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List of aircraft carriers of the United States Navy

Aircraft carriers are warships that act as airbases for carrier-based aircraft. In the United States Navy, these consist of ships commissioned with hull classification symbols CV (aircraft carrier), CVA (attack aircraft carrier), CVB (large aircraft carrier), CVL (light aircraft carrier), CVN (aircraft carrier (nuclear propulsion) and CVAN (attack aircraft carrier (nuclear propulsion). Beginning with the Forrestal-class, (CV-59 to present) all carriers commissioned into service are classified as supercarriers. The United States Navy has also used escort aircraft carriers and airship aircraft carriers. This list does not include various amphibious warfare ships which can operate as carriers.

The first aircraft carrier commissioned into the United States Navy was USS Langley (CV-1) on 20 March 1922. The Langley was a converted Proteus-class collier (originally commissioned as USS Jupiter (AC-3),[1] Langley was soon followed by the Lexington-class, USS Ranger (the first purpose-built carrier in the American fleet), the Yorktown-class, and USS Wasp.[2] These classes made up the entirety of the United States carrier fleet active prior to the Second World War.[3]

With World War II looming, two more classes of carriers were commissioned under President Franklin Roosevelt: the Essex-class, which are informally divided into regular bow and extended bow sub-classes, and the Independence-class, which are classified as light aircraft carriers.[4] Between these two classes, 35 ships were completed.[5] During this time, the Navy also purchased two training vessels, USS Wolverine and USS Sable.[6][7]

The Cold War led to multiple developments in the United States' carrier fleet, starting with the addition of the Midway-class and the Saipan-class.[8] One more class in the start of the Cold War, the United States-class, was canceled due to the Truman administration's policy of shrinking the United States Navy and in particular, the Navy's air assets. The policy was eventually revised after a public outcry and Congressional hearings sparked by the Revolt of the Admirals.[9]

Later in the Cold War era, the first of the classes dubbed "supercarriers" was born, starting with the Forrestal-class,[10] followed by the Kitty Hawk-class; Enterprise (CVN-65), the first nuclear powered carrier; and John F. Kennedy (CV-67), the last conventionally powered carrier. These were then followed by the Nimitz-class and the post-cold war Gerald R. Ford-class nuclear supercarriers, the only classes that are currently in active-duty service.[11] The ten-ship Nimitz-class is complete, while USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), the lead ship of her planned ten-ship class, is the only ship active so far, with construction started on two more ships, John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) and Enterprise (CVN-80).[12][13]

ListEdit

#[14] Name[14] Image Class Commissioned[2] Decommissioned[2] Service life Status[2] Refs.
CV-1 Langley   Langley
(lead ship)
20 March 1922 27 February 1942 19 years, 344 days Scuttled and sunk 65 nm south of Cilacap, Java [15][16][17]
CV-2 Lexington   Lexington
(lead ship)
14 December 1927 8 May 1942 14 years, 145 days Sunk in the Battle of the Coral Sea [17][18]
CV-3 Saratoga   Lexington 16 November 1927 26 July 1946 18 years, 254 days Sunk in Operation Crossroads as a nuclear test target near Bikini Atoll [17][19]
CV-4 Ranger   Ranger
(lead ship)
4 June 1934 18 October 1946 12 years, 136 days Scrapped in 1947 [20]
CV-5 Yorktown   Yorktown
(lead ship)
30 September 1937 7 June 1942 4 years, 250 days Sunk in the Battle of Midway [21]
CV-6 Enterprise   Yorktown 12 May 1938 17 February 1947 8 years, 281 days Scrapped in 1960 [22]
CV-7 Wasp   Wasp
(lead ship)
25 April 1940 15 September 1942 2 years, 143 days Sunk during the Guadalcanal campaign [23]
CV-8 Hornet   Yorktown 20 October 1941 26 October 1942 1 year, 6 days Sunk in the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands [24][25]
CV-9 Essex   Essex
(lead ship)
31 December 1942 20 June 1969 26 years, 171 days Scrapped in 1975 [26]
CV-10 Yorktown   Essex 15 April 1943 27 June 1970 27 years, 73 days Preserved at the Patriot's Point Naval & Maritime MuseumMount Pleasant, South Carolina, USA [27]
CV-11 Intrepid   Essex 16 August 1943 15 March 1974 30 years, 211 days Preserved at the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space MuseumNew York, New York, USA [28]
CV-12 Hornet   Essex 20 November 1943 26 May 1970 26 years, 187 days Preserved at USS Hornet MuseumAlameda, California, USA [29]
CV-13  Franklin   Essex 31 January 1944 17 February 1947 2 years, 351 days Scrapped in 1966 [30]
CV-14 Ticonderoga   Essex (extended bow) 8 May 1944 1 September 1973 29 years, 116 days Scrapped in 1975 [31]
CV-15 Randolph   Essex (extended bow) 9 October 1944 13 February 1969 24 years, 127 days Scrapped in 1975 [32]
CV-16 Lexington   Essex 17 February 1943 8 November 1991 48 years, 264 days Preserved at USS Lexington Museum On the BayCorpus Christi, Texas, USA [33][34]
CV-17 Bunker Hill   Essex 25 May 1943 9 July 1947 4 years, 45 days Scrapped in 1973 [35][36][37]
CV-18 Wasp   Essex 24 November 1943 1 July 1972 28 years, 220 days Scrapped in 1973 [38]
CV-19 Hancock   Essex (extended bow) 15 April 1944 30 January 1976 31 years, 290 days Scrapped in 1976 [39]
CV-20 Bennington   Essex 6 August 1944 15 January 1970 25 years, 162 days Scrapped in 1994 [40]
CV-21 Boxer   Essex (extended bow) 16 April 1945 1 December 1969 24 years, 229 days Scrapped in 1971 [41][42]
#[14] Name[14] Image Class Commissioned[2] Decommissioned[2] Service life Status[2] Refs.
CVL-22 Independence   Independence
(lead ship)
14 January 1943 28 August 1946 3 years, 226 days Sunk as a test target near the Farallon Islands in 1951 [43]
CVL-23 Princeton   Independence 25 February 1943 24 October 1944 1 year, 242 days Sunk in the Battle of Leyte Gulf [2]
CVL-24 Belleau Wood   Independence 31 March 1943 13 January 1947 3 years, 288 days Scrapped in 1960 [2]
CVL-25 Cowpens   Independence 28 May 1943 13 January 1947 3 years, 230 days Scrapped in 1960 [2]
CVL-26 Monterey   Independence 17 June 1943 16 January 1956 12 years, 213 days Scrapped in 1971 [2]
CVL-27 Langley   Independence 31 August 1943 11 February 1947 3 years, 164 days Scrapped in 1964 [2]
CVL-28 Cabot   Independence 24 July 1943 21 January 1955 11 years, 181 days Scrapped in 2002 [2]
CVL-29 Bataan   Independence 17 November 1943 9 April 1954 10 years, 143 days Scrapped in 1961 [44]
CVL-30 San Jacinto   Independence 15 December 1943 1 March 1947 3 years, 76 days Scrapped 1972
CV-31 Bon Homme Richard   Essex 26 November 1944 2 July 1971 26 years, 218 days Scrapped in 1992 [45]
CV-32 Leyte   Essex (extended bow) 11 April 1946 15 May 1959 13 years, 34 days Scrapped in 1970
CV-33 Kearsarge   Essex (extended bow) 2 May 1946 15 January 1970 23 years, 258 days Scrapped in 1974 [46]
CV-34 Oriskany   Essex (extended bow) 25 September 1950 20 September 1979 28 years, 360 days Scuttled as an artificial reef in the Gulf of Mexico in 2006
CV-35 Reprisal   Essex (extended bow) n/a n/a n/a Cancelled during construction.
Scrapped in 1949
[47]
CV-36 Antietam   Essex (extended bow) 28 January 1945 8 May 1963 18 years, 100 days Scrapped in 1974 [48]
CV-37 Princeton   Essex (extended bow) 18 November 1945 30 January 1970 24 years, 73 days Scrapped in 1971
CV-38 Shangri-la   Essex (extended bow) 15 September 1944 30 July 1971 26 years, 318 days Scrapped in 1988 [49]
CV-39 Lake Champlain   Essex (extended bow) 3 July 1945 2 May 1966 20 years, 303 days Scrapped in 1972
CV-40 Tarawa   Essex (extended bow) 8 December 1945 13 May 1960 14 years, 157 days Scrapped in 1968
#[14] Name[14] Image Class Commissioned[2] Decommissioned[2] Service life Status[2] Refs.
CVB-41 Midway   Midway
(lead ship)
10 September 1945 11 April 1992 46 years, 214 days Preserved at the USS Midway MuseumSan Diego, California, USA [50]
CVB-42 Franklin D. Roosevelt   Midway 27 October 1945 1 October 1977 31 years, 339 days Scrapped in 1978 [51]
CVB-43 Coral Sea   Midway 1 October 1947 26 April 1990 42 years, 207 days Scrapped in 1993 [52]
CV-44 No name assigned (no image available) Midway n/a n/a n/a Cancelled before construction began. [53]
CV-45 Valley Forge   Essex
(extended bow)
3 November 1946 15 January 1970 23 years, 73 days Scrapped in 1971
CV-46 Iwo Jima   Essex (extended bow) n/a n/a n/a Cancelled during construction.
Scrapped in 1946
[54]
CV-47 Philippine Sea   Essex (extended bow) 11 May 1946 28 December 1958 12 years, 231 days Scrapped in 1971
CVL-48 Saipan   Saipan
(lead ship)
14 July 1946 14 January 1970 23 years, 184 days Scrapped in 1976
CVL-49 Wright   Saipan 9 February 1947 15 March 1956 9 years, 35 days Scrapped in 1980 [2]
CV-50
to
CV-55
No names were assigned (no images available) Essex These hulls were all cancelled before construction began. [53]
CVB-56
&
CVB-57
No names were assigned (no images available) Midway These hulls were both cancelled before construction began. [53]
CVA-58 United States   United States
(lead ship)
n/a n/a n/a Cancelled during construction. Scrapped [55]
CV-59 Forrestal   Forrestal
(lead ship)
1 October 1955 30 September 1993 37 years, 364 days Scrapped in 2014 [56][57]

[58][59]

CV-60 Saratoga   Forrestal 14 April 1956 20 August 1994 38 years, 128 days Scrapped in 2015 [60]
CV-61 Ranger   Forrestal 10 August 1957 10 July 1993 35 years, 334 days Scrapped in 2017 [61]
CV-62 Independence   Forrestal 10 January 1959 30 September 1998 39 years, 263 days Scrapped in 2019 [62]
#[14] Name[14] Image Class Commissioned[2] Decommissioned[2] Service life Status[2] Refs.
CV-63 Kitty Hawk   Kitty Hawk
(lead ship)
29 April 1961 12 May 2009 48 years, 13 days Struck, to be scrapped [63]
CV-64 Constellation   Kitty Hawk 27 October 1961 7 August 2003 41 years, 284 days Scrapped in 2015 [64]
CVN-65 Enterprise   Enterprise
(lead ship)
25 November 1961 3 February 2017 55 years, 70 days Struck, disposal plans still being determined [65]
CV-66 America   Kitty Hawk 23 January 1965 9 August 1996 31 years, 199 days Sunk as a test target in the Atlantic Ocean in 2005 [66]
CV-67 John F. Kennedy   John F. Kennedy
(lead ship)
7 September 1968 23 March 2007 38 years, 197 days Struck, to be scrapped [67]
CVN-68 Nimitz   Nimitz
(lead ship)
3 May 1975
44 years, 161 days Stationed at Naval Base Kitsap, Bremerton, Washington [68]
CVN-69 Dwight D. Eisenhower   Nimitz 18 October 1977
41 years, 358 days Stationed at Naval Station Norfolk, Norfolk, Virginia [69]
CVN-70 Carl Vinson   Nimitz 13 March 1982
37 years, 212 days Stationed at Naval Base Kitsap, Bremerton, Washington [70][71]
CVN-71 Theodore Roosevelt   Nimitz 25 October 1986
32 years, 351 days Stationed at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, California [72]
CVN-72 Abraham Lincoln   Nimitz 11 November 1989
29 years, 334 days Stationed at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, California (Deployed in the Persian Gulf) [73]
CVN-73 George Washington   Nimitz 4 July 1992
27 years, 99 days Stationed at Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia [74]
CVN-74 John C. Stennis   Nimitz 9 December 1995
23 years, 306 days Stationed at Naval Station Norfolk, Norfolk, Virginia [75]
CVN-75 Harry S. Truman   Nimitz 25 July 1998
21 years, 78 days Stationed at Naval Station Norfolk, Norfolk, Virginia [76]
CVN-76 Ronald Reagan   Nimitz 12 July 2003
16 years, 91 days Stationed at Yokosuka Naval Base, Yokosuka, Japan [77]
CVN-77 George H.W. Bush   Nimitz 10 January 2009
10 years, 274 days Stationed at Naval Station Norfolk, Norfolk, Virginia [78]
CVN-78 Gerald R. Ford   Gerald R. Ford
(lead ship)
22 July 2017
2 years, 81 days Stationed at Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia [79]
CVN-79 John F. Kennedy   Gerald R. Ford ~2020
Keel laid; Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia [12][80]
CVN-80 Enterprise   Gerald R. Ford ~2027
Steel cutting and fabrication; Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia [12][81][13]
CVN-81 Unnamed   Gerald R. Ford ~2030
Ordered [12]
CVN-82 Unnamed   Gerald R. Ford ~2034
Ordered [12]
#[14] Name[14] Image Class Commissioned[2] Decommissioned[2] Service life Status[2] Refs.
Keys
  •    ships currently out of service
  •    ships cancelled prior to completion
  •    ships currently in active service
  •    ships currently under construction
  •    ships currently on order

Training shipsEdit

During World War II, the United States Navy purchased two Great Lakes side-wheel paddle steamers and converted them into freshwater aircraft carrier training ships. Both vessels were designated with the hull classification symbol IX (Unclassified Miscellaneous) and lacked hangar decks, elevators or armaments. The role of these ships was for the training of pilots for carrier take-offs and landings.[82] Together the Sable and Wolverine trained 17,820 pilots in 116,000 carrier landings. Of these, 51,000 landings were on Sable.[83]

# Name Image Class Commissioned Decommissioned Service life Status Refs.
IX-64 Wolverine   n/a
(converted side-wheel steamer)
12 August 1942 7 November 1945 3 years, 2 months and 26 days Scrapped in 1947 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States [14][2]
IX-81 Sable   n/a
(converted side-wheel steamer)
8 May 1943 7 November 1945 2 years, 5 months and 30 days Scrapped in 1948 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada [14][2]

Aircraft-carrier museumsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit