CUS Washington (AC-1910 (CV-1926))


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First large CUS warships to be fitted with turbine machinery, they were initially classed as Armoured Cruisers till 1912 when they were re-rated as Battlecruisers. When the four remaining ships of the class (two were lost in WW1) were made excess by the new Geneva Arms Limitation Treaty, two were sold (to Venezuela, (BAV Caracas) and the other two were converted to other duties. The other duties were to be the fleet training aircraft carriers for the East and West coasts. Features from the Langley, Hermes, Eagle and the other aircraft cariers then under construction or being converted were used to convert the Washington and New York. Those names were chosen for those ships as the Washington class Armoured Cruisers were for 4 years the biggest and fastest ships in the CUA Navy, and by rights 'cruisers' are named after cities while battleships are named after states, these two ships used names that were both cities and states.

The two conversions proved extremely useful in service and the CUA Navy was sorry that they had sold the other pair of ships overseas. But the aircraft carrier was an unknown quantity and to put too many resources towards them prior to the type being proved could have been expensive failures. They were not and the rest is history. All of the later Admirals of the carrier fleets would have done their deck landing training on one of these ships. With the completion of the two Andrew Jackson class ships in 1936, the chance was taken to put both ships through a refurbishment program to bring them up to date. Even 20 odd year old aircraft carriers were worth spending money on.

New high speed elevators were fitted and the aft one was covered in providing some extra maintenance space and accomodation. The 4" guns were refitted onto dual-purpose mountings, the old 3" AA being removed and replaced with 40mm and 20mm mountings. During the war the Washington operated on the West Coast from Seattle down to the Los Angeles area of CSA and escorting ships and convoys to Honolulu. The New York operating up and down the East coast from New York, while at times was used as extra cover for a high value convoy. At all times these valuable ships had 3-6 escorts assigned to them. These escorts were also part of the training process and were swapped in and out reguarly on each ships 'graduation'.


Displacement 15,800 tons std 18,400 tons full load
Length 617 ft (583 ft as AC)
Breadth 76 ft
Draught 26 ft
Machinery 2 shaft steam turbines 45,000shp
Speed 25 knots
Range 8,000 miles at 12 knots
Armour 7" side armour, 2" deck armour
Armament As Armoured Cruiser

12 x 10" (6x2)

8 x 4" (8x1)

2 x 3" AA (2x1) 1917

10 x 0.5" mg (10x1)

As Converted

8 x 4" (8x1)

2 x 3" AA (2x1)



1938 refit

8 x 4" (8x1)

4 x 40mm (2x2)

18 x 20mm (18x1)


Aircraft nil 15-20 18-22
Torpedoes nil
Complement 1015
Notes CUS Washington




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