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CVE Jeep Carriers to cover the black hole mid Atlantic

Discussion in 'Atlantic Naval Conflict' started by gusord, Jan 25, 2017.

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  1. gusord

    gusord Member

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    Excuse me if this topic has been covered. The area in the mid Atlantic called the black hole out of range for land based aircraft to hunt U boats. The CVEs carried about 20 or so aircraft and provided air coverage in this area to hunt U boats. CVE USS QUADALCANAL attacked U 505 which surfaced damaged and was taken over by US NAVY sailors before the GERMANS could scuttle it. The U 505 is at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.
     
  2. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member

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    Interesting topic. I found this piece

    In the Atlantic, escort carriers originally stayed close to the convoys they were protecting. Over time, tactics evolved that enabled the Jeep carriers and their destroyer escorts to become independent "hunter-killer" groups. They could attack concentrations of U-boats at will and were no longer required to provide constant umbrella coverage for a convoy. This tactic was further refined by having the escort carrier groups concentrate their efforts in areas where U-boats met their supply submarines ("milch cows").
    [​IMG]
    This operational phase was so successful that three Jeeps -- USS Core (CVE 13), USS Card (CVE 11) and USS Bogue (CVE 9)
    -- and their escorting destroyers sank a total of 16 U-boats and 8 milch cows in a period of 98 days. During this time, U-boats sank only one merchantman and shot down only three planes from the escort carriers. This loss of submarines, particularly the milch cows, was a severe blow to the German Navy. With diminished capability for refueling U-boats at sea, and with no friendly bases in the area, Admiral Karl Doenitz, commander of the German U-boat fleet, was forced to withdraw his remaining supply submarines and cancel all U-boat operations in the central Atlantic.​
     
  3. gusord

    gusord Member

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    I have been to the Museum of Science and Industry when it was mounted in a cradle outside. Since then they made a small dry dock and put the U 505 in it with supports,etc.
     
  4. Otto

    Otto Gearing up. Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I've visited the U-505 several times, prior to the move and after it's housing in the new bunker. They really put a lot of effort into making the new bunker feel like a U-Boat pen. It's good to know that it is protected from the weather now. Great exhibit.
     
  5. freebird

    freebird Member

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    Was there a topic question here?

    Jeep carrier - goofy name. ;)
    The Allies were far to slow in getting CVEs into action.
     
  6. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    They've completely enclosed it and the displays are all next to it now.
     
  7. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    That's an interesting observation. Care to expand on it a bit? In particular what sore of time line do you think could have been met?
     
  8. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Given some of the other nicknames, such as, "Combustible, Vulnerable, Expendable" and "Kaiser Coffins". Well...
     
  9. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    The "Jeep" was officially a "quarter-ton truck", or some such, and the CVE were referred to as 1/4 of a carrier, so the name is appropriate. Not that "appropriateness" mattered.
     
  10. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    One reason for the delay in deploying CVEs by the RN was the shortage of carrier aircraft at then start of the war.

    The RN pioneer the idea with HMS Audacity. The MAC ships provided anti submarine aircraft for the convoys themselves. These were merchantmen operated by by the merchant navy + the third largest carrier fleet in the world by the number of hulls.
     
  11. gusord

    gusord Member

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    I have read in different ww2 books that called the CVEs jeep carriers emphasizing how much smaller they were compared to CV 18 WASP and CVL 28

    Cabot. My uncle Jack Cunningham served on CVE 100 in the Pacific during WW2.
     
  12. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    A CVE's size was the source of another CVE sobriquet, the "baby carrier."

    AFAIK, the "Jeep carrier" had nothing to do with it's size, but for the CVEs versatility in doing all of the less glamorous, but never-the-less important, duties, such as: Aircraft transport, antisubmarine escort, training carrier, close air support, etc. Thus freeing the larger fleet carriers and light carriers to focus exclusively on fighting the Japanese.
     
  13. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    Indeed, some 20 to 25 CVEs were employed at any one time in the mundane tasks as simply transporting replacement aircraft and aviators out to the operating task groups and returning duds and replaced personnel to the rear, for aircraft, depot level overhaul or strike survey, and personnel for reforming of squadrons to prepare to re-deploy.
     
  14. gusord

    gusord Member

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    While my uncle Jack was on CVE 100 in the Pacific they came along side CVL 28 CABOT. Another uncle Donald Cunningham was on CVL 28.

    The two brothers managed to communicate using a signal man.
     
  15. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    By the end of the war we had produced (AVC, CVE, and BCVE lumped together).
    4 Sangamon-class.
    46 Bogue-class.
    49 Casablanca-class.
    21 Commencement Bay-class
    120 small carriers.

    And my math sucks, I know this.
     
  16. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    NHHC knows of no 'official' designation or explanation of "jeep carrier".
     
  17. rprice

    rprice Member

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    Just found a good article on the subject of "baby flattops" being used against uboats, but it does not explain the origin of the term "jeep carrier". It includes some background on the origin of the CVE type:

    The U.S. Navy’s escort-carrier program got its start in December 1940. On the 13th of that month, Rear Admiral William F. Halsey, the U.S. Fleet’s commander, Aircraft, Battle Force, sent a letter to Chief of Naval Operations Harold R. Stark expressing his concern that the entry of the United States into the European war would require all six of the Fleet’s aircraft carriers to be deployed immediately. This, in turn, would severely restrict both the training of naval aviators and the service’s ability to transport Army and Navy aircraft to overseas bases. To overcome these handicaps, Halsey recommended the procurement of “suitable merchant vessels and their earliest conversion to auxiliary aircraft carriers.”

    Much more about CVE's and their use against uboats:
    http://www.usni.org/magazines/navalhistory/2013-11/navys-escort-carrier-offensive

    edit: Following that article, after the footnotes, is an excerpt from “Report Escort of Convoy ON-184,” USS Bogue (CVE-9), 29 May 1943, which contains a tutorial on how to sink submarines using the TBF. Good read.
     
  18. rprice

    rprice Member

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    This thread revived a distant memory of a John Wayne character inventing both the concept of escort carriers and the term "jeep carrier"...

    Found it: The Wings of Eagles, directed by John Ford, is about a real life naval officer and author Frank W. 'Spig' Wead.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0051198/reviews

    Hey, it's The Duke... so it must be true.
     
  19. freebird

    freebird Member

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    Interesting.
    Did the US wait to place an order for CVEs after the British had ordered some?
     
  20. rprice

    rprice Member

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    The article doesn't say anything about the timing of orders, but it does say this:

    Interestingly, just a week later [after the Halsey letter of 13 December 1940], President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in a memo to Admiral Stark by FDR’s naval aide, Captain Daniel Callahan, proposed that, in order to increase convoy protection, a 6,000- to 8,000-ton merchant vessel capable of attaining a speed of at least 15 knots be converted into an experimental carrier equipped with a flight deck that could accommodate ten helicopters or ten planes with low-landing speeds. 2 While Admiral Halsey’s proposal had called for the creation of auxiliary carriers to be used for noncombat purposes, President Roosevelt’s concept was for a carrier that could help provide antisubmarine protection to convoys at sea.

    and...

    Following a series of January 1941 meetings principally in the CNO’s office, it was decided that two Maritime Commission diesel-powered C-3 merchant ships, the SS Mormacmail and Mormacland , could be provided for conversion into carriers; the U.S. Navy would receive the first ship and the Royal Navy the second.

    So, it's obvious that the RN was shopping for carriers, but it's not clear if any orders had already been placed.
     

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