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United States' Saipan class light aircraft carriers

Photos

CVL-48 USS Saipan light aircraft carrier, November 2, 1946:
United States' CVL-48 USS Saipan light aircraft carrier, November 2, 1946
USN Photo

Design

In 1943 the Saipan class was designed based on Admiral King wanting two new light carriers produced every year to replace losses. They were to be ready by December 1945.

Hulls of the Baltimore class cruiser were to be the basis for the design.

Engines

There were four boiler rooms that exhausted out four starboard funnels.

Flight Deck

There was a crane near the forward elevator. There were two catapults installed.

Ships

CVL-48 USS Saipan

  • Manufacturer: New York Shipbuilding, General Electric
  • July 10, 1944: Laid down.
  • July 8, 1945: Launched.
  • July 14, 1946: Completed.

CVL-49 USS Wright

  • Manufacturer: New York Shipbuilding, General Electric
  • August 21, 1944: Laid down.
  • September 1, 1945: Launched.
  • February 9, 1947: Completed.

Usage

Did not see combat in World War II.

Specifications

  Saipan Class
Crew 1,500, 1,553, 1,700
Displacement 14,500 tons, 17,800 tons
Displacement - Designed 14,500 tons
Displacement - Loaded 18,750 tons, 20,000 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length 683' 6", 683' 7"
208.35 m, 208.36 m
Length - Water Line 664'
202.38 m, 202.39 m
Beam 76' 8", 76' 9"
23.36 m, 23.37 m
Draft / Height 24' 6", 25', 27'
7.47 m, 8.22 m
Draft / Height - Loaded 27'
8.23 m
Flight Deck 600' x 80'
182.88 m x 24.38 m
Performance  
Speed 33 knots
Range at 15 knots 10,000 nautical miles, 13,000 nautical miles
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft 5" L/38: 4
40 mm: 40
40 mm quadruple mounts: 5
40 mm twin mounts: 8, 10
20 mm twin mounts: 16
20 mm: 25, 32
Aircraft 48
Fighters: 36
Torpedo Bombers: 12
Armor  
Armored Deck 2.5"
Bulkheads 4"
Belt 4"
Deck - Lower 2"
Deck - Main 3"
Engines  
Boilers Babcock & Wilcox: 4
Shafts 4
Turbines Geared, General Electric geared
HP 120,000
Oil 2,400 tons, 2,500 tons
Gasoline 140,000 gallons

Sources:

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