(CVB-43: dp. 45,000; l. 968'; b. 113'; e.w. 136'; dr. 35'; s. 33 k.; cpl. 4,104; a. 18 5"; cl. Midway)
The Coral Sea is located between New Guinea and Australia. The battle which took place there between 4 and 8 May 1942 was the first engagement in naval warfare in which warships exchanged not a shot, the action being carried on by carrier aircraft of both fleets. A decisive strategic victory for the United States, it halted further Japanese advance to the southeast, and saved Australia and New Zealand from any further threat of invasion.
Coral Sea (CVE-57) was renamed Anzio (q.v.), 15 September 1944.
Coral Sea (CV-42) was renamed Franklin D. Roosevelt (q.v.) 8 May 1945.
Coral Sea (CVB-43) was launched 2 April 1946 by Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Newport News, Va., sponsored by Mrs. T. C. Kinkaid; commissioned 1 October 1947, Captain A. P. Storrs, III, in command; and reported to the Atlantic Fleet.
Coral Sea sailed from Norfolk 7 June 1948 for a midshipmen cruise to the Mediterranean and Caribbean, and returned to Norfolk 11 August. After overhaul and training in the Caribbean, she sailed 3 May 1949 for her first tour of duty in the Mediterranean with the 6th Fleet, returning 28 September. She returned to the Mediterranean for duty from 9 September 1950 to 1 February 1951, bringing her impressive strength to the 6th Fleet in its important role as guardian of peace in the Mediterranean.
An overhaul and local operations upon her return, as well as training with Air Group 17, prepared her for a return to the Mediterranean once more on 20 March 1951. As flagship for Commander, Carrier Division 6, she took part in a North Atlantic Treaty Organization exercise, "Beehive I." She returned to Norfolk 6 October for local and Caribbean operations, next sailing for the Mediterranean 19 April 1952. While on service with the 6th Fleet, she visited Yugoslavia, and carried Marshall Tito on a one-day cruise to observe carrier operations. Reclassified CVA-43 on 1 October 1952, she returned to Norfolk for overhaul 12 October.
Coral Sea trained pilots in carrier operations off the Virginia Capes and Mayport, Fla., and in April 1953 she embarked the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives for a 3-day cruise. On 26 April the carrier sailed for a tour of duty in the Mediterranean. This cruise was highlighted by a visit to Spain, and participation in NATO exercise "Black Wave" with Deputy Secretary of Defense R. M. Kyes on board as an observer. Returning to Norfolk 21 October, she carried out tests for the Bureau of Aeronautics and trained members of the Naval Reserve at Mayport, Fla., and Guantanamo Bay.
Coral Sea returned to the Mediterranean from 7 July to 20 December 1954, and during this tour was visited by Generalissimo Franco as she lay off Valencia, Spain. On her next tour of duty in the Mediterranean from 23 March to 29 September 1955, she called at Istanbul, and participated in NATO exercises.
Sailing from Norfolk 23 July 1956 for Mayport to embark Carrier Air Group 10, Coral Sea continued on to the Mediterranean on her next tour. She participated in NATO exercises, and received the King and Queen of Greece on board as visitors in October. During the Suez Crisis, she evacuated American citizens from the troubled area, and stood by off Egypt until November. She returned to Norfolk 11 February 1957. She cleared that port on 26 February and visited Santos, Brazil; Valparaiso, Chile; and Balboa, C.Z., before arriving at Bremerton, Washington, 15 April. Coral Sea was decommissioned for conversion 24 May 1957, and upon completion was recommissioned 25 January 1960 to rejoin the Fleet. During September 1960, she conducted training with her new air group along the west coast, then sailed in September for a tour of duty with the 7th Fleet in the Far East.