US NAVY FACT FILE Aircraft Carriers CVA-61 USS Ranger

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They could carry up to 90 aircraft and had the most spacious hangar and flight decks. The Forrestal class was succeeded by Kitty Hawk class supercarriers with only minor changes, followed by the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise CVN 65 , commissioned in At 1, feet in length, she is still the longest naval vessel in the world.

Following Enterprise was USS Kennedy CV 67 which was originally designed to be the fourth Kitty Hawk class supercarrier, but because so many modifications were made during construction, she formed her own class. Bush, shown here in the Straits of Hormuz in April Finally, the Nimitz class supercarriers are a group of 10 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers currently in service.

Additionally, the flight deck is angled at nine degrees to allow for simultaneous launch and recovery. Nimitz class carriers utilize only two nuclear reactors compared to the eight on Enterprise. The aircraft carrier continues to evolve as the needs of the U. Navy change, and the next evolution of the carrier will be revealed when the Ford class carrier makes its scheduled debut in However, enhancements in the designs will allow her to operate even more efficiently.

According to the U. Navy Fact File on Gerald R. List of aircraft carriers of the United States Navy. She is painted in what may be a variant of Camouflage Measure 32, Design 18D. At sea while participating in strikes on the Palau Islands, 27 March She is painted in camouflage Measure 33, Design 6A.

Underway on 22 December Underway circa mid, possibly during her shakedown cruise in the late spring.

She is steaming in company with a light carrier CVL — in the right distance— and another warship. She is painted in camouflage Measure 32, Design 3d. Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U. National Archives, N National Archives photograph: G Note, on 30 January , Burns sank Japanese guardboat No. Guadalcanal Invasion, August Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives, G Another F6F is in flight overhead, with its landing gear and tail hook extended.

USS North Carolina. USS Bunker Hill. USS Belleau Wood. Advertisements plusque magazine. Charleston at Manila. US Navy photo. USS Alliance. We had been given a deadline for meeting the ship within a week in the harbor of Taranto, Italy which was on the lower end of the Italian Peninsular. The crew knew that if they completed the engine change quickly that they would have a bit of free time available to them while they awaited the return of the ship.

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The following morning, when I gathered them all with my assigned vehicles, they seemed rested and ready to complete the job ahead. Around noon my crew chief told me the helicopter was ready to be test flown. As usual there was a large crowd of onlookers on the hill next to the riverbed where I had made the emergency landing. Once I had the engine warmed and ready for takeoff I started to come to a hover. Immediately the dried sand was blown by the rotor blades forming a large cloud. Instead of hovering at around ten feet above the surface I had to climb to around 50 feet of height above the river bed so I could see clearly.

The dust my rotors had kicked up covered my view of the spectators gathered on the hill and I was unable to see them because the dust I had blown over them had hidden them from my sight. I presume they all needed a fresh bath when they reached home. Following my thirty minute hover over the river bed I flew to the nearby Italian base I had been instructed to fly to for refueling the helicopter. After shutting down my engine I found the helicopter to look a mess and needed a good wash.

Our detachment tools and the failed engine were loaded on one of the trucks which had been left behind by the Coral Sea for the long trip southward. So after receiving a full load of fuel at the Italian base where I had landed I took off headed southward. South of Genoa the mountains moved to the shoreline forcing me to fly over the open water for some fifty miles with just open water below me.

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I have to admit that the possibility that I might have to crash land in open water when my flight was not being monitored by anyone was a real concern of mine. After about forty-five minutes I arrived at a point on the map where the mountain range ended and I could then continue my flight over land. Before takeoff I had studied my maps and I noted that I would pass over the city of Pisa. I wanted to have a photograph of the Leaning Tower of Pisa and since I could not take my hands off the flight controls long enough to take a picture with my camera, I asked my crew chief to use my camera to obtain the shot.

I flew down quite low and made a complete degree circle of that beautiful building and once I completed the turn I resumed my heading southward. I asked my crew chief if he had taken the picture I had requested. He assured me that he did, but later the picture came back from development showing the tower very clearly, however, he took the picture when the tower was leaning toward the helicopter and it appeared to be straight up vertical.


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The poor fellow must have felt insecure leaning out the window of the helicopter with my camera in his hands hat his only thoughts must have been to get the job done and get it done fast. After departing the Pisa area I headed outhward towards a landing at a military base just outside of Grosseto. As I continued southeastward I passed numerous towns, cities and villages. People gathered on the roads and streets stopped whatever the might have been doing and either waved or stared since helicopters were rare sight throughout Italy.

I flew close to one walled city which was built on a small but steep hill. I could understand how such a town, with its surrounding walls and steep sides, was able to defend itself better during the Middle Ages, however, the difficulties met with getting in and out of the town would have been a daily chore. The streets were very narrow also and traffic jambs must have been a daily problem.

As my helicopter and I approached the army base at Grosseto I was amused to see a soldier standing close by the place he wanted me to land. What amused me was that he held a lit smoke flare in his hand, something that I considered unnecessary, but in the least accommodating. My helicopter was able to land headed in any direction when the wind force was not excessive.

For instance the wind on the flight deck of the U. Coral Sea might be coming from any direction when we were told to land and except for some rare situation we were expected to land without undue delay. Once on the makeshift helicopter landing pad we were greeted by a friendly group of military men and although our language problems hindered complete understanding we managed well enough to get the helicopter refueled and a flight plan filed.

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The flight to Rome was much like the earlier flight with low level glimpses of Italian towns and much enthusiastic greetings from the amazed folks we overflew. When we approached the airport near Rome I received instructions from the control tower telling me I was cleared to land on the active runway, just as if I was an airline aircraft. We received excellent post-flight assistance once we had secured the aircraft for the night. Since it was late in the day I decided we would spend the night in Rome.

After I had my flight chief and myself quartered for the night I went out for a fine meal and an evening touring the streets of Rome as a first time visitor might well be expected to do. In later years I had several opportunities to visit and study Rome in depth but none stands out as much as this first visit. The next morning I gathered up my crew chief, who professed that he had had a great time the previous night, however, he did so never moving from the hotel bar the whole evening.

Our liberty likes and dislikes would always be at odds I would guess. After our drive to the airport where I would file a flight plan to Naples, I met two pilots from the Coral Sea who were ferrying two AD Skyraider aircraft southward. From Naples they were to contact the Coral Sea and arrange to land on board the ship somewhere at sea. Once I had completed arrangements for my flight I took off heading toward Naples.

Once I had settled on course I had the sun in my eyes and the sun shone directly on my body. I became so warm that I found myself half dozing off to sleep. It was at this time that one of the Skyraider pilots, who had taken off from the Rome airport some time after I had departed, decided to pull a bit of a trick on me. Unknown to me he approached my helicopter from the rear and at the last moment he dove his aircraft so as to fly under me and once he cleared my helicopter he went into a steep climb just missing my turning rotor blades by a few feet.

The loud noise of his engine and the suddenness of his appearance completely unhinged me for a few moments. I might have been in a half state of awareness before the trick was pulled on me, but for the rest of the flight I never so much as blinked one time. As I neared Naples I noted that there were dense clouds ahead which appeared to be thunderstorm clouds. It was obvious to me that I could go no further on my planned route southward to Taranto until the weather improved, so I decided to remain in Naples for the night and I would attempt to cross the mountains early the next morning when I expected the thunderstorms and low clouds would have moved on.

After my landing at the Naples Airport, and after securing the helicopter for the night we took a taxi to a hotel where American military personnel were given good rates. My crew chief, not surprisingly, decided he would go out on the town alone. His idea of having a good time did not correspond with what I might want to do.


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  • Checking with the local military services recreation facility I found several attractions in the downtown area of Naples that interested me. Finally, after due consideration, I decided I would attend a presentation of he opera Madam Butterfly.

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    At that time in my life I was not enthusiastic about opera, but I was familiar with the arias from Madam Butterfly and I decided that listening to good music after a day in the air listening to my helicopter engine and transmission noises would be a real auditory relief for my ears. As I had hoped the music from the opera was very pleasant.

    I was reminded that the opera Madam Butterfly was about a love affair that an American naval officer had with a Japanese woman, had been written by an Italian so I was not surprised that some of the audience seemed to anticipate what was going to happen next. The mostly Italian audience that attended the performance that evening was very enthusiastic.


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