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USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CV 42)

- formerly CORAL SEA -
- formerly CVB 42, CVA 42 -
- decommissioned -

USS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT was the second MIDWAY - class aircraft carrier and the first ship in the Navy named after President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Initially, the carrier was launched as CORAL SEA but was renamed FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT on May 8, 1945, following the death of the US President. During her active service, the FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT achieved several historical milestones: In 1945 she was the platform for the first fleet use of helicopters; in 1949 she became the first US aircraft carrier to have the fresnel lens landing system and she was the first carrier in the Navy to win three Admiral J. H. Flatley awards for aviation safety.

Commissioned as CVB 42, the FDR was redesignated as attack aircraft carrier CVA 42 on October 1, 1952, and multi-purpose aircraft carrier CV 42 on June 30, 1975. Decommissioned on September 30, 1977, and stricken from the Navy List the following day, the FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT was sold by the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS) for scrapping on April 1, 1978. The carrier was last homeported in Mayport, Fla.

General Characteristics:Awarded: 1943
Keel laid: December 1, 1943
Launched: March 29, 1945
Commissioned: October 27, 1945
Decommissioned: April 23, 1954
Recommissioned: April 6, 1956
Decommissioned: September 30, 1977
Builder: New York Naval Shipyard , Brooklyn, N.Y.
Propulsion system: 12 boilers
Propellers: four
Aircraft elevators: three
Arresting gear cables: four
Catapults: two
Length: 997,4 feet (304 meters)
Flight Deck Width: 237,9 feet (72.5 meters)
Beam: 121 feet (36.9 meters)
Draft: 38,1 feet (11.8 meters)
Displacement: approx. 64,000 tons full load
Speed: 30+ knots
Planes: approx. 80 planes
Crew: Ship: approx. 2,533     Air Wing: 2,240
Armament: see down below

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Crew List:

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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About the different armament:

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May 15, 1957off east coast of FloridaUSS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT reportedly hits a submerged object. The object is not thought to be a submarine. The Navy later denies that the carrier hit an object, claiming instead that a propeller had broken.
June 19, 1957off Jacksonville, Fla.A high-pressure steam line explodes aboard USS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT killing two and injuring five.
October 4, 1959off VirginiaUSS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT collides with the USS PAWCATUCK (AO 108) during refueling. Both ship are slightly damaged.
October 21, 1961AtlanticAn F8U assigned to VF-11 slides across the deck after breaking a wheel and catching fire on landing. The pilot safely ejects as the jet hurtles off the angled deck. The pilot is recovered with only minor injuries.
September 29, 1964MediterraneanUSS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT sustains damage to its number 1 propeller during normal operations in the Med. The USS INDEPENDENCE (CV 62) relieves the FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT on duty and the FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT returns to the United States to drydock at Bayonne, NJ. Repairs are conducted October 13-22, 1964.On October 23, 1964, the carrier is getting underway for Cannes, France, again, arriving there on November 2 to complete the Mediterran Cruise.
September 4, 1965eastern MediterraneanUSS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT suffers several electrical fires injuring a total of six sailors.
October 12, 1965off southern FranceUSS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT and the French merchantman CHARLES LE BORGNE collide off southern France. The ROOSEVELT sustains little damage and continues its participation in "Lafayette IX", a two-day bilateral US-French exercise in the western Med. The merchantman sustains minor structural damage and proceeds under its own power to Marseilles, France, escorted by the USS DOUGLAS H. FOX (DD 779).
November 4, 1966South China SeaA flash fire occures in a storage compartment containing oil and hydraulic fluid four decks below the hangar deck of the USS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT while the ship is on station in the South China Sea, killing seven.
February 23, 1973Mayport, Fla.USS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT suffers minor damage from a brief fire in the hangar deck while the ship is undergoing a restricted availability in Mayport, Fla.
January 12, 1977Strait of MessinaUSS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT collides with the Liberian freighter OCEANUS as the carrier proceeds south through the Strait of Messina. Both ships are able to proceed to port under their own power.

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FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT (CVB 42) was launched 29 April 1945 by New York Naval Shipyard as CORAL SEA (CVB 42); sponsored by Mrs. John H. Towers, wife of the Deputy Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet; renamed FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT 8 May 1945 following the death of the President; and commissioned 27 October 1945 Captain A. Soucek in command. She was reclassified CVA 42 on 1 October 1952.

During her shakedown cruise, USS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT called at Rio de Janeiro 1 to 11 February 1946 to represent the United States at the inauguration of the Brazilian president, Eurico G. Dutra, who came aboard for a short cruise. Fleet maneuvers and other training operations in the Caribbean preceded her first deployment to the Mediterranean, from 8 August to 4 October during which she was a part of a U.S. Navy force which visited Athens to bolster the government of Greece during its successful fight against the Communist. She received thousands of visitors during her calls to many Mediterranean ports, giving Europeans an opportunity to view this impressive addition to America's seapower for peace.

On 21 July 1946, Lt. Cmdr. James Davidson, flying the McDonnell XFD-1 Phantom, made a series of successful landings and take-offs aboard USS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT in the first U.S. test of the adaptability of jet aircraft to shipboard operations. In November, Lt. Col. Marion E. Carl, USMC, flying a jet propelled P-80A made two catapult launches, four free take-offs, and five arrested landings aboard USS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT as part of continuing tests into the carrier suitability of the aircraft.

USS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT operated off the east coast until July 1947 when she entered Norfolk Naval Ship Yard for a prolonged overhaul, during which she received improvements to her equipment and facilities. On 13 September 1948, the carrier sailed from Norfolk for a second tour of duty with the Mediterranean forces, from which she returned 23 January 1949.

In a demonstration of carrier long-range attack capabilities, a P2V-3C Neptune, with Cmdr. Thomas Robinson in command, took off from USS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT off Jacksonville, Fla., and flew over Charleston, S.C., the Bahamas, the Panama Canal, up the coast of Central America and over Mexico to land the next day at San Francisco Municipal Airport. The flight, which covered 5,060 miles in 25 hours 59 minutes, was the longest ever made from the deck of a carrier.

During the next few years, USS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT took part in intensive operations off the Virginia Capes, along the east coast, and in the Caribbean, and made four tours of duty in the Mediterranean. Assigned to extensive conversion at Puget Sound Naval Ship Yard, the carrier sailed from Norfolk 7 January 1954. Too large to pass through the Panama Canal, she rounded Cape Horn, and arrived at the shipyard 5 March. She was decommissioned there 23 April 1954.

In February 1957, the recommissioned USS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT sailed to the Gulf of Maine for cold weather tests of catapults, aircraft, and other carrier equipment, including the Regulus guided missile. In July, she sailed for the first of three post-conversion cruises to the Mediterranean completed through 1960. Her assignments in the Mediterranean added NATO exercises to her normal schedule of major fleet operations, and found her each year entertaining a distinguished list of guests.

USS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT supported the transport USS KLIENSMITH (APD 134) in the evacuation of 56 U.S. citizens and three foreign nationals from Nicara, Cuba, 24 October 1958, as the Cuban revolution came to a climax.

On 6 March 1965, a Sikorsky SH-3A Sea King helicopter, piloted by Cmdr. James R. Williford, took off from USS HORNET (CVS 12) berthed at North Island Naval Air Station, San Diego, and landed 15 hours and 51 minutes later on the deck of USS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT at sea off Mayport, Fla. The flight surpassed the existing distance for helicopters by more than 700 miles.

A new, major development in carrier fire prevention occured on 26 May 1969 when USS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT put to sea from the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Va., after an 11-month overhaul which included installation of a deck edge spray system using the new seawater compatible fire-fighting chemical, Light Water.

Continuing to serve, USS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, along with USS INDEPENDENCE (CV 62) and USS GUADALCANAL (LPH 7) stood by for possible evacuation contingencies during the Yom Kippur War between Israeli and Arab forces during October 1973.

Another first was racked up by USS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT when, on 4 October 1976, the first overseas operational commitment on a carrier for the AV-8A Harrier began when VMA-231 embarked aboard for a Sixth Fleet deployment. On 13 January 1977, two other Harriers made bow-on approaches and landing aboard the carrier, marking the first time a fixed wing aircraft had made a bow-on, downwind landing aboard a carrier at sea.

USS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT was decommissioned 30 September 1977, and stricken from the Navy List the following day. She was sold by the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS) for scrapping on 1 April 1978.

Click here to get a view of the deployments of USS FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT

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MED 1977MED 1972 CommMED 1977 - Final Cruise

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