US Navy Aircraft Carriers
U.S. Navy aircraft carriers intended to operate with the main fleet were numbered in the "CV" series, which was originated as part of the cruiser ("C") group of designations. During and after World War II, ships in the CV series were frequently given modified designations, including CVA (attack aircraft carrier), CVAN (nuclear-powered attack aircraft carrier), CVB (large aircraft carrier), CVL (small aircraft carrier), CVN (nuclear-powered aircraft carrier), CVS (anti-submarine warfare support aircraft carrier) and CVT (training aircraft carrier). All of these expanded designations were numbered in the original CV series.
World War II also generated a separate number series for aircraft carriers that were intended for auxiliary purposes such as escorting convoys, transporting aircraft and other missions which did not require the high speed of the CV series ships. Originally called Aircraft Escort Vessels (AVG), then Auxiliary Aircraft Carriers (ACV), they were finally termed Escort Aircraft Carriers (CVE). During the mid-1950s, many CVEs were redesignated as Escort Helicopter Aircraft Carriers (CVHE) and Utility Aircraft Carriers (CVU). These retained their original CVE series numbers.
This page provides links to imagery of selected aircraft carriers.