Sangamon class escort carrier
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|Builders:||Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Company : Sangamon & Suwannee|
Sun Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. : Chenango & Santee
|Operators:||United States Navy|
|Preceded by:||Bogue class escort carrier|
|Succeeded by:||Charger class escort carrier|
11,400 long tons (11,583 t) standard|
24,275 long tons (24,665 t) full
|Length:||553 ft (169 m)|
75 ft (23 m)|
114 ft (35 m) extreme width
|Draft:||32 ft (9.8 m)|
|Propulsion:||2 steam turbines, 2 shafts, 4 boilers, 13,500 shp (10,067 kW)|
|Speed:||18 knots (21 mph; 33 km/h)|
|Complement:||860-1080 officers and men|
• 2 × 5 in (130 mm)/51 cal. guns (2×1)|
• 8 × Bofors 40 mm guns (4×2)
• 12 × Oerlikon 20 mm cannons (12×1)
• Additional 20 & 40 mm guns later added
|Aircraft carried:||25-32 F4F Wildcat & TBF Avenger or SBD Dauntless|
They were originally Cimarron class oilers, launched in 1939 for civilian use. They were acquired by the U.S. Navy in 1940-41 and in early 1942 were decommissioned to be converted to escort carriers. The conversion took around six months, and from late 1942 until the end of the war the ships saw active duty in the Mediterranean, Atlantic and Pacific Campaigns. Three of the class were damaged by Japanese kamikaze attacks at the Battle of Leyte Gulf, but all survived the war. They were excellent examples of the type, roomy and tough with a large flight deck and good stability on even high seas.
The ships were withdrawn from active service shortly after the end of the war. Some of them were kept in reserve and reclassified as helicopter escort carriers (CVHE). All had been sold or scrapped by the early 1960s.
- USS Sangamon (CVE-26) Originally AO-28; launched 1939, commissioned 1940, decommissioned 1945, sold for commercial service 1948
- USS Suwannee (CVE-27) Originally AO-33; launched 1939, commissioned 1941, decommissioned 1947, sold for scrap 1961
- USS Chenango (CVE-28) Originally AO-31; launched 1939, commissioned 1941, decommissioned 1946, sold 1960
- USS Santee (CVE-29) Originally AO-29; launched 1939, commissioned 1940, decommissioned 1946, struck 1959, scrapped 1960
- Friedman 1983 p. 407
- Friedman, Norman (1983). U.S. Aircraft Carriers. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-739-9.