Ships of the
United States Navy
Ships grouped alphabetically
Ships grouped by type

Aircraft carriers are warships that act as airbases for carrier-based aircraft. In the United States Navy, these consist of ships commissioned with hull classification symbols CV (aircraft carrier), CVA (attack aircraft carrier), CVB (large aircraft carrier), CVL (light aircraft carrier), CVN (aircraft carrier (nuclear propulsion)). Beginning with the Forrestal-class, (CV-59 to present) all carriers commissioned into service are classified as supercarriers.

The United States Navy has also used escort aircraft carriers (CVE) and airship aircraft carriers (ZRS). In addition, various amphibious warfare ships (LHA, LHD, LPH, and to a lesser degree LPD and LSD classes) can operate as carriers. All of these classes of ships have their own lists and so are not included here.

The first aircraft carrier commissioned into the United States Navy was USS Langley (CV-1) on 20 March 1922. The Langley was a converted Proteus-class collier (originally commissioned as USS Jupiter (AC-3),[1] Langley was soon followed by the Lexington-class, USS Ranger (the first purpose-built carrier in the American fleet), the Yorktown-class, and USS Wasp. These classes made up the entirety of the United States carrier fleet active prior to the Second World War.[2]

With World War II looming, two more classes of carriers were commissioned under President Franklin Roosevelt: the Essex-class, which are informally divided into regular bow and extended bow sub-classes, and the Independence-class, which are classified as light aircraft carriers.[3] Between these two classes, 35 ships were completed.[4] During this time, the Navy also purchased two training vessels, USS Wolverine and USS Sable, which were given the unclassified miscellaneous (IX) hull designation.[5][6]

The Cold War led to multiple developments in the United States' carrier fleet, starting with the addition of the Midway-class and the Saipan-class.[7] One more class in the start of the Cold War, the United States-class, was canceled due to the Truman administration's policy of shrinking the United States Navy and in particular, the Navy's air assets. The policy was eventually revised after a public outcry and Congressional hearings sparked by the Revolt of the Admirals.[8]

Later in the Cold War era, the first of the classes dubbed "supercarriers" was born, starting with the Forrestal-class,[9] followed by the Kitty Hawk-class; Enterprise (CVN-65), the first nuclear powered carrier; and John F. Kennedy (CV-67), the last conventionally powered carrier. These were then followed by the Nimitz-class and the modern day post-cold war Gerald R. Ford-class nuclear supercarriers, the only two classes of supercarriers that are currently in active-duty service.[10] With the ten-ship Nimitz-class complete by 2009, October 2013 saw the launch of Gerald R. Ford, lead ship of the planned ten-ship Gerald R. Ford-class. This was followed by the launch of John F. Kennedy in October 2019, while construction is underway on Enterprise (CVN-80) and Doris Miller.[15]

List

Keys
List of aircraft carriers of the United States Navy
Hull no. Name Image Class Commissioned Decommissioned Service life Status Ref.
CV-1 Langley
USS Langley (CV-1) underway in June 1927 (520809).jpg
Langley (lead ship) 20 March 1922 27 February 1942 19 years, 344 days Sunk near Cilacap, Java in 1942 [16][17][18]
CV-2 Lexington
USS Lexington (CV-2) leaving San Diego on 14 October 1941 (80-G-416362).jpg
Lexington (lead ship) 14 December 1927 8 May 1942 14 years, 145 days Sunk in the Battle of the Coral Sea in 1942 [18][19]
CV-3 Saratoga
USS Saratoga (CV-3) landing planes on 6 June 1935 (80-G-651292).jpg
Lexington 16 November 1927 26 July 1946 18 years, 254 days Sunk as target ship near Bikini Atoll during Operation Crossroads in 1946 [18][20]
CV-4 Ranger
USS Ranger (CV-4) underway at sea during the later 1930s.jpg
Ranger (lead ship) 4 June 1934 18 October 1946 12 years, 136 days Scrapped in 1947 [21]
CV-5 Yorktown
USS Yorktown (CV-5) Jul1937.jpg
Yorktown (lead ship) 30 September 1937 7 June 1942 4 years, 250 days Sunk in the Battle of Midway in 1942 [22]
CV-6 Enterprise
USS Enterprise (CV-6) in Puget Sound, September 1945.jpg
Yorktown 12 May 1938 17 February 1947 8 years, 281 days Scrapped in 1960 [23]
CV-7 Wasp
USS Wasp (CV-7) entering Hampton Roads on 26 May 1942.jpg
Wasp (lead ship) 25 April 1940 15 September 1942 2 years, 143 days Sunk during the Guadalcanal campaign in 1942 [24]
CV-8 Hornet
Aft view of USS Hornet (CV-8), circa in late 1941 (NH 81313).jpg
Yorktown 20 October 1941 27 October 1942 1 year, 7 days Sunk in the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands in 1942 [25][26]
CV-9 Essex
USS Essex (CV-9) in Hampton Roads on 1 February 1943 (NNAM.1996.488.242.078).jpg
Essex (lead ship) 31 December 1942 20 June 1969 26 years, 171 days Scrapped in 1975 [27]
CV-10 Yorktown
USS Yorktown (CVS-10) underway at sea on 10 March 1963.jpg
Essex 15 April 1943 27 June 1970 27 years, 73 days Preserved at the Patriot's Point Naval & Maritime MuseumMount Pleasant, South Carolina, USA [28]
CV-11 Intrepid
USS Intrepid (CV-11) operating in the Philippine Sea in November 1944 (NH 97468).jpg
Essex 16 August 1943 15 March 1974 30 years, 211 days Preserved at the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space MuseumNew York City, New York, USA [29]
CV-12 Hornet
USS Hornet (CVS-12) underway in the Gulf of Tonkin on 5 September 1967.jpg
Essex 29 November 1943 26 May 1970 26 years, 187 days Preserved at USS Hornet MuseumAlameda, California, USA [30]
CV-13 Franklin
USS Franklin (CV-13) approaching New York, April 1945.jpg
Essex 31 January 1944 17 February 1947 2 years, 351 days Scrapped in 1966 [31]
CV-14 Ticonderoga
USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14) refueling from USS Ashtabula (AO-51) off Vietnam c1966.jpg
Essex (extended bow) 8 May 1944 1 September 1973 29 years, 116 days Scrapped in 1975 [32]
CV-15 Randolph
USS Randolph (CVS-15) underway on 25 October 1959 (USN 1059601).jpg
Essex (extended bow) 9 October 1944 13 February 1969 24 years, 127 days Scrapped in 1975 [33]
CV-16 Lexington
USS Lexington (CVS-16) underway in the 1960s.JPEG
Essex 17 February 1943 8 November 1991 48 years, 264 days Preserved at USS Lexington Museum on the BayCorpus Christi, Texas, USA [34]
CV-17 Bunker Hill
USS Bunker Hill (CV-17) at sea in 1945 (NH 42373).jpg
Essex 25 May 1943 9 July 1947 4 years, 45 days Scrapped in 1973 [35][36][37]
CV-18 Wasp
USS Wasp (CVS-18) underway at sea, circa in early 1967 (NH 97509).jpg
Essex 24 November 1943 1 July 1972 28 years, 220 days Scrapped in 1973 [38]
CV-19 Hancock
USS Hancock (CVA-19) off Pearl Harbor 1968.jpg
Essex (extended bow) 15 April 1944 30 January 1976 31 years, 290 days Scrapped in 1976 [39]
CV-20 Bennington
USS Bennington (CVS-20) underway at sea on 5 March 1965 (NH 97581).jpg
Essex 6 August 1944 15 January 1970 25 years, 162 days Scrapped in 1994 [40]
CV-21 Boxer
USS Boxer (CVA-21) underway off Korea in July 1953.jpg
Essex (extended bow) 16 April 1945 1 December 1969 24 years, 229 days Scrapped in 1971 [41]
CVL-22 Independence
USS Independence (CVL-22) in San Francisco Bay on 15 July 1943 (80-G-74436).jpg
Independence (lead ship) 14 January 1943 28 August 1946 3 years, 226 days Sunk as target ship near the Farallon Islands in 1951 [42]
CVL-23 Princeton
USS Princeton (CVL-23) underway in Puget Sound on 3 January 1944 (NH 95651).jpg
Independence 25 February 1943 24 October 1944 1 year, 242 days Sunk in the Battle of Leyte Gulf in 1944 [14]
CVL-24 Belleau Wood
USS Belleau Wood (CVL-24) underway on 22 December 1943 (NH 97269).jpg
Independence 31 March 1943 13 January 1947 3 years, 288 days Scrapped in 1960 [14]
CVL-25 Cowpens
USS Cowpens (CVL-25) underway at sea in 1945 (80-G-468977).jpg
Independence 28 May 1943 13 January 1947 3 years, 230 days Scrapped in 1960 [14]
CVL-26 Monterey
USS Monterey (CVL-26) at anchor in Ulithi Atoll on 24 November 1944.jpg
Independence 17 June 1943 16 January 1956 12 years, 213 days Scrapped in 1971 [14]
CVL-27 Langley
USS Langley (CVL-27) underway off Cape Henry on 6 October 1943 (80-G-87113).jpg
Independence 31 August 1943 11 February 1947 3 years, 164 days Scrapped in 1964 [14]
CVL-28 Cabot
USS Cabot (CVL-28).jpg
Independence 24 July 1943 21 January 1955 11 years, 181 days Scrapped in 2002 [14]
CVL-29 Bataan
USS Bataan (CVL-29) underway at sea in January 1952.jpg
Independence 17 November 1943 9 April 1954 10 years, 143 days Scrapped in 1961 [43]
CVL-30 San Jacinto
USS San Jacinto (CVL-30) underway at sea on 23 January 1944 (80-G-212799).jpg
Independence 15 December 1943 1 March 1947 3 years, 76 days Scrapped in 1972 [14]
CV-31 Bon Homme Richard
USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) underway at sea c1965.jpg
Essex 26 November 1944 2 July 1971 26 years, 218 days Scrapped in 1992 [44]
CV-32 Leyte
USS Leyte (CV-32) with F9Fs.jpg
Essex (extended bow) 11 April 1946 15 May 1959 13 years, 34 days Scrapped in 1970 [14]
CV-33 Kearsarge
USS Kearsarge (CVA-33) underway c1957.jpeg
Essex (extended bow) 2 May 1946 15 January 1970 23 years, 258 days Scrapped in 1974 [45]
CV-34 Oriskany
USS Oriskany (CVA-34) near Midway Atoll 1967.jpg
Essex (extended bow) 25 September 1950 20 September 1979 28 years, 360 days Scuttled as artificial reef in the Gulf of Mexico in 2006 [14]
CV-35 Reprisal
CV-35 Reprisal.jpg
Essex (extended bow) Cancelled during construction. Scrapped in 1949 [46]
CV-36 Antietam
USS Antietam (CVS-36) operating training aircraft on 19 April 1961 (KN-4834).jpg
Essex (extended bow) 28 January 1945 8 May 1963 18 years, 100 days Scrapped in 1974 [47]
CV-37 Princeton
USS Princeton (LPH-5) underway at sea, circa 1965 (NNAM.1996.488.060.030).jpg
Essex (extended bow) 18 November 1945 30 January 1970 24 years, 73 days Scrapped in 1971 [citation needed]
CV-38 Shangri-La
USS Shangri-La (CV-38) underway in the Pacific Ocean, 17 August 1946 (80-G-278827).jpg
Essex (extended bow) 15 September 1944 30 July 1971 26 years, 318 days Scrapped in 1988 [48]
CV-39 Lake Champlain
USS Lake Champlain (CVS-39) underway in February 1965 (USN 1114106).jpg
Essex (extended bow) 3 July 1945 2 May 1966 20 years, 303 days Scrapped in 1972 [citation needed]
CV-40 Tarawa
USS Tarawa (CVA-40) underway at sea on 18 December 1952.jpg
Essex (extended bow) 8 December 1945 13 May 1960 14 years, 157 days Scrapped in 1968 [citation needed]
CVB-41 Midway
USS Midway (CVA-41) after SCB-110 modernization in 1958.jpg
Midway (lead ship) 10 September 1945 11 April 1992 46 years, 214 days Preserved at the USS Midway MuseumSan Diego, California, USA [49]
CVB-42 Franklin D. Roosevelt
USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA-42) Sep 1967.jpeg
Midway 27 October 1945 1 October 1977 31 years, 339 days Scrapped in 1978 [50]
CVB-43 Coral Sea
USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) underway in the Pacific Ocean, circa in 1972 (NNAM.1996.488.120.058).jpg
Midway 1 October 1947 26 April 1990 42 years, 207 days Scrapped in 2000 [51]
CV-44 No name assigned (no image available) Midway Cancelled before construction began. [52]
CV-45 Valley Forge
USS Valley Forge (LPH-8) underway in the Pacific Ocean, circa 1962-63 (NH 96946).jpg
Essex (extended bow) 3 November 1946 15 January 1970 23 years, 73 days Scrapped in 1971 [citation needed]
CV-46 Iwo Jima
CV-46 Iwo Jima.jpg
Essex (extended bow) Cancelled during construction. Scrapped in 1949 [53]
CV-47 Philippine Sea
USS Philippine Sea (CVA-47) underway off Korea on 3 May 1953 (80-G-629442).jpg
Essex (extended bow) 11 May 1946 28 December 1958 12 years, 231 days Scrapped in 1971 [citation needed]
CVL-48 Saipan
USS Saipan (CVL-48) underway c1955.jpg
Saipan (lead ship) 14 July 1946 14 January 1970 23 years, 184 days Scrapped in 1976 [citation needed]
CVL-49 Wright
USS Wright (CVL-49) underway in the early 1950s.jpg
Saipan 9 February 1947 15 March 1956 9 years, 35 days Scrapped in 1980 [14]
CV-50 – CV-55 No names assigned (no images available) Essex These hulls were all cancelled before construction began. [52]
CVB-56, CVB-57 Midway
CVA-58 United States
Artist
United States (lead ship) Cancelled during construction. Scrapped on slip in 1949 [54]
CV-59 Forrestal
USS Forrestal (CVA-59) underway at sea in 1957.jpg
Forrestal (lead ship) 1 October 1955 30 September 1993 37 years, 364 days Scrapped in 2015 [55]

[56] [57]

CV-60 Saratoga
USS Saratoga (CV-60) underway in the Adriatic Sea on 29 July 1992 (6480624).jpg
Forrestal 14 April 1956 20 August 1994 38 years, 128 days Scrapped in 2019 [58]
CV-61 Ranger
USS Ranger (CV-61) departing San Diego, in February 1987 (NH 97689-KN).jpg
Forrestal 10 August 1957 10 July 1993 35 years, 334 days Scrapped in 2017 [59]
CV-62 Independence
USS Independence (CV-62) at sea during the later 1980s or early 1990s (NH 97715).jpg
Forrestal 10 January 1959 30 September 1998 39 years, 263 days Scrapped in 2019 [60]
CV-63 Kitty Hawk
US Navy 050517-N-0120R-127 The conventionally powered aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) sails past a small group of Japanese fishing vessels and heads toward Sagami Bay.jpg
Kitty Hawk (lead ship) 29 April 1961 12 May 2009 48 years, 13 days Undergoing scrapping [61][62]

[63] [64]

CV-64 Constellation
USS Constellation (CV-64) off Perth, Australia, on 29 April 2003.jpg
Kitty Hawk 27 October 1961 7 August 2003 41 years, 284 days Scrapped in 2017 [65]
CVN-65 Enterprise
USS Enterprise (CVN-65) underway in the Atlantic Ocean on 14 June 2004 (040614-N-0119G-020).jpg
Enterprise (lead ship) 25 November 1961 3 February 2017 55 years, 70 days Struck, to be scrapped [66]
CV-66 America
USS America (CV-66) underway in the Indian Ocean on 24 April 1983.jpg
Kitty Hawk 23 January 1965 9 August 1996 31 years, 199 days Sunk as target ship in the Atlantic Ocean in 2005 [67]
CV-67 John F. Kennedy
USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) departs Naval Station Mayport on 11 November 2003.jpg
John F. Kennedy (lead ship) 7 September 1968 23 March 2007 38 years, 197 days Sold for scrap in 2021 [68]

[64]

CVN-68 Nimitz
USS Nimitz (CVN-68).jpg
Nimitz (lead ship) 3 May 1975 47 years, 168 days Stationed at Naval Base Kitsap, Bremerton, Washington [69]
CVN-69 Dwight D. Eisenhower
US Navy 060617-N-0490C-010 The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) conducts a turn in the Atlantic Ocean. Eisenhower is underway conducting routine carrier operations.jpg
Nimitz 18 October 1977 45 years, 0 days Stationed at Naval Station Norfolk, Norfolk, Virginia [70]
CVN-70 Carl Vinson
USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) underway in the Pacific Ocean on 31 May 2015.JPG
Nimitz 13 March 1982 40 years, 219 days Stationed at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, California [71]

[72]

CVN-71 Theodore Roosevelt
200125-N-LH674-1073 USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71).jpg
Nimitz 25 October 1986 35 years, 358 days Stationed at Naval Base Kitsap, Bremerton, Washington [73]

[74]

CVN-72 Abraham Lincoln
USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) underway in the Atlantic Ocean on 30 January 2019 (190130-N-PW716-1312).JPG
Nimitz 11 November 1989 32 years, 341 days Stationed at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, California [75]
CVN-73 George Washington
US Navy 101206-N-5538K-395 The aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 76) transits the East China Sea.jpg
Nimitz 4 July 1992 30 years, 106 days Stationed at Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia [76]
CVN-74 John C. Stennis
USS John C. Stennis, 2007May11.jpg
Nimitz 9 December 1995 26 years, 313 days Stationed at Naval Station Norfolk, Norfolk, Virginia [77]
CVN-75 Harry S. Truman
USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) underway in the Atlantic Ocean on 11 September 2018 (180911-N-EA818-2106).JPG
Nimitz 25 July 1998 24 years, 85 days Stationed at Naval Station Norfolk, Norfolk, Virginia [78]
CVN-76 Ronald Reagan
USSRONALDREAGANgoodshot.jpg
Nimitz 12 July 2003 19 years, 98 days Stationed at Yokosuka Naval Base, Yokosuka, Japan [79]
CVN-77 George H.W. Bush
US Navy 110129-N-3885H-158 USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) is underway in the Atlantic Ocean.jpg
Nimitz 10 January 2009 13 years, 281 days Stationed at Naval Station Norfolk, Norfolk, Virginia [80]
CVN-78 Gerald R. Ford
USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) underway on 8 April 2017.JPG
Gerald R. Ford (lead ship) 22 July 2017 5 years, 88 days Stationed at Naval Station Norfolk, Norfolk, Virginia [81][82]
CVN-79 John F. Kennedy
Illustration of USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) (110623-N-ZZ999-203).jpg
Gerald R. Ford ~2024 Fitting out [11][83][84]
CVN-80 Enterprise
USS Enterprise (CVN-80) artist depiction.jpg
Gerald R. Ford ~2028 Under construction [11][85][12]
CVN-81 Doris Miller
Bow view of USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) underway on 8 April 2017.JPG
Gerald R. Ford ~2032 Under construction [11][86][87]
CVN-82 tba
Bow view of USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) underway on 8 April 2017.JPG
Gerald R. Ford ~2034 Ordered [11]

Training ships

During World War II, the United States Navy purchased two Great Lakes side-wheel paddle steamers and converted them into freshwater aircraft carrier training ships. Both vessels were designated with the hull classification symbol IX and lacked hangar decks, elevators or armaments. The role of these ships was for the training of pilots for carrier take-offs and landings.[88] Together the Sable and Wolverine trained 17,820 pilots in 116,000 carrier landings. Of these, 51,000 landings were on Sable.[89]

# Name Image Class Commissioned Decommissioned Service life Status Ref.
IX-64 Wolverine
USS Wolverine (IX-64) at anchor in Lake Michigan (USA) on 6 April 1943 (NH 43517).jpg
n/a
(converted side-wheel steamer)
12 August 1942 7 November 1945 3 years, 2 months and 26 days Scrapped in 1947 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States [13][14]
IX-81 Sable
USS Sable (IX-81) underway on Lake Michigan (USA) in 1944-45 (NNAM.2003.220.003).jpg
n/a
(converted side-wheel steamer)
8 May 1943 7 November 1945 2 years, 5 months and 30 days Scrapped in 1948 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada [13][14]

Aircraft carrier museums

See also

References

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Museum ships