US Navy Aircraft Carriers

USS Coral Sea, USS Constellation, USS Nimitz

USS Coral Sea

USS Coral Sea (CV/CVB/CVA-43), a Midway-class aircraft carrier, was the third ship of the United States Navy to be named for the Battle of the Coral Sea. She earned the affectionate nickname "Ageless Warrior" through her long career. Initially classified as an aircraft carrier with hull classification symbol CV-43, the contract to build the ship was awarded to Newport News Shipbuilding of Newport News, Virginia on 14 June 1943. She was reclassified as a "Large Aircraft Carrier" with hull classification symbol CVB-43 on 15 July 1943. Her keel was laid down on 10 July 1944. She was launched on 2 April 1946 sponsored by Mrs. Thomas C. Kinkaid, and commissioned on 1 October 1947 with Captain A.P. Storrs III in command.

Before 8 May 1945, the aircraft carrier CVB-42 had been known as USS Coral Sea; after that date, CVB-42 was renamed in honor of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the late President, and CVB-43 was named Coral Sea.

Coral Sea was one of the last U.S Navy carriers to be completed with a straight flight deck, with an angled flight deck added on during later modernizations. All subsequent U.S Navy carriers have had the angled deck included as part of the ship's construction. (One Essex-class aircraft carrier class carrier, Oriskany was left unfinished at the end of World War II and completed in modified form but still with a straight flight deck during the Korean War).

USS Constellation

USS Constellation (CV-64), a Kitty Hawk–class supercarrier, was the third ship of the United States Navy to be named in honor of the "new constellation of stars" on the flag of the United States and the only naval vessel ever authorized to display red, white, and blue designation numbers. One of the fastest ships in the Navy, as proven by her victory during a battlegroup race held in 1985, she was nicknamed "Connie" by her crew and officially as "America's Flagship".

The contract to build Constellation was awarded to the New York Naval Shipyard, Brooklyn, New York, on 1 July 1956, and her keel was laid down 14 September 1957 at the New York Navy Yard. She was launched 8 October 1960, sponsored by Mary Herter (wife of Secretary of State Christian Herter). Constellation was delivered to the Navy 1 October 1961, and commissioned 27 October 1961, with Captain T. J. Walker in command. At that time, she had cost about US$264.5 million. USS Constellation was the last U.S. aircraft carrier (as of 2016) to be built at a yard other than Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Company. As of early 2015, Constellation was at the scrapyard in Brownsville, Texas, awaiting her fate.

USS Nimitz

USS Nimitz (CVN-68) is a supercarrier of the United States Navy, and the lead ship of her class. One of the largest warships in the world, she was laid down, launched and commissioned as CVAN-68 but was redesignated CVN 68 (nuclear-powered multimission aircraft carrier) on 30 June 1975 as part of the fleet realignment.

The ship was named for World War II Pacific fleet commander Chester W. Nimitz, who was the Navy’s third fleet admiral. Nimitz had her homeport at Naval Station Norfolk until 1987, when she was relocated to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington. Following her Refueling and Complex Overhaul in 2001, her homeport was changed to NAS North Island in San Diego, California. The home port of the USS Nimitz was again moved to Naval Station Everett in 2012.

In January 2015 Nimitz changed homeport from Naval Station Everett to Naval Base Kitsap.

More Information

Sources: