Thursday, June 9, 2011

US Navy Aircraft Carriers prior to WW2

USS Langley

The USS Langley was converted from the collier USS Jupiter - Collier Number 3.

The USS Langley (CV-1) was the United States Navy's first aircraft carrier. The hull of the Langley had seen prior years of service under the name of USS Jupiter (Collier # 3), a collier or coal vessel that also served as the USN's test bed for its first turbo electrically-propelled ship. This experiment was designed to increase safety on board USN vessels by not using the standard coal burning furnaces, thus reducing the chance of an explosion caused by coal dust. President William H. Taft attended the keel laying ceremony and the ship was officially commissioned on April 7th, 1913.

Jupiter had a notable career ferrying Marines of the Pacific Fleet at Mazatlan, Mexico during the Vera Cruz crisis. On her way back she steamed through the Panama Canal on Columbus Day, the first vessel to make the crossing from the west to into the east. Her primary duty then was as a coaling ship of the fleet and was sent to France in both 1917 and 1918. Interestingly enough, on her first voyage she transported a naval aviation detachment of 7 officers and 122 men to England. It was the first United States aviation detachment to arrive in Europe, commanded by Lieutenant Kenneth Whiting, who later became Langley’s first executive officer. Her conversion to an aircraft carrier was authorized on July 11th, 1919, to which she later sailed into Hampton Roads, Virginia, to be decommissioned as the USS Jupiter in March of 1920. The US Navy chose their first carrier to be named as the USS Langley (CV-1) after Samuel Pierpoint Langley (1834-1906), an American pioneer involved in the designing of heavier-than-air craft. This did not bode well with another famous aviation pioneer, Orville Wright, who had his own ideas of who the ship should have been named after.

The USS Langley became an aircraft carrier for the useful purpose of conducting trials into the relatively new idea of seaborne aviation and many changes were required in making taking her from her collier ship origins. The superstructure, cranes, kingposts, masts, and funnels were removed while a rectangular flight deck was installed. The full-length wood flight deck was fitted to a steel framework. Below the deck was spacing to allow for ventilation and natural lighting to help below-deck work and general safety conditions. One elevator was added amidships and 2 launch catapults were installed on the flight deck.

The six large cargo holds (original used for coal storage on the Jupiter) proved ideal as aircraft hanger decks for aircraft and associated machinery spaces positioned aft. The electric drive motors remained from her Jupiter days and powered 3 boilers, producing 190psi and 6,500 shaft horsepower to 2 propeller shafts. This powerplant arrangement allowed the new displacement of 15,150 tons full to make an impressive 15.5 knots. For self-defense, the USS Langley was fitted with 4 x 5” 51 caliber single gun mounts. CV-1 had room for approximately 34 aircraft (biplanes) as folding wings were not en vogue during this time. The operational crew component comprised of 468 sailors and applicable air wing personnel. Her dimensions showcased a length of 542 feet, 3 inches and a width of 65ft, 3 inches. Two gantry cranes were fitted while Number 1 Hole was dedicated to aviation fuel storage. The starboard side uptakes were cross connected to the port side and hinged down for unobstructed flight deck operations.

An interesting historical footnote of Langley lore was a carrier pigeon house installed on the stern section of the ship between the 5" 51 caliber anti-aircraft guns. Pigeons were still utilized on navy ships of the time and carried aboard seaplanes for message transport, this beginning about the time of World War I. The US Navy pigeons were "trained" at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard at the same time that USS Langley was being converted to CV-1. Though the use of trained animals might sound applicable here, it presented the operator with some natural dilemmas. It seemed that when a handful of pigeons were released at any one time, they returned to the ship. On another occasion however, a large number of pigeons were released near Tangier Island in the Chesapeake Bay and did not return, instead deciding to fly southwards and eventually ending up at the Norfolk shipyard. For such "dereliction" of pigeon training, these particular messenger pigeons were "discharged" from sea duty and not returned to Langley. The pigeon house was therefore rebuilt as the executive officer's quarters.

October 1922 was an important month in naval aviation history, marking the first take-off and landing of an aircraft from an aircraft carrier at sea. One such Vought VE-7 Bluebird biplane made history by being the first airplane to take-off from the USS Langley on October 17th, 1922 with Lieutenant Commander Virgil C. (Squash) Griffin at the controls of the fighter aircraft. Nine days later, on the 26th, Lieutenant Commander G. de Chevalier landed an Aeromarine 39B biplane aircraft on the deck of the USS Langley while she was under steam.

After some additional repairs, the USS Langley proceeded to the Caribbean Sea for carrier flight operation consisting of launching and landing tests. By June she was training along the Atlantic coast until 1924. Langley then participated in training maneuvers and spent the summer at Norfolk for repairs. In November, Langley departed for the West Coast and arrived in San Diego, California to join the Pacific Battle Fleet. For the next twelve years she would operate off the West Coast and in Hawaiian waters, undergoing basic fleet training, pilot training, and tactical game exercises.

In October 1936, Langley returned to Mare Island Navy Yard in California for an overhaul and conversion as a seaplane tender. With her career as an aircraft carrier officially ended, her trained pilots were transferred to the USS Lexington and USS Saratoga. Langley was now re-classified as AV-3 with the conversion completing in February of 1937. She was then assigned to the Aircraft Scouting Force and commenced her tending duties out of Seattle-Washington, Sitka-Alaska, Pearl Harbor-Hawaii, and San Diego-California. In July of 1939, she departed to assume her duties with the Pacific Fleet at Manila in the Philippines arriving in September that year.

Upon the US entry into World War II, Langley was anchored off Cavite, Philippines and remained undetected by Japanese forces. On December 8th, following the invasion of the Philippines by Japan, she steamed from Cavite to Balikpapan in the Dutch East Indies. Japanese advances continued and Langley was ordered to depart for Australia, arriving in Darwin on January 1st, 1942. The US Navy at this time was stretched perilously thin so Langley became part of a combined naval force with the American-British-Dutch-Australian Command (ABDACOM). In this capacity, USS Langley assisted the Royal Australian Air Force in running anti-submarine patrols out of Darwin, Australia.

With the Allies needing aircraft in Southeast Asia, Langley ferried 32 Curtiss P-40 Warhawk fighter aircraft assigned to the United States Army Air Force 49th Pursuit Group to Tjilatjap, Java in February. Langley then left Tjilatjap on February 27th to rejoin her destroyer group made up of the Whipple and Edsall. When she was about 75 miles (120 km) south of Tjilatjap, nine Japanese twin-engine Mitsubishi G4M "Betty" bombers attacked her. During the attack, USS Langley was hit by no less than 5 bombs, killing 16 of her crew members. Her planes resting along her flight deck were also set afire in the attack and ensuing explosions below her flight deck impaired her ability to steer, forcing her to list to port. After a valiant attempt by her crew to return to Java, the USS Langley went dead in the water. With her engine room now flooding beyond hope of recovery, the order was given to abandon ship for all hands aboard. Once all crew were safely transferred off the ship, the accompanying destroyer Whipple fired nine 4" inch shells into USS Langley while Edsall fired two torpedoes into her side for good measure. The decision to sink Langley was to ensure she would not become a Japanese war prize. The surviving Langley crew went on to serve on many other carriers in the conflict, aiding greatly to the Allied war effort. Despite her unceremonious fate at sea, the USS Langley had already achieved a memorable and lasting legacy for those that served under her banner.

The USS Jupiter/USS Langley received several awards during her tenure at sea. As the Jupiter, these included the Mexican Service Medal and the World War 1 victory medal. As the Langley, this included the American Defense Service Medal ("Fleet" clasp), the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal and the World War 2 Victory Medal.

USS Lexington

Originally designed as a battlecruiser, the USS Lexington CV-2 aircraft carrier was lost to action against Japanese forces in the Battle of Coral Sea on May 8th, 1942.

The USS Lexington (CV-2) and the USS Saratoga (CV-3) both served the United States Navy well in the inter-war years, supplying the nation with the priceless experience that would pay off by the time of World War 2. The USS Lexington was the lead ship of the Lexington-class with the Saratoga acting as her sister. The Lexington received her name after the Battle of Lexington in 1775 as part of the American Revolutionary War, the war representing among the earliest action between the rebelling colonists and the British Monarchy. CV-2 became the fourth USN vessel to be named Lexington.

By 1916, World War 1 was in full swing throughout Europe. American involvement in the conflict would not hit a fever pitch until 1918 but plans were being drawn up to bring the military up to fighting speed, particularly the United States Navy. This included the drafting of a collection of powerful battlecruisers, each coming in at 35,300 tons and to be comprised of a six-ship, boiler-powered class. The first two ships would be designated as the USS Lexington (CC-1) and the USS Saratoga (CC-3). The war formally came to a close in November of 1918 and, with it, much of the military buildup for all countries involved. Progress on the battlecruisers continued, albeit in limited fashion, and the CC-1 was laid down on January 8th, 1921 with construction of the ship handled by the Fore River Ship and Engine Building Company of Quincy, Massachusetts (New York Shipbuilding of Camden handled the Saratoga). Also on the horizon was the intended production of the battlecruisers USS Constellation, USS Ranger, USS Constitution and the USS United States.

The Washington Naval Conference - a meeting held by major naval world players taking place in Washington, D.C., to agree to terms of a broad disarmament occurred from November 12th, 1921 into February 6th, 1922. The goal of the conference was more-or-less to preserve peace in the known world without the escalation of arms races as a guiding beacon to further war. As such, certain limitations were agreed upon and enacted to keep naval powers in check. One of the major treaties to come out of the conference became the Washington Naval Treaty. This treaty looked to end "all-new" battleship construction and limit the size and armament of existing surface vessels. This resulted in a number of large, powerful ships being dismantled and scrapped altogether while others were instead converted to less belligerent roles such as that of aircraft carrier. These rules would be skirted by the powers of Germany and Japan, producing two of the most powerful battleships ever made - the KMS Bismarck and the IJN Yamato respectively.

Nevertheless, the CC-1 and CC-3 both fell into this conversion program with the decision formally made on July 1st, 1922. Plans for the construction of the USS Constellation, USS Ranger, USS Constitution and USS United States were therefore scrapped in full. Each remaining ship was displaced down approximately 8,600 tons by the deletion of their 16-inch main guns as well as their applicable turret emplacements and ammunition stores. In their place was installed a large-spanning 880-foot long, 90-foot wide flightdeck suspended some 60 feet above the waterline. A forward-mounted transverse catapult was fitted as were service cranes to handle cargo and seaplanes as needed. Internal storage space would allow for the housing of some 120 aircraft of the day throughout her 450-foot two-story hangar deck. There was also a 120-foot hold for aircraft not in use and additional systems could be suspended from the hangar roof if need be. Two elevators were installed to facilitate the movement of aircraft from deck to deck. Her battlecruiser hull remained largely intact as did her original armor arrangement though additional armor was secured along the decks and plate armoring ran right up to the flight deck. There was an island fitted just forward of the large identifiable funnel and both were set off to the starboard side in a revolutionary new arrangement for aircraft carriers. The funnel would alternatively serve the design well, becoming the structure piece for which the US Navy could adapt new radar installations as they became available. Another key feature was an opening for the release or recovery of boats.

Self-defense was still the order of the day and the new carriers were outfitted with a collection of 8x 8-inch /55 caliber guns, 12 x 5-inch /25 caliber anti-aircraft guns and 4 x 6-pounder saluting cannons. The 8-inch / 55 caliber gun turrets were set in tandem pairs both mounted forward and aft of the island and funnel. Crew complement was reported at 1,899 men made up of 1,730 sailors and 169 officers. Power was derived from 16 x Yarrow boilers powering 4 x General Electric steam turbines and, in turn, powered 4 x main drive motors with an output of 180,000 shaft horsepower. Four turbo-generators fed eight electric motors with two motors to a shaft. The engine arrangement was one key piece retained from the original battlecruiser design. The arrangement allowed for a speed of just over 33 knots to be reached with a range equivalent to 10,000 nautical miles.

Upon delivery and acceptance into service, the USS Lexington (CV-2) became the United States Navy's first fleet aircraft carrier. She was launched to sea on October 3rd, 1925, under sponsorship of Mrs. Theodore Douglas Robinson - then wife to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy - and officially commissioned on December 14th, 1927 with Captain Albert W. Marshall behind the helm. Following the traditional "shake down" period for naval vessels, the USS Lexington joined her allies in the Battle Fleet out of San Pedro, California on April 7th, 1928. She ran through a period of valuable training for her crew, officers and naval aviators and participated in all-important Pacific war games. She would be one of the earliest US Navy ships to received the first maritime production radar system available in the form of the RCA CXAM-1.

At the time of the surprise attack by Japanese forces on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, the USS Lexington was away on a delivery call to Midway Island to support the garrison of US Marines holding down the fort. Luckily for the American Pacific Fleet, the three major carriers in the region were all out of the harbor at the time of the attack - including the USS Saratoga undergoing a refit in San Diego and the USS Enterprise also out on delivery. Post-attack, the USS Lexington launched her search planes in vain to search for the Japanese fleet but came up empty. Regardless, the US was now officially committed to was with the Empire of Japan and there would be much more in store for the USS Lexington than aircraft deliveries from this point on.

Lexington served as the flagship for Task Force 11 out of Pearl under the command of Vice Admiral Wilson Brown on January 11th, 1942. While en route with TF 11, she was attacked by a contingent of 18 Japanese aircraft but repelled them with her own fighters, resulting in the destruction of 17 of the enemy. She was put on a series of patrols for the time being, actively seeking out the enemy fleet and provided air cover for a Marshall Islands raid. On March 6th, 1942, she met up with Task Force 17 and the much newer USS Yorktown before returning to Pearl for an armament refitting. Her original 8-inch guns and four of her 5-inch guns were replaced with six 28mm quadruple- and thirty 20mm Oerlikon single-mount anti-aircraft cannons. She was back with TF 17 by May 1st.

The Battle of Coral Sea was next on the Lexington's radar. She and TF 17 spotted an enemy task force sent to escort a New Guinea invasion force tasked with the capture of Port Moresby. Port Moresby would serve the Japanese Army and Navy well as a stepping stone to the ultimate invasion of the Australian mainland. The carrier force was counting on an Allied response to the invasion force and was to attack such a response from the vulnerable rear, crushing the attempt in the process. The Japanese Task Force included the light carrier IJN Shoho and the large carriers IJN Shokaku and IJN Zuikaku. USS Lexington and USS Saratoga formed the backbone of the American force ready to match metal for metal.

Bad weather persisted from May 5th to May 6th, to which neither force spotted one another. All that changed on the 7th however as the Japanese invasion force was located. The Americans responded by launching two-thirds of their planes thinking that the Japanese carriers were also among the group of transports. This forced a change of course for the Japanese invasion force but left the IJN Shoho as the primary target to the incoming Allied attack. All she could make due with were her close-range anti-aircraft guns and a small contingent of just 21 aircraft. While the Lexington's aircraft were repelled in the subsequent action by the force of ships, Saratoga's wave hit the Shoho with no less than thirteen 1,000lb bombs, several torpedoes and one crashing SBD Dauntless (her two-man crew was killed in the process). Amazingly, the Americans lost just three aircraft in the fray.

May 8th saw each carrier group only 200 miles apart and both spotted the other in turn, launching their warplanes. Shokaku was hit twice by USS Saratoga dive-bombers, one bomb disabling the launch deck and essentially taking her out of the fight. USS Lexington's aircraft arrived late but an aviator managed a hit to Shokaku to worsen the damage. While she survived the battle, she lost most of her air group at Coral Sea.

On the other side of the battlefield, a 69-strong Japanese aircraft group appeared and laid a direct hit on Yorktown but the resulting destruction was not overly critical to operations. At the same time, Japanese aircraft engaged Lexington and hit her squarely with two torpedoes along her forward portside bow. Simultaneously, Japanese dive-bombers swooped in and managed two direct hits on her from above - one on the funnel structure and one on the forward portside flight deck. The attack jammed the Lexington's elevator in the raised position but her flightdeck was left intact.

The direct blasts and near misses of the Japanese bombs and torpedoes did more internal damage than initially noted. The ripple effect of the explosions had jarred aviation fuel tanks under her flightdeck that, though the internal fires had been put out by crews, the explosive gasses still permeated about the confines of the ship. Approximately an hour after the initial explosions were felt, a seemingly random spark occurred somewhere in the ship, in turn igniting the potent gasses, causing a series of explosions to ripple about the vessel and fires broke out. The ship listed to port and billowed smoke.

Realizing the Lexington was most likely a loss, the remaining aircraft were ordered to fly to their new home aboard the USS Yorktown. Lexington herself was subsequently abandoned per captain's order at 17:00 hours and ultimately done in by two torpedoes from the destroyer USS Phelps to prevent her capture by the enemy. In true honorable fashion, the last persons to leave the ship were Captain Frederick Carl Sherman and his Executive Officer, Commander Morton T. Seligman. The USS Lexington was officially given to the sea at 19:56 and her part in the war was over. She was struck from the US Naval Register on June 24th, 1942. During her World War 2 tenure, the ship earned herself and her crews the American Defense Service Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (with 2 Stars) and the World War 2 Victory Medal. Of the 2,951 crew aboard Lexington at the time of the Battle of Coral Sea, 216 were killed in action.

While technically a victory for Japan, the Battle of Coral Sea proved their first major setback in their conquest of the Pacific and did away with any though of invading the Australian mainland. The Americans lost a major carrier in the process and hard lessons were learned for future combat actions that would play well into total victory for the Allies in the Theater. USS Lexington proved a fighter till the end, a boxer on the ropes not ready to accept defeat. The price for victory proved high on that fateful day.

During her tenure at sea, USS Lexington (CV-2) became affectionately known by the nicknames of the "Gray Lady" and "Lady Lex". As an aside, five days after the report of her sinking was made public, workers at the Fore River Shipbuilding Company in Quincy, Massachusetts petitioned the US Navy Secretary, Frank Knox, to rename the current carrier (USS Cabot) then under construction at the shipyard. The petition was accepted and the Cabot now became USS Lexington (CV-16) in honor of the CV-2.

USS Intrepid

The USS Intrepid survived the perils of World War 2 to fight on through the Vietnam War, eventually to retire as a floating museum.
The USS Intrepid served the United States Navy throughout World War 2 and beyond. The vessel was designed from the new Essex-class of aircraft carriers and was officially added to the navy inventory in 1943. The Intrepid would go on to see extensive combat (known best for its involvement in the Battle of Leyte Gulf) and would become a pivotal piece for American victory in the Pacific Theater. The vessel survived the rigors of war for over 30 years and would eventually be saved as a floating museum - an honorable fate not shared with the other great American carrier - the USS Enterprise.

The Intrepid was a result of the Fiscal Year 1940 program to which a total of five of these Essex-class carriers emerged (beginning with the USS Essex itself). The Intrepid became the third Essex-class ship in the family and was joined by six more of this initial group in 1941. A total of 27 Essex-class carriers would eventually be built with many available for the final death blow on Japan by mid-1945. The Intrepid herself would finish construction in April of 1943 and be pushed off for her sea trials and "shake down" voyage on April 26th. With the pressures of war, the Intrepid would only have to wait a short few months before official commissioning. 

Design followed standard fare, with the island located to the starboard side and the flightdeck to the port running from stern to bow. A total of three wood-planked elevators serviced the flight deck (one port-side deck-edge and two centerline, port and aft of the island superstructure). The port-side elevator was actually pioneered in the Wasp design and was liked so much that senior officers began requesting its presence in all future carrier designs. Two vertically-oriented launch catapults were provided at the bow of the ship (a third - somewhat useless - horizontally-oriented catapult was removed early on). Total aircraft assortment varied between 90 to 100 depending on type. Some 240,000 gallons (US) of aviation fuel was carried along with an extensive amount of ammunition and ordnance for the air group. 

Armament consisted of self-defense weaponry in the form of 8 x 5" cannons (4 in single mountings and 4 in dual-mountings), 8 x 40mm cannons in quadruple mountings and no fewer than 46 20mm cannons in single mountings (later up to 52 such cannons) scattered about the ship. As a whole, the Essex-class of carriers were well-built and well-protected, being able to sustain heavy damage and continually stay in action and have that damage repaired rather quickly in turn. Armor was adequate for the most part, reaching some 4 inches at its thickest. In a testament to its design and abilities, none of the Essex-class carriers were lost in all of World War 2.

The island superstructure sat on the starboard side and directed all all operational functions. The island was defended by eight of the 40mm cannons for anti-aircraft defense. Additionally, the island was home to the search radar and radar directors for the 5-in cannon. Radio communications were handled via two lattice masts joined by wiring connecting the two structures which were fitted off to the right of the forward portion of the flight deck. This position was aptly-protected by a collection of 40mm and 20mm cannon.

Propulsion for the USS Intrepid was handled by 8 x Babcock & Wilcox oil-fired boilers driving 4 x Westinghouse-brand steam turbines which powered 4 x propeller shafts for a total output of 150,000 shaft horsepower. Some 6,161 tons of oil was carried for the engines. A crew of 2,600 enlisted sailors and officers called the USS Intrepid "home".

Throughout early 1944, the Intrepid took part in preparations for the invasion of the Marshall Islands, raiding Japanese-held positions and destroying enemy aircraft and providing air cover for US Marines in the inevitable amphibious landings. Following the invasion, the Intrepid was involved in action against Japanese surface ships and assisted in the sinking of two destroyers along with thousands of tons of enemy shipping. An enemy torpedo eventually struck her in the starboard side which resulted in flooding and alignment issues with her rudder forcing the crew to operate on full port-side power and lesser starboard power. By this time, the improvised method was abandoned as she made her way back to Pearl Harbor and then California for full repairs. By mid-1944, the Intrepid was back in action after two months away.

Next for the vessel was attacks on Palaus and the Philippines during a period encompassing September through November of 1944. Her air wing struck at Japanese targets of opportunity and airfields whenever possible, hoping to cripple any measure of an aerial counter attack and force the occupiers from the collection of islands. In October, Intrepid planes offered up air support for US Marine landings at Leyte eventually becoming embroiled in the "Battle of Leyte Gulf" as no fewer than three Japanese forces converged on in the region. On October 24th, elements of Intrepid and Cabot attacked Center Force, crippled the battleship Yamato and sank the Musashi in an entire day of fighting. The following day, Intrepid aircraft damaged the carriers Zuiho and Zuikaku and sank the Chitose. Between October and November, the Intrepid would fall victim to no fewer than three successful Kamikaze attacks, all causing damage and fires and the loss of dozens of lives yet the vessel still stayed in the game and pushed forward.

In April of 1945, the Intrepid took part in the invasion of Okinawa, flying support for the amphibious landings by US Marines. Another kamikaze attack followed, killing eight more of the Intrepid crew but the stellar work of the damage control crews ensured that the flight deck was ready for friendly aircraft to land in a matter of hours. On August 15th, the USS Intrepid officially received word to cancel any remaining offensive operations - the Second World War was over. By December of 1945, the Intrepid returned to California and eventually settled off of San Francisco.

The USS Intrepid was initially laid down at the end of 1941 and launched by mid 1943. She was officially commissioned in August of that year and served until decommissioning in 1974. During this time, she underwent a classification change from "CV" to "CVA" on October 1st, 1952 and another classification change from "CVA" to "CVS" on March 31st, 1962. Upon becoming the CVA-11, the Intrepid also received work to strengthen her flight deck and catapults and a redesigned island. Upon becoming the CVS-11, she received an angled flight deck and enclosed bow and pushed into service as an anti-submarine carrier. During these Cold War years, her primary role was operations undertaken around Europe with a light attack air group before coming into play as a "special attack carrier" for the Vietnam Conflict. In support of US Navy operations in Vietnam, the USS Intrepid saw action from the South China Sea.

Appropriately, the USS Intrepid carried the nicknames of "Evil I" and "Dry I" from her time spent in dry dock. But because of her major role in World War 2, she also carried the nickname of "The Fighting I". Today, the USS Intrepid serves as a museum ship, harbored as a floating museum in New York City waters. The Intrepid also served in the recovery of the Mercury and Gemini space capsules during the 1960's.

Specifications for the USS Intrepid (CV-11)

Length: 872ft (265.79m)
Beam: 147.6ft (44.99m)
Draught: 34.2ft (10.42m)

Surface Speed: 33kts (38mph)
Range: 17,275miles (27,801km)
Complement: 2,600
Suface Displacement: 27,100tons

Engine(s): 8 x Babcock & Wilcox oil-fired boilers driving 4 x Westinghouse steam turbine engines operating 4 x shafts with total output of 150,000shp.

Air Arm:
Up to 100 aircraft of various makes and types. Example load: 36 x Grumman F4F Wildcat fighters; 37 x Douglas SBD Dauntless dive-bombers; 18 x Grumman TBF Avenger torpedo-bombers.

Armament Suite:
4 x 5" dual-mount anti-aircraft cannons
4 x 5" single-mount anti-aircraft cannons
8 x 40mm Bofors quad-mount anti-aircraft cannons
46 x 20mm Oerlikon single-mount cannons (total of 52 such cannons installed by the end of the war)


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