COMMISSIONING, SHAKEDOWN CRUISE & TRAINING

(Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Caribbean Sea for West Indies and Panama Canal)

CV AND CVB OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA

(1 October 1947 to 6 June 1948)

CHAPTER III

 

 

SHIP

Launched

DATE

Commissioned

DATE

Coral Sea (CVB-43), former CV-42

Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company of Newport News, Virginia

2 April 1946

East coast - 1st CO Captain A. P. Storrs, III, in command

1 October 1947

A 45,000-ton Midway-class aircraft carrier, one of three Midway-class Large Fleet carriers built out of the six planned and was one of the last battle-class carriers under construction during World War II. While the contract to build her was awarded 14 June 1943, her keel was laid down on 10 July 1944 at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company of Newport News,Va. (NN&SB Hull #440).

The contract to build Coral Sea was awarded 14 June 1943.

Originally classified as an aircraft carrier with hull classification symbol CV-42. Reclassified a “Large Aircraft Carrier” with hull classification symbol CVB-43 on 15 July 1943 and on 10 October 1944 renamed Coral Sea.

Hull half-plated 18 May 1945; Hull completely Framed 14 September 1945;  Hull completely plated 22 October 1945; Flight deck laid 7 March 1946; Island House erected 13 March 1946.

Sponsored and christened by Mrs. Thomas C. Kincaid, a wife of RADM Thomas Kincaid, who had commanded a cruiser division under RADM Frank Jack Fletcher at Coral Sea, a Coral Sea hero.

Dry docked 30 March 1947; Preliminary trial board 17 July 1947; Builders dock trial 6-7 August 1947; USN Trial Board 16-17 September 1947.

Ship’s patch insignia in color, signal flag and radio call sign issued by the U.S. Navy. BIG C, CORAL MARU, AGELESS WARRIOR.

Secretary of the Navy John L. Sullivan spoke at the commissioning ceremonies.

The largest warships afloat at the time, the Midway-class carriers were designed to carry an air group compliment of 133 aircraft.  CVB was a new designation for the Midway-class carrier’s, which were reclassified Large Fleet Carriers before they were commissioned.

 

     “The Coral Sea (CVB-43), former CV-42, the 43rd aircraft carrier of the United States Navy by Hull No. and in order of commission, the 45th, commissioning on 1 October 1947, with her 1st CO Captain A. P. Storrs, III, in command, and reported to the Atlantic Fleet, Norfolk, Va., which was designated as her home port. The ship’s patch insignia in color, signal flag and radio call sign was issued by the U.S. Navy—BIG C, CORAL MARU, AGELESS WARRIOR—which was launched on 2 April 1946 by Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company of Newport News, Va.; it was sponsored and christened by Mrs. Thomas C. Kincaid, wife of RADM Thomas Kincaid, who had commanded a cruiser division under RADM Frank Jack Fletcher at Coral Sea, a Coral Sea hero.  While under construction, the unnamed (CV-42) was first named the Coral Sea, the 43rd aircraft carrier of the U.S. Navy on 10 October 1944; keel was laid down on 10 July 1944 at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company of Newport News, Va.. It was originally classified as an aircraft carrier with hull classification symbol CV-42, then reclassified as a “Large Aircraft Carrier” (CVB-43) on 15 July 1943, while the contract to build her was awarded on 14 June 1943” (Ref. 1-Coral Sea & 72).   

Coral Sea History and USS Coral Sea (CVB-43) commissioning - Ref. 1275A

 

     “Because of the early hour, few of our personnel were on hand to bid their latest creation bon voyage. Such was not the case aboard USS Coral Sea (CVB-43) however; her hangar deck was humming with activity and heads were popped out in all directions to watch the movement of the tugs and the crews of riggers releasing the vessel from the pier. Below decks, the Yard’s operating crew in the engine and boiler rooms had been at work many hours preparing the giant vessel to move under her own power for the first time.

 

    As the lines were let go, the ship eased away from the pier so slowly that her motion was barely discernible on board. After she was well out in the stream, two Navy tugs pushed against the carriers port bow to assist in swinging the ship around to head downstream towards Hampton Roads. A cold raw wind was not yet old enough to lend comfort to watchers on the ship’s decks.

 

    Preceded by a small convoy led by a Coast Guard cutter, the Coral Sea moved past the Casino Grounds and the Chesapeake and Ohio piers. There were only a few people on the shores to witness the event and no salutes from other vessels in the harbor were rendered.

 

    As the ship passed the Navy base, signal lights flashed a message of congratulations of the carrier’s commissioning which was accompanied with wishes for the best of luck. The members of the signal crew of the Coral Sea were on the Flag Bridge to answer this and other signals as she passed Sewell’s Point, Craney Island, Hospital Point and up the busy Elizabeth River.

 

    One standing on the carrier’s Flag Bridge could look down on the streets and housetops of Norfolk and Portsmouth as if standing on their tallest buildings. With some aid from the tugs in navigating the sharp bends in the Elizabeth River, the Coral Sea reached her berth in the Norfolk Naval Shipyard at 9:30am and was secured to the pier some minutes later.

 

    Berthed just aft was the battleship Massachusetts, a part of our active reserve fleet. Off in the distance in the Navy Yard could be seen two big stacks bearing the numbers 41 and 42; these were the hull numbers of the USS Midway and USS Franklin D. Roosevelt, sister ships Coral Sea.

 

    Activity on the hangar deck had now increased in proportion for the commissioning. Sweepers had “manned the brooms,” to remove almost nonexistent dirt. The flight deck exhibits were being completed by the assembling of small plane models. For inspection by the commissioning guests on the hangar deck were two of the actual planes to be used by the air personnel of the ship and also a plastic model of the USS Coral Sea itself. One of the planes was a Corsair F4U Navy fighter and the other, a dive bomber Douglas Skyraider (AD-1). Both were fully armed and appeared ready for action.

 

    The ceremonies began precisely at 3:00pm on the carrier’s flight deck, where a cold wind from the Atlantic made the wearing of overcoats comfortable. In the background at nearby berths, the towering superstructures of the Midway and Franklin D. Roosevelt stood like two imposing skyscrapers against the crisp, blue, autumn sky. It seemed as if the entire might of the United States Navy was present to honor the newest member of the world’s most powerful fleet.

 

    Admiral W. L. Ainsworth, Commandant of the Fifth Naval District, introduced many of the attending dignitaries to the assembled guests and crew of Coral Sea. Admiral Thomas Kincaid, Commander of the Navy’s Eastern Sea Frontier and Atlantic Reserve Fleet was there. Admiral Kincaid, a task group commander in the Battle of the Coral Sea, referred to the world’s largest warship as an “addition to needed strength to implement our foreign policy in its diligent quest to establish peace in its diligent quest to establish peace in our troubled world.” Admiral Kincaid, a native of Hanover, N.H. and a graduate of 1908 Naval Academy class, is the holder of the Distinguished Service Medal for services rendered at the Battle of the Coral Sea. In this battle of the Coral Sea. In this battle, the Japanese drive towards Australia was halted. In his introduction, Admiral Kincaid referred to the fact that the Battle of the Coral Sea, for which this great ship is named, was a major factor in turning back the Japanese from their attempt to invade Port Morseby and this contributed greatly in adding the Allied cause. Admiral Kincaid noted: “I am here because I had part in that famous battle and also because my wife is the sponsor of that battle’s namesake.”

 

     The Honorable John L. Sullivan, Secretary of the Navy was there. Mr. Sullivan was recently assigned to the Navy’s highest office when former Secretary of the Navy, James Forrestal accepted the newly created post of Secretary of the Navy, James Forrestal accepted the newly created post of Secretary of Defense” (Ref. 1275D).

 

     “Secretary of the Navy John L. Sullivan spoke at the commissioning ceremonies that took place 1 October 1947, when CAPT Aaron P. “Putt” Storrs, III assumed command” (Ref. 35/43).

 

      “Into this ship has gone all that was learned in the hard school of war,” Sullivan commented. “Behind it are the accumulative skills of American designers, engineers and workman,” John L. Sullivan briefly halted in his address. Above, the roar of 100 aircraft silenced the voice of the ceremony’s main speaker as they flew in formation over the carrier’s flight deck. The aircraft, attached to Coral Sea sister ship, Franklin D. Roosevelt, were honoring the commissioning. Shortly, Coral Sea’s flight deck would be the home of her own Air Group, CVGB-FIVE, under the command of Commander E. C. Outlaw.

 

     The Secretary of the Navy silently watched as the planes flew into the distance. He then continued. “This is the finest ship that can now be built… Coral Sea is more than a unit of the fleet; she is a piece of America afloat:

 

     John Nicholas Brown, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Air attended the ceremonies. Admiral W. H. P. Blandy, Commander-in-Chief of the U. S. Atlantic Fleet and Admiral Aubrey Fitch were also there. These two men along with Admiral Kincaid, also participated in the Battle of the Coral Sea.

 

     Admiral Ainsworth formally accepted the delivery of the giant carrier from Captain Roger Williams (Ret.), chairman of the Executive Committee of the Newport News Shipyard. The Commandant of the FIFTH Fleet Naval District paid high tribute to the shipyard and said. “no doubt all officers and men of the Coral Sea are proud that this craft was built at Newport News, “adding that “almost every man in the Navy has served at one time or another on a ship built at Newport News.”

 

     The ceremony opened with the prospective commanding officer reporting to the FIFTH Fleet Naval District Commandant that all was in readiness for the commissioning. Captain Aaron P. Storrs, of Oswego, N. Y., a graduate of the Naval Academy in 1923, holder of the Legion of Merit and other awards, and former commanding officer of three other ships, was about to become the first commanding officer of Coral Sea, the largest and most powerful warship afloat. The Commandant requested permission from the Secretary of the Navy to proceed with the ceremonies. Approval was given and Chaplin D. E. Rankin read the invocation. Admiral Ainsworth then read the commissioning directive and ordered Captain Storrs to place the giant carrier into commission.

 

     As the colors, jack and commissioning pennant were hoisted, the band played the national anthem. Captain Storrs then read his orders, commanded that the first watch be set and reported to the Commandant that the ship was in commission.

 

     He spoke to his crew.

 

      “The year ahead will be a testing period and your devotion to duty will be tested to the point of deciding whether this will be the great ship worthy of the name she bares.”

 

     Coral Sea was now a ship of the United States Navy. Thousands of people witnessed the birth of the greatest aircraft carrier afloat, yet, at the same time, many failed to notice the death of the once proud and mighty battleship, USS Idaho.

 

     Quietly, the war-scarred battleship, as if ashamed of her appearance, slipped past the shiny, new steel of the giant carrier. The Idaho was on her last voyage, a voyage to the scrap heap. She flew no pennants and even her national emblem was gone. Her naval career was finished, yet no one seemed to notice. All attention was directed to the world’s newest and most powerful warship, Coral Sea. The battleship steamed through the same waters as did Coral Sea earlier that day.  And once again, no salutes were rendered by passing ships.

 

     The commissioning ceremony aboard Coral Sea was now over. The guests descended from the carrier’s flight deck from the ship’s forward elevator to the hangar deck. Here, ice cream, cake and lemonade were served.

 

    Perhaps never again in the life of Coral Sea would such a colorful and memorable scene be repeated” (Ref. 1275B, 1275C, 1275D & 1275E ).

 

    “The largest warships afloat at the time, the Midway-class carriers were designed to carry an air group compliment of 133 aircraft.  CVB was a new designation for the Midway-class carriers, which were reclassified Large Fleet Carriers before they were commissioned” (Ref. 35/43).

 

    “The NORTH AMERICAN F-86A "SABRE" (F-86), the USAF's first swept-wing jet fighter, made its initial flight on 1 October 1947” (Ref. 41 and 192A).

 

    “The first Grumman XF9F-2 (XF9F-2) prototype (BuNo 122475) began engine ground running tests in October of 1947” (Ref. 41 and 155D1).

 

    “USS Midway (CVB-41) with CVBG-1 embarked air group continued training off the East coast and in the Caribbean, operating with the Atlantic under the direction of the 8th Fleet during 1947, extending training operations into the fall, highlighted by Operation Sandy in September 1947, in which she test fired a captured German V-2 rocket from her flight deck, first such launching from a moving platform” (Ref. 1- Midway and 72).

 

    “USS Valley Forge (CV-45) with Air Group 11 (CVAG-11) embarked, flying the flag of Rear Admiral Harold L. Martin, Commander of Task Force 38 departed San Diego, Ca. 8 October 1947, on her first “Westpac” deployment, her first South China Sea and first Coral Sea and Tasman Sea voyage operating with the 7 th Fleet and what would turn out to be her first world cruise, on her first Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf voyage returning to the West coast via the Red Sea, on her first Suez Canal transit, her first Mediterranean Sea voyage operating with the 6 th Fleet and North Atlantic voyage, traveling South through the Atlantic to the Caribbean Sea on her third reported voyage, her first as a deployment and second Panama Canal transit operating with the U.S. Atlantic Command (Atlantic Fleet) under the direction of the 8 th Fleet. Prior to her deployment commenced intensive air and gunnery training in coastal waters with Air Group 11 (CVAG-11) embarked. She will undergo her third deployment since her commission 3 November 1946, departing Philadelphia on 14 July 1947, upon conclusion of post-shakedown overhaul on her second reported Caribbean Sea voyage, her first as a deployment during her shakedown cruise, steaming south through the Atlantic operating under the direction of the 8 th Fleet. She made her first Panama Canal transit on her home port transfer to San Diego, Ca” (Ref. 1-Valley Forge and 72).

 

USS Valley Forge (CV-45) with CVAG-11

(9 October 1947 to 11 June 1948)

(World Cruise: San Diego, Suez Canal, Panama Canal, San Diego)

SQUADRON

SQUADRON NICK NAME & PRIMARY

ROLE

AIRCRAFT DESIGN

NICK NAME &

PRIMARY ROLE

TAIL

CODE

Modex

AIRCRAFT

DESIGNATION

VF-11A (*2)

Sundowners -            Fighting Plane Squadron or Fighting Squadron

Grumman - Bearcat - Fighter

V100

F8F-1

VF-12A (*3)

Fighting Twelve -       Fighting Plane Squadron or Fighting Squadron

Grumman - Bearcat - Fighter

V200

F8F-1

VA-11A (*4) (*5)

Attack Squadron

Curtiss - Helldiver - Scout Bomber

V300

SB2C-5

VA-12A (*6)

Attack Squadron

Eastern (GM) - Avenger- Torpedo Bomber - Special electronic installation & Electronic countermeasures & Special search

V400

TBM-3E / TBM-3Q / TBM-3W

 (*1) CVAG-11 redesignated CVG-11 on 1 September 1948

(*2) Redesignated VF-111 on 15 July 1948

(*3) redesignated VF-112 on 15 July 1948

(*4) Redesignated VA-114 on 15 July 1948

(*5) Deestablished on 1 December 1949

(*6) Redesignated VA-115 on 15 July 1948

(*1) Redesignated CVG-6 on 27 July 1948

 

    “USS Wright (CVL-49) welcomed 62 army officers while serving as the U.S. Navy Aviation Training Carrier, when she stood out to sea on 15 October 1947 in company with Forrest Royal (DD-872) to let her guests observe flight operations in the Pensacola area. The exercises included the catapulting of Grumman F6F Hellcats for rocket-firing operations” (Ref. 1-Wright and 72).

 

    “Upon conclusion of exercises that included the catapulting of Grumman F6F Hellcats for rocket-firing operations, USS Wright (CVL-49) departed the Naval Air Training Base at Pensacola, Florida on 24 October 1947 to return north” (Ref. 1-Wright and 72).

 

    “USS Midway (CVB-41) with Rear Admiral John Jennings Ballentine, U.S.N., Commander Carrier Division One and Commander, Carrier Air Group One (CVBG-1).

 

embarked departed Norfolk Va. 29 October 1947, with Captain Albert Kellogg Morehouse, USNA ’22, as Commanding Officer and Commander Forsyth Massey, U.S.N., as Executive Officer, on her first Mediterranean Sea deployment, operating with the 6th Fleet, steaming through the Atlantic via Argentina, Newfoundland to the Mediterranean Sea, operating with the Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet (CinCLant) (and after 1 December 1947, under a reorganization act of the Armed Forces approved by Congress, the unified U.S. Atlantic Command (USLANTCOM) (Atlantic Fleet) was established with headquarters co-located to those of U.S. Atlantic Fleet. Admiral William H.P. Blandy, USN, Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, became the first Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command, a title that remained dual-hatted (and would later become triple-hatted), operational control extending to the Second Task Fleet and ComAirLant. She will under go her third Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission 10 September 1945, having the destination of being the lead ship of her class, and the first to be commissioned after the end of World War II” (Ref. 1-Midway, 72, 313B2, 1175, 1175A, 1175B, 1175C, 1175F & 1175G).

 

USS Midway (CVB-41) Mediterranean Cruise Book 1947-48 – Ref. 1175

Cruise Map (29 October to 11 March 1948) – Ref. 1175D

The Marines – Ref. 1175A

Flight Operations – Ref. 1175B

Plan of the Day – Ref. 1175C

 

USS Midway (CVB-41) with CVBG-1 (M)

(29 October 1947 to 11 March 1948)

Hull No. /

Fleet

Foreign Water Fleet

Deployment

 Air Wing

Tail

Code

Depart

Return

Days at Sea

Fleet D. No.

USS Midway (CVB-41) Second Task Fleet & 6th

Lant

1st Med

Lant

CVBG-1 (*1)

M

29 Oct 1947

11 Mar 1948

Europe

135-days

 

SQUADRON

SQUADRON NICK NAME & PRIMARY

ROLE

AIRCRAFT DESIGN

NICK NAME &

PRIMARY ROLE

TAIL

CODE

Modex

AIRCRAFT

DESIGNATION

VF-1B (*2)

Fighting Plane Squadron or Fighting Squadron

Vought - Corsair -

Fighter

M100

F4U-4

VF-2B (*3)

Fighting Plane Squadron or Fighting Squadron

Vought - Corsair -

Fighter

M200

F4U-4

VA-1B (*4)(*5)

Attack Squadron

Douglas - Skyraider - Attack

M300

AD-1

VA-2B (*6)

Torpedo Squadron

Douglas - Skyraider - Attack

M400

AD-1

(*1) CVBG-1 redesignated CVG-2 on 1 September 1948, made up of two fighter squadrons, which flew F4U-B Corsairs and AD-1 Skyraiders.

(*2) Redesignated VF-21 on 1 September 1948

(*3) Redesignated VF-22 on 1 September 1948

(*4) Redesignated VA-24 on 1 September 1948

(*5) Redesignated VF-24 on 1 December 1949

(*6) Redesignated VA-25 on 1 September 1948

 

    “USS Wright (CVL-49) arrived at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in late October 1947 for repairs” (Ref. 1-Wright and 72).

 

    “USS Wright (CVL-49) departed the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard 1 November 1947 and underwent post-shakedown repairs and alterations before she returned to Pensacola” (Ref. 1-Wright and 72).

 

    “On 19 November 1947, USS Leyte (CV-32) with CVAG-7 embarked arrived Naval Station, Norfolk, Va., ending her second Mediterranean Sea deployment, operating with the United States Sixth Fleet (6th Fleet), steaming through the North Atlantic operating with the U.S. Atlantic Command (Atlantic Fleet) under the direction of the 8th Fleet to the Mediterranean Sea. Her third Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission on 11 April 1946 (30 July to 19 November 1947)” (Ref. 1-Leyte and 72).

 

    “The maiden flight of the Grumman XF9F-2 (XF9F-2) took place from Bethpage on 21 November 1947, test pilot Corwin H. “Corky” Meyer being at the controls. The landing took place at Idlewild Airport (now the John F. Kennedy International Airport) since the runway at Bethpage was thought to be too short to risk a first landing of a jet-powered aircraft. The second XF9F-2 prototype (BuNo 122477) flew five days later.

 

     Neither of Grumman XF9F-2 (XF9F-2) prototypes was fitted with armament nor was it fitted with an ejector seat. The wings folded upward hydraulically. A single tailhook retracted into the rear fuselage underneath the jet exhaust. Internal fuel capacity was 597 U.S. gallons.

 

     During company and navy trials, the two Grumman XF9F-2 prototypes were found to snake markedly at all speeds and were longitudinally unstable at all speeds. The snaking problem was addressed by increasing the area of the fin and rudder, and adding baffles to the fuel tanks attacked the longitudinal instability problem. One of the prototypes shed its tail section during an arrested landing at Patuxent River, Md., which required some strengthening of the rear fuselage” (Ref. 41 and 155D1).

 

    “USS Wright (CVL-49) concluded post-shakedown repairs and alterations on 17 December 1947 and headed for the Naval Air Training Base at Pensacola, Florida” (Ref. 1-Wright and 72).

 

    “USS Wright (CVL-49) arrived the Naval Air Training Base at Pensacola, Florida on 23 December 1947, where she resumed her regular schedule of pilot qualification training under the operational control of the Chief of Naval Air Training, Commander Air Atlantic” (Ref. 1-Wright and 72).

 

    “From August to 31 December 1947, USS Kearsarge (CV-33) engaged in training on the East Coast of the United States” (Ref. 1-Kearsarge & 72).

 

    “In late December 1947, after training midshipmen, USS Saipan (CVL-48) steamed back to the east coast to serve with the Operational Development Force in jet operational techniques, carrier support tactics, and electronic instrument evaluation”  (Ref. 1-Saipan & 72).

 

    “While serving with the Operational Development Force in jet operational techniques, carrier support tactics, and electronic instrument evaluation commencing in late December 1947, USS Saipan (CVL-48) was ordered to transport the United States delegation to the Venezuelan Presidential inauguration and back beginning in February 1948” (Ref. 1-Saipan & 72).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVB-43) conducted Sea Trials on 8 December 1947” (Ref. 35/43 and 72).

 

 

Underway in the Hampton Roads, Va., area Dec. 10, 1947. NS024312 57k. USN.

http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/024312.jpg

 

The US Navy's Atlantic Fleet (Eighth and Sixth Fleet) 1947 Aircraft Carriers (CV & CVB) scheduling of deployments, resulted in one CVB deployment extending into 1948, operating in the Mediterranean and World CruiseWestPac” (change of homeport/Seventh Fleet): Deployments (CV’s, CVL & CVB’s):

 

AIRCRAFT CARRIER

DEP

 AIR WING

TAIL CODE

DEPART

RETURN

Days at Sea

USS Midway (CVB-41)

1st Med

CVBG-1

M

29 Oct 1947

11 Mar 1948

104-days

 

CVAG-11 redesignated CVG-11 on 1 September 1948

CVBG-1 redesignated CVG-2 on 1 September 1948

USS Valley Forge (CV-45) left Philadelphia, Pa., on 14 July 1947, headed south, and transited the Panama Canal on 5 August 1947. She arrived at her homeport, San Diego, Ca., on the 14 th and joined the Pacific Fleet.

(Ref. U.S. Navy Deployment History Resources)

 

The US Navy's Atlantic Fleet (Eighth and Sixth Fleet) 1948 Mediterranean, southern Atlantic and Caribbean Deployments (CV’s, CVL & CVB’s):

 

AIRCRAFT CARRIER

DEP

 AIR WING

TAIL CODE

DEPART

RETURN

Days at Sea

USS Coral Sea (CVB-43)

SoLant

CVBG-5

C

19 Jan 1948

5 Apr 1948

78-days

Shakedown Cruise

USS Saipan (CVL-48)

Carib

CVAG-1 CVG-1

T

AB

7 Feb 1948

24 Feb 1948

18-days

 

USS Philippine Sea (CV-47)

1st SoLant 1st NorLant

1st Med

CVAG-9 CVG-9

PS

D

9 Feb 1948

26 Jun 1948

119-days

 

USS Kearsarge (CV-33)

1st Med

CVAG-3 CVG-3

K

K

1 Jun 1948

2 Oct 1948

155-days

 

USS Coral Sea (CVB-43)

1st Med

Carib

CVAG-17 CVG-17

R

AL

7 Jun 1948

6 Aug 1948

61-days

 

USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVB-42)

2nd Med

CVG-4

F

13 Sep 1948

23 Jan 1949

133-days

 

*USS Tarawa (CV-40) (Home port transfer to the East Coast) 1st IO, and Persian Gulf voyage  via straits of Malacca

1st Suez Canal

1st Med

World Cruise        1st Yellow Sea

1st SCC

 

CVG-1

T

1 Oct 1948

21 Feb 1949

113-days

 

USS Midway (CVB-41) Second Task Fleet & ComAirLant

Lant

2nd Carib Sea

CVBG-6

C

8 Oct 1948

23 Nov 1948

South America

Training

47-days

 

CVBG-5 redesignated CVG-6 (Tail Code:  C) on 27 July 1948

CVAG-1 redesignated CVG-1 on 1 September 1948

CVAG-9 redesignated CVG-9 on 1 September 1948

CVAG-3 redesignated CVG-3 on 1 September 1948

CVAG-17 redesignated CVG-17 on 1 September 1948

CVG-4 disestablished on 3 June 1950

*World Cruise: CV-40 - San Diego, Suez Canal, home port transfer to the east coast

 

    “USS Wright (CVL-49) commenced pilot carrier qualification operations in January 1948, serving as the U. S. Navy Aviation Training Carrier out of the Naval Air Training Base at Pensacola, Florida” (Ref. 1-Wright & 72).

 

     USS Coral Sea (CV-43) became part of the Atlantic Fleet Command and operated under the direction of the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea. Coral Sea will make deployments with the 6th Fleet in European waters.

 

U. S. NAY TRAINING CARRIER AS OF 1948

 

CARRIER

COMM

DECOMM

RECOMM

NAR

Wright (CVL-49)

09/02/47

 

 

31/03/47

Cabot (CVL-28), former CV-28 & Wilmington (CL-79)

24/07/43

11/02/47

27/10/48

27/10/48

 

    “Underway for Sea Trials on 8 December 1947, USS Coral Sea (CVB-43) with CVGB-5 embarked (tail code C), operated off the Virginia Capes before clearing Naval Station, Norfolk, Va. on 19 January 1948, with Captain Aaron P. Storrs, III, as Commanding Officer, for Shakedown Cruise out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Caribbean Sea for the West Indies and Panama Canal, operating with the U.S. Atlantic Command (Atlantic Fleet), under the direction of the 8th Fleet. She will under go her first Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission on 1 October 1947” (Ref. 35/43 and 72).

 

USS Coral Sea (CVB-43) with CVBG-5 (C)

(19 January to 5 April 1948)

Hull No. /

Fleet

Foreign Water Fleet

Deployment

 Air Wing

Tail

Code

Depart

Return

Days at Sea

Fleet D. No.

USS Coral Sea (CVB -43) US

LANTCOM

SoLant

CVBG-5

C

19 Jan 1948

5 Apr 1948

Training

1st FWFD

78-days

Shakedown Cruise

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Caribbean Sea for West Indies and Panama Canal

SQUADRON

SQUADRON NICK NAME & PRIMARY

ROLE

AIRCRAFT DESIGN

NICK NAME &

PRIMARY ROLE

TAIL

CODE

Modex

AIRCRAFT

DESIGNATION

VF-5B (*1)

Fighter Squadron

Vought - Corsair
Grumman - Hellcat - Fighter - Photographic reconnaissance/Survey

C100

F4U-4
F6F-5P

VF-6B (*2)

Gladiators -

Fighter Squadron

Vought - Corsair - Fighter
Grumman - Hellcat – Fighter - Photographic reconnaissance/Survey

C200

F4U-4
F6F-5P

VA-5B (*3) (*4) (*5) (*6)

Black Lancers -          Attack Squadron

Douglas - Skyraider - Attack

C300

AD-1

VA-6B (*7)

Fist Of The Fleet -

Attack Squadron

Douglas - Skyraider - Attack

C400

AD-1

CVBG-5 redesignated CVG-6 on 27 July 1948

(*1) Redesignated VF-61 on 28 July 1948

(*2) Redesignated VF-62 on 28 July 1948

(*3) Redesignated VA-64 on 27 July 1948

(*4) Redesignated VC-24 on 8 April 1949

(*5) Redesignated VS-24 on 20 April1950

(*6) Deestablished on 1 June 1956

(*7) Redesignated VA-65 on 27 July 1948

Ref. 34, 35, 39, 41 and 76

 

    In February of 1948, non-jettisonable fuel tanks were added to the wingtips of the first Grumman XF9F-2 (XF9F-2). This feature became standard with the 13 th production aircraft, and non-jettisonable wingtip fuel tanks were to be a feature of the Panther through its entire production run” (Ref. 41 and 155D1).  

 

    “While serving with the Operational Development Force in jet operational techniques, carrier support tactics, and electronic instrument evaluation commencing in late December 1947, USS Saipan (CVL-48) was ordered to transport the United States delegation to the Venezuelan Presidential inauguration and back from 7 to 24 February 1948” (Ref. 1-Saipan & 72).

 

    “On 11 March 1948, USS Midway (CVB-41) with Rear Admiral John Jennings Ballentine, U.S.N., Commander Carrier Division One and Commander, Carrier Air Group One (CVBG-1) embarked arrived Norfolk Va., with Captain Albert Kellogg Morehouse, USNA ’22, as Commanding Officer and Commander Forsyth Massey, U.S.N., as Executive Officer, ending her first Mediterranean Sea deployment, operating with the 6th Fleet, steaming through the steaming through the Atlantic via Argentia, Newfoundland to the Mediterranean Sea, operating with the Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet (CinCLant) (and after 1 December 1947, under a reorganization act of the Armed Forces approved by Congress, the unified U.S. Atlantic Command (USLANTCOM) (Atlantic Fleet) was established with headquarters co-located to those of U.S. Atlantic Fleet. Admiral William H.P. Blandy, USN, Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, became the first Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command, a title that remained dual-hatted (and would later become triple-hatted), operational control extending to the Second Task Fleet and ComAirLant to the Mediterranean Sea. Off to the Mediterranean Sea via Argentina, Newfoundland for duty with the U. S. Sixth Fleet. On 18 February 1948, a Midway launch capsized off Hyeres, France, killing eight. Midway put into her log on several occasions, the take-off from her huge armor-plated flight deck of the Navy’s P2V Neptune Plane (Patrol), thus giving the United States a most potent weapons carrier–a bomber operating from a mobile airfield. This cruise was hall-marked when Commander F. L. Ashworth flew a P2V-3 from Midway off the coast of Norfolk, Va. to the Panama Canal, then over Corpus Christi, Texas, and on to San Diego, California. CDR Ashworkth completed this 4,800 mile non-stop in 25 hours and 40 minutes. Ports of call include: Gibraltar, a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean; Bone, Algeria, capital of Annaba prov., extreme NE Algeria, a port on the Mediterranean Sea; Marsaxlokk Harbor, Malta Area, a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, 80 km (50 mi) south of Sicily, 284 km (176 mi) east of Tunisia and 333 km (207 mi) north of Libya (Gibraltar lies 1,755 km (1,091 mi) to the west and Alexandria 1,508 km (937 mi) to the east); Augusta, Sicily, a town and comune in the province of Syracuse, located on the eastern coast of Sicily (Italy). The city is one of the main harbours in Italy; a second time at Malta, an island strategically located about halfway between Europe and Africa, and Gibraltar and Alexabdria; Taranto, Italy, a coastal city in Apulia, Southern Italy, the capital of the Province of Taranto and is an important commercial port as well as the main Italian naval base; Naples, Italy, the capital of Campania and the third-largest municipality in Italy; Cannes, a city located in the French Riviera, France (Paris, France and Monte Carlo) (Gulf D'Hyeres); Naples, Italy a second time; Genoa or Genoa pron, the capital of Liguria and the sixth largest city in Italy; Naples, Italy a third time and Gibraltar. Squadrons: VF-1B (*2), F4U-4; VF-2B (*3), F4U-4; VA-1B (*4)(*5), AD-1 and VA-2B (*6), AD-1. CVBG-1 redesignated CVG-2 on 1 September 1948; (*2) Redesignated VF-21 on 1 September 1948; (*3) Redesignated VF-22 on 1 September 1948; (*4) Redesignated VA-24 on 1 September 1948; (*5) Redesignated VF-24 on 1 December 1949 and (*6) Redesignated VA-25 on 1 September 1948. Her third Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission 10 September 1945, having the destination of being the lead ship of her class, and the first to be commissioned after the end of World War II (29 October 1947 to 11 March 1948)” (Ref. 1-Midway, 72, 313B2, 1175, 1175A, 1175B, 1175C, 1175F, 1175G, 1081K & 1082).

 

10/10/47 to 11/03/48

AWARD OR CITATION

AWARD DATES

WEST COAST

Navy Occupation Service Medal with "Europe" clasp

Several periods, Dec 1947 - Oct 1954

Europe

1st Med

10/10/47 to 11/03/48

Ref. 1081 & 1081/C

 

 

Photographed in 1948. Coral Sea, as shown in this and the above photo, was completed with 14, rather than 18, 5"/54 guns: note the absence of two of the after mounts on each side, as compared to her sister ships Midway and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Official U.S. Navy photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center (photo #: NH 97648). NS024313 137k. NHC.

http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/024313.jpg

 

 

A nice view of USS Coral Sea (CVB-43) probably taken during her shakedown cruise, 19 January–5 April 1948, to Cuba and Panama Canal, with Battle Carrier Air Group (CVBG) 5 embarked. NS024368 124k. Jim Geldert.

http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/024368.jpg

 

    “On 5 April 1948, USS Coral Sea (CVB-43) with CVGB-5 embarked (tail code C)  arrived Naval Station, Norfolk, Va., ending her Shakedown Cruise out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Caribbean Sea for West Indies and Panama Canal, with Captain Aaron P. Storrs, III, as Commanding Officer, operating with the U.S. Atlantic Command (USLANTCOM) (Atlantic Fleet) under the direction of the 8th Fleet. Squadrons: VF-5B (*2), F4U-4 and F6F-5P; VF-6B (*3), F4U-4 and F6F-5P; VA-5B (*3) (*5) (*6) (*7), AD-1 and VA-6B (*8), AD-1. (*1) CVBG-5 redesignated CVG-6 on Jul. 27, 1948; (*2) VF-5B redesignated VF-61 on Jul. 28, 1948; (*3) VF-6B redesignated VF-62 on Jul. 28, 1948; (*4) VA-5B redesignated VA-64 on Jul. 27, 1948
(*5) VA-64 redesignated VC-24 on Apr. 8, 1949; (*6) VC-24 redesignated VS-24 on Apr. 20, 1950; (*7) VS-24 disestablished on Jun. 1, 1956; and (*8) VA-6B redesignated VA-65 on Jul. 27, 1948. Her
first Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission 1 October 1947 (19 January to 5 April 1948)” (Ref. 35/43 and 72).

 

 19/01/48 – 05/04/48

AWARD OR CITATION

 AWARD DATES

 ATLANTIC

 None Reported

 N/A

 Shakedown

 Cruise

Reference 34 and 35 reflect Chat info.

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVB-43) began a series of career milestones when, on 27 April 1948, the first launch of P2V-2 Neptunes (nuclear capable), off Norfolk, Va., piloted by Cmdr. Thomas D. Davies and Lt. Cmdr. John P. Wheatley, made jet assisted take-offs (JATO) from the carrier as it steamed off Norfolk, Va. This was the first carrier launchings of planes of this size and weight” (Ref. 1-Coral Sea and 72).

 

    “A noise-level survey of flight operations and of auditory acuity of the ship’s personnel was carried out during a refresher-training cruise aboard the USS Coral Sea (CVB-43) in 1948. The data obtained, while neither complete nor of high precision, definitely indicate that the exposure of flight deck crew personnel to existing noise conditions is very close to probable tolerance limits. Peak noise levels of 130 to 135 db occur regularly during operation of F4U-4, AD-4 and F2H-2 airplanes. Mild chronic deafness is not uncommon, although it may exist only for the duration of the shipboard duty. These hearing defects also affect voice communication and contribute to irritation and fatigue. The impending use of jet engines equipped with afterburners is expected to raise the peak noise levels by up to 8 db with current engines. In the future, more powerful engines may be even noisier.

 

    This will increase the degree and duration of the hearing losses, as well as the annoyance and the interference with communication. Non-auditory, mechanical effects on the body may also result” (Ref. 35).

 

    “As the three Midways periodically operated in the Mediterranean Sea, a scheme was undertaken to provide the Navy with a carrier-based nuclear strike capability. The P2V Neptune patrol bomber could carry a Mark 8 atomic bomb—a version of the Little Boy weapon used at Hiroshima. Test launches of Neptunes with rocket boosters began in April 1948, demonstrating that a Neptune could take off from a Midway with a gross weight of 74,000 pounds, deliver an atomic weapon on a target 2,200 miles away, and either return to the carrier and ditch nearby or fly off in a different direction to come down near a rescue ship or submarine work” (Ref. 1083).

 

    “Commander Forsyth Massey, USNA ‘31, assumed command during a change of command ceremony aboard USS Midway (CVA-41) on 22 April 1948, relieving Captain Albert Kellogg Morehouse, USNA ‘22, 4th Commanding Officer, serving from August 11, 1947 - April 22, 1948” (Ref. 1178-G). 

 

    “On 3 May 1948, while at Quonset Point, Rhode Island, USS Saipan (CVL-48) embarked Fighter Squadron 17A” (Ref. 1-Saipan & 72).

 

    “Once Fighter Squadron 17A was embarked 3 May 1948, USS Saipan (CVL-48) got underway and pilots commenced carrier qualifications in FH-1 Phantom jets and by the 6th of May 1948, all squadron pilots had qualified in FH-1 Phantom jets. The squadron had become the first carrier-based jet squadron” (Ref. 1-Saipan & 72).

 

    “Following Post-Shakedown repairs and alterations in April 1948, USS Coral Sea (CVB-43) stood out of Hampton Roads on 10 May 1948 for a Naval Reserve training cruise” (Ref. 35).

 

     “In New York City, during the weekend of 14 to 16 May 1948, USS Coral Sea (CVB-43) docked at Pier 90 on the North River.

 

    It had been seven months since her commissioning. During this time, the carrier and her crew created for themselves a reputation they were extremely proud of, one that the public had heard so much about, and a reputation that the people themselves wanted to be a part of.

 

    During this weekend visit, more than 20 thousand people swarmed the decks of the huge warship. Even as the rain dulled the atmosphere of the skyscraper city, it failed to curtail sightseeing and touring of the newest and most powerful warship ever built by man.

 

    Headlines flashed across front pages of the morning newspapers announcing the carrier’s arrival. They told of the carrier’s enormous size and at the same time refreshed the public’s memory of the carrier’s short, but eventful, history. Coral Sea’s arrival superseded latest reports concerning the CIO-United Auto Workers strike against the Chrysler Corporation. The situation behind the “Iron Curtain” and the coming presidential election seemed to be of little concern on the morning of the carrier’s arrival. The city’s newspapers devoted their most important pages to the newly constructed warship.

 

    The legend that so many people had heard and read about was an awe-inspiring sight to the populace of New York. In a few days, the mighty warship returned to her homeport of Norfolk, Virginia.

 

    The next time the ship’s lines were thrown from her berth, the carrier would deploy to the Mediterranean as a unit of the U. S. SIXTH Fleet” (Ref. 1275F).

 

    “The first production model of the F-86, the USAF’s first swept-wing jet fighter, flew on 20 May 1948” (Ref. 560).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVB-43) returned to Norfolk, Va. on 21 May 1948 upon conclusion of her Naval Reserve training cruise, commencing on 10 May” (Ref. 35/43).

 

    “Commander Raymond Neil Sharp, USNA ‘30, assumed command during a change of command ceremony aboard USS Midway (CVA-41) on 28 May 1948, relieving Commander Forsyth Massey, USNA ‘31, 5th Commanding Officer, serving from April 22, 1948 - May 28, 1948” (Ref. 1178-G). 

 

    “Back at Norfolk, Virginia by the end of May 1948, USS Saipan (CVL-48) was relieved of duties as flagship of Carrier Division 17 (CarDiv 17)” (Ref. 1-Saipan & 72).

 

    “Captain Marcel Emil Adan Gouin, USNA ‘24, assumed command during a change of command ceremony aboard USS Midway (CVA-41) on 7 September 1948, relieving Commander Raymond Neil Sharp, USNA ‘30, 6th Commanding Officer, serving from May 28, 1948 - September 7, 1948” (Ref. 1178-G). 

 

    “The 8th Fighter Wing was established on 10 August 1948 and was activated on 18 August 1948. On 20 January 1948, the 8th was redesignated the 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing, and primarily flew the North American P-51Mustang’” (Ref. 41, 133 and 136).

 

North American F-51D Mustang - Ref. 185

F-51D image gallery - Ref. 184

North American F-82 Twin Mustang - Ref. 193

Service Record of the North American P/F-82 Twin Mustang - Ref. 194

 

    “The first North American Twin Mustangs began to reach the squadrons during 1948. In June of that year, the P-designation was changed to F, and the Twin Mustang became F-82 rather than P-82. The F-82E entered service in the long-range bomber escort role with the 27th Fighter Group (522nd, 523rd, and 524th Squadrons) of the Strategic Air Command. They spent their brief life flying alongside Boeing  B-29 Superfortress, and were replaced by jets in 1950” (Ref. 41 and 194).

 

    “In 1948, the F and G night-fighter versions of the Twin Mustang began to replace the Northrop P-61 Black Widow in service with the Air Defense Command. They were painted entirely black with flame-damped exhausts” (Ref. 41 and 194).

 

MEDITERRANEAN AND CARIBBEAN MIDSHIPMAN CRUISE

REPAIRS, ALTERATIONS & TRAINING

off the Virginia Capes

(7 June 1948 to 2 May 1949)

CHAPTER IV

 

 

     “USS Coral Sea (CVB-43) departed from Naval Station, Norfolk, Va. 7 June 1948, on her first overseas deployment with Annapolis midshipmen embarked, the carrier, her air group, CVEG-2 (SL), CVEG-8, a composite of an escort carrier group and two squadrons from CVG-l7 (R), cleared Hampton Roads on the 7 th, in company with TF 84 formed around the USS Missouri (BB-63), on her Midshipman Cruise to the Mediterranean Sea deployment, with Captain Aaron P. Storrs, III, as Commanding Officer, operating with the United States Sixth Fleet (6th Fleet), steaming through the North Atlantic operating with the United States Atlantic Command (Atlantic Fleet) under the direction of the  8 th Fleet to the Mediterranean Sea, operating with the U.S. Atlantic Command (USLANTCOM) (Atlantic Fleet) under the direction of the 8 th Fleet in the Caribbean Sea, with Captain A. P. Storrs, III, in command. Prior to her deployment, a noise-level survey of flight operations was conducted as well as an auditory acuity of the ship’s personnel during a refresher-training cruise in 1948, preceded by a series of career milestones. On 27 April 1948, Coral Sea made the first launch of P2V-2 Neptunes (nuclear capable) off of Norfolk, Va., which took place on 27 April 1948 and piloted by Cmdr. Thomas D. Davies and Lt. Cmdr. John P. Wheatley, which made jet assisted take-offs (JATO) from the carrier as it steamed off the Norfolk, Va. This was the first carrier launchings of planes of this size and weight, completing the Panama Canal shakedown cruise (19 January 5 to April 1948). She will undergo her second Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission on 1 October 1947” (Ref. 1-Coral Sea, 34, 35, 43 and 72).

 

USS CORAL SEA (CVB-43) with CVG-l7 (R/AL), VA-2E (from CVEG-2) and CVEG-8 (SL)

(7 June to 6 August 1948)

Hull No. /

Fleet

Foreign Water Fleet

Deployment

 Air Wing

Tail

Code

Depart

Return

Days at Sea

Fleet D. No.

USS Coral Sea (CVB-43) US

LANTCOM  & 6th

Lant

1st Med

SOLant

Carib

CVAG-17 CVG-17

CVEG-2

CVEG-8

R

AL

C

SL

5 Jun 1948

6 Aug 1948

2nd FWFD

63-days

First overseas deployment with Annapolis midshipmen embarked, the carrier, her air group, CVEG-2 (SL) CVEG-8, a composite of an escort carrier group and two squadrons from CVG-l7 (R), cleared Hampton Roads on the 7 th, in company with TF 84 formed around the USS Missouri (BB-63), on her Midshipman Cruise to the Mediterranean Sea deployment.

SQUADRON

SQUADRON NICK NAME & PRIMARY

ROLE

AIRCRAFT DESIGN

NICK NAME &

PRIMARY ROLE

TAIL

CODE

Modex

AIRCRAFT

DESIGNATION

VF-17A (*2)

Fighter Squadron

McDonnell - Fighter

C100

FH-1

VF-18A (*3)

Gladiators -

Fighter Squadron

Vought - Corsair -

Fighter
Grumman - Hellcat - Fighter - Photographic reconnaissance/Survey

C200

F4U-4

F6F-5P

VA-17A (*4) (*5)

Black Lancers -          Attack Squadron

Curtiss - Helldiver

C300

SB2C-5

VA-18A (*6)

Attack Squadron -

Fist Of The Fleet

Eastern (GM) -

Avenger - J - Special weather equipment & Q

Electronic countermeasures

C400

TBM-3E /

TBM-3J /

TBM-3Q

 

VA-2E (from CVEG-2)

Attack Squadron

Eastern (GM)

Avenger - J - Special weather equipment

 

TBM-3E /

TBM-3J

(*1) CVAG-17 redesignated CVG-17 on Sep. 1, 1948

(*2) VF-17A redesignated VF-171 on Aug. 11, 1948

(*3) VF-18A redesignated VF-172 on Aug. 11, 1948

(*4) VA-17A redesignated VA-174 on Aug. 11, 1948

(*5) VA-174 disestablished on Feb. 25, 1950

(*6) VA-18A redesignated VA-175 on Aug. 11, 1948

Note: 07/06/48–06/0848:  CVG-17 embarked (tail code R) is reported as air wing by DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY—NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER (Ref. 29 Carrier deployments 1946—1990) and Ref. 43 reports CVEG-8, a composite of an escort carrier group and two squadrons.  Ref. 34 and 35 report CVEG-2)

Her first Med Cruise as reported by the unoffoical navy site http://www.navysite.de/cvn/cv43deploy.htm and Coral Sea sailed from Norfolk 7 June 1948 for a midshipmen cruise to the Mediterranean and Caribbean, and returned to Norfolk 11 August as  stated by the U.S. Navy http://www.navy.mil/navydata/nav_legacy.asp?id=59 – So the cruise book history page is in correct in stating that 1949 Med Cruise was no. one http://www.navy.mil/navydata/nav_legacy.asp?id=59).

Ref. 34, 35, 39, 41 and 76

 

    “Sixteen Lockheed  FP-80A (RF-80A) / P-80B (F-80B) Shooting Stars of the 56 th Fighter Group left Selfridge Field, Mi. on 7 July 1948 and made a multistop transatlantic flight and then took part in two weeks of training in Germany” (Ref. 41 and 180A).

 

    “On 6 August 1948, USS Coral Sea (CVB-43) with Annapolis midshipmen embarked, the carrier, her air group, CVEG-2 (SL) CVEG-8, a composite of an escort carrier group and two squadrons from CVG-l7 (R), in company with TF 84 formed around the USS Missouri (BB-63) arrived in Naval Station, Norfolk, Va., with Captain Aaron P. Storrs, III, as Commanding Officer, ending her Midshipman Cruise to the Mediterranean Sea deployment, operating with the United States Sixth Fleet (6th Fleet), steaming through the Atlantic operating with the U.S. Atlantic Command (USLANTCOM) (Atlantic Fleet) under the direction of the 8th Fleet in the Caribbean Sea, en route to the Mediterranean Sea, with Captain A. P. Storrs, III, in command. Ports of call include: Lisbon, the capital city and largest city of Portugal and is the westernmost large city located in Europe, as well as its westernmost capital city and the only one along the Atlantic coast. It lies in the western Iberian Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and the Tagus River; Golfe-Juan (Occitan: Lo Gorg Joan, Lo Golfe Joan) is a seaside resort on France's Côte d'Azur. The distinct local character of Golfe-Juan is indicated by the existence of a demonym, "Golfe-Juanais," which is applied to its inhabitants and Gibraltar, a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. CVAG-17 redesignated CVG-17 on Sep.1, 1948 (*1); VF-17A (*2), FH-1; VF-18A (*3) (from CVG-17), F4U-4 / F6F-5P; VA-17A (*4) (*5) (from CVG-17), SB2C-5; VA-18A (*6) (from CVG-17), TBM-3E/3J/3Q and VA-2E (from CVEG-2), TBM-3E/3J. (*1) CVAG-17 redesignated CVG-17 on Sep. 1, 1948; (*2) VF-17A redesignated VF-171 on Aug. 11, 1948; (*3) VF-18A redesignated VF-172 on Aug. 11, 1948; (*4) VA-17A redesignated VA-174 on Aug. 11, 1948; (*5) VA-174 disestablished on Feb. 25, 1950 and (*6) VA-18A redesignated VA-175 on Aug. 11, 1948. Note: 07/06/48–06/0848:  CVG-17 embarked (tail code R) is reported as air wing by DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY—NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER (Ref. 29 Carrier deployments 1946—1990) http://www.history.navy.mil/avh-vol1/Appendx3.pdf  and Ref. 43 reports CVEG-8, a composite of an escort carrier group and two squadrons.  Ref. 34 and 35 report CVEG-2). Her second Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission on 1 October 1947 (7 June to 6 August 1948)” (Ref. 1-Coral Sea, 2-USS Coral Sea “Welcome Aboard” brochure, 34, 35 and 72).

 

 05/06/48 – 06/0848

AWARD OR CITATION

 AWARD DATES

 MED CRUISE

 None Reported

 N/A

 1st

Reference 34 and 35 reflect Chat info.

 

    USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) was scheduled to receive 3-in./50 cal. AA battery, but they were not ready by commissioning, and she completed her first overseas deployment prior to their installation” (Ref. 35/43).

 

    The first Air Defense Command unit to take delivery of the North American F-82F was the 325 th Fighter Group (317 th, 318 th, and 319 th Squadrons) based at both Hamilton Field, California and McChord AFB, Washington; the 51st Fighter Group (16 th, 25 th, and 26 th Squadrons) and the 52nd Fighter Group (2nd and 5 th Squadrons) based at Mitchel AFB and McGuire AFB, N.J.” (Ref. 41 and 194).

 

    In February of 1948, non-jettisonable fuel tanks were added to the wingtips of the first Grumman XF9F-2 (XF9F-2). This feature became standard with the 13 th production aircraft, and non-jettisonable wingtip fuel tanks were to be a feature of the Panther through its entire production run” (Ref. 41 and 155D1).

 

    Since the navy was fearful that the Taylor Turbine Corporation might not be able to deliver sufficient numbers of engines in a timely fashion, the navy encouraged Taylor to negotiate an agreement whereby the Nene manufacturing license would be transferred to a more-established engine manufacturing company. This was done as requested, and the Nene license was purchased from Taylor by Pratt & Whitney” (Ref. 41 and 155D1).

 

    “The Grumman F9F-3 (F9F-3) was developed in parallel with the F9F-2 (F9F-2). It differed from the F9F-2 because it was powered by the Allison J33 turbojet, which was approximately the same size as the J42 but was somewhat less powerful. The J33 had been planned as a second-source powerplant for the Panther in case the program to produce the Nene under license in the United States, as the J42 proved unsuccessful” (Ref. 41 and 155D1).

 

    “In 1948, Lockheed  P-80C (F-80C) Shooting Stars began to reach operational units, the first being the 57 th Interceptor Group (64th, 65th, and 66th Squadrons) based in Alaska, and the 49 th Fighter Bomber Group (7 th, 8 th, 9 th Squadrons) based in Japan. In 1948, F-80Cs began to reach operational units in mainland Japan with the 51st Interceptor Wing” (Ref. 41 and 180A).

 

     “Captain Aurelius B. Vosseller assumed command of USS Coral Sea (CVB-43), on 11 August 1948, relieving Captain Aaron P. Storrs, III, 1st Commanding Officer, serving from 1 October 1947 to 11 August 1948” (Ref. 35A).

 

    “The first flight of the Grumman F9F-3 (F9F-3) (BuNo 122476) took place on 16 August 1948. It was powered by a 4600 lb.s.t. Allison J33-A-8 jet engine. Futhermore,  J33-powered F9F-3s were delivered to the Navy by Grumman commencing August 1948” (Ref. 155E).

 

    “During the summer of 1948, USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) was engaged in developing doctrine for carrier control approach landings, the sea going equivalent of GCA” (Ref. 1-Philippine Sea and 72).

 

    USS Coral Sea (CVB-43) commenced Refresher Training on 1 September 1948” (Ref. 34 and 43).

NORTH AMERICAN F-86A "SABRE" (Ref. 192A)

 

    “On 15 September 1948, a North American (F-86) set a new world speed record of 670.9 mph. Originally designed as a high-altitude day-fighter, it was subsequently redesigned into an all-weather interceptor (F-86D) and a fighter-bomber (F-86H)” (Ref. 41, 192A and 560).

 

    “Later in 1948, the 36 th Fighter Group took no less than 80 Lockheed  P-80B (F-80B) Shooting Stars from Florida to the Canal Zone before moving permanently to Germany” (Ref. 41 and 180A).

 

    “On 15 September 1948, a North American (F-86) set a new world speed record of 670.9 mph. Originally designed as a high-altitude day-fighter, it was subsequently redesigned into an all-weather interceptor (F-86D) and a fighter-bomber (F-86H)” (Ref. 41, 192A and 560).

 

    “Following voyage repairs at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, USS Coral Sea (CVB-43) conducted refresher training out of Guantanamo Bay, returning to Norfolk, Va. on 21 September 1948” (Ref. 34 and 43).

 

    USS Coral Sea (CVB-43) conducted Refresher Training from 1 to 21 September 1948” (Ref. 34 and 43).

 

    “The first Republic F-84E Thunderjet was ordered by the U.S. Air Force on 29 December 1948, and thereafter the USAF equipped most of its Fighter Escort Group in the fighter-bomber role using with F-84E Thunderjets. By this time, the P-designation had been changed to F. The F-84E had the same engine as did the P-84D—the Allison J35-A-17D, rated at 5000 pounds of thrust. Maximum speed was 613 mph at sea level, and the initial climb rate was that of 6061 feet per minute. Service ceiling was 43,220 feet. However, there were quite a few changes added to the fuselage. The F-84E had a Sperry APG-30 radar ranging gun-sight, improved wingtip tanks for combat use, and a 12-inch extension to the fuselage to provide more space for the pilot in the cockpit. Retractable jet-assisted take-off (JATO) racks were added to the underside of the rear fuselage, raising the maximum takeoff weight to 22,460 pounds. Weights were 10,205 pounds empty, and 14,724 pounds gross.  Internal fuel capacity was increased from 416 U.S. gallons to 452 U.S. gallons. Two 230-gallon tanks could be carried at the wingtips, bringing the total fuel capacity to 912 gallons and giving a range of 1485 miles. In addition, the fuel system was modified to allow a 230-U.S. gallon tank to be carried under each inner wing shackle, enabling a ferry range of 1950 miles to be attained.  Dimensions were wingspan 36 feet 5 inches; length 38 feet 7 inches; height 12 feet 10 inches; and wing area 260 square feet. Offensive load included two 1000-pound bombs, or two 1200-lb 11.75-inch “Tiny Tim” rockets carried on the inboard underwing pylons. For short ranges, an array of 32 five-inch rockets could be carried underneath the wings” (Ref. 41 and 182).

 

    USS Coral Sea (CVB-43) commenced a five-month scheduled period of repairs and alterations, including modernization of Coral Sea’s bridge and island in late September or early October 1948” (Ref. 34 and 43).

 

    USS Midway (CVB-41) Rear Admiral John Jennings Ballentine, U.S.N., Commander Carrier Division One and Commander, Carrier Air Group Six (CVBG-6) embarked departed Norfolk Va. 8 October 1948, with Captain Marcel Emil Adan Gouin, USNA ‘24, as Commanding Officer, on her second Caribbean Sea deployment operating with the U.S. Atlantic Command (USLANTCOM) (Atlantic Fleet), operational control extending to the Second Task Fleet and ComAirLant. She will under go her fourth Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission 10 September 1945, having the destination of being the lead ship of her class, and the first to be commissioned after the end of World War II” (Ref. 1-Midway, 72 & 1178-G).

 

USS Midway (CVB-41) with CVG-17 (C)

(8 October to 23 November 1948)

Hull No. /

Fleet

Foreign Water Fleet

Deployment

 Air Wing

Tail

Code

Depart

Return

Days at Sea

Fleet D. No.

USS Midway (CVB-41) Second Task Fleet & ComAirLant

Lant

2nd Caribbean Sea

CVBG-6

C

8 Oct 1948

23 Nov 1948

South America

Training

47-days

 

SQUADRON

SQUADRON NICK NAME & PRIMARY

ROLE

AIRCRAFT DESIGN

NICK NAME &

PRIMARY ROLE

TAIL

CODE

Modex

AIRCRAFT

DESIGNATION

VF-61

Jolly Rogers - Fighting Plane Squadron or Fighting Squadron

Grumman - Bearcat REG: N-700A - Interceptor - Night Fighter

C100

F8F-2 /

2N/2P

VF-62 (*1)

Fighting Plane Squadron or Fighting Squadron

Grumman - Bearcat REG: N-700A - Fighter

C200

F8F-2

VF-63 (*2)

Fighting Redcocks - Attack Squadron

Grumman - Bearcat REG: N-700A - Fighter

C300

F8F-2

VA-64 (*3) (*4) (*5)

Attack Squadron

Douglas - Skyraider - Attack

C400

AD-1

VA-65

Attack Squadron

Douglas - Skyraider - Attack

C500

AD-1

 (*1) VF-62 redesignated VA-106 on Jul.1, 1955

(*2) VF-63 edesignated VA-63 on Mar.1956

(*3) VA-64 redesignated VC-24 on Apr.8, 1949

(*4) VC-24 redesignated VS-24 on Apr.20, 1950

(*5) VS-24 disestablished on Jun.1, 1956

 

    On 23 November 1948, USS Midway (CVB-41) Rear Admiral John Jennings Ballentine, U.S.N., Commander Carrier Division One and Commander, Carrier Air Group Six (CVBG-6) embarked arrived Norfolk Va., with Captain Marcel Emil Adan Gouin, USNA ‘24, as Commanding Officer, ending her second Caribbean Sea deployment operating with the U.S. Atlantic Command (USLANTCOM) (Atlantic Fleet), operational control extending to the Second Task Fleet and ComAirLant. Ports of call not reported. Squadrons: VF-61, F8F-2 / 2N/2P; VF-62 (*1), F8F-2 / 2N/2P; VF-63 (*2), F8F-2, VA-64 (*3) (*4) (*5), AD-1 and VA-65, AD-1. (*1) VF-62 redesignated VA-106 on Jul.1, 1955; (*2) VF-63 edesignated VA-63 on Mar.1956; (*3) VA-64 redesignated VC-24 on Apr.8, 1949; (*4) VC-24 redesignated VS-24 on Apr.20, 1950 and (*5) VS-24 disestablished on Jun.1, 1956. Her fourth Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission 10 September 1945, having the destination of being the lead ship of her class, and the first to be commissioned after the end of World War II (8 October to 23 November 1948)” (Ref. 1-Midway, 72 & 1178-G).

 

    USS Midway (CVB-41) with Rear Admiral John Jennings Ballentine, U.S.N., Commander Carrier Division One and Commander, Carrier Air Group Seventeen (CVBG-17) embarked departed Norfolk Va. 4 January 1949, with Captain Marcel Emil Adan Gouin, USNA ‘24, as Commanding Officer, on her second Mediterranean Sea deployment operating with the 6th Fleet, steaming through the Atlantic, operating with the U.S. Atlantic Command (USLANTCOM) (Atlantic Fleet), operational control extending to the Second Task Fleet and ComAirLant to the Mediterranean Sea. She will under go her fifth Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission 10 September 1945, having the destination of being the lead ship of her class, and the first to be commissioned after the end of World War II” (Ref. 1-Midway & 72).

 

USS Midway (CVB-41) with CVG-17 (R)

(4 January 1949 to 5 March 1949)

Hull No. /

Fleet

Foreign Water Fleet

Deployment

 Air Wing

Tail

Code

Depart

Return

Days at Sea

Fleet D. No.

USS Midway (CVB-41) Second Task Fleet, ComAirLant & 6th

Lant

2nd Med

Lant

CVG-17

R

4 Jan 1949

5 Mar 1949

Europe

61-days

 

SQUADRON

SQUADRON NICK NAME & PRIMARY

ROLE

AIRCRAFT DESIGN

NICK NAME &

PRIMARY ROLE

TAIL

CODE

Modex

AIRCRAFT

DESIGNATION

VF-171

Phantom Fighters -

Fighter Squadron

McDonnell - Fighter

R100

FH-1

VF-172

Checkmates -

Fighter Squadron

Vought - Corsair -

Fighter

R200

F4U-4

VF-173

Jesters - Attack Squadron

Grumman - Bearcat REG: N-700A - Interceptor - Night Fighter

R300

F8F-2

HedRon II Det.

Vagabonds - Marine Attack Squadron

Vought - Corsair -

Fighter - Photographic reconnaissance/Survey

(LL)

4xx

F4U-5P

VA-65

Marine Attack Squadron

Douglas - Skyraider - Attack

(C)

500

AD-1

VMF-225

Vagabonds -

Composite Squadron

Vought - Corsair -

Fighter

(WI)

xx

F4U-4

VMF-461 (*1)

Red Raiders –

Composite Squadron

Vought - Corsair -

Fighter

(LP)

xx

F4U-4

VC-4 Det.

Nightcappers -           Helicopter Utility Squadron

Grumman - Hellcat -

Fighter

(NA)

7x

F6F-5N

VC-12 Det.

Composite Squadron

Eastern (GM) TBM-3W 'Avenger' - Torpedo Bomber - Special search

(NE)

xx

TBM-3W

HU-2 Det.

Fleet Angels -           Helicopter Utility Squadron

Sikorsky - Dragonfly

(UR)

xx

*HO3S-1

(*1) VMF-461 deactivated on Feb.28, 1950

The FH-1 Phantom was the first carrier-based jet aircraft. The FH-1 was the navy’s first airplane to fly 500 mph. The Phantom was the first U.S. jet fighter in operational service with both the navy and Marine Corps. First Flight was 21 July 1946.

*Most likely

 

    “A five-month scheduled period of repairs and alterations, including modernization of USS Coral Sea (CVB-43) bridge and island completed, at Norfolk Naval Ship Yard, Va. on 9 February 1949; commencing in late September or early October 1948” (Ref. 34 and 43).

 

    On 5 March 1949, USS Midway (CVB-41) with Rear Admiral John Jennings Ballentine, U.S.N., Commander Carrier Division One and Commander, Carrier Air Group Seventeen (CVBG-17) embarked arrived Norfolk, Va., with Captain Marcel Emil Adan Gouin, USNA ‘24, as Commanding Officer, ending her second Mediterranean Sea deployment operating with the 6th Fleet, steaming through the Atlantic, operating with the U.S. Atlantic Command (USLANTCOM) (Atlantic Fleet), operational control extending to the Second Task Fleet and ComAirLant to the Mediterranean Sea. This time, two Marine fighter squadrons were aboard. This cruise was hallmarked when a P2V-3 Neptune launched from Midway off the coast of Norfolk, flew to the Panama Canal, then over Corpus Christi, Texas and on to San Diego, California. This 4,800 mile non-stop flight was completed in 25 hours and 40 minutes. This operation was part of the Navy's determination to develop a carrier-based nuclear strike capability. The Navy modified twelve Lockheed P2V Neptunes to carry the 9000-lb Mk VIII atomic bomb. All three Midway carriers participated in extensive tests that saw this 70,000-lb long-range patrol bomber clear the deck with JATO-assisted rolling takeoffs. Unable to be launched by the ship's hydraulic catapults because of the aircraft's weight, the P2V's wingspan barely cleared the ship's island during its takeoff run. A "make do" aircraft modification too heavy to land on the carriers, the P2Vs turned in impressive performances flying mock "A-bomb" runs. Soon replaced by the more suitable folding-wing AJ-1 Savage, the Navy nevertheless proved that its carriers had nuclear delivery capability. Ports of call not reported. Squadrons: VF-171, FH-1; VF-172, F4U-4; VF-173, F8F-2; HedRon II Det., F4U-5P; VA-65, AD-1; VMF-225, F4U-4; VMF-461 (*1), F4U-4; VC-4 Det., F6F-5N; VC-12; Det., TBM-3W and HU-2 Det., *HO3S-1. (*1) VMF-461 deactivated on Feb.28, 1950; *Most likely. The FH-1 Phantom was the first carrier-based jet aircraft. The FH-1 was the navy’s first airplane to fly 500 mph. The Phantom was the first U.S. jet fighter in operational service with both the navy and Marine Corps. First Flight was 21 July 1946. Her fifth Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission 10 September 1945, having the destination of being the lead ship of her class, and the first to be commissioned after the end of World War II (4 January 1949 to 5 March 1949)” (Ref. 1-Midway, 72 & 1082).

 

 04/01/49 to 05/03/49

AWARD OR CITATION

AWARD DATES

WEST COAST

Navy Occupation Service Medal with "Europe" clasp

Several periods, Dec 1947 - Oct 1954

Europe

2nd Med

Ref. 1081 & 1081/C

 

    USS Coral Sea (CVB-43) commenced operations off the Virginia Capes with CVGB-5 embarked (tail code C) when a P2V-3C Neptune, piloted by Captain John T. Hayward of VC 5, was launched from the carrier with a 10,000-load of dummy bombs. The aircraft flew across the continent, dropped its load on the West Coast, and returned nonstop to land at the Naval Air Station, Patuxent River, Maryland on 7 March 1949” (Ref. 34 and 72).

 

    USS Coral Sea (CVB-43) commenced Refresher Training on 18 March 1949” (Ref. 34 and 43).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVB-43) returned to “Gitmo” for further Refresher Training from 18 March to 25 April 1949, before she broke the flag of RADM M. F. Schoeffel, ComCarDiv Two on 30 April 1949” (Ref. 34 and 43).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER III & IV

 USS CORAL SEA (CV 43)

Operations Evening Light and Eagle Claw, A Sailors tale of his Tour of duty in the U.S. Navy (August 1977 to February 1983)

 

A Sailors tale of his Tour of duty in the U.S. Navy - Operation Evening Light And Eagle Claw -

 

Book - ISBN NO.

978-1-4276-0454-5

EBook - ISBN NO.

978-1-329-15473-5

 

Operations Evening Light and Eagle Claw (24 April 1980) Iran and Air Arm History (1941 to Present)

 

Operations Evening Light and Eagle Claw (24 April 1980) Iran and Air Arm History (1941 to Present)

 

Book ISBN NO.

xxxxxxxxxxxxx

EBook ISBN NO.

978-1-329-19945-3

 

USS CORAL SEA CV-42, CVB-43, CVA-43 & CV-43 HISTORY, AND THOSE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA  Vol. I (10 July 1944 to 31 December 1975)

 

USS CORAL SEA CV-42, CVB-43, CVA-43 & CV-43 HISTORY, AND THOSE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA Vol. I (10 July 1944 to 31 December 1975) -

 

Book ISBN NO.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

EBook ISBN NO.

978-1-329-54596-0

 

USS CORAL SEA CV-42, CVB-43, CVA-43 & CV-43 HISTORY, AND THOSE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA DURING HER TOUR OF SERVICE Vol. II (1 January 1976 to 25 August 1981)

 

USS CORAL SEA CV-42, CVB-43, CVA-43 & CV-43 HISTORY, AND THOSE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA DURING HER TOUR OF SERVICE Vol. II (1 January 1976 to 25 August 1981) -

 

Book ISBN NO.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

EBook ISBN NO.

978-1-329-54790-2

 

USS CORAL SEA CV-42, CVB-43, CVA-43 & CV-43 HISTORY, AND THOSE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA DURING HER TOUR OF SERVICE Vol. III (20 August 1981 to 26 April 1990)

 

USS CORAL SEA CV-42, CVB-43, CVA-43 & CV-43 HISTORY, AND THOSE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA DURING HER TOUR OF SERVICE Vol. III (20 August 1981 to 26 April 1990) -

 

Book ISBN NO.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

EBook ISBN NO.

978-1-329-55111-4