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USS Independence (CVL-22)

Conventionally-Powered Light Aircraft Carrier

United States | 1943

"USS Independence CVL-22 survived critical operations of World War 2 only to be expended as a target in atomic tests following the conflict."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 09/26/2016 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
USS Independence (CVL-22) was a conventionally-powered aircraft carrier ordered in the build up to World War 2 (1939-1945) and delivered during the conflict itself. She saw her keel laid down on May 1st, 1941 by New York Shipbuilding Corporation and was subsequently launched on August 22nd, 1942. USS Independence was formally commissioned on January 14th, 1943 to begin her wartime career - which spanned the length of the war (1945).

USS Independence headed the Independence-class of carriers which numbered nine total vessels born from the Cleveland light cruiser design. The cruisers were converted to light carriers in response to the growing threat of another war in Europe, the Cleveland design pushed ahead at speed to present the USN with viable carriers until the full effect of the Essex-class could be had on the service going forward.

USS Independence featured its island superstructure set well ahead of midships along the starboard side of the hull. Its flight deck was left largely unobstructed to support the launching and recovery of its fixed=wing stock of aircraft. As originally designed, the vessel was intended to carry some thirty total aircraft made up of fighters, bombers and dive bombers. During war time, its inventory was typically increased to number about 34 aircraft in all. Its design roots in the Cleveland-class were clearly seen in the hull, the sharply pointed bow paying tribute to its cruiser origins. Four smoke funnels were also lined up along the starboard side (aft of the island superstructure). Dimensions included a length of 623 feet, a beam measuring 109 feet and a draught down to 26 feet. Her displacement was 14,750 tons under load.

Power to the vessel was through four boilers coupled to General Electric turbines delivering 100,000 horsepower to 4 x shafts. This allowed the vessel to make headway at 31 knots in ideal conditions with a range out to 13,000 nautical miles (when running at about 15 knots steady). Her complete crew numbered 1,569 officers and enlisted personnel including the air arm. Standard armament was completely Anti-Aircraft (AA) in its approach - 26 x 40mm Bofors guns being fitted to protect the warship.

As part of the Cleveland group of ships, USS Independence was originally laid down as USS Amsterdam (CL-59) but revised with the "CV-22" following her revision and re-categorization. During 1943 she traversed the Panama Canal and made her way West to form part of the Pacific Fleet. From there USS Independence recorded operational contributions to several of the major World War 2 campaigns between the United States and the Japanese: Rabaul, the Gilbert Islands, the Philippines, Okinawa and Japan proper were all eventually tied to her service history. She took an enemy torpedo during actions at Tarawa which required her to be relocated stateside for in-depth repairs. It was at this time that she was given support for night time operations which increased her tactical value considerably from mid-1944 onward. Air strikes against the Japanese mainland marked her last sorties launched against the enemy before she entered Tokyo waters for the Japanese surrender.

Her final contribution to the Grand Conflict was as part of "Operation Magic Carpet", the initiative to bring service personnel back stateside by the thousands. Once this was completed, she served as a target during atomic testing where her radioactive hull was researched at length. USS Independence was decommissioned on August 28th, 1946 and scuttled near the Farallon Islands where her remains contaminated nearby waters - impacting wildlife and industry in the region.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one sea-going vessel design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for USS Independence (CVL-22).
4 x Boilers with 4 x General Electric turbines driving 100,000 shaft horsepower to 4 x shafts.
31.0 kts
35.7 mph
Surface Speed
13,035 nm
15,000 miles | 24,140 km
The bow-to-stern, port-to-starboard physical qualities of USS Independence (CVL-22).
623.0 ft
189.89 meters
O/A Length
109.2 ft
33.28 meters
24.3 ft
7.41 meters
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of USS Independence (CVL-22).
26 x 40mm Bofors Anti-Aircraft (AA) guns
Air Arm
Available supported fixed-wing / rotary-wing aircraft featured in the design of USS Independence (CVL-22).
34 x Aircraft of various makes and models; mix of fighters, dive bombers, and torpedo bombers.
Ships-in-Class (9)
Notable series variants as part of the USS Independence (CVL-22) family line as relating to the Independence-class group.
USS Independence (CVL-22); USS Princeton (CVL-23); USS Belleau Wood (CVL-24); USS Cowpens (CVL-25); USS Monterey (CVL-26); USS Langley (CVL-27); USS Cabot (CVL-28); USS Bataan (CVL-29); USS San Jacinto (CVL-30)
Global operator(s) of the USS Independence (CVL-22). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national naval warfare listing.
National flag of the United States

[ United States ]
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Image of the USS Independence (CVL-22)
Image from the Public Domain.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to seaborne requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
USS Independence (CVL-22) Conventionally-Powered Light Aircraft Carrier appears in the following collections:
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