CUS Ulysses S Grant (CVL-1942)


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The Ulysses S Grant class aircraft carriers came about from the need for the fast fleet units to have ships that could provide the same anti-submarine duties as the Escort carriers but at a faster speed than those being used for the much slower convoys, this would free up the large Fleet carriers to concentrate on attack duties. These were not to be full carriers and the ships were not expected to last any longer than the duration of the war. To this end the conversion work was very quick and took no account to long life. Standard fleet carriers had enclosed bows and major bridge superstructures to carry the offices and officers needed to support 8 or more squadrons, the Grants only carried 3 squadrons and thus required that much less support for them.

The Grant class were converted from Chicago class light cruisers, which at 610 feet were felt to be of an ideal size for their intended useage. A 550 foot flightdeck was built over a hangar to contain 30-36 aircraft (depending on size and type) with two elevators to move the aircraft from hangar to flightdeck. The original plans showed four 4" AA guns mounted in tubs fore and aft but these were replaced during construction with four quad 40mm AA mountings. Eventually twelve ships were converted with several losses near the end of the war to Kamikazes, the type being replaced in production by the more comprehensive conversion of the Augusta class cruisers.


Displacement 13,300 tons std 16,100 tons full load
Length 610 ft
Breadth 62 ft (80 ft over flightdeck and sponsons)
Draught 23 ft
Machinery 4 shaft steam turbines 100,000shp
Speed 32 knots
Range 10,000 miles at 15 knots
Armour 5" Belt, 2" Deck
Armament 32 x 40mm (4x4 8x2)

6 x 20mm (6x1)

Aircraft 34 (standard complement)
Torpedoes nil
Complement 1100
Notes CUS Ulysses S Grant


The photos show the narrow cruiser hull with the wide flightdeck built over it with large support beams extending out from the hull.


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