747400sp
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What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Sun Feb 15, 2004 10:36 am

I know this is a aviation web site, but I fell aircraft carriers the back bone of the Navy air power. I thought it be interesting to hear people opino on what they fell is the greatess carrier ever built. I would have to say the USS Niimitz, USS Enterprise (the current one) and the USS Farrenstal because they was very inervative super carrier.
 
FlagshipAZ
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RE: What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Sun Feb 15, 2004 10:52 am

IMHO it was the first carrier to bear the name "Enterprise". CV-6 was the most decorated ship of the US Navy in WWII.
It was felt by many she should have been preserved as an memorial to all Navy veterans of WWII, and when she was scrapped in 1959...many sailors again considered this to be nothing short of a criminal act & a federal offense. Even Admiral Bull Halsey got into the fight to save her...and some closest to him says that when the Big E was gone, Halsey's spirit chose to die at the same time.
I'll be back later on this thread with Enterprise's war record. Regards.
"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." --Ben Franklin
 
2912n
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RE: What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Sun Feb 15, 2004 11:41 am

Much will depend on your criteria...

Langley in many ways set the standards for fleet carriers.

British carriers which first really developed the concepts. (And the later inventions of the steam cat and fresnel landing system that allowed big deck carriers to operate.)

As noted above, the Big E and her sisters that opened WWII and were thrust into the lead role of the Navy.

The Essex class carriers that bore the brunt of fighting during WWII and with later modifications led the Navy into the Jet and nuclear ages.

USS Midway and her sisters (Oriskany and FDR) that were the first true big decks.

Then the Forrestal class...The nuke Enterprise...and then the true Super Carrier, the Nimitz class. Each has far too much to address here...

And then there are the small carriers developed by the UK that could be better suited to the littoral warfare of the future....
 
L-188
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RE: What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Sun Feb 15, 2004 4:48 pm

I remember reading that 6 portholes from CV-6 where installed on CVN-65.

I would suggest the Midway.

How many other carriers have seen service in 4 wars?

World War II
Korea
Vietnam
Kuwait.

You can do far worse then a 50 year service record.


But it is a purely perceptive arguement.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
TSV
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RE: What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Sun Feb 15, 2004 8:06 pm

"USS Midway and her sisters (Oriskany and FDR) that were the first true big decks."

Oriskany was an Essex class carrier (of the third group and the last to be completed). The other sister to Midway and FDR was the Coral Sea.

"I would suggest the Midway.

How many other carriers have seen service in 4 wars?

World War II
Korea
Vietnam
Kuwait."

When/where did Midway see service in WWII?

Laid down October 27, 1943
Launched March 20, 1945
Commissioned September 10, 1945
Trials and training continued until end October, 1947

Also I can't find any record of her serving in Korea for that matter - just Atlantic and The Med deployments.
"I told you I was ill ..." Spike Milligan
 
L-188
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RE: What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Sun Feb 15, 2004 8:17 pm

Opps, your right, Midway, just missed the war.

Still, it is an impressive service record.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
TSV
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RE: What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Sun Feb 15, 2004 8:28 pm

The cold up there must be affecting your memory (but certainly not your posting ability!).
"I told you I was ill ..." Spike Milligan
 
L-188
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RE: What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Sun Feb 15, 2004 8:40 pm

Actualy it is unseasonably warm

Right at 0C
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
2912n
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RE: What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Mon Feb 16, 2004 1:41 am

Ohhhh, I screwed up with Midway's sister ships.. My bad...  Sad (I hate when I do that!)

Actually Midway came into service just after WWII ended and did not see action in Korea. Midway and her sisters were kept in the Atlantic during the Korean conflict because they could handle the a/c with nuclear weapons. The Korean war was left to the older carriers to handle...

Midway did not see her first action until Vietnam.

(In that vein, the USS Midway will be open as a museum in San Diego late in May or early June of this year. Well worth a visit if you are in this part of the country.)
 
747400sp
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RE: What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Mon Feb 16, 2004 3:30 am

I heard that the USS Midway was originally designed as a battleship and looking at it satistic from 1945 to 1992 I see it beam has been wided from 113 t0 121 fleet. They problely did this so it could handle it new flight deck. Now that I live in San Diego I see the Midway almost everyday and it bigger than I thought it would be, but Nimitz class will take it's glory in a second.
 
garnetpalmetto
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What Is The Greatest Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Mon Feb 16, 2004 5:31 am

Some notes. Midway was never designed as a battleship. She always was meant to be a carrier. The only fleet carriers (not including light carriers) that were converted from other purposes were the Langley, which was originally a collier named Jupiter, and the Lexington-class ships which were redesigned from battlecruisers to aircraft carriers following the Washington Naval Treaty. From Ranger (CV-4) onwards, all carriers have been designed from the ground-up as carriers.


As for which was the greatest carrier, I'll toss in another vote for CV-6. When your opposition claims to have sunk her by name many times throughout the war, you know there's some sense of greatness there. When your ship has fought in nearly ever battle of the Pacific War and became one of only two of the Seven Sisters to survive the war (I'm not counting Ranger because she was assigned to LANTFLT throughout most of the war and only joined the Pacific War in '44 as a training carrier), you know it's greatness. When a ship comes out as the most heavily decorates ship of the war, if you don't call that greatness you're crazy.

As much as I'm a fan of the current Navy, I feel relucant to call any of the post World War-II carriers great. I realize some would be fast to jump on the current Enterprise and her 40 years of service, I ask what has she done in those 40 years, 10 of which have been spent in the yard on various RCOHs, modernizations, and reconstructions? She was not the first nuclear powered vessel (that honor goes to the USS Nautilus), nor was she the first nuclear powered surface ship (USS Long Beach beat her into service by two months). While she is a great ship that carries a great name, she was not the greatest, and I feel like her predecessor best deserves that title.

South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
 
FlagshipAZ
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RE: What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Mon Feb 16, 2004 6:44 am

As promised, I want to share Enterprise's (CV-6) war record with anyone who may be interested. Enterprise earned the Presidential Unit Citation, the Navy Unit Commendation & 20 battle stars. She was on frontline status 578 days of the Pacific War...and had a homewardbound pennant 578 feet long when she stood down for the last time (one foot for everyday at sea). Enterprise & her crew (air & ship based) sank 71 enemy ships, and destroyed 911 aircrafts. But please do not forget all the men who gave their lives defending their ship & fighting this terrible war. I do not have an exact count of men who perished, but they cannot be forgotten. Rest in peace guys. Best regards.
"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." --Ben Franklin
 
L-188
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RE: What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Mon Feb 16, 2004 7:24 am

The only Battleship connection that I can think of was the uncompleted United States and then the Forestal.

In both those ships running gear from the uncompleted 5th Iowa class Battleship Kentucky was used to save costs. When the United States was Canceled, it gave up parts for the Forestal that replaced it in the builders yards.
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maiznblu_757
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RE: What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Mon Feb 16, 2004 9:12 am

Why, the USS Nimitz, of course... NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!





[Edited 2004-02-16 01:15:41]
 
garnetpalmetto
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RE: The Greatest Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Mon Feb 16, 2004 9:51 am

L-188, are you sure about that factoid? Having checked DANFS I can find no mention of that, additionally consider that United States was only under construction for 5 days before she was cancelled (laid down the 4/19/49 cancelled 4/23/49). Kentucky, the sixth Iowa-class Battleship wasn't cancelled until 1/22/50, so to do as you suggest, the machinery from a non-cancelled ship would be cannabalized during a construction phase.

While machinery parts from the last two Iowas, Illinois and Kentucky were utilized in other vessels, those other vessels weren't carriers, but the Sacramento-class AOEs.
South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
 
DeltaMD11
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RE: What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Mon Feb 16, 2004 10:23 am

This is another one of my loves...naval vessels. While we're on the subject of BB's here for a second, if any of you guys happen to be in my neck of the woods, take some time to stop in Camden, NJ and have a look at the USS New Jersey (BB-62). She was the most-decorated battleship of WWII and amazingly she only ever had one combat fatality. Spruance's door placard is still in place...God I love that. Speaking of the Illinois and Kentucky...there are some rare pictures and things on display at the USS New Jersey museum dealing with them.
Too often we ... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. - John Fitzgerald Kennedy
 
747400sp
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RE: What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Mon Feb 16, 2004 10:55 am

The Kentucky Machinery is in the first two Sacramento class AOE. I read that the Kentucky nearly became a nuclear battleship in the late 50s. The Navy wanted battleship in the USS Enterprise, USS Long Beach and USS Bainbridge battle group but it never happened.
 
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STT757
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RE: What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Mon Feb 16, 2004 12:00 pm

"USS Long Beach "

There's a ship I wished they preserved, saw on a recent episode of (I forget, Marine Gunnery Sargent..) where they went to the Bremerton shipyard where the Long Beach was moored minus it's unique tower.
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L-188
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RE: What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Mon Feb 16, 2004 12:36 pm

You know, maybe I should keep my mouth shut, because it is appearing like my naval knowledge is less then it should be.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
2912n
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RE: What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Mon Feb 16, 2004 1:11 pm

Garnet--

Actually I think Midway was from a BB hull. I have to check with the folks over at the Midway museum. They were having a discussion about it while I was shooting photos for them and it seems that she was from a BB hull. When I find out I will post.


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Photo © Tony Zeljeznjak

 
garnetpalmetto
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RE: What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Mon Feb 16, 2004 1:24 pm

Did some fast checking, 2912n, and this is what I got from a Midway sailors website. http://www.midwaysailor.com/midway/history.html

The Midway class hull arrangement was modeled on the canceled Montana class battleships and were a new, much larger design intended to correct certain problems in the Essex class design.

So while they didn't use the actual hull of the Montanas, as they were never built, the Midways utilized elements of the basic hull design.
South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
 
2912n
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RE: What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Mon Feb 16, 2004 9:51 pm

I understand the engines etc are all essentially identical to the Iowa class BB's. They took all of that design and machinery that was intended for a Montana BB and stuck it in the Midway hull as a time saving measure.

Because the hull is a BB design the armor is in place. Some of the hatch covers leading from the hangar deck down are of a heavy armor design that are not found on later ships.

Interesting to walk around on the ship and see where the old gun tubs were. Midway carried a huge number of defensive AA guns when she was completed. These were taken off over the years to save weight/trade weight for the angled deck etc...The ship itself is a model for the progression from straight deck to angle deck.

 
TSV
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RE: What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Mon Feb 16, 2004 11:08 pm

"The ship itself is a model for the progression from straight deck to angle deck."

The Poms and some purists will dispute that as HMS Victorious was arguably the best example of a moderisation from straight to angle deck. Bigger is not necessarily better.
"I told you I was ill ..." Spike Milligan
 
LMP737
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RE: What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Mon Feb 16, 2004 11:26 pm

Speaking of aircraft carrier the USS Oriskany is going to be "converted" into an artificial reef this year. Which probably means it's going to be used a s a target vessel. Wonder how much ordinance will be expended to accomplish this.
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FlagshipAZ
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RE: What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Mon Feb 16, 2004 11:45 pm

DeltaMD11.....I really do hate to disappoint you, but it was the North Carolina (BB-55) that was the most decorated battlewagon of WWII. She has 15 battle stars. However the New Jersey (BB-62) has seen service in three very different conflicts. New Jersey earned 9 WWII battle stars, 4 Korean War battle stars, and the Navy Unit Citation for Vietnam. Regards.
"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." --Ben Franklin
 
broke
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RE: What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Tue Feb 17, 2004 12:45 am

Years ago, I read a book on the original Enterprise (CV-6) called "And Then There Was One". There was a period during the Pacific portion of WW II, where due to sinkings and battle damage, the Enterprise was the only operational carrier. The Saratoga also went through the whole war and was sunk during the Atomic tests at the Bikini Atoll, but she was out of commission for a while due to battle damage.
I believe that this would have occurred during the early part of 1943 after the Hornet and the Wasp were sunk.
That distinction, alone, would arguably place the Enterprise in the "Greatest" category.
You also might include the Franklin which had the greatest percentage of crew casualties of any ship in WW II, that survived.
 
TSV
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RE: What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Tue Feb 17, 2004 2:34 am

"You know, maybe I should keep my mouth shut, because it is appearing like my naval knowledge is less then it should be."

What and miss out on being the first to 20 000 posts?

Nah just blame it on the cold and keep posting.



Back on topic :

As 2912n posted :

"Much will depend on your criteria..."

The attack on Taranto by HMS Illustrious (as the first major use of carrier air power?) surely deserves special mention.
"I told you I was ill ..." Spike Milligan
 
747400sp
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RE: What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Tue Feb 17, 2004 4:12 am

L-188 I am glad you did put in a respose to this post. These post are for fun, so please do not keep your shut.

PS I have had the wrong information before.

 
Bobs89irocz
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RE: What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Tue Feb 17, 2004 9:01 am

USS Enterprise (CV-65) shes my favorite.....
 
2912n
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RE: What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Tue Feb 17, 2004 9:56 am

It is a sad fact that the British carrier fleet gets little recognition...Even in the UK the war in the Far East is largely forgotten. The Imperial War Museum at Duxford, (the ground warfare branch there) had an excellent display about it a couple of years ago....

A friend's Dad was aboard HMS Rifleman in that area...some tough fighting that is left out of history books.

Without the British inventions of steam cat, angle deck and fresenel lens system the carrier never would have developed into the potent weapon it has become.
 
L-188
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RE: What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Tue Feb 17, 2004 12:04 pm

Well I try.

Well an arguement could be made that the Ark Royal was responsible for the single most significant contribution by a carrier to a single battle action....


Namely jamming the rudder on the Bismark.
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2912n
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RE: What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Tue Feb 17, 2004 2:22 pm

And with Swordfish no less. Now those were men with huevos!
 
TSV
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RE: What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Tue Feb 17, 2004 10:02 pm

"Well an arguement could be made that the Ark Royal was responsible for the single most significant contribution by a carrier to a single battle action...."

Have a read about Illustrious' attack on the Italian fleet at Taranto and see if you stand by that statement.

Notes from the attack on Taranto :
1 Carrier HMS Illustrious.
21 Swordfish in two flights.
11 torpedoes - 5 torpedo hits.
3 Battleships out of action - 1 for the duration and the other 2 for about six months.
British Battleships Ramillies and Mayala able to be withdrawn from the Mediterranean and transferred to the Atlantic at a vital time.
Italian Battle fleet withdrawn from Taranto for a time.
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Arrow
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RE: What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Bui

Wed Feb 25, 2004 6:31 am

"The attack on Taranto by HMS Illustrious (as the first major use of carrier air power?) surely deserves special mention."

Especially since the Japanese, I think, studied this engagement when they were preparing their Pearl Harbour attack. That was the second major use of carrier air power.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
 
da man
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RE: What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Wed Feb 25, 2004 6:45 am

The answer to the original question is the USS Lexington (CV-16/CVA-16/CVS-16/CVT-16/AVT-16)

Service in WWII, Cuban Missile Crisis, training naval aviators from the 70s to 1991.
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L-188
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RE: What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Wed Feb 25, 2004 7:32 am

I still think that retiring the lexington wasn't the brightest idea. Make them train on a smaller deck, then the big ones will seem huge.


As far as Toranto. It would actually only be a footnote in history if it hadn't given other countries ideas. Probably not fair but true.

I stand by my comments reference the Ark Royal.


And I would add the American equivelent for the US fleet would be the Yorktown at Midway.
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Banco
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RE: What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Wed Feb 25, 2004 10:11 pm

L-188, I think the attack on Taranto more or less is a footnote in history anyway. However, you could argue that it was a pivotal moment even so. Both that, and the crippling of the Bismarck (by a lucky shot admittedly) effectively ended the era of the battleship by proving that air cover was the pre-requisite for naval fleets; without it, battleships were giant floating targets. It was those two actions that proved that the age of the aircraft carrier had come. Pearl Harbor re-inforced it.

Of course, with the usual British instinct for handing a lesson to the world and then not learning it ourselves, the Admiralty dispatched a battleship and battlecruiser (HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse) to the far east without that air cover and promptly had them sunk by Japanese aircraft.  Insane
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
GDB
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RE: What Is The Greatess Aircraft Carrier Ever Built.

Fri Feb 27, 2004 2:41 am

It was more bad luck, 'Force Z', the ill fated Singapore force, had a carrier, but on the way it ran agground, hindsight suggests they should waited for a replacement.
However, the RAF said they could provide cover, but unsurprisingly, with a full scale war against Nazi Germany, almost all resources were for home defence and North Africa, so the RAF in the Far East only had some obsolete, barely serviceable, Brewster Buffalos for air cover.
Lessons were learned, in WW2 the RN Battleship programme was halted, save for those already in an advanced state of construction.

The Taranto attack was a pivotal moment, as by chance a Japanese Naval Attache was at the port.
Taranto had been thought impervious to this kind of attack, the Japanese Officer surveying the aftermath noted that the same was said of Pearl Harbour.
His report to the Japanese high command made much of the attack by the Fleet Air Arm.

Though the Swordfish looked like an antique, it could haul a heavy load off a small deck in poor weather.
But from 1918 to 1937, the FAA had been under RAF control, so was low on the equipment pecking order, which was too late to really fix by WW2's outbreak.

Later, with the German Navy in ruins, the RN provided a fleet for the Pacific from around 1944. When the Jap suicide attacks started, the RN carriers with armoured decks could withstand them better, though whether the cost in a smaller airgroup was worth it was debatable.
However, RN carriers had been really designed with a European war in mind, in many cases, like in the Mediterranean, they could expect to be in range of hostile land based aircraft far more than in the Pacific.



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