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USS Wolverine (IX-64)

Advanced Training Aircraft Carrier

United States | 1942

"USS Wolveringe IX-64 joined USS Sable IX-81 as the only side paddlewheel steamer-based aircraft carriers to serve the USN in its history."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 03/19/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
During World War 2 (1939-1945), the aircraft carrier established its dominance on the high seas as the capital ship for all navies near and far. As such, a premium was paid to aircraft-carrying vessels by the likes of the United States Navy and, in 1942 following America's formal entry into the war, the luxury side-wheel steamer "Seeandbee", with its four smoke funnel profile, was acquired by the service and transformed into the aircraft carrier USS Wolverine (IX-64). The vessel - primarily reserved for the training of future USN airmen and related personnel - was notable in that it, along with USS Sable (IX-81), was the only side paddlewheel steam-driven aircraft carrier in USN history.

The original steamer Seeandbee by the Detroit Shipbuilding Company of Wyandotte, Michigan was launched on November 9th, 1912, completing its maiden voyage on June 19th of the following year (just ahead of the opening of World War 1). In 1939, the vessel changed ownership to the Cleveland & Buffalo Company of Chicago, Illinois and was operated in a normal manner until 1941 - the year of America's entrance into World War 2. On March 12th, 1942, the USN - requiring aircraft carriers for advanced training - came calling and the ship changed hands once more. Unlike other USN carriers of the time, USS Wolverine was not given the benefit of hangar decks and elevators when moving aircraft between floors and she was not granted armor protection of any kind.

As finalized, USS Wolverine displaced 7,300 tons and had an overall length of 500 feet with a beam measuring 97.7 feet and a draught down to 15.5 feet. There were five decks in her design, owing much to her passenger steamer roots while drive power came from an inclined compound steam engine fed by coal-fired boiler units developing 12,000 horsepower. Maximum speed in ideal conditions could reach 19 knots. The crew was made up of 270 personnel in all.

The construction effort saw all of the Seeandbee's upper structure cut down to make way for a straight-through "flattop" deck. An island superstructure was set along the traditional starboard side, coupled with the four inline smoke funnels needed to exhaust the powerplant. Atop this structure were the usual communications systems mounted on a basic tower. This left the flight deck nearly completely unobstructed for aircraft landing and taking off.

USS Wolverine was commissioned on August 12th, 1942 and was refit on May 6th of that year. She homeported out of Chicago, Illinois (as part of the 9th Naval District Carrier Qualification Training Unit) for her part in the war and, for her service during the conflict, the ship earned the American Campaign Medal and World War II Victory Medal.

From her start in 1942, at which point the first landings on her new deck were occurring, until the end of the war in 1945, USS Wolverine operated in a training manner and went on to graduate thousands of USN personnel readying for war - a feat just as critical as anyone combat aircraft, tank, or battleship fielded in the war. Inevitably she was decommissioned on November 7th, 1945 and transferred to the Maritime Commission for proper disposal on November 26th, 1947. In December of that year, she was sold off for scrapping, officially ending her tenure on the high seas.

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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 Wolverine (IX-64).
6 x Boilers (coal-fired) feeding steam engine arrangement developing 12,000 horsepower.
19.1 kts
22.0 mph
Surface Speed
The bow-to-stern, port-to-starboard physical qualities of USS Wolverine (IX-64).
500.0 ft
152.40 meters
O/A Length
97.0 ft
29.57 meters
15.5 ft
4.72 meters
Air Arm
Available supported fixed-wing / rotary-wing aircraft featured in the design of USS Wolverine (IX-64).
Limited stock of aircraft used strictly for training purposes.
Ships-in-Class (1)
Notable series variants as part of the USS Wolverine (IX-64) family line as relating to the USS Wolverine group.
USS Wolverine (IX-64)
Global operator(s) of the USS Wolverine (IX-64). 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 Wolverine (IX-64)
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 Wolverine (IX-64) Advanced Training Aircraft Carrier appears in the following collections:
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