Yorktown-class aircraft carrier

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The '''''Yorktown''-class carriers''' were built during the inter-war period between the [[Great War]] and [[World War II]].
 
The '''''Yorktown''-class carriers''' were built during the inter-war period between the [[Great War]] and [[World War II]].
The ships were built in response to the restrictions on the construction of [[battleship]]s and [[cruiser|battlecruisers]] from the Washington Arms Treaty.  Originally laid down as battlecruisers these ships had legendary survivability in combat.   
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The ships were built in response to the restrictions on the construction of [[battleship]]s and [[cruiser|battlecruisers]] from the Washington Arms Treaty.  Originally laid down as battlecruisers, these ships had legendary survivability in combat.   
  
 
== History ==
 
== History ==

Revision as of 21:25, 22 March 2013

The Yorktown-class carriers were built during the inter-war period between the Great War and World War II. The ships were built in response to the restrictions on the construction of battleships and battlecruisers from the Washington Arms Treaty. Originally laid down as battlecruisers, these ships had legendary survivability in combat.

Contents

History

During the mid 1930's, the United States along with other naval powers were building up a heavy fleet of new battleships and battlecruisers. As a response to the Washington Arms Treaty, the US Navy converted the construction of their already under-construction Yorktown-class battlecruisers from warships over to aircraft carriers. Since the hulls of these vessels were less complete then the Lexington-class ships, they were able to design them into fully purpose-built carriers. Because of their original layout as battlecruisers, these ships had excellent hull armor.

All three ships of this class were heavily involved in the Pacific Theater of WWII. The Yorktown was reported sunk by the Japanese on more then one occasion, but due to the technical prowess and skill of the US Navy, damage control crews were able to bring the ship back to operational status, much to the surprise of Japanese Navy. Despite being heavily damaged during the Battle of Coral Sea, the US Navy was able to repair her in time for the ship to be fully operational at the Battle of Midway. In fact, during the Battle of Midway, the ship was reported sunk twice, once as itself and then again assumed to be the Enterprise. The Yorktown was sunk by the Japanese submarine I-168 during an attempt to salvage the ship after the battle.

The USS Hornet fought hard during the war as well. Like her sister ship Yorktown, she also was able to handle massive battle damage. The most famous operation involving the Hornet was the Doolittle Raid. Supported by the Enterprise, the Hornet launched sixteen B-25 light bombers for an attack on the Japanese capital of Tokyo. The impact of this attack lead to the Japanese Navy escalating their plans for Operation-MI, leading to the Americans ambushing and destroying their carrier force supporting the attack on Midway Island. The Hornet was heavily engaged with the Japanese Navy until battle damage during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, where the ship was forced to be abandoned. Despite repeated attempts to scuttle the ship, she refused to sink until torpedoed by several Japanese Destroyers.

The USS Enterprise was the only ship of the class to survive the war and was heavily involved with nearly every battle in the Pacific War. During the war she served heavily, and at one point she was the only operational carrier in the Pacific, after both her sister ships and the much less capable USS Wasp were lost in combat. She served in the Pacific War until she was struck directly on her forward elevator by a Japanese kamikaze aircraft, taking her out of action and requiring extensive repairs. Those repairs were complete in time for the ship to be present at the Japanese surrender on board the USS Missouri. The Enterprise was scrapped following the end of war.

Ships in the class


Related Class

  • USS Wasp CV-7
    • The Wasp-Class is a Yorktown-class vessel that was finished as a smaller design(due to new treaty restrictions) with limited success. The design tried to retain the same aircraft compliment with half the displacement. The ship was not as capable and too easily damaged in combat.

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