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20 Carriers
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80 Story
90 Missions
11 Weapons
12 Armament
13 Targets

2015-03-18

16:55


US  AIRCRAFT  CARRIERS   -   CRUISES  SUMMARY   -   HISTORICAL


See also : US AIRCRAFT CARRIERS - CRUISES AND AIRCRAFT COMPLEMENT      and US AIRCRAFT CARRIERS DETAILED CRUISES
 
USN AIRCRAFTS - INDUSTRIAL DATA
 

This page offers a glance at the operational history of selected US aircraft carriers during the 1963-1967 AAC time frame period (and a few years before that period) in order to identify the aircrafts which are operational by then, or should be "cheated" beyond their expiration date, a clear example of which being the fantasy F7U-4 Cutlass.  But more about USN aircrafts later (see: US Carriers Aircraft Complement)
 
First the aircraft carriers themselves, whitout taking their detailed aircraft complement in consideration as this subject is treated separately.   First, AAC will restrict itslef to the Essex class vessels rebuilt to Scb 125 standards.  There only motive behind this restriction is ... simplification.   As shown in the table below, other (larger !) carriers were commissioned during the 1960s, but besides the higher number of aircrafts on board, they bring little in the perspective of the game, with the following aircraft types then not available :

F-4B and RF-4B AAC ID : F4H1B  and  F4H1P : a short lived nuclear bomber and a (famous) recce aircraft
A-5A and RA-5C AAC ID : A3J1A  and  A3J3C : a two seat fighter and its recce equivalent - famous but ... gunless
A-6A AAC ID : A2F1A : a two seat bomb truck

This makes the F4D1, F3H2, and F8U2 the main USN fighters in AAC (not forgetting the cheated F7U4), that's not too much of a loss.   Then, with the A3D2 having flown operationally from Essex carriers - and these were not small aircrafts ! - cheating the "missing" planes on an Essex deck could still be considered.  It is suggested not.

Carriers either were classified as "attack" (CVA), "anti-submarine warfare" (CVS), or "training" (CVT) vessels  -  this role is color coded in the table.  While AAC is thus restricted to the Essex class, this table also mentions other types for the sake of identifying their total numbers and respective patrol areas, with the purpose of this survey being to make carriers available in the North and South Atlantic in realistic quantities.
 
In the summary below, their area of patrol is associated with the year, even if cruises never exceeded a few months with some being as short as a few weeks.  The table below does not offer this level of precision, but a more detailed cruises summary is available on this page : US Carriers Detailed Cruises Table
 
So this table offers an overview of carriers availability and main patrol areas, with the following acronyms being used :

A/N : Atlantic North P/W : Pacific West (often meaning Vietnam, but not exclusively)
A/S : Atlantic South (often meaning a cruise round the Cape Horn toward the Pacific) P/E : Pacific East (California or Hawai)
A/W : Atlantic West (read : North Atlantic, along the US East coast)    (both these areas should be read as located in the Northern hemisphere)
MED : Mediterranean
CAR : Carribean
MEX : Gulf of Mexico (usual training area)
 
For a large part, the present data has been collected from http://www.wings-aviation.ch/22-USNavy-Carrier/Carrier-Basis-e.htm, and re-assembled for AAC purposes.  Researchers are invited to refer to these original pages rather than the present one, as WINGS-AVIATION.CH is much more detailed and accurate than the historical summaries displayed on AAC pages.
 
TABLE 1 : US CARRIERS CRUISES SUMMARY - HISTORICAL
So clearly, merging the Caribbean and Mediterranean with the North Atlantic, there is had been a minimum of 9 carriers (5 CVAs, and 4 CVSs available for the area every year), with the CVT-16 USS Lexington, specialized in training, coming on top.  In reality, with the other Essex CVS being deliberately discarded, there were probably more of these.
Class     Hull Nbr Name Sc125 Year 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967
1 Essex CV.09 USS Essex Sc125 1955 P/W - MED MED MED A/N CAR A/W A/W MED - MED    
Essex CV.10 USS Yorktown Sc125 1955 P/W P/W P/E P/W P/W P/W P/E P/W P/W P/W P/W -    
2 Essex CV.11 USS Intrepid Sc125 1956 MED A/N A/N MED MED MED MED A/W A/N CAR P/W P/W    
Essex CV.12 USS Hornet Sc125 1956 - P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W    
Essex CV.14 USS Ticonderoga Sc125 1957 MED P/W P/W - P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W    
3 Essex CV.15 USS Randolf Sc125 1956 MED MED MED A/N A/N CAR MED A/S A/N A/N A/N A/N    
4 Essex CV.16 USS Lexington Sc125 1955 P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W MEX MEX MEX MEX MEX    
5 Essex CV.18 USS Wasp Sc125 1955 PW A/SN MED MED A/S A/N A/N CAR A/N CAR A/N A/N    
Essex CV.19 USS Hancock Sc125 1956 P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W    
Essex CV.20 USS Bennington Sc125 1955 P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/E P/W P/W P/E P/W    
Essex CV.31 USS Bon Homme Richard Sc125 1955 P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W    
Essex CV.33 USS Keasarge Sc125 1957 P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/E P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W    
Essex CV.34 USS Oriskany Sc125 1957 P/W - - - P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W    
Essex CV.36 USS Antietam Sc125 ??? MED [CVT] [CVT] [CVT] [CVT] [CVT] [RES] [RES] [RES] [RES] [RES]    
6 Essex CV.36 USS Shangri La Sc125 1955 P/W P/W P/W P/W A/N MED MED MED MED MED MED MED    
Midway CV.41 USS Midway     - - - P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W - -    
7 Midway CV.42 USS Roosevelt     A/S MED MED MED MED MED MED MED MED MED P/W MED    
Midway CV.43 USS Coral Sea     MED - - - P/W P/W P/W - - P/W P/W P/W    
8 Forrestal CV.59 USS Forrestal     A/N MED MED MED MED - MED MED MED MED MED P/W    
9 Forrestal CV.60 USS Saratoga     CAR A/N MED MED A/N CAR MED MED MED MED MED MED    
Forrestal CV.61 USS Ranger     A/N A/S P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W -    
10 Forrestal CV.62 USS Independence     - - - CAR MED MED MED MED MED P/W MED -    
Kitty Hawk CV.63 USS Kitty Hawk     - - - - - A/S P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W    
Kitty Hawk CV.64 USS Constellation     - - - - - - A/S P/W P/W P/W P/W P/W    
Enterprise CV.65 USS Enterprise     MED MED World P/W P/W P/W    
11 Kitty Hawk CV.66 USS America         CAR CAR CAR    






















Atlantic - CVA 6 5 5 5 4
Atlantic - CVS 4 4 4 2 3
Atlantic - CVT 1 1 1 1 1






















11 10 10 8 8
 
To mimick this situation, and to implement the notions of assets attrition and availability, "cruises" in the AAC time frame will be fictionnally reorganized with the Essex class carriers operating in the Atlantic, and the Midway, Forrestal, Enterprise, and Kitty Hawk class carriers transferred into the Pacific.  
 
TABLE 2 : US CARRIERS CRUISES SUMMARY - AAC
Class     Hull Nbr Name Sc125 Year 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967
1 Essex CV.09 USS Essex     - A/N A/N - A/N    
2 Essex CV.10 USS Yorktown     A/N - A/N A/N -    
3 Essex CV.11 USS Intrepid     A/N A/N - A/N A/N    
4 Essex CV.12 USS Hornet     - A/N A/N - A/N    
5 Essex CV.14 USS Ticonderoga     A/S - A/S A/S -    
6 Essex CV.15 USS Randolf     A/S A/S - A/S A/S    
7 Essex CV.16 USS Lexington     - A/N A/N - A/N    
8 Essex CV.18 USS Wasp     - A/N A/S A/N -    
9 Essex CV.19 USS Hancock     A/N - A/N A/N -    
10 Essex CV.20 USS Bennington     A/N A/N - A/N A/N    
11 Essex CV.31 USS Bon Homme Richard     - A/S A/N - A/S    
12 Essex CV.33 USS Keasarge     A/N - A/N A/N -    
13 Essex CV.36 USS Shangri La     A/N A/N - A/N A/N    
14 Essex CV.36 USS Antietam [ CHEAT ]     MEX MEX MEX MEX MEX    
15 Essex CV.34 USS Oriskany     A/N - A/N A/N -    






















North Atlantic - CVA 3 2 4 4 3
North Atlantic - CVS 4 5 4 4 3
South Atlantic - CVA 1 1 1 1 1
South Atlantic - CVS 1 1 1 1 1
North Atlantic - CVT 1 1 1 1 1






















Operational 10 10 11 11 9
Maintenance 5 5 4 4 6
 
Essex carriers would be maintained in their historical CVA/CVS role, with two exceptions : the USS Antietam would remain available for training off Pensacola, and the USS Lexington would remain as an active attack carrier.   "Maintenance" periods thus restricts assets availability, keeping it plausible.  Then, these could always be pulled out of "maintenance" to cover attrition...   Elements to be developped as "campaigns" and "missions" are futher defined.