24 August 2014, United States' Bogue Class Escort Aircraft Carrier
The Bogue class of escort aircraft carriers were very successful in the Atlantic hunter killer groups going after German U-Boats.
CVE-25 USS Croatan escort aircraft carrier in San Francisco, May 10, 1943:
US Navy Photo
24 August 2014, United States' CVE-30 USS Charger Escort Aircraft Carrier
The USS Charger was a conversion from a merchant ship into an escort aircraft carrier and was primarily used for training.
CVE-30 USS Charger escort aircraft carrier:
US Navy Photo
22 August 2014, Japanese Destroyer Captain, Capt. Tameichi Hara, 1967, book review
This is probably the first book that I've read from the Japanese perspective of the naval war in the Pacific. Capt. Hara came from a poor family but was able to qualify into getting into the Naval Academy. Hara describes the abuse dished out by the upper classmen and teachers. It would remain etched in his mind and he would treat his crews with much more respect.
Hara becomes a captain of a destroyer before the war and is flabbergasted at the move to get into a war with the United States, but yet he still knows he must do his duty. Japanese Destroyer Captain takes us through many of the battles he fought in with some excellent details. He also talks about the flawed strategy of the navy and army.
I highly recommend this book for any fan of the Pacific War!
11 August 2014, United States' CVE-1 USS Long Island Escort Aircraft Carrier
The first of many, the USS Long Island was a converted cargo ship. It carried only 16 aircraft but that was enough to escort conveys across the Atlantic.
CVE-1 USS Long Island escort aircraft carrier, June 10, 1944:
US Navy Photo, National Archives #80-G-236393
10 August 2014, United States' Saipan Class Light Aircraft Carriers
The Saipan class was designed on order by Admiral King who wanted ships that would replace losses. Only two were built but did not see action in World War II.
CVL-48 USS Saipan light aircraft carrier, November 2, 1946:
10 August 2014, United States' CV-1 USS Langley Aircraft Carrier
As the US Navy was interested in experimenting with developing carrier use the USS Langley was converted from a collier as Congress wouldn't provide funding for a new ship. It was learned that carriers did have their uses with the fleet.
CV-1 USS Langley aircraft carrier near San Diego, California with the USS Somers in 1928:
US Navy Photo, National Archives NH-81279
10 August 2014, United States' Midway Class Aircraft Carriers
With the success of the British armored flight decks in defending against kamikazes and the perceived threat of Japanese cruisers with 8" guns attacking at night the Midway class was designed with protection in mind. To facilitate all the armored required it was decided to build a much larger aircraft carrier than they Essex class which were the mainstay of the US Fleet. However, none of the Midway class carriers were finished in time to see service in World War II but they did see long service afterwards.
CVB-42 USS Franklin D. Roosevelt aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean Sea, November 1948:
US Navy Photo, National Archives #80-G-467203
9 August 2014, United States' CV-7 USS Wasp Aircraft Carrier
The USS Wasp was a meld between the light USS Ranger and the larger Yorktown class. This was due to the naval treaty restrictions of only 15,000 tons being available for development. The Wasp was in the middle of fueling aircraft when hit by a Japanese torpedo. The fumes resulted in out of control fires which lead to a better design in the Essex class that helped prevent such fires.
CV-7 USS Wasp aircraft carrier at Portsmouth, Virginia on January 8, 1942:
US Navy Photo, National Archives #19-N-2732
9 August 2014, United States' CV-4 USS Ranger Aircraft Carrier
In the 1930s, due to Naval Treaties, it was felt to built several smaller aircraft carriers would be better than large carriers so the USS Ranger was designed with little armor and a small hull. It was used primarily in the Atlantic and was withdrawn back to the United States in late 1943 to become a training carrier.
CV-4 USS Ranger aircraft carrier in 1944 as a training carrier:
US Navy Photo
9 August 2014, United States' Yorktown Class Aircraft Carriers
The Yorktown class was a result of Fleet exercises in the 1930s and the remaining limitations of the Naval Treaties with Japan. Three carriers were eventually built with the USS Enterprise the only one surviving World War II.
CV-6 USS Enterprise aircraft carrier during Battle of Midway:
USAF Photo, National Archives #80-G-32225
3 August 2014, United States' Essex Class Aircraft Carriers
Probably the ultimate in World War II aircraft carrier design, the Essex class lead the way for the fast carrier groups used in the Pacific. They were designed to carry a multitude of defensive armament and armored decks that would help reduce damage from bombs. Many of the Essex class were used for many years after World War II.
CV-11 USS Intrepid aircraft carrier at Norfolk Navy Yard, November 25, 1943:
2 August 2014, United States' Independence Class Aircraft Carriers
It was thought that the Essex class carriers wouldn't be ready until 1944 so there was a need for an interim carrier to fill the gap. President Roosevelt ordered that Cleveland class cruiser hulls be converted into light carriers. These were to become the Independence class light aircraft carriers. They could carry 30 aircraft and still keep up with the rest of the fleet.
CVL-23 USS Belleau Wood light aircraft carrier, December 22, 1943:
1 August 2014, United States' Lexington Class Aircraft Carriers
For years I've thought about adding ships to my site and well I'm finally going to do it! It will be a slow process as there are many different classes of ships but one has to start somewhere.
Up first will be the Lexington Class aircraft carriers, Lexington and Saratoga. Both a result of treaty restrictions, they were converted from battlecruisers in the 1920s. They remained the largest aircraft carriers in the world up until World War II. The Lexington was lost at the Battle of Coral Sea, and the Saratoga survived the war and was sunk during atomic bomb tests.
CV-3 USS Saratoga aircraft carrier, May 31 1934:
24 July 2014, Better Layout
I've updated the layout for the site so it should fit much better on cell phones and tablets. I'll keep working on making the site better for hand held devices (heck I have some myself!).
19 July 2014, Decisions
When I started this website so many years ago it was just so I could share a passion of World War II with others. Years later I thought my goal should be to do everything I could to get more visitors. So I started a blog, posted to Facebook, posted to Google+, Tweeted, started an e-mail list, and used Analytics to see my success. Well, initially there was an upturn in visitors, nothing drastic, but well cool.
Lately I've been wondering is all that extra work worth it? Checked Analytics, nope, in the last two years visitors have dropped despite my using "social media" to increase my visitors.
So, I've decided, I will continue my website, but I'm going back to what I originally intended to do with my web site and that was just share information, and that'll be the #1 prime goal. I've never been a fan of the "social media" so from now on I will no longer post to a blog, Tweet, post on Facebook, post on Google+, nor send e-mails to the mail list and I've turned off Analytics so your visits will no longer be tracked!
For my readers, they'll just have to come here, my home page, to see what it going on and what updates I've been making.
The first set of updates is getting my site organized, structurally, the way I want. I didn't for many years as I was afraid it would hurt my standings with broken links, well, to heck with that!
Summer is here and in full swing. I've been working a lot on my weekends to make updates on this site and well I need some time off. There's other things I'd rather do, be it working around the house, taking a walk, or just relaxing and reading a book.
Also, during this time off I'm going to make a decision. I've had this website (in one form or another) since 1998, which is an eternity in "internet" years, and I'm going to decide whether to continue on with it or not. I've done about all I can do with the reference materials I have in regards to planes and tanks. Posting photos is nice but it's hardly the meat of the content.
So for now I'm going to enjoy my summer and wish you all the best!
First World War for Dummies, Dr Sean Lang, 2014
Not knowing much about World War I I will occasionally pick up a book about the time period. As a fan of the For Dummies series I didn't mind reading it like some might.
First World War for Dummies has a nice summary of the lead up, causes, battles, and finally of World War I.
You won't get much in the way of first person accounts from individual soldiers so don't look for that here.
I think one thing I got out of Lang's book was that the start of the war wasn't just one cause but a combination of events.
The Red Baron, Wayne Vansant, 2014, book review
As a lifelong fan of comic books, heck I'd climb up in the attic above the garage to raid the box of comic books my brother kept, reading graphic novels are a great pleasure now.
The Red Baron is one of those pleasurable reads. I don't know the full history of Richthofen so I can't speak for the accuracy of the novel but it sure is great to read the words and look at the artwork done.
Definitely something fun to pick up and read in an hour.