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USS Independence (CV-22/CVL-22)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Independence (CV-22/CVL-22)

USS Independence (CV-22), begun as Amsterdam (CL-59), was launched as CV-22 on 22 August 1942 by New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N. J.; sponsored by Mrs. Rawleigh Warner; and commissioned 14 January 1943, Captain G. B. Fairlamb, Jr., in command.

USS Independence (CV-22) conducted shakedown training in the Caribbean. She then steamed through the Panama Canal to join the Pacific Fleet, arriving San Francisco 3 July 1943. USS Independence (CV-22) got underway for Pearl Harbor 14 July, and after 2 weeks of vital training exercises sailed with carriers USS Essex and USSYorktown for a devastating raid on Marcus Island. Planes from the carrier force struck 1 September and destroyed over 70 percent of the installations on the island. The carrier began her next operation, a similar strike against Wake Island 5 to 6 October, as CVL-22, redesignated 15 July 1943.

USS Independence (CVL-22) sailed from Pearl Harbor for Espiritu Santo 21 October; and, during an ensuing carrier attack on Rabaul 11 November, the ship's gunners scored their first success, six Japanese planes shot down. After this operation the carrier refueled at Espiritu Santo and headed for the Gilberts and prelanding strikes on Tarawa 18 to 20 November 1943. The veteran carrier returned to Pearl Harbor 3 July 1944. During her repair period the ship had been fitted with an additional catapult; and upon her arrival in Hawaiian waters, USS Independence (CVL-22) began training for night carrier operations.

USS Independence (CVL-22) returned to Ulithi for long-delayed rest and replenishment 9 to 14 November, but soon got underway to operate off the Philippines on night attacks and defensive operations. This phase continued until 30 December 1944, when the great task force sortied from Ulithi once more and moved northward. These operations in support of the Philippines campaign marked the end of the carrier's night operations, and she sailed 30 January 1945 for repairs at Pearl Harbor. USS Independence (CVL-22) remained off Okinawa until 10 June when she sailed for Leyte.

USS Independence (CVL-22) joined the "Magic Carpet" fleet beginning 15 November 1945, transporting veterans back to the United States until arriving San Francisco once more 28 January 1946. Assigned as a target vessel for the Bikini atomic bomb tests, she was placed within one-half mile of ground zero for the 1 July explosion. USS Independence (CVL-22) did not sink, however, and after taking part in another explosion 25 July was taken to Kwajalein and decommissioned 28 August 1946. The highly radioactive hulk was later taken to Pearl Harbor and San Francisco for further tests, and was finally sunk in weapons tests off the coast of California 29 January 1951.

For a complete history of USS Independence (CV-22/CVL-22 please see its DANFS page.