Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

What is the most interesting US Warship class in WW2?

Discussion in 'Ships & Shipborne Weaponry' started by Wildcat5372, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. USS Washington

    USS Washington Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2014
    Messages:
    576
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    The Good old USofA
    She was the first US Navy carrier to be built from keel up as such, she was also our only pre-war carrier to have never fought the Japanese, and I think the lessons learned from her influenced the design of the superb Yorktown's, so I'd say something notable could be said about her. :eyebrows:
     
  2. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Messages:
    8,340
    Likes Received:
    1,300
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Weeeeeeeelllllll, ok I guess, since you put it like that. Notable yes, but interesting....... still a no IMHO. I'd say "unique" and maybe a "teachable moment" in naval architecture so to speak. But just because I say something doesn't make it hunky dory though.
     
  3. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,377
    Likes Received:
    190
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Sorry. I was replying to Triton's later post, not the original topic. My fault for not quoting it:

    Posted Yesterday, 01:46 PM
    The counterparts to the Myoko/Takao Class were the Pensacolas/Northhamptons (date of commission).
    But I agree, their sleek and modern looks may cause to overestimate the real abilities of these japanese cruisers.

    Is there a really bad design from the US Navy build between 1920 and 1945? They had bad torpedoes at the start of the war, but all the ships seemed to work fine.
     
  4. USS Washington

    USS Washington Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2014
    Messages:
    576
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    The Good old USofA
    Eh fair enough, I was just playing "devils advocate" for Ranger, that's all.
     
  5. Triton

    Triton New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2015
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Germany
    When you look at other small carriers built until the early 30ies, Ranger wasn't a bad design. The later japanese Soryu was faster, but regarded as cramped, her sister was considerably bigger. For a carrier this size, her aircraft capacity was superb.

    Ranger was a useful ship for the carrier duties in the Atlantic Ocean and around Malta.

    And 29 knots isn't slow.
     
  6. Takao

    Takao Ace

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Messages:
    7,836
    Likes Received:
    1,677
    Location:
    Reading, PA
    To be fair, when CV-4 was designed, the Navy intended USS Ranger(CV-4) to be the first of five Ranger class carriers. However, Congress had different ideas, and only approved the construction of the first carrier(Ranger), for the Navy's planned 5-year program(FY29-FY33).
     
  7. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Messages:
    8,340
    Likes Received:
    1,300
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Well that's something new, I never knew of the planned Ranger class being 5 carriers in all. Any ideas on the names of said ships? I like trivia such as that for some reason. Good thing they decided to nip it in the bud early and go big eh? Still, don't take it as me being anti-Ranger in mindset. It did serve with distinction in the ETO, and was on it's way to participate in the invasion of Japan proper when we dropped the big one(s). I've read where some (ok, maybe one) in high places wanted to expand the carrier deck of the Ranger prior to sending to the PTO, but younger officers talked the big cheese out of doing it, pointing out that the materials used on modernizing the Ranger would be better used on carriers being constructed at the time.
     
  8. Takao

    Takao Ace

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Messages:
    7,836
    Likes Received:
    1,677
    Location:
    Reading, PA
    AFAIK, since the ships were never funded, much less ordered or laid down, they were never named. Even the six Essex class that were ordered, but cancelled(CV-50 thru CV-55) were never named, as were the three Midway class(CVB-44, CVB-56, CVB-57).


    I never took it as anti-Ranger.

    The Ranger, by that time, was a training carrier operating out of Pearl Harbor, and that was all she was going to be. There never was any intention of sending her to participate in the invasion of Japan.


    Yes, one...the only "one" that mattered in the USN...CNO Admiral Ernie King himself.

    Expansion of the deck was because King wanted to have her fitted with a completely new engineering plant that would allow her to achieve the same high speeds as the Essex class.

    And, yes, his subordinates saw the wisdom in leaving the Ranger as a training carrier, and that the resources and drydock required were better put to use on new construction and the repairing of damaged ships.
     
    USS Washington likes this.
  9. Takao

    Takao Ace

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Messages:
    7,836
    Likes Received:
    1,677
    Location:
    Reading, PA
    To expand a little on this that I did not do previously.

    The USN had 69,000 tons remaining to allocate to carrier construction, as per the Washington Naval Treaty. So, they looked long and hard at which carriers to build, large or small. In the end, the came to the conclusion that there best option would be the small carrier of limited displacement. This would allow the Navy to construct 5 aircraft carriers of 13,800 tons standard displacement - the Ranger class.

    Then the design process began, and the Navy had to figure out what to put in, what to squeeze in, and what to leave out. At first, the designers wanted the carrier to have cruiser weaponry, so the early designs had 8-inch or 6-inch gun houses. After awhile, they decided that would be too much, and decided on a "pure" carrier with a "flush" deck(like the early Langley and many of the Japanese carriers), before finally compromising on a diminutive island structure to save on both space and weight.

    The one thing that they would not compromise on was that the Ranger class was to have a large air group. This fact is clearly made by the size of her hangar deck. You see, the lowly USS Ranger has a larger hangar than the Lexington class.(the Lexingtons are roughly 2.5 times the Ranger's displacement, and 150 feet longer). Ranger's hangar measured 552 feet by 65, as opposed to the Lexington's 440 feet by 66.
     
    USS Washington likes this.
  10. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Messages:
    8,340
    Likes Received:
    1,300
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Wasn't the Ranger training pilots in night operations after it shifted from the ETO to Hawaiian waters?
     
  11. Takao

    Takao Ace

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Messages:
    7,836
    Likes Received:
    1,677
    Location:
    Reading, PA
    Yes, from the beginning of August thru mid-October '44. After that she went to San Diego to conduct normal carrier training ops.
     
  12. Takao

    Takao Ace

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Messages:
    7,836
    Likes Received:
    1,677
    Location:
    Reading, PA
    One of the very early design studies from 1923 of a small carrier of 11,000 ton standard displacement. - NOTE - she carries 2 triple 8-inch gunhouses/turrets.
    [​IMG]
     
    belasar, Poppy and Dave55 like this.
  13. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,377
    Likes Received:
    190
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Pocket Lexington's with an even bigger punch. Nice find
     
  14. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Messages:
    8,340
    Likes Received:
    1,300
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Well, I think now that the USS Ranger was a very interesting class of warship after all. Learn something new here almost every day. Hopefully by doing that it will help ward off the Alzheimer's.
     
  15. Triton

    Triton New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2015
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Germany
    Hmm, carriers below 10.000 tons weren't limited at all. An 11.000 ton - type with big guns (weight), not terribly clever, wasn't it?

    The japanese Ryujo was the only attempt to create a carrier this size and after her reconstruction, she was far beyond the limit.
     
  16. USS Washington

    USS Washington Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2014
    Messages:
    576
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    The Good old USofA
    Wasn't Ranger also meant to be a sort of "test-bed" for carrier design, and that lessons learned from her helped to influence later US carriers such as the Yorktown's?
     
  17. Takao

    Takao Ace

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Messages:
    7,836
    Likes Received:
    1,677
    Location:
    Reading, PA
    On the face of it, 29 knots is not slow. But, there is more to it than that.

    At roughly 16,000 tons displacement, the Ranger's full power clean bottom speed was 29.38 knots at 261.5 RPM. However, she normally operated at roughly 18,000 tons displacement with a full power clean bottom speed of 28.65 knots at 255 RPM. It was estimated that the RPMs fell off at the rate of 3 RPMs for every month out of dock. During one trial period in 1939, the Ranger had been out of dock for 202 days, as a result, her full power speed had fallen to 26.5 knots, and bottom fouling had further reduced her top speed to 24.2 knots.

    24.2 knots is not all that fast, given that aircraft of the time usually needed 30 knots of wind over the deck to safely launch. That would mean that the Ranger would have problems launching her aircraft in no-wind/low-wind conditions.
     
  18. Takao

    Takao Ace

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Messages:
    7,836
    Likes Received:
    1,677
    Location:
    Reading, PA
    I would think the opposite, that it would have been quite clever - with the caveat that the design could have been constructed within this restricted weight limit. Although, how effective they would have been in real-world combat conditions would be questionable.

    The several of the 10,000 ton carrier designs were less clever...essentially an enlarged Langley or a slightly smaller "flush deck" Ranger.

    One example:
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,377
    Likes Received:
    190
    Location:
    Atlanta
    That was the sum of my knowledge about her before this thread.
     
  20. Takao

    Takao Ace

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Messages:
    7,836
    Likes Received:
    1,677
    Location:
    Reading, PA
    The keel to the USS Yorktown was laid down May 21, 1934. The USS Ranger was commissioned on June 4, 1934.

    All "operational"/practical influence on the Yorktown design would come from the Lexington class.

    However, that is not to say that, as of yet unproven(good & bad), design elements were not carried over from the Ranger design to the Yorktown design. The gallery deck, introduced in the Ranger was carried over, as was the "open" hangar. The double-ended flight deck would also be carried over into the Yorktown and the early Essex class carriers, before being discontinued in 1944. The hangar deck catapult would also be carried over into the Yorktowns and early Essex classes before being dropped from new construction and removed from carriers already constructed.
     

Share This Page