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By November 1942 in the southern Pacific the only surviving aircraft carrier is the Enterprise, although the repaired Saratoga will depart Pearl Harbor November 12 and was expected to arrive at Fiji on or about November 22. Saratoga stayed a week, took  about five days to sail to Noumea (840 miles) and then had to be repaired for two more weeks. It would be about 1000 miles from Noumea to Guadalcanal.

When the Enterprise withdrew in May of 1943 the Saratoga was joined by HMS Victorious for almost three months until two new Essex class carriers departed Pearl Harbor. Since the Japanese had a four to two carrier advantage during this period it is difficult to understand why the Imperial Japanese Navy was not much more aggressive.

Fleet carriers to be delivered:

Essex (CV-9) – lead ship of the 24-member Essex class. She was commissioned in December 1942; had a rated speed of 33 knots and carried 80 to 90 aircraft. She sailed from Pearl Harbor in May 1943 and participated in airstrikes against Marcus Island at the end of August.

Yorktown (CV-10 renamed from Bonhomme Richard in honor of CV-5)  Commissioned April 15, 1943 and reached Pearl Harbor from Virginia on July 24. She joined Essex for the attack on Marcus Island and, later, the attack on Wake.

Intrepid (CV-11) – commissioned August 16 1943. She departed Norfolk December and arrived at Pearl Harbor 10 January 1944.

Hornet (CV-12 named in honor of CV-8) – commissioned November 29, 1943. She reached the Pacific frontlines in February 1944. By then American carrier supremacy was clear.

Light carriers to be delivered:

Independence (CVL-22) commissioned on 14 March 1943. She was originally started as the Cleveland class light cruiser  Amsterdam (CL-59). She arrived at Pearl Harbor in July 1943 and joined Essex and Yorktown for the attack on Marcus Island and, later, the attack on Wake.  . All the ships in this class carried about 33 planes and had a rated speed of 32 knots.

Princeton (CVL-23) commissioned on 14 March 1943. She was originally started as the Cleveland class light cruiser Tallahassee (CL-61). She arrived at Pearl Harbor August 9, 1943.

Belleau Wood (CVL-24) commissioned on 31 March 1943. She was originally started as the Cleveland class light cruiser  New Haven (CL-76). She arrived at Pearl Harbor July 24, 1943. During the Battle of the Philippine Sea (June 19-20 1944) Belleau Woods planes sank the Japanese carrier Hiyo.

Cowpens (CVL-25) commissioned on 28 May 1943. She was originally started as the Cleveland class light cruiser Huntington (CL-77). She arrived at Pearl Harbor November 19, 1943.

Monterey (CVL-26) commissioned on 17 June 1943. She was originally started as the Cleveland class light cruiser Dayton (CL-78). She arrived at the Gilbert Islands in November 1943.

Langley (CVL-27; named in honor of CV-1) commissioned on 31 August 1943. She was originally started as the Cleveland class light cruiser Fargo (CL-85; later Crown Point). She arrived at Pearl Harbor December 1943.

Cabot (CVL-28) commissioned on 24 July 1943. She was originally started as the Cleveland class light cruiser Wilmington (CL-79). She arrived at Pearl Harbor December 2, 1943.

Bataan (CVL-29) commissioned on 17 November 1943. She was originally started as the Cleveland class light cruiser Buffalo (CL-99). She arrived at Pearl Harbor March 22, 1944.

San Jacinto (CVL-30) commissioned on 15 November 1943. She was originally started as the Cleveland class light cruiser Newark (CL-100; later Reprisal). She arrived at Pearl Harbor March 4, 1944.

Admiral Yamamoto was correct. 

 

 

 

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