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USS Cowpens (CVL-25)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Cowpens (CVL-25)

USS Cowpens (CV-25) was laid down as light cruiser USS Huntington (CL-77) on 17 November 1941, by New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N.J.; converted into an aircraft carrier (CV-25) during construction; launched on 17 January 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Margaret B. Spruance, née Halsey; daughter of Vice Adm. William F. Halsey Jr.; and commissioned on 28 May 1943, Capt. Robert P. McConnell in command. USS Cowpens (CV-25) was reclassified to a small aircraft carrier (CVL-25) on 15 July 1943.

Departing Philadelphia, Pa., on 29 August 1943, USS Cowpens (CVL-25) arrived at Pearl Harbor, T.H., on 19 September to begin the active and distinguished war career which was to earn her a Navy Unit Commendation. he sortied from Pearl Harbor on 10 November to launch air strikes on Mille and Makin atolls (19–24 November), and on 4 December Kwajalein and Wotje, returning to her base on 9 December.

Joining the vast carrier TF 58, USS Cowpens (CVL-25) sailed from Pearl Harbor on 16 January 1944, for the invasion of the Marshalls. Her planes pounded Kwajalein and Eniwetok the last three days of the month to prepare for the assault landing on the 31st. From 6 June to 10 July 1944 USS Cowpens (CVL-25) operated in the Marianas operation. Her planes struck the island of Saipan to aid the assault troops, and made supporting raids on Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands, Pagan, Rota, and Guam. Between 30 December 1944 and 26 January 1945 USS Cowpens (CVL-25) was at sea for the Lingayen Gulf landings. Her planes struck targets on Formosa [Taiwan], Luzon, the Indo-Chinese coast, and the Hong Kong-Canton [Guangzhou] area, and Okinawa during January.

After an overhaul at San Francisco, Calif., and training at Pearl Harbor, USS Cowpens (CVL-25) sailed on 13 June for San Pedro Bay, Leyte, on her way striking Wake Island on 20 June. Between 8 November 1945 and 28 January 1946 USS Cowpens (CVL-25) made two voyages to Pearl Harbor, Guam, and Okinawa to return veterans as part of Operation Magic Carpet. Placed in commission in reserve at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Calif., on 3 December 1946, USS Cowpens (CVL-25) was decommissioned on 13 January 1947.

For a complete history of USS Cowpens (CVL-25) please see its DANFS page.