“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fredericksburg in Gillespie County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Aircraft Carrier Doctrine

Aircraft Carrier Doctrine Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, December 2, 2021
1. Aircraft Carrier Doctrine Marker
Inscription.  The Essex-class carriers comprised 24 ships and served from the commissioning of USS Essex (CV-9) on 31 Dec 1942 to the decommissioning of USS Lexington (CV-16) on 8 Nov 1991. Initially, the Navy envisioned carriers serving as fleet scouts, taking reconnaissance duty from cruisers. Few in the Navy saw the offensive possibilities in the early years of naval aviation. Chester Nimitz, however, saw its potential after having examined the merits of the circular battle formation while attending the Naval War College. Later, in the mid-1920s, while serving as an aide on the staff of Admiral Samuel Robison, Commander in Chief, Battle Fleet, then Commander Nimitz suggested inserting USS Langley (CV-1) into the core of the circular formation. The carrier-centered circular formation later became the standard for US Navy task forces in WWII. The performance of the Essex-class ships in the Pacific established the aircraft carrier as an essential component of the US Navy.

Essex-class carriers witnessed the transition from prop planes to jet aircraft and underwent numerous modifications during their
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50-year service lifetime. They were larger, faster, better-protected, better-armed, and carried a larger air group of larger airplanes than their predecessor class (Yorktown-class). During WWII, Essex-class carriers gained approximately 1,000 tons in general weight, mostly guns and radar gear located high on the ships, thus adversely affecting stability. Originally designed to carry 2,386 officers and enlisted men, by the end of WWII each ship carried 3,385 crewmen. Air group size and weight also increased during the war. Designed to carry 91 aircraft, Essex-class carriers hauled 103. Original design specifications called for fully-loaded fighters and bombers to weigh less than 11,000 lbs. The class went to war with fighters and bombers weighing up to 16,000 lbs. Another significant wartime modification occurred with an increase in antiaircraft armament. Forty-millimeter gun mounts replaced the hanger deck catapult and were also added to the bow and stern. This reduced the flight deck length by 11 feet to increase the guns' cones of fire. The number of 20mm cannons increased from 44 to 61. On some ships, bow lines were lengthened to allow for another 40mm gun mount. These became the "long hull" carriers. Other wartime modifications included updated ventilation systems and a second flight deck catapult. General modifications continued after the war to include angled flight decks,
2nd marker - list of Essex class aircraft carriers image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, December 2, 2021
2. 2nd marker - list of Essex class aircraft carriers
larger, more powerful elevators, stronger arresting gear and crash barriers, fireproof steel doors on the hanger deck, jet-blast deflectors, and better flight deck lighting. A hull blister replaced side belt armor thus increasing the beam to 101 feet. Some compartments were air-conditioned and the ships' islands were soundproofed. All modifications were complete by 1965.
Erected by National Museum of the Pacific War.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, World II. A significant historical date for this entry is October 8, 1991.
Location. 30° 16.362′ N, 98° 52.007′ W. Marker is in Fredericksburg, Texas, in Gillespie County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of East Austin Street and North Washington Street. The marker is located in the northeastern section of the WWII Veterans Memorial Courtyard which is a part of the National Museum of the Pacific War. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 340 East Main Street, Fredericksburg TX 78624, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Essex-class Carriers Combat Chronicle in World War II (here, next to this marker); Anatomy of Essex-class Carriers (here, next to this marker); Lyndon B. Johnson (a few steps from this marker); Richard M. Nixon (a few steps from this marker); In remembrance of Katherine and William Wisse
Aircraft Carrier Doctrine Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, December 2, 2021
3. Aircraft Carrier Doctrine Marker
(the marker is on the right side of the four markers around the propeller)
(a few steps from this marker); Gerald R. Ford (a few steps from this marker); James E. Carter, Jr. (a few steps from this marker); John F. Kennedy (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fredericksburg.
Aircraft Carrier Modification image. Click for full size.
Public Domain - US Navy, circa 1944/1960
4. Aircraft Carrier Modification
Seven aerial photographs showing the major different modernizations of the U.S. Navy Essex-class aircaft carriers
Credits. This page was last revised on April 26, 2022. It was originally submitted on April 25, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 218 times since then and 109 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 26, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.

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May. 28, 2023