Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS Essex (CV-9/CVA-9/CVS-9) 

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Essex (CV-9/CVA-9/CVS-9) 

USS Essex (CV-9/CVA-9/CVS-9) was laid down on 28 April 1941; by Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., at Newport News, Va.; launched on 31 July 1942; sponsored by Mrs. Artemus L. Gates, wife of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Air; and commissioned on 31 December 1942, Capt. D.B. Duncan in command. She was reclassified to an attack aircraft carrier (CVA-9) on 1 October 1952, and an antisubmarine warfare support aircraft carrier (CVS-9) on 8 March 1960.

Following her shakedown cruise USS Essex (CV-9/CVA-9/CVS-9) sailed to the Pacific in May 1943 to begin a succession of victories which would bring her to Tokyo Bay. USS Essex (CV-9/CVA-9/CVS-9) proceeded to San Francisco for her single wartime overhaul. For the remainder of 1944 she continued her frontline action, participating in strikes against Okinawa (10 October), and Formosa (12-14 October), covering the Leyte landings, taking part in the battle for Leyte Gulf (24-25 October), and continuing the search for enemy fleet units until 30 October when she returned to Ulithi, Caroline Islands, for replenishment.

In the closing days of the war, USS Essex (CV-9/CVA-9/CVS-9) took part in the final telling raids against the Japanese home islands (10 July-15 August). Following the surrender, she continued defensive combat air patrols until 3 September when she was ordered to Bremerton, Wash., for inactivation. On 9 January 1947 she was placed out of commission in reserve. Modernization endowed USS Essex (CV-9/CVA-9/CVS-9) with a new flight deck, and a streamlined island superstructure, on 15 January 1951 when recommissioned, Captain A. W. Wheelock commanding.

On 1 December 1953 she started her final tour of the war, sailing the China Sea with the Peace Patrol. In July 1955 USS Essex (CV-9/CVA-9/CVS-9) entered Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for repairs and extensive alterations, including installation of an angled flight deck. Modernization completed, she rejoined the Pacific Fleet in March 1956. In the spring of 1960 she was converted into an ASW Support Carrier and was thereafter homeported at Quonset Point, R.I. Since that time USS Essex (CV-9/CVA-9/CVS-9) has operated as flagship of Carrier Division 18 and Antisubmarine Carrier Group Three. She conducted rescue and salvage operations off the New Jersey coast for a downed blimp; cruised with midshipmen, and was deployed on NATO and CENTO exercises. In November USS Essex (CV-9/CVA-9/CVS-9) joined the French navy in Operation "Jet Stream" and since that time has continued her widespread activities in protection of freedom and peace.

For a complete history of USS Essex (CV-9/CVA-9/CVS-9) please see its DANFS page.