USS United States (1949)

US Navy Flag 1 laid down (April 1949)
The missing link between the wartime Essex class fleet aircraft carriers, the next-gen Midway, and the supercarriers of the 1960s was a near-forgotten ship class that was projected under the Truman administration and that would have easily dwarf any other warship on the planet for the decades to come, with a displacement of over 80,000 tonnes and lenght of 332 meters (1090 feets overall). The lead ship of this class was aptly named - USS United States. A fitting name for a 4 of july post...

Despite its relatively advanced design, the US class became significant in overall US carrier development. They were -despite obvious differences - progenitors of the Forestal class and their successor and their dimensions and tonnage was match by the USS Enteprise, laid down ten years afterwards. In between a quick review of both designs (especially the flight deck) revealed the enormous technological gap. The latter had nuclear propulsion, no armament whatsoever but its air group, a massive flight deck almost twice the width, three large overhanging lifts, and a brigde that would have been unrecoignisable for sailors in 1950. On the contrary, the United States could not offer more contrast: Heavily armed and armoured, narrow, with classic battleship style powerplant and no island... This alone says volumes about the staggering development speed of US carrier design after WW2. Not peacetime normal evolution, and for good reasons since 1947.

As a side note, the product of this was called CVA 58 (the only one ship ever called that way), which cries for explanations: To distinguish aircraft carrier (so "AC" for everybody but), from colliers (A standing for Auxiliaries) or "CA" reserved for armoured cruisers (Cruiser, Armoured). The navy decided to call aircaft carriers "CV" for "Carrier, Voler" (pardon my french - this means "flying"). Hence the CVE (E for escort), CVN (N for Nuclear) and ultimately CVA, the last for "Atomic". Not for atomic propelled bombers, but in the sense of an atomic weapon delivery system. You're welcome.

Genesis of the project

Despite some WW2-related aspects, the USS Unitesd States class was developed with a single, simple goal in mind: Projecting power at sea, but not a standard versatile air group, but carryong the newly developed strategic bombers of the USAAF. It was tailored for strategic operations to carry heavy four-engine B-29 or their successors, a bit like the Hornet with B-25s in 1942. Curtis LeMay's SAC (Strategic Air Command) was founded on March 21, 1946, but as usual, the USAAF and Navy did not get along always well and the proposal was not overly enthusiastically received.

Of course the idea came from the Navy, not the USAAF: The chief proponent for this new new large carrier was Admiral Marc Mitscher. He wanted in 1946 a carrier able to handle the latest and most effective planes of the day. Early design discussions focused naturally around new jet aircraft, faster, larger, heavier and thus requiring an updated platform compared to the Midway-class generation. One of the advantage of the jet was its supposed longer range, allowing the carrier to operate farther away from the target. For the new aircraft carried it was agreed the deck would have to be longer and much reinforced to handle the weight of these jet aircraft landing. Catapults were to be also longer and more powerful, as the arresting systems and lifts. The project evolved in 1947-48 with several proposals and back-and-forth propositions betwen the admiralty and BuShip.

Preliminary design


The strengthened deck (armoured) originally the hangar deck, was replaced higher to the the flight deck and it was chosen to in the end not to have no extra armor for it, for that would have created a greater tendency to roll in rough seas, with critically dangerous a metacentric height. Instead, armour was eliminated for good. It was believed that due to the nature of the payload (heavy strategic bombers) the new carriers would remain far away from any possible counterattack. In any case, at 33 knots and heavily armed, and keeping presumably a set of fighter jets used for an extensive CAP, plus radar warning, there were still layers of defense to pass.

Based on the new jet aircraft to carry, the design was made flush deck quickly, but due to large planes operations it became self-evident the island was a nuisance and it was felt safe to elimnated completely the control structure. Instead radar antennas, telemeters, FCS and the rest of what an island carrier was relegated to the two flight deck side sponsons, port and startboard. No island meant also no vertical funnel ducting and instead, they were truncated into two side funnels installed mid-ship under the flight deck, but far away from the hull with extensions to avoid smoke interference, notably in case of landing operations.

USS United States model undergoing seakeeping tests at Carderock Navy test pool circa 1947. Note the fighters showed there was the mediocre Cutlass, but the jet bomber is completely unknown. Nothing resembled it in 1947 and it looks really advanced for the time, in its overall shape, almost a Rockwell B1. The model is also interesting for other points: The "gun-like" tubes which seem to protrude from masks were elevated funnels, which could be oriented to deflect smoke from the deck in any wind conditions. This was not kept for the final design. The deck looks also quite straight, with just forward catapults.

In these dicussions, it soon apparead that this radical no-island flush-deck design carried two major concerns: Smoke diversion from the flight deck remained a problem no early carrier (the 1920s generation) never really solved before raising it into large islands, and of course was the placement of early warning radar equipment, which needed some free room free from interference. If aerials were carried they needed to be small and placed low. One solution proposed was to have the ship escorted by a specialized command ship, carrying the commander of the task force, and having the best and largest detection radars. This command ship would radio electronic information and orders from its command center, relegating the carrier as a simple "carrier" executant.

A second solution was to provide the carrier some specialized aircraft that be used as early warning radar warning in the air, detecting incoming aircraft over a large area. This was the germ for early warning carier-borne radar aircraft, such as the E-1 Tracer , but it would not be available before... 1956. In 1949, when the ship entered service, the only available, not-carrier operated, were the massive Lockheed WV and EC-121 Warning Star derived from the super constellation. Some hoped to adapt it to be carrier-operated as were future strategic bombers for this new aircraft carrier.

In the end, as for its core concept, the new CVA-58 class was to be design not to safely operate by itself, but in a larger task force, with traditional fleet carriers in complement. It was really reduced as a bomber carrier and could do little else, it was just an extended strategic arm within a larger force. In addition it was dependdent of what aircraft types would be in existence in the 1952-1960 era, the reasonable career expectancy for such concept. And we know how it went.

Colorization of the conway profile, rendition by the author with Vought Cutlasses for scale.

Final design general specs

As it appeared finalized and approved by president Truman on 29 July 1948, the new "supercarrier" (fist time the term was coined) was estimated to be around 66,434 tonnes standard, for 78,946 tonnes on trials, and up to 83,249 tonnes loaded for war operations, with its full air group. This was considerable compared to the Midway class (59,000) and remained above the following Forrestal and Kitty Hawk. The overall lenght was conditioned by the advent of a non-catapulted launch, with a few strategic bombers starting from the end of the aft landing deck and running about 300m with some extra help (rocket boosters). The ship measured 1088 ft (331.7 m) long overall and 1030 feets (314 m) at waterline level. At the time, having large air groups and their management on the flight deck made no sense: Strategic bombers needed to take all the space available, with possibly extra planes in the hangar, and fighters too.

The hull design however was made for speed, getting best advantage of a near-300,000 hp powerplant. It was 125 feets (38,1 m) wide at the waterline, for a near 1/10 ratio similar to cruisers and destroyers. Of course the flight deck was way larger, extended by using overhanging structures as much as possible and reached 190 feet (57.9 m) at its widest extension, at the level of the two side funnel tips port and starboard. The design was also peculiar in that it had no less than four hydraulic catapults installed: Two forward, in échelon to avoid intereferences when launching, and two mid-ships in extensions above the funnels, and oblique, port and starboard. They corresponded each to a pair of lifts: Two forward, including one starboard and one port midship, both overhanging. They served the two forward catapults. A third one was placed aft, just before the sponson starboard, and the fourth was a "classic" centerline, larger lift placed at the stern deck. The design gave dimensions hardly compatible with heavy strategic bombers, so we can assume the development of a carrier-borne wings-folding nuclear bomber was in the works at that time: It became ultimately the A5 Vigilante, which development started in the early 1950s.


CVA 58 did not need something very innovating at that time. There were discussions about adapting nuclear power to provide electricity but it's was still at experimental stage. The world's first artificial nuclear reactor, Chicago Pile 1, was experimented on 2 December 1942, but it produced just some voltage measure. The first nuclear reactor to produce electricity experimentally was the small Experimental Breeder reactor (EBR-1) designed and operated by Argonne National Laboratory, Idaho, USA, started up in December 1951. Soon, benefiting from the 1953 President Eisenhower proposed "Atoms for Peace" program, budgets were allocated. But this was the Navy that pushed things forward with Admiral Hyman Rickover, pressing developement of the pressurised water reactor (PWR) for naval use. Its Mark 1 prototype started in March 1953 in Idaho, and later propelled the first nuclear-powered submarine, USS Nautilus, launched in 1954. In 1958, there was now a craze to adapt it to all USN major surface vessels as well. That was the start of the "New Navy" resting on nuclear and missile.

But not at a time USS United States was studied. In 1946-47, the only realistic plant could only be the one from the latest battleship planned (the montana class) or the Midway class, albeit buffed up. Eventually, engineers settled on using Eight 1,200 psi (8.3 MPa) Foster-Wheeler boilers, connected to four Westinghouse steam turbines totaling 280,000 hp (209 MW). They drove four 20.5 ft (6.2 m) diameter screws. By comparison, the Midways with the same Westinghouse Steam turbines used 212,000 shp (158,000 kW), so that was a substantial increase. The goal was of course to maintain a constant high speed for the task force, in order to strike and retire, staying out of harm. Top speed therefore was the same 33 knots (61 km/h) as for the previous CV. Compartimentation was the same as previous designs, made to delay and stop any ASW damage flooding, with extra buoyancy and void compartments.


That aspect was surely the most "WW2" aspect of the design. Of course it was not thought to be used for naval combat, the air group and task force ensures the right level of protection for this, but rather to provide at least a layer of closer AA protection. The hull was large enough to accomodate generous sponsons at the angles, and the admiralty was still anxious about heaving a carrier devoid of any self-defense. This will change only with USS Enterprise. Indeed, like CVA 58, the next class, Forrestal (CV-59) was given eight 5 in (127 mm)/54 caliber Mark 42 guns in sponsons, in the same way, as the CV-63 at initial phases of development, until the sea sparrow was planned instead.

USS United States therefore carried a generous armament still reminiscent of the Midway class, with eight 5 in (127 mm)/54 caliber guns in single mounts (four single in turrets port and starboard mounts), same models as for the USS Midway, and sixteen 76 mm/70 caliber guns in eight twin mounts. They were placed also on the same sponsons, one of each (so four), two aft (either side of the lift) and two forward (side by side on the bow deck), althought drafts shows there a single, but larger turret (possibly quadruple). It's not clear at this point. Artist's views and test models all shows a single standard turret, meaning seven turrets, not eight. Another aspect whis was also drived from the Midway and WW2 experimence was a battery of twenty Oerlikon 20 mm cannons, probably placed in deck-level side sponsons, perhaps as an afterthought. Ten could have easily took place along each side of the forward flight deck.

Artist impressions of the carriers are misleading (but that's no surprise): For example, an early sketch navy shows shorter sonsons and only the 5-in guns, not bow turret, and 40 mm Bofors along the forward flight deck. The Carderock Navy test shows eight orientable funnels amidships, two 5-in in fwd side sponsons, six in aft sponsons, two at the bow, two aft. No details for lighter AA. The Popular Science 1949 cover shows four old style 5-in/38 turrets per side, and 20 mm guns forward plus a bow turret. To control the main guns, four telemeters were installed at the rear of each sponsons.

To control air operations, there were two towers on the right side, aft of the first sponson. It shows in succession a large two-storey cylindrical tower, a small one-stage tower, and a mast, reinforced to carry the stated electronics, an SPS-6 semi-circular radar and an SPS-8 dish array. The mast, as shown in the post's main artist impression picture, by far the most precise and accurate, its a tripod, with an extension aft for the SPS-8 and carried a platform for both the SPS-6 and another unknown dish array, plus communication antennae and service rigging. The tower itself, assumed to be a substitute for a proper bridge, although tiny, coud be enough to carry basic navigation and observation equipments.

Conjectural air group

For proposed operations the USS United States was designed with carry long-range bomber aircraft, at the time still undefined. The latter had just to be large enough to carry a heavy load, nuclear bomb intended. But they needed to have long range escort fighters as well. The Navy wanted also the design to provided other roles, such as providing air support for amphibious forces and conduct classic sea control operations as well, but they came as secondary. The "bomber carrier" concept operating in a task force was coupled with traditional attack carriers in any case, that could protect her with their own air groups from any threats. They were to provide the main air cover for the whole task force. This, however, proved the CVA-58 it's undoing and this dependence from the USAAF to provide the adequate bomber, made virtually the ship would become a target of inter-service rivalries, both over missions, and funding (see later).

Vought F7U-1 Cutlass at NAS Patuxent in 1950, likely the first fighter jet aboard CVA 58. Other candidates shown on the artists views are the Mc Donnell Douglas Banshee, and a prototype long-range, four-engine reconnaissance prototype that was chosen by PopSci for its cover (and another artist's view), as sleek fantasy bomber. None shows the B-29, but unidentified four-engine planes.

Now back to the hypothetic air group. On paper, the 1949 specs shows the carrier carrying 12 to 18 heavy bombers and 54 jet engined fighter aircraft, according to Elward, Brad (2011). Nimitz-Class Aircraft Carriers. Osprey Publishing. pp. 6–8. Their type is unknown, however the project 6A, arrangement study 4 (see above), shows two types of folding wings twin-engine "bombers". The large ones, at the front, appeared to look like the Lockheed P2V Neptune, which was available at that time and worked on for that role. It was able to carry a heavy payload over 2,100 miles (3,400 km) and was proven able to take off from USS Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1951, with rocket assistance.

In fact a while programme was started by the Navy to develop a carrier-borne nuclear-capable bomber: The US Navy in fact planned to acquire this nuclear strike capability in 1945, to maintain its political influence in the peacetime context of budget restraint. The carrier-based aircraft needed however a payload smaller than the large "Fat Man" and the US Navy Bureau of Ordnance decided to take on 25 outdated but more compact "Little Boy" nuclear bomb designs instead. They started tests inside the P2V Neptune bomb bay. The latter was an accepted Navy Bomber, at a time the USAAF wanted to restruct the navy access to these. There was enough fissionable material available by 1948 to build ten complete uranium bombs but only initiators for six. The U.S. Navy also modified the P2V Neptune using assisted takeoff (JATO) and started testing this in 1948. However, the Neptune could not land on a carrier, still. Landing on a friendly land base after strike or ditch at sea were the only options. Eventually the cancellation of the USS United States led to the cancellation of this programme for the PV2. The North American AJ Savage (Int. September 13, 1949) replaced it eventually in the 1950s, but it was also short-lived, replaced by the Vigilante.

The smaller bimotor, also from this plan, looks like the Grumman F7F Tigercat. The latter was specifically designed on Navy specs to operate as a long-range escort fighter already in 1942 to escort the B29 bombers over Japan from carriers. It first flew on 2 November 1943, was introduced in 1944 and still was available to act as so for the hypothetic naval bomber the navy waited for in 1949. The Tigercat was used in Korea as a night patrol fighter but retired in 1954, doomed by the jet age.

From FAS

Various details for the Navy concept, notably the small tower bridge and the deck edge glassed observation posts.

After several years of planning, on 29 July 1948 President Truman approved construction of a "supercarrier", for which funds had been provided in the Naval Appropriations Act 1949. This first postwar carrier was laid down in April 1949. The flush-deck 65,000-ton CVA 58 United States was designed to launch and recover the large aircraft of 100,000 pounds required to carry early nuclear weapons, which weighed as much as five tons. The ship was to be over 1000 feet long, without an island, and of a radical new design. The construction cost of the new ship was estimated at $190 million, with the additional thirty-nine ships required to complete the accompanying task force estimated to cost $1.265 billion. The United States was also intended to provide tactical air support for air and amphibious forces and to conduct sea control operations. But the general perception was that the United States was primarily intended as a platform for long-range nuclear bombardment. The Air Force viewed the United States as the embodiment of the Navy's nuclear aspirations as an attempt to challenge what had been an effective Air Force monopoly on strategic nuclear weapons delivery. A majority of the JCS maintained that the super carrier’s main function would be a duplication of the primary role of the Air Force. In the face of limited budgetary resources, and responding to opposition from the Army and Air Force, Defense Secretary Louis Johnson announced on 23 April 1949 the cancellation of construction of the United States. This prompted the immediate resignation of Navy Secretary John Sullivan.

This marked the beginning of a major onslaught on Navy funding. The fiscal constraints placed on the military in the late 1940’s were severe, and plans debated in the summer of 1949 for the Fiscal Year 1951 budget called for deep cuts in naval aviation. Operational Essex Class carriers were to be reduced from eight to four, Carrier Air Wings from fourteen to six, operational Saipan Class carriers from ten to eight, Marine Squadrons from twenty three to twelve, Anti Submarine Warfare Squadrons from eight to seven, and Patrol Squadrons from thirty to twenty. While the Navy was struggling to maintain its carrier fleet, the Air Force was pushing for a seventy-group bomber force.

The famous "Revolt of the Admirals" cost Admiral Denfield his position as CNO, but it saved carrier-based naval aviation. The first atomic bombs went to sea on the USS Franklin Roosevelt in 1950. The Navy’s inability to convey carrier doctrine to policy makers negatively effect America’s preparedness for subsequent wars and conflicts of a limited nature. It would take the accumulated experience of numerous limited engagements, and more particularly, the Vietnam War, for defense planners to recognize anything approaching the full potential of the carrier. Source.

Fate and inheritance

Commencement of construction, first keel plate laying, 18 April 1949

Truman approved construction on 29 July 1948, which took place after many design revsions and finding the right contractor at Newport News Drydock and Shipbuilding, declared the winner, on 18 April 1949. The first steel keel plate was laid down in a small ceremony. Construction went off for just five days, just the time to prepare the scaffolding for the hull bottom plates and assemble a few plates. But between the Pentagon and the white house, a war raged.

The very nature of the USS United States, apparently independent of USAAF nuclear-bombers soon antagonized the United States Air Force and in particular Curtis LeMay's SAC, as a challenge to their monopoly on strategic nuclear weapons delivery. In the end, the Navy was out-done by internal politics. Secretary of Defense Louis A. Johnson was apparently acquired to the USAAF's ideas of maintaining a strict monopoly on nuclear deterrence by means of large, long-range bombers. Always looking to cut down military budgets, Johnson accepted without question the Air Force arguments; Eventually, he cancellation of construction of USS United States was pronounced on 23 April 1949, just five days after the keel laying. Secretary of the Navy John Sullivan immediately resigned in protest. The Congress held an inquiry into this and Johnson's apparently rash decision. Indeed, until the keel was laid down, considerable effort had been made, studies, teams working around the clock both at the yard, BuShip, the pentagon and admiralty on this project wanted and approved by truman (and the congress which authorized the ordered on year earlier). Considerable sums had been engaged since three years. Of course that slap by the USAAF angered the admiralty, leading to the subsequent "Revolt of the Admirals": In the end the Navy was unable to advance its case that large carriers could be essential to national defense.

Johnson and Francis P. Matthews, Johnson's choice to be the new Secretary of the Navy, started to punish all publicly opposing admirals, and the first to pay the price was Admiral Louis Denfeld, forced to resign as Chief of Naval Operations. By solidarity other voices were heard, and many other admirals and officers of lesser ranks were punished, sacked or retired. The invasion of South Korea, six months, operated an electroshock and immediately urged for a strong naval presence. Matthews' position as Secretary of the Navy was wildly contested and he was force to resign, as was his patron, Johnson, as Secretary of Defense. The Navy would have it's revenge umtimately: At first by having nuclear weapons carried onboard the aircraft carrier USS Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1950, and the planes to deliver it. Still, the question of which service would have primary responsibility for strategic nuclear strikes was not resolved, that is until it was solved not with bombers, but with submarines, thanks to a man not at first always liked by the admiralty, H. Rickover, and the nuclear ballistic attack submarine, now considered the bedrock of nuclear deterrence, more effective than bombers that were superesded by ballistic missiles in the 1960s.

The concept of large air base for bombers was not new, it dated from the 1930s already and between Churchill's Habakkuk and other fantasy oceanic platforms that never see the light of day, it stayed a powerful concept until technology made the concept of bomber as a delivery way, obsolete, too vulnerable. Essentially nuclear deterrence delivered by that way was maintained in the Navy as a capability in all its carriers, using large jets such as the Vigilante at first, until it became purely theoretical. What layed behind the USS United States concept was, by all accounts, a ww2 concept. Technology development ensured the idea has no future at a time ballistic missile can hit any point on the planet, almost from any point.

Artists Conception of the USS United States (CVA-58), the Lead Ship of a new class of Carrier, whose Keel was laid and then cancelled 5 Days later. LIFE Magazine, May 2, 1949


Displacement: 66,434t standard 83,249t FL. Dimensions: 331.7m oa x 57.9m oa x 10.5 m (1088 x 190 x 34ft 6in) Propulsion: 2 shafts geared turbines, 4 boilers, 280,000 hp and 33 knots max. 12,000 nm/20kts Crew: 4,127 Embedded Electronics: SPS-6, SPS-8 Armament: 8x 5-in/54, 8x2 3in/70, 20x 20mm, 150 planes?


Friedman, Norman U.S. Aircraft Carriers: An Illustrated Design History
McFarland, Keith (1980). "The 1949 Revolt of the Admirals" (PDF). Parameters: Journal of the US Army War College Quarterly
Polmar, Norman (2008). Aircraft Carriers: A History of Carrier Aviation and Its Influence on World Events: Vol. II, 1946-2006. Dulles, Virginia: Potomac Books, Inc.
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
Jared A. Zichek: The Incredible Attack Aircraft of the USS United States, 1948–1949. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing, 2009

. On
On History and Heritage Command
On hyperwar
Popular Science article on CVA 58.
Model kit: 1/700 blue ridge models

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Crocodile class gunboats (1874)
Tromblon class gunboats (1875)
Condor class Torpedo Cruisers (1885)
G. Charmes class gunboats (1886)
Inconstant class sloops (1887)
Bombe class Torpedo Cruisers (1887)
Wattignies class Torpedo Cruisers (1891)
Levrier class Torpedo Cruisers (1891)

Marinha do Brasil 1898 Marinha do Brasil
Siete de Setembro class (1874)
Riachuleo class (1883)
Aquidaban class (1885)

Marina de Mexico 1898 Mexico
GB Indipendencia (1874)
GB Democrata (1875)

Turkish Ottoman navy 1898 Osmanlı Donanması
Cruiser Heibtnuma (1890)
Cruiser Lufti Humayun (1892)
Cruiser Hadevendighar (1892)
Shadieh class cruisers (1893)
Turkish TBs (1885-94)

Regia Marina 1898 Regia Marina Pr. Amadeo class (1871)
Caio Duilio class (1879)
Italia class (1885)
Ruggero di Lauria class (1884)
Carracciolo (1869)
Vettor Pisani (1869)
Cristoforo Colombo (1875)
Flavio Goia (1881)
Amerigo Vespucci (1882)
C. Colombo (ii) (1892)
Pietro Micca (1876)
Tripoli (1886)
Goito class (1887)
Folgore class (1887)
Partenope class (1889)
Giovanni Bausan (1883)
Etna class (1885)
Dogali (1885)
Piemonte (1888)
Staffeta (1876)
Rapido (1876)
Barbarigo class (1879)
Messagero (1885)
Archimede class (1887)
Guardiano class GB (1874)
Scilla class GB (1874)
Provana class GB (1884)
Curtatone class GB (1887)
Castore class GB (1888)

Imperial Japanese navy 1898 Nihhon Kaigun German Navy 1898 Kaiserliches Marine
Russian Imperial Navy 1898 Russkiy Flot
Marina do Peru Marina Do Peru

Swedish Navy 1898 Svenska Marinen Norwegian Navy 1898 Søværnet
Royal Navy 1898 Royal Navy
HMS Hotspur (1870)
HMS Glatton (1871)
Devastation classs (1871)
Cyclops class (1871)
HMS Rupert (1874)
Neptune class (1874)
HMS Dreadnought (1875)
HMS Inflexible (1876)
Agamemnon class (1879)
Conqueror class (1881)
Colossus class (1882)
Admiral class (1882)
Trafalgar class (1887)
Victoria class (1890)
Royal Sovereign class (1891)
Centurion class (1892)
HMS Renown (1895)

HMS Shannon (1875)
Nelson class (1876)
Iris class (1877)
Leander class (1882)
Imperieuse class (1883)
Mersey class (1885)
Surprise class (1885)
Scout class (1885)
Archer class (1885)
Orlando class (1886)
Medea class (1888)
Barracouta class (1889)
Barham class (1889)
Pearl class (1889)

Spanish Navy 1898 Armada 1898
Ironclad Pelayo (1887)

Infanta Maria Teresa class (1890)
Emperador Carlos V (1895)
Cristobal Colon (1897)
Princesa de Asturias (1896)
Aragon class (1879)
Velasco class (1881)
Isla de Luzon (1886)
Alfonso XII class (1887)
Reina Regentes class (1887)

Destructor class (1886)
Temerario class (1891)
TGunboat Filipinas (1892)
De Molina class (1896)
Furor class (1896)
Audaz class (1897)
Spanish TBs (1878-87)
Fernando class gunboats (1875)
Concha class gunboats (1883)

US Navy 1898 1898 US Navy
USS Maine (1889)
USS Texas (1892)
Indiana class (1893)
USS Iowa (1896)

Amphitrite class (1876)
USS Puritan (1882)
USS Monterey (1891)

Atlanta class (1884)
USS Chicago (1885)
USS Charleston (1888)
USS Baltimore (1888)
USS Philadelphia (1889)
USS San Francisco (1889)
USS Newark (1890)
USS New York (1891)
USS Olympia (1892)
Cincinatti class (1892)
Montgomery class (1893)
Columbia class (1893)
USS Brooklyn (1895)

USS Vesuvius (1888)
USS Katahdin (1893)
USN Torpedo Boats (1886-1901)
GB USS Dolphin (1884)
Yorktown class GB (1888)
GB USS Petrel (1888)
GB USS Bancroft (1892)
Machias class GB (1891)
GB USS Nashville (1895)
Wilmington class GB (1895)
Annapolis class GB (1896)
Wheeling class GB (1897)
Small gunboats (1886-95)
St Louis class AMC (1894)
Harvard class AMC (1888)
USN Armoured Merchant Cruisers
USN Armed Yachts


☉ Entente Fleets

British ww1 Royal Navy
WW1 British Battleships
Majestic class (1894)
Canopus class (1897)
Formidable class (1898)
London class (1899)
Duncan class (1901)
King Edward VII class (1903)
Swiftsure class (1903)
Lord Nelson class (1906)
HMS Dreadnought (1906)
Bellorophon class (1907)
St Vincent class (1908)
HMS Neptune (1909)
Colossus class (1910)
Orion class (1911)
King George V class (1911)
Iron Duke class (1912)
Queen Elizabeth class (1913)
HMS Canada (1913)
HMS Agincourt (1913)
HMS Erin (1915)
Revenge class (1915)
B3 class (1918)

WW1 British Battlecruisers
Invincible class (1907)
Indefatigable class (1909)
Lion class (1910)
HMS Tiger (1913)
Renown class (1916)
Courageous class (1916)
G3 class (1918)

ww1 British cruisers
Blake class (1889)
Edgar class (1890)
Powerful class (1895)
Diadem class (1896)
Cressy class (1900)
Drake class (1901)
Monmouth class (1901)
Devonshire class (1903)
Duke of Edinburgh class (1904)
Warrior class (1905)
Minotaur class (1906)
Hawkins class (1917)

Apollo class (1890)
Astraea class (1893)
Eclipse class (1894)
Arrogant class (1896)
Pelorus class (1896)
Highflyer class (1898)
Gem class (1903)
Adventure class (1904)
Forward class (1904)
Pathfinder class (1904)
Sentinel class (1904)
Boadicea class (1908)
Blonde class (1910)
Active class (1911)
'Town' class (1909-1913)
Arethusa class (1913)
'C' class series (1914-1922)
'D' class (1918)
'E' class (1918)

WW1 British Seaplane Carriers
HMS Ark Royal (1914)
HMS Campania (1893)
HMS Argus (1917)
HMS Furious (1917)
HMS Vindictive (1918)
HMS Hermes (1919)

WW1 British Destroyers
River class (1903)
Cricket class (1906)
Tribal class (1907)
HMS Swift (1907)
Beagle class (1909)
Acorn class (1910)
Acheron class (1911)
Acasta class (1912)
Laforey class (1913)
M/repeat M class (1914)
Faulknor class FL (1914)
T class (1915)
Parker class FL (1916)
R/mod R class (1916)
V class (1917)
V class FL (1917)
Shakespeare class FL (1917)
Scott class FL (1917)
W/mod W class (1917)
S class (1918)

WW1 British Torpedo Boats
125ft series (1885)
140ft series (1892)
160ft series (1901)
27-knotters (1894)
30-knotters (1896)
33-knotters (1896)

WW1 British Submarines
Nordenfelt Submarines (1885)
Flower class sloops
British Gunboats of WWI
British P-Boats (1915)
Kil class (1917)
British ww1 Minesweepers
Z-Whaler class patrol crafts
British ww1 CMB
British ww1 Auxiliaries

✠ Central Empires

⚑ Neutral Countries

Bulgarian Navy Bulgaria
Danish Navy 1914 Denmark
Greek Royal Navy Greece

Dutch Empire Navy 1914 Netherlands
Norwegian Navy 1914 Norway

Portuguese navy 1914 Portugal

Romanian Navy 1914 Romania
Spanish Armada Spain Swedish Navy 1914 Sweden


✪ Allied ww2 Fleets

US ww2 US Navy
WW2 American Battleships
Wyoming class (1911)
New York class (1912)
Nevada class (1914)
Pennsylvania class (1915)
New Mexico class (1917)
Tennessee Class (1919)
Colorado class (1921)
North Carolina class (1940)
South Dakota class (1941)
Iowa class (1942)
Montana class (cancelled)

WW2 American Cruisers
Omaha class cruisers (1920)
Northampton class heavy cruisers (1929)
Pensacola class heavy Cruisers (1928)
Portland class heavy cruisers (1931)
New Orleans class cruisers (1933)
Brooklyn class cruisers (1936)
USS Wichita (1937)
Atlanta class light cruisers (1941)
Cleveland class light Cruisers (1942)
Baltimore class heavy cruisers (1942)
Alaska class heavy cruisers (1944)

WW2 USN Aircraft Carriers
USS Langley (1920)
Lexington class CVs (1927)
USS Ranger (CV-4)
USS Wasp (CV-7)
Yorktown class aircraft carriers (1936)
Long Island class (1940)
Independence class CVs (1942)
Essex class CVs (1942)
Bogue class CVEs (1942)
Sangamon class CVEs (1942)
Casablanca class CVEs (1943)
Commencement Bay class CVEs (1944)
Midway class CVs (1945)
Saipan class CVs (1945)

WW2 American destroyers
Wickes class (1918)
Clemson class (1920)
Farragut class (1934)
Porter class (1935)
Mahan class (1935)
Gridley class (1936)
Bagley class (1936)
Somers class (1937)
Benham class (1938)
Sims class (1938)
Benson class (1939)
Fletcher class (1942)
Sumner class (1943)
Gearing class (1945)

GMT Evarts class (1942)
TE Buckley class (1943)
TEV/WGT Rudderow classs (1943)
DET/FMR Cannon class
Asheville/Tacoma class

WW2 American Submarines
Barracuda class
USS Argonaut
Narwhal class
USS Dolphin
Cachalot class
Porpoise class
Shark class
Perch class
Salmon class
Sargo class
Tambor class
Mackerel class
Gato Class

USS Terror (1941)
Raven class Mnsp (1940)
Admirable class Mnsp (1942)
Eagle class sub chasers (1918)
PC class sub chasers
SC class sub chasers
PCS class sub chasers
YMS class Mot. Mnsp
ww2 US gunboats
ww2 US seaplane tenders
USS Curtiss ST (1940)
Currituck class ST
Tangier class ST
Barnegat class ST

US Coat Guardships
Lake class
Northland class
Treasury class
Owasco class
Wind class
Algonquin class
Thetis class
Active class

US Amphibious ships & crafts
US Amphibious Operations
Doyen class AT
Harris class AT
Dickman class AT
Bayfield class AT
Windsor class AT
Ormsby class AT
Funston class AT
Sumter class AT
Haskell class AT
Andromeda class AT
Gilliam class AT
APD-1 class LT
APD-37 class LT
LSV class LS
LSD class LS
Landing Ship Tank
LSM class LS
LSM(R) class SS
LCV class LC
LCVP class LC
LCM(3) class LC
LCP(L) class LC
LCP(R) class SC
LCL(L)(3) class FSC
LCS(S) class FSC
British ww2 Royal Navy

WW2 British Battleships
Queen Elisabeth class (1913)
Revenge class (1915)
Nelson class (1925)
King Georges V class (1939)
Lion class (Started)
HMS Vanguard (1944)
Renown class (1916)
HMS Hood (1920)

WW2 British Cruisers
British C class cruisers (1914-1922)
Hawkins class cruisers (1917)
British D class cruisers (1918)
Enterprise class cruisers (1919)
HMS Adventure (1924)
County class cruisers (1926)
York class cruisers (1929)
Surrey class cruisers (project)
Leander class cruisers (1931)
Arethusa class cruisers (1934)
Perth class cruisers (1934)
Town class cruisers (1936)
Dido class cruisers (1939)
Abdiel class cruisers (1939)
Fiji class cruisers (1941)
Bellona class cruisers (1942)
Swiftsure class cruisers (1943)
Tiger class cruisers (1944)

WW2 British Aircraft Carriers
Courageous class aircraft carriers (1928)
HMS Ark Royal (1937)
HMS Eagle (1918)
HMS Furious (1917)
HMS Hermes (1919)
Illustrious class (1939)
HMS Indomitable (1940)
Implacable class (1942)
Malta class (project)
HMS Unicorn (1941)
Colossus class (1943)
Majestic class (1944)
Centaur class (started 1944)

HMS Archer (1939)
HMS Argus (1917)
Avenger class (1940)
Attacker class (1941)
HMS Audacity (1941)
HMS Activity (1941)
HMS Pretoria Castle (1941)
Ameer class (1942)
Merchant Aircraft Carriers (1942)
Vindex class (1943)

WW2 British Destroyers
Shakespeare class (1917)
Scott class (1818)
V class (1917)
S class (1918)
W class (1918)
A/B class (1926)
C/D class (1931)
G/H/I class (1935)
Tribal class (1937)
J/K/N class (1938)
Hunt class DE (1939)
L/M class (1940)
O/P class (1942)
Q/R class (1942)
S/T/U//V/W class (1942)
Z/ca class (1943)
Ch/Co/Cr class (1944)
Battle class (1945)
Weapon class (1945)

WW2 British submarines
L9 class (1918)
HMS X1 (1923)
Oberon class (1926)
Parthian class (1929)
Rainbow class (1930)
Thames class (1932)
Swordfish class (1932)
HMS Porpoise (1932)
Grampus class (1935)
Shark class (1934)
Triton class (1937)
Undine class (1937)
U class (1940)
S class (1941)
T class (1941)
X-Craft midget (1942)
A class (1944)

WW2 British Amphibious Ships and Landing Crafts
LSI(L) class
LSI(M/S) class
LSI(H) class
LSS class
LSG class
LSC class
Boxer class LST

LST(2) class
LST(3) class
LSH(L) class
LSF classes (all)
LCI(S) class
LCS(L2) class
LCT(I) class
LCT(2) class
LCT(R) class
LCT(3) class
LCT(4) class
LCT(8) class
LCT(4) class
LCG(L)(4) class
LCG(M)(1) class

British ww2 Landing Crafts

WW2 British MTB/gunboats.
WW2 British MTBs
MTB-1 class (1936)
MTB-24 class (1939)
MTB-41 class (1940)
MTB-424 class (1944)
MTB-601 class (1942)
MA/SB class (1938)
MTB-412 class (1942)
MGB 6 class (1939)
MGB-47 class (1940)
MGB 321 (1941)
MGB 501 class (1942)
MGB 511 class (1944)
MGB 601 class (1942)
MGB 2001 class (1943)

WW2 British Gunboats

Denny class (1941)
Fairmile A (1940)
Fairmile B (1940)
HDML class (1940)

WW2 British Sloops
Bridgewater class (2090)
Hastings class (1930)
Shoreham class (1930)
Grimsby class (1934)
Bittern class (1937)
Egret class (1938)
Black Swan class (1939)

WW2 British Frigates
River class (1943)
Loch class (1944)
Bay class (1944)

WW2 British Corvettes
Kingfisher class (1935)
Shearwater class (1939)
Flower class (1940)
Mod. Flower class (1942)
Castle class (1943)

WW2 British Misc.
WW2 British Monitors
Roberts class monitors (1941)
Halcyon class minesweepers (1933)
Bangor class minesweepers (1940)
Bathurst class minesweepers (1940)
Algerine class minesweepers (1941)
Motor Minesweepers (1937)
ww2 British ASW trawlers
Basset class trawlers (1935)
Tree class trawlers (1939)
HMS Albatross seaplane carrier
WW2 British river gunboats

HMS Guardian netlayer
HMS Protector netlayer
HMS Plover coastal mines.
Medway class sub depot ships
HMS Resource fleet repair
HMS Woolwhich DD depot ship
HMS Tyne DD depot ship
Maidstone class sub depot ships
HmS Adamant sub depot ship

Athene class aircraft transport
British ww2 AMCs
British ww2 OBVs
British ww2 ABVs
British ww2 Convoy Escorts
British ww2 APVs
British ww2 SSVs
British ww2 SGAVs
British ww2 Auxiliary Mines.
British ww2 CAAAVs
British ww2 Paddle Mines.
British ww2 MDVs
British ww2 Auxiliary Minelayers
British ww2 armed yachts

✙ Axis ww2 Fleets

Japan ww2 Imperial Japanese Navy
WW2 Japanese Battleships
Kongō class Fast Battleships (1912)
Fuso class battleships (1915)
Ise class battleships (1917)
Nagato class Battleships (1919)
Yamato class Battleships (1941)
B41 class Battleships (project)

WW2 Japanese cruisers
Tenryū class cruisers (1918)
Kuma class cruisers (1919)
Nagara class (1920)
Sendai class Cruisers (1923)
IJN Yūbari (1923)
Furutaka class Cruisers (1925)
Aoba class heavy cruisers (1926)
Nachi class Cruisers (1927)
Takao class cruisers (1930)
Mogami class cruisers (1932)
Tone class cruisers (1937)
Katori class cruisers (1939)
Agano class cruisers (1941)
Oyodo (1943)

Seaplane & Aircraft Carriers
Hōshō (1921)
IJN Akagi (1925)
IJN Kaga (1927)
IJN Ryujo (1931)
IJN Soryu (1935)
IJN Hiryu (1937)
Shokaku class (1937)
Zuiho class (1936) comp.40
Ruyho (1933) comp.42
Junyo class (1941)
IJN Taiho (1943)
Chitose class (comp. 1943)
IJN Shinano (1944)
Unryu class (1944)
IJN Ibuki (1942)

Taiyo class (1940)
IJN Kaiyo (1938)
IJN Shinyo (1934)

Notoro (1920)
Kamoi (1922)
Chitose class (1936)
Mizuho (1938)
Nisshin (1939)

IJN Aux. Seaplane tenders
Akistushima (1941)
Shimane Maru class (1944)
Yamashiro Maru class (1944)

Imperial Japanese Navy Aviation

WW2 Japanese Destroyers
Mutsuki class (1925)
Fubuki class (1927)
Akatsuki class (1932)
Hatsuharu class (1932)
Shiratsuyu class (1935)
Asashio class (1936)
Kagero class (1938)
Yugumo class (1941)
Akitsuki class (1941)
IJN Shimakaze (1942)

WW2 Japanese Submarines
KD1 class (1921)
Koryu class
Kaiten class
Kairyu class
IJN Midget subs

WW2 Japanese Amphibious ships/Crafts
Shinshu Maru class (1935)
Akistu Maru class (1941)
Kumano Maru class (1944)
SS class LS (1942)
T1 class LS (1944)
T101 class LS (1944)
T103 class LS (1944)
Shohatsu class LC (1941)
Chuhatsu class LC (1942)
Moku Daihatsu class (1942)
Toku Daihatsu class (1944)

WW2 Japanese minelayers
IJN Armed Merchant Cruisers
WW2 Japanese Escorts
Tomozuru class (1933)
Otori class (1935)
Matsu class (1944)
Tachibana class (1944)
Ioshima class (1944)
WW2 Japanese Sub-chasers
WW2 Japanese MLs
Shinyo class SB

⚑ Neutral

Armada de Argentina Argentinian Navy

Rivadavia class Battleships
Cruiser La Argentina
Veinticinco de Mayo class cruisers
Argentinian Destroyers
Santa Fe class sub. Bouchard class minesweepers King class patrol vessels

Marinha do Brasil Brazilian Navy

Minas Gerais class Battleships (1912)
Cruiser Bahia
Brazilian Destroyers
Humaita class sub.
Tupi class sub.

Armada de Chile Armada de Chile

Almirante Latorre class battleships
Cruiser Esmeralda (1896)
Cruiser Chacabuco (1911)
Chilean DDs
Fresia class subs
Capitan O’Brien class subs

Søværnet Danish Navy

Niels Juel
Danish ww2 Torpedo-Boats Danish ww2 submarines Danish ww2 minelayer/sweepers

Merivoimat Finnish Navy

Coastal BB Ilmarinen
Finnish ww2 submarines
Finnish ww2 minelayers

Nautiko Hellenon Hellenic Navy

Greek ww2 Destroyers
Greek ww2 submarines
Greek ww2 minelayers

Marynarka Vojenna Polish Navy

Polish ww2 Destroyers
Polish ww2 cruisers
Polish ww2 minelayer/sweepers

Portuguese navy ww2 Portuguese Navy

Douro class DDs
Delfim class sub
Velho class gb
Albuquerque class gb
Nunes class sloops

Romanian Navy Romanian Navy

Romanian ww2 Destroyers
Romanian ww2 Submarines

Royal Norwegian Navy Sjøforsvaret

Norwegian ww2 Torpedo-Boats

Spanish Armada Spanish Armada

España class Battleships
Blas de Lezo class cruisers
Canarias class cruisers
Cervera class cruisers
Cruiser Navarra
Spanish Destroyers
Spanish Submarines
Dedalo seaplane tender
Spanish Gunboats
Spanish Minelayers

Svenska Marinen Svenska Marinen

Gustav V class BBs (1918)
Interwar swedish BB projects

Tre Kronor class (1943)
Gotland (1933)
Fylgia (1905)

Ehrernskjold class DDs (1926)
Psilander class DDs (1926)
Klas Horn class DDs (1931)
Romulus class DDs (1934)
Göteborg class DDs (1935)
Mode class DDs (1942)
Visby class DDs (1942)
Öland class DDs (1945)

Swedish ww2 TBs
Swedish ww2 Submarines
Swedish ww2 Minelayers
Swedish ww2 MTBs
Swedish ww2 Patrol Vessels
Swedish ww2 Minesweepers

Türk Donanmasi Turkish Navy

Turkish ww2 Destroyers
Turkish ww2 submarines

Royal Yugoslav Navy Royal Yugoslav Navy

Dubrovnik class DDs
Beograd class DDs
Hrabi class subs

Royal Thai Navy Royal Thai Navy

Taksin class
Ratanakosindra class
Sri Ayuthia class
Puket class
Tachin class
Sinsamudar class sub

minor navies Minor Navies

naval aviation Naval Aviation
Latest entries

USN aviation
Consolidated PBY Catalina
Brewster F2A Buffalo
Curtiss SOC seagull
Douglas SBD Dauntless
Douglas TBD Devastator
Grumman J2F Duck
Grumman F3F
Vought SB2U Vindicator
Vought Kingfisher
Curtiss VE-7 (1918)
Vought FU (1927)
Vought O2U Corsair (1928)
Berliner-Joyce OJ (1931)

Japanese WW2 naval aviation
Mitsubishi 1MF
Nakajima A1N
Nakajima A2N
Mitsubishi A5M
Nakajima A4N
Mitsubishi A6M "zeke"

Mitsubishi B1M
Aichi D3A Navy Type 99 "Val" (1940)
Aichi B7A Ryusei "Grace" (1942)
Mitsubishi B5M (1937)
Nakajima B5N Navy Type 97 "Kate" (1937)
Nakajima B6N Tenzan "Jill" (1941)
Yokosuka B4Y Navy Type 96 "Jean" (1935)
Yokosuka D4Y Suisei "Judy" (1942)
Yokosuka MXY-7 Ohka "Baka" (1944)
Mitsubishi G3M Navy Type 96 "Nell" (1935)
Mitsubishi G4M Navy Type 1 "Betty" (1941)
Mitsubishi Ki-67 Hiryu Type 4 "Peggy" (1942)
Yokosuka P1Y1 Ginga "Frances" (1943)

Aichi M6A1-K Nanzan (1943)
Kyushu K10W1 Type 2 "Oak" (1941)
Kyushu K11W1 Shiragiku (1942)
Kyushu Q1W1-K Tokai-Ren "Lorna" (1943)
Mitsubishi K3M Navy Type 90 "Pine" (1930)
Yokosuka K5Y1 "Willow" (1933)
Yokosuka MXY-7 Ohka Model 43 K-1 "Kai" (1944)
Yokosuka MXY-8 Akigusa

Yokosho Rogou Kougata
Aichi Type 15-Ko Mi-go
Aichi H9A
Aichi E13A "pete"
Aichi E16A "Zuiun"
Aichi E13A "pete"
Aichi M6A1 Seiran
Aichi E11A "Laura"
Hiro H4H
Nakajima E2N
Nakajima E3A
Nakajima E4N
Nakajima E14Y
Nakajima E8N "Dave"
Mitsubishi F1M "pete"
Kawanishi E7K
Kawanishi H6K
Kawanishi E11K
Kawanishi K6K
Kawanishi K8K
Kawanishi E15K Shiun
Kawanishi H8K "Emily"
Kawanishi N1K1 Kyofu "Rex"
Watanabe E9W
Watanabe K8W
Yokosuka K1Y
Yokosuka E1Y
Yokosuka K4Y
Yokosuka H5Y

Italian WW2 air arm CANT 6
CANT Z.501 Gabbiano
CANT Z.506 Airone
CANT Z.515
CANT Z.511
CANT Z.515
Caproni Ca.316
Fiat CR.20 Idro
Fiat RS.14
IMAM Ro.43
IMAM Ro.44
Macchi M3
Macchi M5
Macchi M18
Macchi M24
Macchi M41
Macchi M53
Macchi M71
Piaggio P6
Piaggio P8
Savoia-Marchetti S.55
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