The CASABLANCA - class was the largest class of Escort Aircraft Carriers ever built and consisted of 50 ships which were built by Kaiser Shipbuilding in Vancouver, Washington. This class was a classic example of the United States' economic potential during WW II because all 50 ships were laid down, launched and commissioned within one year.
The nickname "Jeep Carriers" for these small aircraft carriers did not refer to their size but to the high frequency of their construction. It only took between 3 1/2 and 8 months to complete one carrier.
Ships of this class were equipped with a wooden flight deck, one catapult and two aircraft elevators.
In contrast to the US Navy's previous escort carrier classes, none of the CASABLANCA - class carriers was given to the Royal Navy during the war.
Most of the ships were decommissioned after the war but some of them were re-activated for duty during the Korean War. Manned by civilian crews of the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) they were used to transport planes across the Pacific.
|General Characteristics - Casablanca class|
|Builder:||Kaiser Shipbuilding Corporation, Vancouver, Wash.|
|Power Plant:||uniflow engines, four boilers, 9,000 Horsepower|
|Length:||512.5 feet (156.2 meters)|
|Beam:||65 feet (19.9 meters)|
|Draft:||22.6 feet (6.9 meters)|
|Displacement:||approx. 10,400 tons full load; light displacement: 7,800 tons|
|Range:||7,200 nautical miles @ 19 knots or 10,200 nautical miles @ 15 knots|
|Armament:||one 5-inch L/38 gun, 16 40mm, 20 20mm|
|Date deployed:||November 3, 1942 (USS Casablanca)|