CSS Guantanamo Bay (CV-1918 (1928-mod))


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The advent of aircraft development and the early attempts to take them to sea fascinated the navies of the world. Those that had direct access to the Royal Navy's early trials with the Furious looked at their own building programs for suitable ships to follow the same practice with a trials ship. The 4th unit of the Georgia class was being procceded with slowly as the pace of the war built ships had outpaced the Georgia type. The CSN had already laid down four new ships in 1917 to combat those being built by other navies. These ships had received priority while the Guantanamo Bay languished in its fitting out yard about 75% complete. The Bureau of Design was asked for a quick and dirty conversion design so that the CSN could undertake its own trials with aircraft at sea.

With little regard for ascetics the design just mounted a flying off and landing deck straight over the top of the 3rd level of the superstructure that was in place. The funnel was made almost twice the size and mounted on the extreme side of the ship with the exhaust gasses trunked to it. The 6" guns were kept with 6 of the mountings being retained in the superstructure. This quick conversion work was completed in 1918 and for the next seven years the Guantanamo Bay trialled all sorts of new equipment for the Navy. These advances were incorporated into the following Wake Island class ships. In 1925 the Guantanamo Bay was taken in hand for full conversion to an Aircraft Carrier.

The ship emerged from this rebuilding as a fully fledged aircraft carrier, with a catapult forward, two full size elevators for transferring aircraft from the two levels of hangars to the flight deck.


Displacement 32,000 tons std 37,400 tons full load
Length 747 ft orig  (780 ft as rebuilt)
Breadth 97 ft (110 ft flight deck)
Draught 31 ft
Machinery 4 shaft steam turbines, 90,000shp original

4 shaft steam turbines 130,000shp as rebuilt

Speed 28 knots orig (30 knots as rebuilt)
Range 8000 miles at 15 knots (3,250 nm at 26 knots)
Armour 3" side, 3" deck 1.5" FD
Armament 1918

12 x 6" (12x1)

4 x 3" AA (4x1)



12 x 5.1" (12x1)

32 x 1.1" (8x4)

8 x 20mm (8x1)

Aircraft 80
Complement 2150
Notes CSS Guantanamo Bay



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