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Carriers

Discussion in 'Naval Warfare in the Pacific' started by GunSlinger86, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Active Member

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    Throughout 1942, there were a series of carrier battles between the US and the Japanese from the Coral Sea to Midway, to Santa Cruz. The US didn't have as many carriers in the Pacific theater as the Japanese, in 1942, and they lost a few through these battles. By the time of Guadalcanal, was there only one functional US carrier, the Enterprise? and what other carriers did we still have that were being repaired. I know the Lexington was sunk, the Yorktown was sunk, and Hornet was sunk. What was left besides Enterprise? Saratoga?
     
  2. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    The USS Wasp, the USS Saratoga and the small USS Ranger. The rest of the pre-war carriers had been sunk. The Ranger spent it's entire combat career in the Atlantic. I suppose it could have been hustled to the PTO in the event that all the other US carriers were sunk or incapacitated, and fill in until the larger Essex class carriers became available.
     
  3. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Active Member

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    Was the Was in service pre-war? So Saratoga and Wasp were in repair/out of service at the time of Guadalcanal?
     
  4. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Well, first, you need to define how you are referring to "Guadalcanal", as the campaign lasted several months.

    The USS Saratoga(CV-3) participated in the initial landings of Guadalcanal and participated in the Battle of Eastern Solomons. The USS Saratoga was hit and put out of action by a single submarine torpedo on August 31, 1942.

    The USS Enterprise(CV-6) would participate in the initial landings at Guadalcanal and would participate in the Battle of Eastern Solomons. However, the damage she received in the battle forced her return to Pearl Harbor for repairs, and she would return just in time for the Battle of Santa Cruz.

    The USS Wasp(CV-7) participated in the initial landings at Guadalcanal, but was off refueling and thus missed the main action of the Battle of Eastern Solomons - returning to fly some recon missions and shoot down a few planes - but finding no Japanese ships. The Wasp would continue to provide escort to convoys going to and coming from Guadalcanal until she was torpedoed and sunk on September 15, 1942.

    The USS Hornet(CV-8) was being held in reserve during the initial landings at Guadalcanal. When US intelligence sources detected the initial Japanese moves for a large naval attack on Guadalcanal, the USS Hornet left Pearl Harbor for the Guadalcanal area on August 17, 1942. However, it would be several days before she reached Guadalcanal, as a result, she missed the Eastern Solomons, arriving on August 29, 1942.

    NOW PLEASE NOTE:
    With the Enterprise and Saratoga out of action, and the Wasp sunk: As of September 15, 1942, the USS Hornet would be the only operational fleet carrier until the Enterprise returned to the action on October 24, 1942.

    Now, at the conclusion of the Battle of Santa Cruz, the US would be left with no operational aircraft carriers - the USS Hornet had been sunk, and the USS Enterprise was off repairing her damage at Noumea.

    The Enterprise would be out of action until November 11, when she sortied(with repair crews still working aboard her) to participate in the naval battles around Guadalcanal on November 13-15, 1942.

    The Enterprise would be alone until the Saratoga returned on December 5, 1942.
     
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  5. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    Yes. The USS Wasp was commissioned in 1940. Read all about it.

    USS Wasp (CV-7) - Wikipedia
     
  6. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Active Member

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    When did the new Essex carriers start arriving? Also, were there an escort carriers in the Pacific during this period before the Essex class started arriving?
     
  7. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    The Essex did not arrive at Pearl Harbor until May, 1943, Lexington in August, 1943, Yorktown in September, 1943, Bunker Hill in October, 1943. Also, by mid-late 1943, the Independence class CVLs would begin arriving at Pearl Harbor.

    The only CVE to participate early in the Guadalcanal campaign, was the USS Long Island, which transported aircraft to Henderson Field. However, she would be sent back to the West Coast in late September to serve as a training carrier.

    CVEs USS Chenango and USS Suwannee arrived late in the campaign and participated in the Battle of Rennell Island. There were also a few other CVEs that were used as convoy escorts and aircraft transports, but did not participate in any battles.
     
  8. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Active Member

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    So at one point in late 1942/early 1943 the US was only operating one carrier in the Pacific?
     
  9. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    I think that situation existed twice, once with the Enterprise and once with the Hornet.
     
  10. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    See post 4 above for 42. For 43 according to wiki Saratoga was the only operational US carrier in the Pacific for part of May although Victorious operated with her for the latter half of the month.
    See:
    USS Saratoga (CV-3) - Wikipedia
     
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  11. ResearcherAtLarge

    ResearcherAtLarge Member

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    CV-10 Yorktown reached Pearl Harbor on July 25th; CVL-22 Independence beat her by five days, for what it's worth.

    Victorious and Saratoga formed a Carrier Division from May until July of 1943. Two Essex class carriers were at Pearl by then (although not forward)
     
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  12. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    Dang, I missed that one. Thanks for pointing that one out.
     
  13. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Thanks for the correction.
     

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