World War II

World War II

By 1939 the importance of the carrier in the American Navy was well established. However, little had changed from the original designs. In addition, these ships had not withstood a trial by fire. That day would come on May 4, 1942 in the Battle of the Coral Sea. This is considered the world’s first carrier battle. Unfortunately for the U.S., the carrier ship USS Lexington was sunk while en route to Guadalcanal.1 However, the U.S. won a strategic victory and pressed further in the Pacific theater. The Battles of Midway, Guadalcanal, Leyte Gulf, and the Philippine Sea would mark key American victories but would also point out some areas for improvement for aircraft carriers. In the Cold War era and beyond the carrier would come into its golden age for influence and domination of naval warfare.

File:USS Lexington.jpg


1 Scot MacDonald, “The Early Attack Carriers,” in Evolution of Aircraft Carriers (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1964), 44. http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/car-toc.htm. (accessed March 27, 2013).

Comments are closed.