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CV-9 USS ESSEX - AIR CRAFT CARRIER HEAVY SEAS - 1960

USS Essex (CV-9, later CVA-9 and CVS-9), 1942-1975

USS Essex, lead ship of a class of 27,100-ton aircraft carriers, was built at Newport News, Virginia. Commissioned on the last day of 1942, she went to the Pacific in May 1943, following shakedown in the Atlantic area. During the rest of that year, Essex took part in raids on Marcus and Wake islands, the invasion of the Gilberts and attacks on Japanese targets in the Marshalls. In 1944, she participated in the Marshalls, Marianas, Palaus, Leyte and Mindoro invasions, the Battles of the Philippine Sea and Leyte Gulf, and conducted air strikes in the Central and Western Pacific. While operating off the Philippines on 25 November 1944, she was damaged by a Kamikaze suicide attack, but was able to remain in the combat zone. Essex continued her war operations in 1945, supporting the landings at Lingayen Gulf, Iwo Jima and Okinawa, as well as raiding enemy targets in Japanese home waters and elsewhere in the Western Pacific. She returned to the United States shortly after Japan's surrender and was placed out of commission in January 1947.

Essex was modernized in the late 1940s and early 1950s, recommissioning in January 1951 with a strengthened flight deck, new island and many other changes. She made two Korean War deployments, in August 1951 - March 1952 and in July 1952 - January 1953, introducing the F2H "Banshee" jet fighter to combat operations. Her designation was changed to CVA-9 in October 1952. Following the Korean armistice, she went to the Western Pacific twice more, in 1953-54 and in 1955, then underwent a second modernization.

Emerging from the shipyard in 1956 with a new angled flight deck and enclosed "hurricane"bow, Essex was now able to safely operate high-performance aircraft. After another WestPac deployment, she was transferred to the Atlantic Fleet in mid-1957. She participated in the Lebanon intervention in mid-1958, then steamed through the Suez Canal to the Western Pacific to operate in the Taiwan area. Essex returned to the Atlantic via the Cape of Good Hope.

After further Atlantic and Mediterranean exercises, Essex was converted to an anti-submarine warfare support aircraft carrier and redesignated CVS-9 in March 1960. Her pattern of Atlantic and Mediterranean operations continued for nearly another decade, ending with her decommissioning in June 1969. USS Essex was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register in June 1973 and sold for scrapping two years later.
 

CV-9 USS ESSEX - AIR CRAFT CARRIER HEAVY SEAS - 1960







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