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USS Hancock (CV-19/CVA-19)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Hancock (CV-19/CVA-19)

USS Hancock (CV-19) was laid down as Ticonderoga 26 January 1943 by the Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass.; renamed Hancock 1 May 1943; launched 24 January 1944; sponsored by Mrs. DeWitt C. Ramsey, wife of Rear Admiral Ramsey, Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics; and commissioned ' 15 April 1944, Captain Fred C. Dickey in command.

After fitting out in the Boston Navy Yard and shakedown training off Trinidad and Venezuela, USS Hancock (CV-19) returned to Boston for alterations 9 July. She departed Boston 31 July en route to Pearl Harbor via the Panama Canal and San Diego, and from there sailed 24 September to join Admiral W. F. Halsey's 3d Fleet at Ulithi 5 October. She was assigned to Rear Admiral Bogan's Carrier Task Group 38.2.

On 18 October she launched planes against airfields and shipning at Laoag, Aparri, and Camiguin Island in Northern Luzon. Her planes struck the islands of Cebu, Panay, Negros, and Masbate, pounding enemy airfields and shipping. USS Hancock (CV-19) received orders 23 October to turn back to the area off Samar to assist in the search for units of the Japanese fleet reportedly closing Leyte to challenge the American fleet and to destroy amphibious forces which were struggling to take the island from Japan. Unfavorable weather prevented operations until 25 November when an enemy aircraft roared toward USS Hancock (CV-19) in a suicide dive out of the sun.

USS Hancock (CV-19) returned to Ulithi 27 November and departed from that island with her task group to maintain air patrol over enemy airfields on Luzon to prevent enemy suicide attacks on amphibious vessels of the landing force in Mindoro. Back in Japanese waters USS Hancock (CV-19) joined other carriers in strikes against Kyushu airfields, southwestern Honshu, and shipping in the Inland Sea of Japan, 18 March 1945. USS Hancock (CV-19) was refueling destroyer USS Halsey Powell 20 March when suicide planes attacked the task force. One plane dove for the two ships but was disintegrated by gunfire when about 700 feet overhead. Fragments of the plane hit Hancock's deck while its engine and bomb crashed the fantail of the destroyer. USS Hancock (CV-19)'s gunners shot down another plane as it neared the release point of its bombing run on the carrier.

USS Hancock (CV-19) was detached from her task group 9 April and steamed to Pearl Harbor for repairs. She sailed back into action 13 June and left lethal calling cards at Wake Island 20 June en route to the Philippines. USS Hancock (CV-19) sailed from San Pedro Bay with the other carriers 1 July and attacked Tokyo airfields 10 July. When the formal surrender of the Japanese Imperial Government was signed on board battleship USS Missouri, USS Hancock (CV-19)'s planes flew overhead. The carrier entered Tokyo Bay 10 September 1945 and sailed 30 September, embarking 1,500 passengers at Okinawa for transportation to San Pedro, California, where she arrived 21 October. USS Hancock (CV-19) commenced conversion and modernization to an attack aircraft carrier in Puget Sound 15 December 1951 and was reclassified CVA-19, 1 October 1952. She recommissioned 15 February 1954. 

She returned to San Diego 15 March 1956 and decommissioned 13 April for conversion that included the installation of an angled flight deck. USS Hancock (CVA-19) recommissioned 15 November 1956 for training out of San Diego until 6 April 1957 when she again sailed for Hawaii and the Far East. She returned to San Diego 18 September 1957 and again departed for Japan 15 February 1958. USS Hancock (CVA-19) returned to San Francisco in March 1961, then entered the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for an overhaul that gave her new electronics gear and many other improvements. She again set sail for Far Eastern waters 2 February 1962, patrolling in the South China Sea as crisis and strife mounted both in Laos and in South Vietnam.

Following operations off the West Coast, USS Hancock (CVA-19) returned to Vietnam early in 1967 and resumed her strikes against Communist positions. After fighting during most of the first half of 1967, she returned to Alameda 22 July and promptly began preparations for returning to battle.

For a complete history of USS Hancock (CV-19/CVA-19) please see its DANFS page.