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Independence Class Light Aircraft Carriers
- converted from light cruiser hulls -
Model featured: CVL-26 USS Monterey
circa WWII


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Independence Class Aircraft Carriers
Ship Comm. Fate
Jan 1943 Survived atomic tests at Bikini Atoll, sunk as target off California
Feb 1943 Lost in action 24-9-44, Pacific Theatre
Belleau Wood
Mar 1943 Transferred to France1953,  renamed R-97 Bois Belleau . Returned to USN 1960, stricken and scrapped.
May 1943 Stricken 1959 and scrapped
May 1943 Stricken 1970 and scrapped
Jun 1943 Transferred to France1951,  renamed R-96 Lafayette . Returned to USN  and scrapped 1963.
Jun 1943 Decommissioned 1989, slated for scrapping, Cabot/Dedalo Foundation, attempting to preserve the ship.
Nov 1943 Stricken 1959 and scrapped
San Jacinto
Dec 1943 Sold for scrap 1971


CVL-22 to CVL-30  Independence Class
* custom built aircraft carrier models *
Replicated as to your stated circa with hanger doors and elevators as you specify.
We'll contact you for details after you order.

Scale 1:350 / 22"
Price: $1899

1/3 deposit $633

Price includes free delivery,
personalized brass plate, ensign/signal flags, and 40 aircraft of different squadrons.

Other size models, different bases, aircraft with squadron paint/CAGs, plus specialties like "dual position elevator" are all possible.
Please email us for free 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 Independence class of light aircraft carriers resulted from President Franklin D. Roosevelt's interest in Navy shipbuilding plans. He noted in August of 1941 that - with war clearly looming - no new fleet aircraft carriers were expected to be completed before 1944. He proposed to quickly convert some of the many cruisers then building, but studies of cruiser-size aircraft carriers had shown their serious limitations. However, following the December 1941 Pearl Harbor disaster, the Navy responded by greatly accelerating construction of the big Essex class carriers and re-ordered nine Cleveland class light cruisers as aircraft carriers.

The Independence class design featured a relatively short and narrow flight deck and hangar, with a small island. To compensate for this additional topside weight, the cruiser hulls were widened amidships by five feet.

The typical air group, originally intended to include 27 planes (nine each of fighters, scout-bombers and torpedo planes) was soon increased to number about 33 panes (24 fighters and 9 torpedo planes).

These were limited-capability ships whose principal virtue was near-term availability. Their small size made for sea keeping problems and a relatively high aircraft accident rate. Protection was modest and many munitions had to be stowed at the hangar level, a factor that contributed greatly to the loss of CVL-23 USS Princeton in October 1944.

Independence Class specifications as built 1943


622.5 feet
Max Width 109.2 feet
Draft 26 feet
Displacement 11,00 tons, 15,100 tons full load
Power Plant 4 geared steam turbines
Screws + SHP 4 screws, 100,000 SHP
Speed 31 knots
Range 1200 nautical miles at 15 knots
Complement ~ 1570
Armament 2 single 5" gun mounts, soon replaced by
2 quad 40mm gun mounts;
8 (soon 9) twin 40mm (up to26 x 40mm)
16 single 20mm
Aircraft ~ 33
Aviation facilities 2 centerline elevators; 1 hydraulic catapult

View the "CV Pictorial Page" for other great images of our detailing

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