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United States' CV-4 USS Ranger aircraft carrier


  • CV-4 USS Ranger
  • CV-4 USS Ranger
  • CV-4 USS Ranger
  • CV-4 USS Ranger
  • CV-4 USS Ranger
  • CV-4 USS Ranger
    A torpedo bomber landing during exercises with the British Home Fleet in September 1943. Imperial War Museum, A-19334.
  • CV-4 USS Ranger
    A torpedo bomber landing during exercises with the British Home Fleet in September 1943. Imperial War Museum, A-19335.
  • CV-4 USS Ranger
    Ready for inspection by Secretary of Navy Frank Knox while in Scapa Flow in September 1943. Imperial War Museum, A-19459.
  • CV-4 USS Ranger
    With the USS Tuscaloosa during Operation Leader off Norway, from October 5-6, 1943. Imperial War Museum, A-19594.
  • CV-4 USS Ranger
    In 1944 being used as a training carrier. US Navy photo,


The CV-4 USS Ranger was the first American carrier that was designed and built as a carrier from the start.1,2,3,4 It was felt that many smaller carriers might be better than larger carriers such as the Lexington class.2,5

Originally the Ranger was going to have a flush deck but during construction it was felt it was better to have an island for operations.3,5 To save on weight to keep within treaty limitations the island and flight deck were built as superstructures and not as an integral part of the hull.1 Also to save on weight there was no underwater protection included.2

It was felt that dive bombers were the better weapon so no storage facilities for torpedoes were included in the initial design.2 Later, during World War II, storage was added.2


There were three folding funnels on each side of the Ranger.1,4 This did not work very well with air operations.1 THe funnels were placed horizontal when flight operations commenced.2

Hangar Deck

The hangar was open to allow for aircraft to be warmed up before being brought up to the flight deck.2 There was a catapult installed on the hangar deck.2

40 fuselages could be mounted to the roof of the hangar deck to facilitate movement around the deck.2

Flight Deck

A gallery deck was added to allow for placement of guns and personnel off of the flight deck.2 There were two elevators placed near the middle of the flight deck.2,5


The cost of the Ranger was around $20 million.4


CV-4 USS Ranger

  • Manufacturer: Newport News1,4,5
  • September 26, 1931: Laid down.5
  • February 25, 1933: Launched.1,4,5
  • July 4, 1934, 19342: Completed.2,5
  • 24 40 mm guns added.1
  • 1941 - 1944: Atlantic1
  • September 1941: Six 1.1" quadruple mounts replaced 16 of the .50 cal machine guns.2
  • 1942: Four 1.1" quad mount machine guns added.5
  • April 1942: Ferry aircraft to Africa1,2
  • June 1942: Ferry aircraft to Africa2
  • November 1942: Invasion of North Africa.2,3
  • Six 40 mm quadruple mounts replaced the 1.1" mounts.2 46 20 mm guns added.2
  • January 1943: Ferry P-40 aircraft.2
  • Fall 1943: Six 20 mm guns removed.2
  • August 1943, 19435: Joined British Home Fleet.2,5
  • October 1943: Bodø, Norway raid1,2,3
  • November 1943, 19445: Returned to United States and became training carrier.2,5
  • May - July 1944, 19445: 5" guns removed.2,5 Flight deck catapult installed.2,5 Six 40 mm quad mounts and 52 20 mm guns in total.5
  • 1944 - 1945: Training1,3


Fleet Problems

During the annual Fleet Problem exercise it was found that the Ranger had problems in heavy seas.2,3,5


In April and June 1942 the Ranger was used to ferry P-40s to Africa.2

Vichy Attacks

The USS Ranger was the only fleet carrier to participate in the North Africa invasion.2,5 Aircraft attacked the Jean Bart in Casablanca.2



  USS Ranger
Crew 1,7883,4,5, 2,0001, 2,4612
Crew - 1942 2,0005
Displacement 14,000 tons5, 14,500 tons1,2,4, 14,575 tons3
Displacement - Loaded 17,577 tons3,5
Physical Characteristics  
Length 769'1,2,3,4,5
234.39 m3,5
Length - Water Line 728'1,4 730'3,5
222.5 m3,5
Beam 80'1,2,5, 80' 1"3,4
24.38 m5, 24.4 m3
Draft / Height 19' 8"4,5, 19' 9"1, 20'2
5.99 m5
Draft / Height - Maximum 22' 5"3, 22' 6"5
6.83 m3, 6.86 m5
Flight Deck 710' x 87' 6"5
216.41 m x 26.67 m5
Speed 29 knots5, 29.25 knots4, 29.5 knots1,2,3
Range 9,960 nautical miles2
Range at 15 knots 10,000 nautical miles3,5
Anti-Aircraft 5"1,2, 5" L/255, 5" L/384: 81,2,4,5
5" L/253
.50 cal machine gun: 402
Aircraft 724, 762,3,5, 861
Fighters: 362,3,5
Scout / Dive Bomber: 362,3,5
Utility: 42,3,5
Sides 2"3
Flight Deck 1"4
hangar Deck 1"2,3
Bulkheads 2"3
Boilers Babcock & Wilcox3,4,5: 63,4,5
Shafts 21,3,5
Turbines Curtis / Parsons Geared5
Curtis high pressure4: 14
Parsons low pressure4: 14
HP 53,5001,3,4,5
Oil 1,567 - 2,350 tons3, 2,350 tons5
Aviation Fuel 135,840 gallons3


  1. US Warships of World War 2, Paul H. Silverstone, 1965
  2. US Navy Aircraft Carriers 1922-45 Prewar Class, Mark Stille, 2005
  3. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946, Robert Gardiner, 1987
  4. Janes' Fighting Ships of World War II, 1989
  5. The World's Aircraft Carriers 1914 - 1945, Roger Chesneau, 1986
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site