USS Independence (CVL-22) also briefly (CV-22)
- Builder: New York Shipbuilding Corporation
- Former name: Amsterdam (CL-59)
- Laid down: 1 May 1941
- Launched: 22 August 1942
- Commissioned: 14 January 1943
- Decommissioned: 28 August 1946
- Fate: Target in nuclear weapons testing, 1946; scuttled 1951
- General characteristics
- Class and type: Independence class light carrier
- Displacement: 10,662 tons standard,14,751 tons loaded
- Length: 623 ft (190 m)
- Beam: 71.5 ft (21.8 m) (waterline) 109.2 ft (33.3 m) (extreme)
- Draught: 24.3 ft (7.4 m)
- Draft: 26 ft (7.9 m)
- Propulsion: General Electric turbines, 4 shafts, 4 boilers; 100,000 shp
- Speed: 31 knots (57 km/h)
- Range: 13,000 nautical miles (24,000 km) at 15 knots (28 km/h)
- Complement: 1,569 officers and men (inc. air group)
- Armament: 26 × Bofors 40 mm guns
- Aircraft carried: Up to 30; 9 bombers 9 torpedo-bombers 12 fighters
The fourth USS Independence (CVL-22) (also CV-22) was a United States Navy light aircraft carrier, lead ship of her class and served during the Second World War.
Converted from the hull of a cruiser, she was built by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation and commissioned in January of 1943. She took part in the attacks on Rabaul and Tarawa before being torpedoed by Japanese planes. Having to be repaired and refitted in San Francisco from January to July of 1944.
After repairs she launched many strike against targets in Luzon and Okinawa. "Independence" was part of the carrier group that sunk the remaining Japanese Carriers in the Battle of Leyte Gulf and large portion of the navy in Surigao Strait. Until the surrender of Japan she was assigned strike duties against targets in the Philippines and Japan. She would finish her operational duty off the coast of Japan supporting occupation forces until being assigned to return American veterans back to the United States as part of Operation Magic Carpet.
"Independence" was later used for testing during Operation Crossroads. After being transported back to Pearl Harbor and San Francisco for study, she was later sunk with nuclear waste near the Farallon Islands. Her sinking is considered at fault for the contamination of the wildlife refuge in the area.
Construction and deployment
Begun as light cruiser Amsterdam, CL-59, she was launched as CV-22 on 22 August 1942 by New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey, sponsored by Mrs. Rawleigh Warner, and commissioned 14 January 1943, Captain G. R. Fairlamb, Jr., in command.
The first of a new class of carriers converted from cruiser hulls, Independence conducted shakedown training in the Caribbean. She then steamed through the Panama Canal to join the Pacific Fleet, arriving San Francisco 3 July 1943. Independence got underway for Pearl Harbor 14 July, and after 2 weeks of vital training exercises sailed with carriers Essex (CV-9) and Yorktown (CV-10) for a devastating raid on Marcus Island. Planes from the carrier force struck 1 September and destroyed over 70 percent of the installations on the island. The carrier began her next operation, a similar strike against Wake Island 5 October to 6 October as CVL-22, having been redesignated 15 July 1943.
Rabaul and Gilbert Islands strikes
Independence sailed from Pearl Harbor for Espiritu Santo 21 October, and, during an ensuing carrier attack on Rabaul 11 November, the ship's gunners scored their first success - six Japanese planes shot down. After this operation the carrier refueled at Espiritu Santo and headed for the Gilberts and prelanding strikes on Tarawa 18 November to 20 November 1943. During a Japanese counterattack 20 November, Independence was attacked by a group of planes low on the water. Six were shot down, but the planes managed to launch at least five torpedoes one of which scored a hit on the carrier's starboard quarter. Seriously damaged, the ship steamed to Funafuti 23 November for repairs. With the Gilberts operation, first step on the mid-Pacific road to Japan, underway, Independence returned to San Francisco 2 January 1944 for more permanent repairs.
Refitting and training for night operations
The now-veteran carrier returned to Pearl Harbor 3 July 1944. During her repair period the ship had been fitted with an additional catapult, and upon her arrival in Hawaiian waters, Independence began training for night carrier operations. She continued this pioneering work 24 August to 29 August out of Eniwetok. The ship sailed with a large task group 29 August to take part in the Palau operation and the Battle of Peleliu, aimed at securing bases for the final assault on the Philippines in October. Independence provided night reconnaissance and night combat air patrol for Task Force 38 during this operation.
In September the fast carrier task force regularly pounded the Philippines in preparation for the invasion. When no Japanese counterattacks developed in this period, Independence shifted to regular daytime operations, striking targets on Luzon. After replenishment at Ulithi in early October, the great force sortied 6 October for Okinawa. In the days that followed the carriers struck Okinawa, Formosa, and the Philippines in a striking demonstration of the mobility and balance of the fleet. Japanese air counterattacks were repulsed, with Independence providing day strike groups in addition to night fighters and reconnaissance aircraft for defensive protection.
As the carrier groups steamed east of the Philippines 23 October, it became apparent, as Admiral Carney later recalled, that "something on a grand scale was underfoot." And indeed it was, as the Japanese fleet moved in a three-pronged effort to turn back the American beachhead on Leyte Gulf. Planes from Independence's Task Group 38.2, under Rear Admiral Bogan, spotted Kurita's striking force in the Sibuyan Sea 24 October and the carriers launched a series of attacks. Planes from Independence and other ships sank the giant battleship Musashi and disabled a cruiser.
That evening Admiral Halsey made his fateful decision to turn Task Force 38 northward in search of Admiral Ozawa's carrier group. Independence's night search planes made contact and shadowed the Japanese ships until dawn 26 October, when the carriers launched a massive attack. In this second part of the great Battle for Leyte Gulf, all four Japanese carriers were sunk. Meanwhile American heavy ships had won a great victory in Surigao Strait; and a light carrier force had outfought the remainder of Kurita's ships in the Battle off Samar. After the great battle, which virtually spelled the end of the Japanese Navy as a major threat, Independence continued to provide search planes and night fighter protection for TF 38 in strikes on the Philippines. In these operations the ship had contributed to a major development in carrier group operations.
Independence returned to Ulithi for long-delayed rest and replenishment 9 November to 14 November, but soon got underway to operate off the Philippines on night attacks and defensive operations. This phase continued until 30 December 1944, when the great task force sortied from Ulithi once more and moved northward. From 3 January to 9 January 1945 the carriers supported the Lingayen landings on Luzon, after which Halsey took his fleet on a daring foray into the South China Sea. In the days that followed the aircraft struck at air bases on Formosa and on the coasts of Indo-China and China. These operations in support of the Philippines campaign marked the end of the carrier's night operations, and she sailed 30 January 1945 for repairs at Pearl Harbor.
USS Independence is on fire aft following the Operation Crossroads shot Able atomic bomb test, 1 July 1946
Independence returned to Ulithi 13 March 1945 and got underway next day for operations against Okinawa, last target in the Pacific before Japan itself. She carried out pre-invasion strikes 30 March to 31 March, and after the assault 1 April remained off the island supplying CAP and strike aircraft. Her planes shot down numerous enemy planes during the desperate Japanese attacks on the invasion force. Independence remained off Okinawa until 10 June when she sailed for Leyte.
During July and August the carrier took part in the final carrier strikes against Japan itself, attacks that lowered enemy morale. After the end of the war 15 August, Independence aircraft continued surveillance flights over the mainland locating prisoner of war camps and covered the landings of Allied occupation troops. The ship departed Tokyo 22 September 1945, arriving at San Francisco via Saipan and Guam 31 October.
Bikini Atoll tests
Independence joined the Operation Magic Carpet fleet beginning 15 November 1945, transporting veterans back to the United States until arriving at San Francisco once more 28 January 1946. Assigned as a target vessel for the Bikini atomic bomb tests, she was placed within one-half mile of ground zero for the 1 July explosion. The veteran ship did not sink, however (though her funnels and island were crumpled by the blast), and after taking part in another explosion 25 July was taken to Kwajalein and decommissioned 28 August 1946. The highly radioactive hulk was later taken to Pearl Harbor and San Francisco for further tests and was finally scuttled off the coast of San Francisco, California, on 29 January 1951. Controversy has subsequently arisen about the sinking of the Independence, as it is claimed she was loaded with barrels of radioactive waste at the time of her sinking, and that the waste has subsequently contaminated the wildlife refuge and commercial fisheries associated with the Farallon Islands.
Independence received eight battle stars for World War II service.
Aircraft squdarons that operated from the USS Independence (CVL-22)
Aircraft squdarons that operated from the USS Independence (CVL-22) Date Operation/Location Squadron Aircraft Type # of A/C ACLocation 1943/4/21 Trinidad VC-22 SBD-4 9 Aboard Shakedown VC-22 TBF-1 9 Aboard VF-22 F4F-4 12 Aboard 1943/4/28 Trinidad VC-22 SBD-4 9 Aboard Shakedown VC-22 TBF-1 9 Aboard VF-22 F4F-4 12 Aboard 1943/5/31 NYDPhilly VC-22 SBD-5 9 Quonset VC-22 TBF-1 9 Quonset VF-22 FM-1 12 WillowGrove VF-22 changes from Wildcats to Hellcats 1943/6/15 EnrtPacific VC-22 SBD-5 9 Aboard VC-22 TBF-1 9 Aboard VF-22 F6F-3 12 Aboard 1943/7/6 SanFrancisco VC-22 SBD-5 9 Aboard VC-22 TBF-1 9 Aboard VF-22 F6F-3 12 Aboard 1943/7/28 PearlHarbor VC-22 SBD-5 9 Aboard VC-22 TBF-1 9 Aboard VF-22 F6F-3 12 Aboard At this time the Navy decided to remove the SBD Dauntless from CVLs and change the airgroup composition due to difficulties with the dauntless' size on the narrow deck. VF-6 became a bit of a test subject, being split up and assigned to different CVLs in different sizes. Eventually, the Navy setled on 24 F6F Hellcats, up from the previous 12. 1943/8/5 VF-6 F6F-3 34 Aboard 1943/8/22 VF-6 F6F-3 24 Aboard VC-22 TBF-1 9 Aboard Marcus Island Raid September 1st
Originally, CVL-22 was tasked as the "Duty Carrier" to provide CAP (Combat Air Patrol) and Air Search missions. The Hellcats of VF-6 have nothing to do against Japanese aircraft, however, as the island's "Betty" bombers are destroyed on the ground and a flight of Zeros launched later Later, the Hellcats and Avengers were launched and headed towards Marcus. Near the island they located and attacked No. 15 Jitai Maru, sending it to the bottom with the combination of strafing and a bomb strike from a VT-5 Avenger from USS Yorktown.
1943/9/19 PearlHarbor VC-22 TBF-1 9 Puunene VF-6 F6F-3 12 Puunene VF-22 F6F-3 12 Pearl 1943/9/21 Pearl VC-22 TBF-1 9 Puunene VC-22 SBD-5 9 Puunene VF-22 F6F-3 12 Pearl 1943/9/28 Pearl VC-22 TBF-1 9 Puunene VC-22 SBD-5 9 Puunene VF-22 F6F-3 12 Aboard CVL-24 Wake Attack October 5/6 1943/10/12 PearlHarbor VC-22 TBF-1 9 Aboard VC-22 SBD-5 9 Aboard VF-22 F6F-3 12 Aboard SBDs removed from Air Group 1943/10/19 PearlHarbor VC-22 TBF-1 9 Kahului VF-22 F6F-3 12 AboardCVL-24 1943/10/26 PearlHarbor VC-22 TBF-1 8 Hilo VF-22 F6F-3 12 AboardCVL-24 1943/11/2 VC-22 TBF-1 17 Aboard VF-22 F6F-3 24 Aboard 1943/11/9 AtSea VC-22 TBF-1 17 Aboard VF-22 F6F-3 24 Aboard Rabaul raid November 11 19434 1943/11/16 AtSea VC-22 TBF-1 15 Aboard SoPac VF-22 F6F-3 24 Aboard Tarawa Attack November 19 1943 Torpedoed November 20 1943 1943/11/23 AtSea VC-22 TBF-1 15 Aboard SoPac VF-22 F6F-3 24 Aboard 1943/11/30 AtSea VC-22 TBF-1 15 Aboard SoPac VF-22 F6F-3 24 Aboard 1943/12/7 AtSea VC-22 TBF-1 15 Aboard SoPac VF-22 F6F-3 24 Aboard 1943/12/14 AtSea VC-22 TBF-1 15 EnroutePearlHarbor VF-22 F6F-3 24 Aboard Composite Squadron 22 redesignated Torpedo Squadron 22 12/15/43 21-12-43 PearlHarbor VF-22 F6F-3 23 Hawaii VT-22 TBF-1 8 Hawaii VT-22 TBF-1C 1 Hawaii Enroute San Francisco for overhaul & repair, no aircraft permanently assigned until May, 1944 1944/1/5 SanFran VF-22 F6F-3 23 Hawaii VT-22 TBF-1 8 Hawaii VT-22 TBF-1C 1 Hawaii 1944/1/11 NYDMI VF-22 F6F-3 1 Kaneohe VT-22 TBF-1 3 Kaneohe 1944/1/18 NYDMI VF-22 F6F-3 1 Hilo VT-22 TBF-1 4 Hilo VT-22 TBF-1C 1 Hilo 1944/1/25 NYDMI VF-22 F6F-3 1 Hilo VT-22 TBF-1 4 Hilo VT-22 TBF-1C 1 Hilo 8/2/44 NYDMI Air Group Reforming; 15/2/44 NYD Mare Island overhaul; 23/2/44 NYD Mare Island overhaul; 29/2/44 NYD Mare Island overhaul; 7/3/44 NYD Mare Island overhaul; 14/3/44 NYD Mare Island overhaul; 21/3/44 NYD Mare Island overhaul; 29/3/44 NYD Mare Island overhaul; 4/4/44 NYD Mare Island overhaul; 11/4/44 NYD Mare Island overhaul; 18/4/44 NYD Mare Island overhaul; 25/4/44 NYD Mare Island overhaul; 2/5/44 NYD Mare Island overhaul; 9/5/44 NYD Mare Island overhaul; 16/5/44 NYD Mare Island overhaul; 23/5/44 NYD Mare Island overhaul; 30/5/44 NYD Mare Island overhaul; 6/6/44 NYD Mare Island overhaul; 13/6/44 NYD Mare Island overhaul; 20/6/44 NYD Mare Island overhaul; 27/6/44 NYD Mare Island overhaul 1944/7/4 Pearl VF-22 F6F-5 24 Hawaii VT-22 TBF-1C 8 Hawaii 1944/7/11 Pearl VF-22 F6F-5 24 Hawaii VT-22 TBF-1C 8 Hawaii 1944/7/18 Pearl VF-22 F6F-5 24 Hawaii VT-22 TBF-1C 8 Hawaii 1944/7/24 Pearl VF-22 F6F-5 22 PearlHarbor VT-22 TBF-1C 9 PearlHarbor 8/1/1944 Pearl VF-22 F6F-5 22 Hawaii VT-22 TBF-1C 9 Hawaii 1944/8/8 Pearl VF-22 F6F-5 22 Hawaii VT-22 TBF-1C 9 Hawaii Aircraft numbers and camouflage for the next two months may be blank due to lack of information in US Navy reports 8/15/1944 ?? VF-22 F6F-? 23 BarbersPoint VT-22 TBF-? 8 BarbersPoint Air Group Change 1944/8/22 ?? VFN-79 F6F-? 19 Aboard VFN-79 TBF/M? 8 Aboard Air Group 79 redesignated CVLG(N)-41 "Dark sky, black sea: aircraft carrier night and all-weather operations By Charles H. Brown states that VF(N)-41 originally operated 14 F6F-5Ns and five F6F-5s withour radars and received more -5Ns from VF(N)-78 "before sailing." The exact data and number was not listed, however. By the time the USN logs return to normal the -5Ns were listed as gone and the squardon was operating a mixture of -3Ns and -5s, but only for one report. At this point the -3Ns are gone and replaced by -5Ns, and it is un known if the -3Ns were a typo or no. So, for now I have left the exact type completely blank and only included the number of VFs listed on the Navy reports. Additionally, VT(N)-41 is described as having 12 TBM-1Ds, but the reports for this time, while lacking the type of airframe, only list nine VTs assigned to VT(N)-41. No reason for this difference is known at this time and this is the best information available at this time. Operation KING II.- Leyte Landing - 8/29 to 9/21(?) as part of TG 38.2 8/29/1944 ?? VFN-41 F6F-5N ?? Aboard VTN-41 TBF/M-1D? 9 Aboard 1944/9/5 ?? VFN-41 F6F-?N 19 Aboard VTN-41 TBF/M? 8 Aboard Attacks on Mindanao airfields, September 9-10 Attacks near Visayas in central Philippines September 12-14 VF(N)-41 night interception of 'Dinah' on 9-12 1944/9/12 ?? VFN-41 F6F-?? 19 Aboard VTN-41 TBF/M? 8 Aboard Atacks on airfields near Manila annd around Luzon, Septeber 21-22, and Visayas on September 24 1944/9/19 ?? VFN-41 F6F-?? 19 Aboard VTN-41 TBF/M? 8 Aboard Return to non-crappy US Navy logs for two weeks The log below reported F6F-3Ns, but the log immediately after has the exact same numbers of -5Ns. it is possible the -3Ns are a typo. 1944/9/26 VFN-41 F6F-3 3 Aboard VFN-41 F6F-3N 14 Aboard VFN-41 F6F-5 2 Aboard VTN-41 TBM-1D 8 Aboard 1944/10/3 FwdPacific VFN-41 F6F-3 3 Aboard VFN-41 F6F-5 2 Aboard VFN-41 F6F-5N 14 Aboard VTN-41 TBM-1D 8 Aboard 1944/10/10 ?? VFN-41 F6F-?N 19 Aboard VTN-41 TBF/M? 8 Aboard Attacks on Formosa airfields, October 2-13 1944/10/17 VFN-41 F6F-?N 19 Aboard VTN-41 TBF/M? 8 Aboard Attacks on Western Vizayan Islands, October 21 VT(N)-41 spots Admiral Kurita's fleet in Surigao strait and carriers near Cape Engano before battle of Samar (separate patrols) 1944/10/24 FwdPacific VFN-41 F6F-3 3 Aboard VFN-41 F6F-5 2 Aboard VFN-41 F6F-5N 14 Aboard VTN-41 TBM-1D 8 Aboard Attacks on Manila-area airfields October 29 1944/10/31 WestCenPac VFN-41 F6F-5 11 Aboard VFN-41 F6F-5N 11 Aboard VTN-41 TBM-1D 7 Aboard Attacks on Luzon, November5-6 1944/11/7 WestCenPac VFN-41 F6F-5 11 Aboard VFN-41 F6F-5N 12 Aboard VTN-41 TBM-1D 7 Aboard Attacks on Luzon, November13-14, amp;19 1944/11/14 WestCenPac VFN-41 F6F-5 11 Aboard VFN-41 F6F-5N 9 Aboard VTN-41 TBM-1D 7 Aboard 1944/11/21 VFN-41 F6F-?N 23 VTN-41 TBF/M? 7 1944/11/28 WestCenPac VFN-41 F6F-3N 1 Aboard VFN-41 F6F-5 1 Aboard VFN-41 F6F-5N 11 Aboard VTN-41 TBM-1C 3 Aboard VTN-41 TBM-1D 4 Aboard 12/5/1944 WestCenPac VFN-41 F6F-5 2 Aboard VFN-41 F6F-5N 11 Aboard VTN-41 TBM-1D 7 Aboard Attacks on Luzon airfields in support of Mindoro landings, December 14-16 1944/12/12 WestCenPac VFN-41 F6F-3N 1 Aboard VFN-41 F6F-5N 15 Aboard VFN-41 F6F-5P 1 Aboard VTN-41 TBM-1C 3 Aboard VTN-41 TBM-1D 4 Aboard 1944/12/19 WestCenPac VFN-41 F6F-3N 1 Aboard VFN-41 F6F-5N 15 Aboard VFN-41 F6F-5P 1 Aboard VTN-41 TBM-1C 3 Aboard VTN-41 TBM-1D 4 Aboard 1944/12/27 WestCenPac VFN-41 F6F-3N 1 Aboard VFN-41 F6F-5N 15 Aboard VFN-41 F6F-5P 1 Aboard VTN-41 TBM-1C 3 Aboard VTN-41 TBM-1D 4 Aboard Attacks around Luzon Jan 3-10 1945/1/2 WestCenPac VFN-41 F6F-5N 16 Aboard VTN-41 TBM-1C 1 Aboard VTN-41 TBM-1D 4 Aboard VTN-41 TBM-3D 4 Aboard 1/9/1945 WestCenPac VFN-41 F6F-5N 9 Aboard VTN-41 TBM-1D 4 Aboard VTN-41 TBM-3D 4 Aboard Attacks in Indochinaarea January 12 1945/1/16 WestCenPac VFN-41 F6F-5N 9 Aboard VTN-41 TBM-1D 4 Aboard VTN-41 TBM-3D 4 Aboard 1945/1/23 WestCenPac VFN-41 F6F-5N 9 Aboard VTN-41 TBM-1D 4 Aboard VTN-41 TBM-3D 4 Aboard 1945/1/30 WestCenPac VFN-41 F6F-5N 15 Aboard VTN-41 TBM-1D 4 Aboard VTN-41 TBM-3D 5 Aboard 1945/2/6 EnrtPearl VFN-41 F6F-5N 15 Aboard VTN-41 TBM-1D 4 Aboard VTN-41 TBM-3D 5 Aboard 1945/2/13 at Pearl 1945/2/20 at Pearl 1945/2/24 at Pearl 1945/3/10 WestCenPac Attack on Kyushu airfields March 18 Attack on Inland Sea Kure March 19 Air Group 49 listed aboard only oneweek 1945/3/17 WestCenPac VF-49 F6F-5 24 Aboard VT-49 TBM-3 9 Aboard Air Group 46 embarks 1945/3/23 WestCenPac VF-46 F6F-5 24 Aboard VF-46 F6F-5P 1 Aboard VT-46 TBM-3 8 Aboard Okinawa Invasion March 30 to June 10 1945/3/31 WestCenPac VF-46 F6F-5 24 Aboard VF-46 F6F-5P 1 Aboard VT-46 TBM-3 8 Aboard 1945/4/7 WestCenPac VF-46 F6F-5 24 Aboard VF-46 F6F-5P 1 Aboard VT-46 TBM-3 8 Aboard 1945/4/14 WestCenPac VF-46 F6F-5 24 Aboard VF-46 F6F-5P 1 Aboard VT-46 TBM-3 8 Aboard 1945/4/21 WestCenPac VF-46 F6F-5 24 Aboard VF-46 F6F-5P 1 Aboard VT-46 TBM-3 8 Aboard 1945/4/28 Report Missing 1945/5/5 WestCenPac VF-46 F6F-5 22 Aboard VF-46 F6F-5P 2 Aboard VT-46 TBM-3 9 Aboard 1945/5/12 Report Missing 1945/5/19 WestCenPac VF-46 F6F-5 22 Aboard VF-46 F6F-5P 2 Aboard VT-46 TBM-3 9 Aboard 1945/5/26 WestCenPac VF-46 F6F-5 22 Aboard VF-46 F6F-5P 2 Aboard VT-46 TBM-3 9 Aboard Raid on Kyushu airfield Kamikazes had been operating from June 2-3 1945/6/2 Report Missing 1945/6/9 Report Missing 1945/6/16 WestCenPac VF-46 F6F-5 24 Aboard VT-46 TBM-3 9 Aboard 1945/6/23 WestCenPac VF-46 F6F-5 24 Aboard VT-46 TBM-3 9 Aboard Air Group 27 replaces Air Group 49 1945/6/30 WestCenPac VF-27 F6F-5 25 Aboard VT-27 TBM-3 9 Aboard 1945/7/7 SoWestPac38 VF-27 F6F-5 25 Aboard VT-27 TBM-3 9 Aboard 1945/7/14 Report Missing Tokyo airfield attacks July 10 Attacks on N.Honshu amp; S Hokkaido July 14 Attacks in Tokyo/Yokohama are July 17/18 1945/7/21 WestCenPac36 VF-27 F6F-5 24 Aboard VF-27 F6F-5P 1 Aboard VT-27 TBM-3 9 Aboard 1945/7/28 WestCenPac36 VF-27 F6F-5 24 Aboard VF-27 F6F-5P 1 Aboard VT-27 TBM-3 6 Aboard VT-27 TBM-3E 3 Aboard 1945/8/4 WestCenPac36 VF-27 F6F-5 24 Aboard VF-27 F6F-5P 1 Aboard VT-27 TBM-3 6 Aboard VT-27 TBM-3E 3 Aboard August reports missing 1945/9/7 WestCenPac36 VF-27 F6F-5 24 Aboard VF-27 F6F-5P 1 Aboard VT-27 TBM-3 4 Aboard VT-27 TBM-3E 3 Aboard
USS Independence (CVL-22) photograph section
- CVL-22 USS Independence drawing prepared by the Bureau of Ships for a camouflage 0A
Circa early 1943, with a single 5"/38 gun at the stern; this was soon replaced by a quadruple 40-mm gun mount.
- CVL-22 USS Independence hauling in her anchor off Mare Island Navy Yard California 13 July 1943 01
USS Independence (CV-22) hauling in her anchor, while off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, on 13 July 1943.
Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives (photo # 19-N-48269).
- CVL-22 USS Independence off the Mare Island Navy Yard California on 13 July 1943 01
USS Independence (CV-22) hauling in her anchor, while off the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, on 13 July 1943.
Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives (photo # 19-N-48269).
- Operation Crossroads note naval personal ignorant of radiation another senseless atomic bomb test July 1 1946
View of the ship's port quarter, showing severe blast damage caused by the "Able Day" atomic bomb air burst at Bikini on 1 July 1946. Photographed at Bikini anchorage on 23 July 1946. They probably failed to add that the sailors odered to go aboard after the test's probably died of cancer "oh for king and country.. do we ever learn?"
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-627471).
- USS Independence hull number changed from CV-22 to CVL-22 San Francisco Bay California 15 July 1943 01
USS Independence (CV-22) photographed soon after completion, circa early 1943, while she still carried a 5"/38 gun at the bow. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph (# NH 88416).
- USS Independence hull number changed from CV-22 to CVL-22 San Francisco Bay California 15 July 1943 02
USS Independence (CVL-22) in San Francisco Bay, California, on 15 July 1943, the day her hull number was changed from CV-22 to CVL-22. She has nine SBD scout bombers parked amidships and aft, and nine TBM torpedo planes parked amidships and forward. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-74433).
Photo Courtesy of Scott Dyben.
- USS Independence on fire after Operation Crossroads another senseless atomic bomb test July 1 1946
A fire aft, soon after the "Able Day" atomic bomb air burst test at Bikini on 1 July 1946. The bomb had exploded off the ship's port quarter, causing massive blast damage in that area, and progressively less further forward.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-627502).
- USS Independence violently rolls during typhoon in the Pacific Oct 4 1944 01
One of many violent rolls during typhoon in the Pacific, Oct 4, 1944."The ship went through at least 6 heavy weather episodes including the worst of all on 17/18 Dec. 1944, when a bomb magazine broke loose and all its bombs nearly destroyed us." (Don Labudde)."I was in charge of the bomb magazine at the time. Those bombs would just tumble end over end. I would jump up, grab an I beam overhead, lift my legs, and let the bombs roll by. When it stopped on one side momentarily, I would tie one or two down. Then I would grab hold the I beam again and hang up there like a monkey until the bombs rolled to the other bulkhead and I could secure a couple more. I could hear the speakers telling the crew to make ready to abandon ship. So I was down there doing my job and thinking to myself, if this thing blows up, I'm going to die anyway so it don't make any difference where I am." (Herman Backlund).
Photo Courtesy of Al Hiegel.
- The Baker explosion part of Operation Crossroads 25th July 1946
- Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bomber VC 22 white 13 taking off from USS Independence mid 1943
Note the rear gunner is in the brace position
Prior to Operation Crossroads, the lagoon at Bikini was designated as a ship graveyard after World War II by the United States Navy. Today the Bikini Lagoon is still home to a large number of vessels from the United States and other countries. The dangers of the radioactivity and limited services in the area led to divers staying away from one of the most remarkable potential scuba diving sites in the Pacific for many years. The dive spot has become popular among divers since 1996. However, oil prices severely curtailed diving operations to the point of being suspended from August 2008 through 2009, restricted to fully self-contained vessels by prior arrangement. The lagoon contains a larger amount of sea life than usual due to the lack of fishing, including sharks, increasing the fascination with the spot as a diver's adventure spot.
Shipwrecks in the lagoon include:
- USS Saratoga (CV-3)
- USS Apogon (SS-308)
- USS Arkansas (BB-33)
- USS Gilliam (APA-57)
- USS Lamson (DD-367)
- USS Pilotfish (SS-386)
- Japanese battleship Nagato
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Editor for Asisbiz: Matthew Laird Acred
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