~ museum quality, handcrafted, custom-built wooden model ships ~
Essex, Intrepid, Ticonderoga & Oriskany
Aircraft Carriers: CV-9 to CV-47
Models featured: CV-10 USS Yorktown (circa 1944) and CVS-15 USS Randolph (circa 1969)
To order any Essex Class aircraft carrier with SCB-27 upgrade (different
island and extra elevator) and/or SCB-125 modernization (angled flight
deck), please request quote.
Fully assembled museum quality wooden desk-top display models custom built as to your designated circa including appropriate air wing, flagging and personalized brass plate.
The Essex class was a modified version of the earlier Yorktown Class in order to provide better underwater protection. Over 60 feet longer, nearly 10 feet beamier and more than a third heavier, Essex aircraft carriers had a longer and wider flight deck with a deck-edge elevator that allowed for a larger air group.
Machinery arrangement and armor protection was greatly
improved and the provision of more anti-aircraft guns gave the ships
much greater survivability. In all, 24 Essex class carriers were
commissioned making it the largest class of fleet aircraft carriers ever
built by any nation.
The hulls of Essex class carriers go from CV-9 to
CV-47, but there are two other classes of aircraft carriers that
have their hull numbers interspersed between the Essex class hull
Generally, all of the above aircraft carriers had inefficient straight flight decks. They were collectively superseded by the Forrestal Class - a completely new design of aircraft carrier that incorporated an angled flight deck to permit the simultaneous launching and recovery of aircraft. Later, many surviving ships of the Essex class were extensively upgraded to add the angled flight deck while also having the bow enclosed to facilitate operation of high-performance jet fighters. (SEE DETAILS BELOW)
CV-10 "USS Yorktown"
Hull # CV-10 was the second carrier in the Essex Class. Originally named Bon Homme Richard, the ship was renamed Yorktown in honor of CV-5 USS Yorktown, first carrier of the earlier Yorktown class that was sunk at the Battle of Midway in June 1942. CV-10 USS Yorktown was launched in January 1943 and commissioned 3 months later. She soon transited the Panama Canal and went to war in the Pacific. For her numerous exploits the ship was nicknamed the "Fighting Lady" and received a Presidential Unit Citation and eleven battle stars.
Following Japan's capitulation in August 1945, Yorktown helped cover occupation efforts and also brought servicemen home from the western Pacific. Generally inactive from early 1946, the carrier was decommissioned in January 1947.
In 1951, CV-10 began a major modernization to be able to operate heavier aircraft. The ship re-entered active service in February 1953 re-designated CVA-10. In August she departed for the Far East to begin the first of eleven 7th Fleet cruises. In 1955 she was further modernized and got an angled flight deck and an enclosed bow that allowed the launching of jets. In 1957-58 the ship did two more western Pacific tours as an attack carrier. Then she became an ASW support aircraft carrier and was redesignated CVS-10. From the mid-1960s, she lend support for the Vietnam War.
In 1968, Yorktown played a major role in the motion picture "Tora!Tora!Tora!" and also recovered the crew of Apollo 8 - the first manned mission to orbit the moon. Yorktown was decommissioned in June 1970 and then became a memorial at Charleston, South Carolina where she still serves today.
NOTE regarding "TICONDEROGA LONG HULL"
SCB-27 modernization of Essex/Ticonderoga
class aircraft carriers
CV-9, CV-10, CV-11, CV-12, CV-14, CV-15, CV-16, CV-18, CV-19, CV-20, CV-31, CV-33, CV-34, CV-38, CV-39
(work completed between 1950 and 1955)
Between 1947 and 1955, fifteen Essex and Ticonderoga class aircraft carriers were thoroughly modernized. The impending arrival of high-performance jet aircraft and nuclear-armed heavy attack bombers had rendered these still rather new ships almost incapable of executing their most vital missions, while the post-World War II financial climate precluded building replacements. Accordingly, a reconstruction program began in Fiscal Year 1948, with the incomplete Oriskany as the prototype. Two more ships were converted the next year, three in FY 1950 and then, with the then Cold War in full bloom, nine more Fiscal Years 1951 to 1953.
Designated SCB-27, the modernization was very extensive, requiring some two years for each carrier. To handle much heavier, faster aircraft, flight deck structure was massively reinforced. Stronger elevators, much more powerful catapults, and new arresting gear was installed. The original four twin 5"/38 gun mounts were removed. The new five-inch gun battery consisted of eight weapons, two on each quarter beside the flight deck. Twin 3"/50 gun mounts replaced the 40mm guns, offering much greater effectiveness through the use of proximity-fuzed ammunition.
A distinctive new feature was a taller, shorter island. To better protect aircrews, ready rooms were moved to below the armored hangar deck, with a large escalator on the starboard side amidships to move airmen up to the flight deck. Internally, aviation gasoline storage was increased by nearly half and its pumping capacity enhanced. Also improved were electrical generating power, fire protection, and weapons stowage and handling facilities. All this added considerable weight: displacement increased by some twenty percent. Blisters were fitted to the hull sides to compensate, widening waterline beam by eight to ten feet. The ships also sat lower in the water, and maximum speed was slightly diminished.
The modernized ships came in two flavors, the first nine (SCB-27A) having a pair of H 8 hydraulic catapults, the most powerful available in the late '40s. The final six received the SCB-27C update, with much more potent steam catapults, one of two early 1950s British developments that greatly improved aircraft carrier potential. These six were somewhat heavier, and wider, than their sisters. While still in the shipyards, three of the SCB-27Cs were further modified under the SCB-125 project, receiving the second British concept, the angled flight deck, plus an enclosed "hurricane bow" and other improvements. These features were so valuable that they were soon back-fitted to all but one (Lake Champlain) of the other SCB-27 ships. The fourteen fully modernized units were the "journeymen" aviation ships of the late 1950s and 1960s, providing the Navy with much of its attack aircraft carrier (CVA) force and, ultimately, all its anti-submarine warfare support aircraft carriers (CVS).
The SCB-27 program involved rebuilding fifteen ships, three of which were given a combined SCB-27 and SCB-125 modernization. The reconstructed ships are listed below, in the order of completion:
Oriskany (CV-34). Built by the New York Naval Shipyard. Keel laid in May
1944; launched in October 1945; work was halted, reordered to the SCB-27A design
in August 1947; commissioned in September 1950.
(CV-9). Reconstructed to SCB-27A design by the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.
Work began in February 1949; recommissioned in January 1951.
(CV-18). Reconstructed to SCB-27A design by the New York Naval Shipyard.
Work began in May 1949; recommissioned in September 1951.
Kearsarge (CV-33). Reconstructed to SCB-27A design by the Puget Sound
Naval Shipyard. Work began in February 1950; recommissioned in February 1952.
Champlain (CV-39). Reconstructed to SCB-27A design by the Norfolk Naval
Shipyard. Work began in August 1950; recommissioned in September 1952.
Bennington (CV-20). Reconstructed to SCB-27A design by the New York
Naval Shipyard. Work began in December 1950; recommissioned as CVA-20 in
Yorktown (CV-10). Reconstructed to SCB-27A design by the Puget Sound
Naval Shipyard. Work began in March 1951; recommissioned as CVA-10 in February
Randolph (CV-15). Reconstructed to SCB-27A design by the Newport News
Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co. Work began in June 1951; recommissioned as CVA-15
in July 1953.
Hornet (CV-12). Reconstructed to SCB-27A design by the New York Naval
Shipyard. Work began in July 1951; recommissioned as CVA-12 in September 1953.
Hancock (CV-19). Reconstructed to SCB-27C design by the Puget Sound
Naval Shipyard. Work began in December 1951; recommissioned as CVA-19 in
Intrepid (CV-11). Reconstructed to SCB-27C design by the Newport News
Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co. Work began in April 1952; recommissioned as CVA-11
in June 1954.
Ticonderoga (CV-14). Reconstructed to SCB-27C design by the New York
Naval Shipyard. Work began in April 1952; recommissioned as CVA-14 in September
Shangri-La (CVA-38). Reconstructed to SCB-27C design by the Puget Sound
Naval Shipyard. Work began in October 1952 and was extended to include SCB-125
features; recommissioned in January 1955.
Lexington (CVA-16). Reconstructed to SCB-27C design by the Puget Sound
Naval Shipyard. Work began in September 1953 and was extended to include SCB-125
features; recommissioned in August 1955.
Homme Richard (CVA-31). Reconstructed to SCB-27C design by the San
Francisco Naval Shipyard. Work began in May 1953 and was extended to include
SCB-125 features; recommissioned in September 1955.
Essex/Ticonderoga class characteristics, as modified under
SCB-125 modernization of Essex/Ticonderoga class aircraft carriers
CVA/CVS-9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 31, 33, 34, 38
(work completed between 1955 and 1959)
Between 1954 and 1959, fourteen modernized Essex and Ticonderoga class aircraft carriers of the SCB-27 type were further updated under the SCB-125 program. This work, incorporating new features not known or accepted when the earlier scheme was originated in the later 1940s, greatly enhanced sea keeping and high-performance aircraft operations. Perhaps the most significant new attribute was the British-developed "angled flight deck", in which the carrier's aircraft landing area was slanted several degrees off to port, enabling aircraft to easily "go around" in the event of recovery difficulties. The benefits this brought to carrier aviation operating safety can hardly be overemphasized.
Another notable SCB-125 alteration included moving the after aircraft elevator from the centerline to the starboard deck edge, greatly facilitating aircraft handling. In fact, this change had already been made on the last six of the SCB-27s, the steam-catapult SCB-27C type, the final three of which received both modernization schemes in the same shipyard session. Blending the flight deck's forward end into the upper hull form, creating the so-called "hurricane" bow, constituted the final significant change. This concept, already adopted for the Forrestal class "super carriers" then under construction, improved sea keeping in rough seas. It also provided a covered location for the carriers' secondary conning station, whose portholes, visible across the upper bow plating, were a distinctive feature of the refitted ships.
Though the SCB-125 program significantly changed the ships' appearance, the scope of the work was much less than that of SCB-27 and generally took seven or eight months' shipyard time, rather than the two years or more that was typical of the earlier modernization. The exception was Oriskany, the SCB-27 prototype and the last to get the SCB-125 treatment. Uniquely, she had her hydraulic catapults replaced with more powerful steam types and received many other improvements in a reconstruction that lasted twenty-eight months in 1957-59.
As quickly as new carriers and steam catapult conversions joined the fleet during the later '50s, the seven SCB-125 hydraulic catapult ships were reassigned to the anti-submarine mission, replacing unmodernized carriers. Four of the seven steam catapult carriers also became ASW ships during the 1960s, though some of these operated very little, if at all, in that role. Most of the ASW ships received SQS-23 long-range sonars in 1960-66. Nine ships left active service in 1969-71, as major reductions in fleet strength were implemented. Three more decommissioned in 1972-74. Hancock and Oriskany lasted into the middle-'70s, and the veteran Lexington remained operational as training carrier until 1991. All four of the Essex class museum ships are of the modernized SCB-27/SCB-125 configuration.
The SCB-125 program involved the further rebuilding of fourteen
ships, as listed below in the order of the completion of this work:
Shangri-La (CVA/CVS-38). Received SCB-125 concurrently with SCB-27C,
recommissioning in January 1955 with steam catapults.
Lexington (CVA/CVS/CVT/AVT-16). Received SCB-125 concurrently with
SCB-27C, recommissioning in August 1955 with steam catapults.
Homme Richard (CVA-31). Received SCB-125 concurrently with SCB-27C,
recommissioning in September 1955 with steam catapults.
Bennington (CVA/CVS-20). Hydraulic catapults. Received SCB-125 refit in
Yorktown (CVA/CVS-10). Hydraulic catapults. Received SCB-125 refit in
(CVA/CVS-18). Hydraulic catapults. Received SCB-125 refit in 1955.
Randolph (CVA/CVS-15). Hydraulic catapults. Received SCB-125 refit in
(CVA/CVS-9). Hydraulic catapults. Received SCB-125 refit in 1955-56.
Hornet (CVA/CVS-12). Hydraulic catapults. Received SCB-125 refit in
Hancock (CVA-19). Steam catapults. Received SCB-125 refit in 1956.
Kearsarge (CVA/CVS-33). Hydraulic catapults. Received SCB-125 refit in
Ticonderoga (CVA/CVS-14). Steam catapults. Received SCB-125 refit in
Intrepid (CVA/CVS-11). Steam catapults. Received SCB-125 refit in
Oriskany (CVA/CV-34). Received SCB-125A refit in 1957-59, replacing hydraulic with steam catapults.
characteristics, as modified under project SCB-125 with angled flight deck:
Image below is of 73" long model of CVS-15, circa 1969 showing both the
SCB-27 and SCB-125 refits (model commissioned by
Click to view detail images - Pictorial
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