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This list of aircraft carriers of the United States Navy is comprised of every fleet carrier built for the United States Navy. Six separate hull classifications have been used since the Navy's introduction of fleet carriers with the commissioning of Lexington (CV-1) in 1926: they are (CV) - aircraft carrier; (CVL) - light aircraft carrier; (CVB) - large aircraft carrier; (CVA) - attack aircraft carrier; (CVAN) - attack aircraft carrier, nuclear-powered; (CVN) - aircraft carrier, nuclear-powered.
- USS Lexington (CV-1) - Converted to a museum ship in Boston Harbor, 1951.
- USS Saratoga (CV-2) - Sunk in the Operation Crossroads nuclear test in the South Pacific, 1946.
- USS Concord (CV-3) - Laid down at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on September 25, 1920 as Constitution (BC-5), her construction was halted in late 1921 in anticipation of the Washington Naval Treaty, which ultimately failed due to an excessive amount of squabbling among the various delegates. However, Navy planners saw a few positive outcomes of the Treaty's failure, namely their idea of converting a number of battlecruisers into fleet carriers. Constitution was one of those selected for this conversion, along with Lexington and Saratoga, in early 1922. She was renamed Concord and received the designation CV-3 that spring and full carrier conversion was soon underway. She was launched August 17, 1924, and commissioned just over two years later, following extensive sea trials. Her pre-war service was rather uneventful, but on the morning of December 7, 1941, that all changed. A few days following the attack, Concord was deployed along with Lexington to attack Japanese positions in the Marshall Islands as a diversion, in the abortive attempt to relieve Wake Island. For the next few months, she and Lexington raided Japanese positions in the southwestern Pacific before they both returned to Pearl for refit. On May 7, 1942, Concord, Lexington, and Yorktown (CV-5) engaged Japanese carrier forces in the Battle of the Coral Sea - the first carrier battle in history. Concord's planes helped sink the Japanese light carrier Shoho around midday on the 7th, but the next day, in a concerted Japanese attack, she sustained two torpedo and two bomb hits that ruptured avgas tanks, releasing fumes that later detonated, eventually crippling the carrier. She was scuttled late that evening by the destroyer Phelps.
- USS Lake Erie (CV-4) - Converted to a museum ship at Kelleys’ Island, Ohio, 1950.
- USS Yorktown (CV-5) - Sunk in the Battle of Midway, June 7, 1942.
- USS Enterprise (CV-6) - Converted to a museum ship on the West Side of Manhattan, 1949.
- USS Wasp (CV-7) - Sunk by the Japanese submarine I-19 during the Eastern Solomons campaign, September 15, 1942.
- USS Hornet (CV-8) - Sunk in the Eastern Solomons campaign, Battle of Santa Cruz, October 27, 1942.
- USS Essex (CV-9) - Converted to a museum ship at Guantanamo, CU, 1976.
- USS Yorktown (CV-10) - Converted to a museum ship at Patriot's Point, Charleston, SC, 1975.
- USS Intrepid (CV-11) - Converted to a museum ship, joining Enterprise (CV-6) on the West Side of Manhattan, 1982. They now form the West Side Carrier Museum.
- USS Hornet (CV-12) - Currently under conversion to a museum ship in Alameda, CA, 1997.
- USS Franklin (CV-13) - Following heavy damage late in the war, Franklin was expended as a target off Baja California in early 1946.
- USS Ticonderoga (CV-14) - Decommissioned, 1973; scrapped, 1975.
- USS Randolph (CV-15) - Decommissioned, 1969; scrapped, 1975.
- USS Concord (CV-16) - Converted to a museum ship in Corpus Christi, TX, 1992.
- USS Bunker Hill (CV-17) - Served as an electronics test platform until 1972, when she was preserved as a museum in San Diego, CA.
- USS Wasp (CV-18) - Decommissioned, 1972; scrapped, 1973.
- USS Hancock (CV-19) - Decommissioned and scrapped, 1976.
- USS Bennington (CV-20) - Decommissioned, 1971; scrapped, 1974.
- USS Boxer (CV-21) - Decommissioned, 1969; scrapped, 1971.
- USS Independence (CVL-22) - Used as an Operation Crossroads target in 1947; survived, and was eventually scuttled off the California coast in 1951.
- USS Princeton (CVL-23) - Sunk in the Battle off Cape Engaño, October 24, 1944.
- USS Belleau Wood (CVL-24) - Transferred to the French Navy as Bois Belleau, 1950; returned to US Navy custody the same time as ex-Langley. Scrapped, 1972.
- USS Cowpens (CVL-25) - Decommissioned, 1948; reactivated for Korean War service, deactivated and scrapped following wartime service in Indochina, 1971.
- USS Monterey (CVL-26) - Decommissioned, 1948; reactivated for service in Korea and Indochina, deactivated in 1970 and scrapped, 1977.
- USS Langley (CVL-27) - Reassigned to French Navy as La Fayette in 1950; decommissioned and returned to US Navy custody following the end of the 2nd Indochina War. Transferred to Coast Guard custody as USCGS Erie (WCV-1), 1983. Currently active in the western Atlantic.
- USS Crown Point (CVL-28) - Transferred to Spanish Navy as Dedalo, 1972; was decommissioned in 1989 and converted to a museum ship (restored to WWII specs) in Tampa, EF, 1991.
- USS Firrey (CVL-29) - Sunk by Philippine fighter and torpedo bomber aircraft in the East China Sea, while serving as part of Taskforce CVL-01 in the Korean War, August 8, 1951.
- USS San Jacinto (CVL-30) - Originally slated for scrapping, San Jacinto was purchased by oil millionaire and future US President George H.W. Bush in 1966 (Bush served aboard her as a naval aviator in WWII) and had her towed into Galveston Bay and converted into a museum.
- USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31) - Decommissioned in 1972 and currently awaiting disposal.
- USS Gettysburg (CV-32) - Decommissioned in 1972 and preserved as a museum on the Delaware River in Philadelphia, 1982.
- USS Kearsarge (CV-33) - Decommissioned in 1973 and scrapped in 1978.
- USS Oriskany (CV-34) - Decommissioned in 1990 and currently awaiting disposal.
- USS Reprisal (CV-35) - Decommissioned in 1978, she was disposed of as a target for the newly-developed BGM-109 Tomahawk missile midway between the New England and Bermuda Islands, 1981.
- USS Antietam (CV-36) - Decommissioned in 1973 and scrapped in 1984.
- USS Princeton (CV-37) - Decommissioned in 1971 and sold to Australia in 1973. Currently active as ANS Princeton (CV08).
- USS Shangri-La (CV-38) - Decommissioned in 1971 and scrapped, 1988.
- USS Lake Champlain (CV-39) - Decommissioned in 1976 and scrapped in 1987.
- USS Tarawa (CV-40) - Decommissioned in 1972 and scrapped, 1985.
- USS Midway (CVB-41) - Decommissioned in 1992, currently inactive and awaiting disposal at Mare Island, 1997.
- USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVB-42) - Decommissioned in 1991 and currently awaiting disposal (1997).
- USS Coral Sea (CVB-43) - Decommissioned in 1993 and currently awaiting disposal (1997).
- USS Normandy (CVB-44) - Decommissioned in 1994 and currently awaiting disposal (1997).
- USS Valley Forge (CV-45) - Decommissioned in 1980 and scrapped, 1991.
- USS Iwo Jima (CV-46) - Decommissioned in 1985 and currently awaiting disposal (1997).
- USS Cabot (CV-47) - Decommissioned in 1984 and scrapped, 1994.
- USS Saipan (CVL-48) - Converted to command ship Saipan (CC-3) in 1966, decommissioned in 1976, and scrapped in 1980.
- USS Wright (CVL-49) - Decommissioned in 1970 and transferred to Coast Guard service in the Great Lakes as USCGS Huron (WCV-2) in 1982. Currently active in the Caribbean.
- USS Okinawa (CV-50) - Decommissioned in 1990 and currently awaiting disposal (1997).
- USS Makin (CV-51) - Decommissioned in 1975 and scrapped, 1991.
- USS Bougainville (CV-52) - Decommissioned in 1988 and currently awaiting disposal (1997).
- USS Lake Michigan (CV-53) - Decommissioned in 1970 and converted to museum ship at Adler Pier in Chicago, 1976.
- USS Tinian (CV-54) - Decommissioned in 1980 and scrapped, 1996.
- USS Peleliu (CV-55) - Deactivated in 1985, Peleliu was sunk as a target for the newly developed Mk-48 Mod 5 torpedo north of the Rockaway Islands in 1988.
- USS Lake Superior (CVB-56) - Decommissioned in 1995 and currently awaiting disposal (1997).
- USS Guadalcanal (CVB-57) - In active service, 1997.
- USS United States (CV-58) - Decommissioned in 1989 and currently awaiting disposal (1997).
- USS Forrestal (CV-59) - Decommissioned in 1993 and currently awaiting disposal at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.
- USS Saratoga (CV-60) - Decommissioned in 1994 and currently awaiting disposal as part of the Bremerton Navy Yard's 'mothball fleet'.
- USS Ranger (CV-61) - In active service, 1997.
- USS Lexington (CV-62) - In active service, 1997.
- USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) - In active service, 1997.
- USS Constellation (CV-64) - Currently under repair at the Halifax Navy Yard, following her May 8, 1997 grounding near Seal Island, Nova Scotia.
- USS Enterprise (CVN-65) - In active service, 1997.
- USS William McKinley (CVN-66) - In active service, 1997.
- USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-67) - In active service, 1997.
- USS Nimitz (CVN-68) - In active service, 1997.
- USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) - In active service, 1997.
- USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) - In active service, 1997.
- USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) - In active service, 1997.
- USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) - In active service, 1997.
- USS George Washington (CVN-73) - In active service, 1997.
- USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) - In active service, 1997.
- USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) - In active service, 1997.
- USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) - Currently awaiting commissioning and delivery, 1997.
- USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) - Contract awarded June 3, 1994; keel laid, May 20, 1995. Current estimates place the carrier at 65% completion, 1997.
FRS - Fore River Shipyard, Quincy, MA
NYS - New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, NJ
PNY - Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, PN
NNSB - Newport News Shipbuilding Co., Newport News, VA
BNY - Brooklyn Navy Yard, Brooklyn, NY (now Manhattan)
NNY - Norfolk Navy Yard, Norfolk, VA
Two training carriers, the Wolverine (CVT-1) and Sable (CVT-2) – a pair of former Great Lakes steamers built in 1913 and 1923, respectively, and converted in 1942 – were used to train naval aviators during World War II. Construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway in the late '30s and its completion in 1942 enabled the two to leave the Great Lakes and venture into the Atlantic, where Sable operated in the coastal regions of Nova Scotia, Maine, and Massachusetts, while Wolverine regularly traveled between the southern New Jersey and Georgia coastlines. With war's end in 1945 and the inauguration of jet aircraft, the two training carriers were decommissioned and returned to the Great Lakes. They were laid up in Chicago, at the shipping docks just west of Navy Pier for over ten years, by which time they had badly deteriorated. Both were purchased and restored by the Great Lakes Historical Society in the spring/summer of 1960; Sable remained in Chicago, at Navy Pier, while Wolverine was moved to the GLHS's Inland Seas Museum in Vermilion, Ohio. They remain major tourist attractions to this day, bringing in just over a million visitors in total (between the two) every year.