Military History 370
Aircraft Carriers became an essential part of Military History. They act as a mobile Sea base for Aircrafts to maintain a powerful Military wherever possible. Presence, influence, and options. These are three words that can describe and define a United States Naval Aircraft Carrier. They are floating cities with crews of thousands. They are the key player of any military strategy, they provide what has become the key to every battle fought since World War I. They present a presence in a region that is an automatic display of strength that no potential enemy can ignore. A 15-carrier force is required today to provide a full-time presence in three key regions where the Department of Defense considers a naval presence to be important: the Mediterranean, the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean/Persian Gulf. The primary mission of an Aircraft Carrier is to deploy and to recover aircrafts. Aircraft Carriers were the essential role in making the United Navy the strongest in the world. The Aircraft Carrier has had issues of controversy from early on and this is due to budgeting. So the Aircraft Carrier is a huge importance in the military alone, besides from the United States Navy. Updates, additions and improvements are always being made. I would like to explore these questions and others from the history of the Aircraft Carriers to what the future hold for this billion-dollar ship. The history of the aircraft carrier began on Jul. 11, 1919 the Naval Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 1920 provided for the conversion of the collier Jupiter into a ship specifically designed to launch and recover airplanes at sea — an aircraft carrier — later to be named Langley. The engineering plans for this conversion were modified in November and included catapults to be fitted on both the forward and after ends of the "flying-off" deck. Mar. 20, 1922 - USS Langley (CV 1), converted from the collier USS Jupiter (AC 3), was placed in commission at Norfolk, Va., as the Navy's first aircraft carrier. The ship's executive officer, Cmdr. Kenneth Whiting, was in command. Apr. 1, 1922 - The specifications of arresting gear of the type later installed in early aircraft carriers were sent to various design engineers. "The arresting gear will consist of two or more transverse wires stretched across the fore and aft wires ... [and which] lead around sheaves placed outboard to hydraulic brakes. The plane, after engaging the transverse wire, is guided down the deck by the fore and aft wires and is brought to rest by the action of the transverse wire working with the hydraulic brake."Jul. 1, 1922 - Congress authorized the conversion of the unfinished battle cruisers Lexington and Saratoga as aircraft carriers and as permitted under the terms of the Washington Treaty. Nov. 16, 1927 - USS Saratoga (CV 3) commissioned at Camden, N.J., Capt. Harry E. Yarnell, commanding. Dec. 14, 1927 - USS Lexington (CV 2) commissioned at Quincy, Mass., Capt. Albert W. Marshall, commanding. Jan. 11, 1928 - The first take off and landing aboard on the USS Saratoga (CV 3) was made by the ship's Air Officer Cmdr. Marc A. Mitscher in a UO-1.Jan. 23-27, 1929 - The carriers Lexington and Saratoga took part in fleet exercises, attached to opposing forces. Saratoga was detached from the main force, and with an escorting cruiser, was sent on a wide southward sweep before turning north to approach within striking distance of her target, the Panama Canal. On the morning of the 26th, while it was still dark, she launched a strike group of 69 aircraft which arrived over the target undetected shortly after dawn and completed the theoretical destruction of the Miraflores and Pedro Miguel locks without opposition. This demonstration made a profound impression on naval tacticians. Apr. 9, 1929 - Operations aboard Langley and Saratoga confirmed that the fore-and-aft wires of the arresting gear were not needed. The Secretary of the Navy...
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