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2017-12-11

US  AIRCRAFT  CARRIERS  –  PATROL  CRUISES  SUMMARY

See also :

US CARRIERS
Cruises & Aircraft Types
US CARRIERS
Detailed Cruises & Aircraft Complement
USN AIRCRAFT
Industrial Aircraft Data

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This page offers a glance at the operational history of selected USN carriers during the 1963-1967 AAC™ time frame period (and a few years before that period) in order to identify the aircraft which were operational by then, or should either be "cheated in" from the future or maintained beyond their expiration date, a clear example of which being the fantasy F7U-4 Cutlass.  Then, there is more about USN aircraft on US Carriers Cruises Aircraft and US Carriers Cruises Detailed.

First the aircraft carriers themselves, whitout taking their detailed aircraft complement in consideration as this subject is treated separately.   Atlantic Air Combat™ will essentially restrict itslef to the Essex class vessels rebuilt to Scb 125 standards.  The main 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 aircraft on board, they bring little in the perspective of the game, but for the following aircraft types then excluded from AAC™ :

F-4B and RF-4B AAC ID : F4H1B  and  F4H1P : a two seat fighter and its recce equivalent - famous but ... gunless
A-5A and RA-5C AAC ID : A3J1A  and  A3J3C : a short lived nuclear bomber and a (famous) recce aircraft
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, the below 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.  Regarding patrol areas, the following acronyms are used :

A/N : Atlantic North CAR : Carribean
A/S : Atlantic South (often meaning a cruise round the Cape Horn toward the Pacific) MEX : Gulf of Mexico (usual training area)
A/W : Atlantic West (read : North Atlantic, along the US East coast) P/W : Pacific West (often meaning Vietnam, but not exclusively)
MED : Mediterranean P/E : Pacific East (California or Hawai  -  read: Northern hemisphee)

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™ ends and purposes.  Researchers are invited to refer to the original WINGS-AVIATION.CH pages which are much more detailed and accurate than our summaries, however interresting they may look...

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TABLE 1 : US CARRIERS CRUISES SUMMARY - HISTORICAL

When merging the Caribbean and Mediterranean with the North Atlantic, there was clearly a minimum of 9 carriers (5 CVAs, and 4 CVSs) available every year in the Atlantic, with the CVT-16 USS Lexington traning carrier coming on top. Then, considering several CVS "non-Scb-125" Essexes are deliberately discarded, there were probably more of these.  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 carriers operating in the Atlantic, and the Midway, Forrestal, Enterprise, and Kitty Hawk carriers transferred into the Pacific

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    
          Totals     11 10 10 8 8    
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TABLE 2 : US CARRIERS CRUISES SUMMARY - AAC™

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 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.

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