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USS Bennington (CV-20/CVA-20/CVS-20)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Bennington (CV-20/CVA-20/CVS-20)

The second USS Bennington (CV-20) was laid down on 15 December 1942 by the New York Navy Yard; launched on 26 February 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Melvin J. Maas; and commissioned on 6 August 1944, Capt. James B. Sykes in command.

USS Bennington (CV-20) completed trials, shakedown training, and post-shakedown availability by 14 December when she departed New York and headed for the Pacific theater. She arrived in Ulithi lagoon on 8 February and became a unit of Task Group (TG) 58.1. After several days of training exercises, USS Bennington (CV-20) and the other carriers of TF 58 pointed their bows toward Kyushu, southernmost of the major Japanese home islands, to hit airfields there in preparation for the projected invasion of Okinawa. After the assault force went ashore, USS Bennington (CV-20) and the other fast carriers began dividing their time between strikes on Okinawa and the surrounding islands in direct support of the occupying troops and raids on the Japanese home islands, primarily Kyushu, in distant support of the operation. For the remainder of the war, she and the other fast carriers concentrated exclusively upon the Japanese home islands and surrounding waters.

After hostilities ended, USS Bennington (CV-20) continued operations in the Japanese home islands in support of occupation forces. Early in April, the warship set out on a voyage to the east coast. USS Bennington (CV-20) remained in reserve for almost four years. On 29 October 1950, she moved to the New York Naval Shipyard to be modernized and prepared for active service. In October, while completing those alterations, she was redesignated an attack aircraft carrier (CVA-20). Finally, she was recommissioned on 13 November 1952. Following a series of tests and trials, USS Bennington (CVA-20) departed New York on 19 February 1953 for her shakedown cruise to the West Indies.

Over the next nine years, the period preceding America’s full entrance into the conflict in Vietnam, USS Bennington (CVA-20) divided her time between deployments to the 7th Fleet in Far Eastern waters and normal evolutions along the California coast. USS Bennington (CVA-20)’s final seven years of active service, which included four more assignments with the 7th Fleet, coincided with the period of direct involvement of United States armed forces in the civil war in Vietnam. After almost a year of normal operations along the west coast, she stood out of Long Beach for the final deployment of her naval career on 30 April 1968. On 15 January 1970, USS Bennington (CVA-20) was placed out of commission with the Pacific Reserve Fleet at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Wash., and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 20 September 1989.

For a complete history of USS Bennington (CV-20/CVA-20) please see its DANFS page.