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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Online Library of Selected Images:
-- U.S. NAVY SHIPS --

USS Valley Forge (CVS-45), 1946-1971 --
Actions and Activities as an ASW Carrier, 1954-1960

A 1953-54 overhaul transformed Valley Forge into an antisubmarine warfare (ASW) support carrier, a function for which her unmodernized flight deck arrangement was still suitable. Redesignated CVS-45, she operated an air group of helicopters and propeller-driven aircraft as the core unit of a task group of destroyers, submarines and other aircraft, whose mission was to aggressively clear the seas of enemy submarines.

Assigned to the Atlantic Fleet, Valley Forge was kept busy developing new ASW techniques and on other functions. She deployed to European waters in 1954. In 1957, she served as test platform for experiments with amphibious "vertical envelopment", using helicopters to land Marines. She was flagship of ASW Task Group Alpha in 1958-59. In early 1960, Valley Forge supported scientific endeavors in Operation "Skyhook", launching three very large balloons in the Caribbean to obtain data on high-altitude cosmic rays. Late that year, following a Mediterranean Sea deployment, she was recovery ship for a "Project Mercury" space capsule. In March 1961, she again began a shipyard conversion, this time to her final role as an amphibious assault ship (LPH).

This page features views of some of Valley Forge's activities during 1954-1960, when she was an ASW support carrier, and provides links to other photographs taken during this time.

The following pages provide images of other Valley Forge actions and activities during 1958 and 1959:

  • USS Valley Forge -- Operations with Task Group Alpha, 1958-59 and
  • USS Valley Forge -- Storm Damage to Her Flight Deck, 1959.


    For links to additional views related to USS Valley Forge, see:
    USS Valley Forge (CV/CVA/CVS-45 and LPH-8) -- Selected Views.

    If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

    Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

    Photo #: USN 1037211

    USS Valley Forge (CVS-45)


    Sikorski HSS-1 helicopters, of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Seven (HS-7), taking off from the ship's flight deck on 18 July 1958.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

    Online Image: 109KB; 740 x 615 pixels

    Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system as Photo # 428-N-1037211.

     
    Photo #: NH 96955

    USS Valley Forge (CVS-45)


    A Grumman S2F "Tracker" anti-submarine plane landing on the carrier.
    This photograph was received in April 1961.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

    Online Image: 65KB; 740 x 570 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 96948

    USS Valley Forge (CVS-45)


    Ten-million cubic foot "Winzen" research balloon on the carrier's flight deck just prior to launching, during Operation "Skyhook", Refly "B", 30 January 1960.
    The balloon carried scientific devices to measure and record primary cosmic rays at 18-to-22 miles altitude.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

    Online Image: 109KB; 590 x 765 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 96949

    USS Valley Forge (CVS-45)


    Tracer balloons are launched from the carrier to test upper atmosphere wind conditions, during Operation "Skyhook" in late January 1960. A ten-million cubic foot research balloon is being prepared for flight at the forward end of the flight deck.
    See NH 96949 Extended Caption for additional information.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

    Online Image: 93KB; 740 x 615 pixels

     

    The following pages provide images of other Valley Forge actions and activities during 1958 and 1959:

  • USS Valley Forge -- Operations with Task Group Alpha, 1958-59 and
  • USS Valley Forge -- Storm Damage to Her Flight Deck, 1959.


    For links to additional views related to USS Valley Forge, see:
    USS Valley Forge (CV/CVA/CVS-45 and LPH-8) -- Selected Views.


    If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."


    Return to Naval Historical Center home page.

    14 September 1999