lake Champlain (CV39) 2nd November 1944 Scrapped 1st December 1969.
USS Tarawa (CV40) 12th May 1945 Scrapped 1st June 1967.
USS Valley Forge  (CV45) 18th November 1945 Scrapped 15th January 1970.
USS Philippine Sea (CV47) 5th September 1945 Scrapped 1st December 1969.
USS Intrepid

USS Intrepid was laid down in 1941  and built  by Newport news. and launched 26th April 1943, completed for service on the 16th August 1943. and was one of a class of 24 ships of the Essex class aircraft carriers .  This was the largest fleet of aircraft carriers ever constructed and proved the industrial might of the United States beyond doubt.  Carrying 90 aircraft each, they formed the main air strength and striking power of the US Pacific Fleet against the Japanese.  The Intrepid saw her first action in January 1944 supporting operations at Kwajalein.  While operating in raids on Truk in February 1944 Intrepid was hit by a torpedo which damaged her steering gear, requiring repairs which kept her from the war zone until June.  She then took part in operations off the Palaus, the Philippines, Okinawa and Formosa.  She was struck twice by kamikazes in late 1944.  Returning to action in March 1945, she participated in strikes against the Japanese home islands and Okinawa, suffering another kamikaze hit in April of 1945 - she survived the most hits of any other US carrier in the war.  Here the Intrepid is seen in October 1944 whilst with TG38.2 flanked by the cruiser USS Vincennes and the destroyer USS The Sullivans.

Displacement: 27,020 tons, 34,880 tons fully loaded.  Speed: 32.7 knots.  Range 15,000 nautical miles at 15 Knots.  Compliment: 2682.   Armament: twelve 5-inch guns, Thirty Two 40mm AA Guns,  Forty six 20mm AA guns  and 91 aircraft. 

ORIGINAL POSTCARD FOR SALE.  DONATED TOWARDS THE UPKEEP OF THIS SITE.

USS Intrepid showing helicopter and jet complement

Original Wright & Logan Postcard.  Price ?15.  Click here to order.    Order Code PUX003

USS Essex

CV9 USS Essex, 31st December 1942

Order Code CV9

One copy only of original 1940's printed photo plate, 10" x 8" available, price ?15.  Please note image shown has been cropped for website purpose and more sky and sea and text is shown on the photo plate.   Please add post of  ?3 post for UK ?10 overseas, recorded airmail order photograph here

CV9 USS Essex, 1st February 1943

Order Code CV9B

One copy only of original 1940's printed photo plate, 10" x 8" available, price ?15.  Please note image shown has been cropped for website purpose and more sky and sea and text is shown on the photo plate.   Please add post of  ?3 post for UK ?10 overseas, recorded airmail order photograph here

USS Bunker Hill

USS Bunker Hill Sent in by Alec Noble

USS Wasp

USS Wasp Sent in by Larry Stern

USS Hancock

USS Hancock Sent in by Alec Noble

USS Shangri La

USS Shangri La, 1945