By the time the U.S. Navy commissioned its first aircraft carrier on March 20th, 1922, it had been actively seeking to leverage air power for more than 20 years.
In the ensuing years, aviation found many supporters in uniform, and in industry.
These men became enthusiastic about the potential of airplanes as fleet Scouts and by 1909 many Naval officers, including a bureau chief urged the purchase of aircraft In the early 1910s.
The Navy experimented with takeoffs and landings from ships and sent the first Naval officer to flight training, which eventually led to the first successful catapult launch of an airplane from a ship.
When the U.S. entered World War I, the fledgling Naval air force was too poorly equipped to effectively wage war.
However, the Naval reserve flying core produced thousands of aviators, ground officers, mechanics, and technical specialists, aircraft of many types entered production. And in the end, Naval aviation achieved a good wartime record.
These successes propelled Naval aviation forward and on, the Naval appropriations act for the fiscal year 1920 was passed and included the conversion of the fuel Jupiter into a ship, Jupiter, into an aircraft carrier among other provisions.
Four months later, the bureau of construction and repair issued specifications that included an unobstructed flying on and flying off deck stoic base for aircraft facilities for repair of aircraft and provisions for catapults to be fitted on both forward and AFT ends of them flying off the deck
In 1922, Lieutenant Virgil Griffin successfully completed the Navy’s first carrier takeoff on October 17th, 1922.
Nine days later on October 26th, Lieutenant commander Godfrey Chevalier made the first landing onboard the carrier while she steamed off Cape Reed, Virginia On November 17th, 1924, after more than two years of experimentation.
Langley reported to the battle fleet as the first operational aircraft carrier in the U.S. Navy Aircraft carriers, Lexington and Saratoga built on incomplete Battle Cruiser Haus soon followed, and the fleet began and integrating Naval aviation using a series of fleet problem exercises to test various capabilities.
On September 26th, 1932, the keel was laid for the future USS Ranger, the first U.S. Navy ship designed and built from the keel up as an aircraft carrier.
She was commissioned a little less than two years later on June 4th, 1934 In the years leading up to December 7th, 1941 and World War II.
Naval aviation focused on improving existing technology and developing practical skills in the cockpit and on the flight deck Among other technological advances, aircraft were equipped with stronger landing gear and designed with folding wings.
These and other advances drove improvements to the ships from which they flew, including hydro arresting gear and catapults, as well as the addition of equipment to enable night and instrument flight
Aircraft carriers, Yorktown Enterprise Wasp, and Hornet joined the fleet. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, there were just eight aircraft carriers in the inventory and it would be more than a year before the ninth.
USS Essex has commissioned Air operations in the Atlantic consisted mainly of blockading and campaigns to protect convoys. With the Pacific fleet battleship force in taters Naval aviation carried the fight to the enemy.
Just five months after the Pearl Harbor attack, a daring raid conducted from the flight deck of USS Hornet sent a massive U.S. Army B-25 bomber on a one-way mission to bomb the Japanese mainland.
At the Battle of the Coral Sea, the opponents engaged each other entirely in the air without citing enemy ships for the first time in Naval history.
Later, radar pierced the night giving the fleet new eyes as technology improved defense and added power to offense. Alongside the fleet of allied nations, American Naval air power drove the Japanese from strategically located bases and placed the allies in a position to launch the final air and amphibious offenses.
Although World War II contributed significantly to the development of aviation. It also proved that neither armies nor navies could achieve objectives in war without first achieving air superiority and air striking power also improved the effectiveness of both
Following the war. A number of challenges emerged first, the global political situation saw wartime alliances fade, and sometimes collapse resulting in the emergence of two superpowers who struggle for world mastery overshadowed. In the second half of the century.
Eventually a task force built around one to two in the Mediterranean, became a fixture there. A similar force in the Western Pacific provided the same tangible symbol of U.S. might and determination.
Then there were challenges related to the development of weapons and tactics. The introduction of jet aircraft posed special problems for carrier operations.
Their employment highlighted the dilemma that as the Navy developed increasingly capable aircraft, it also needed to find increasingly capable means of taking them to sea Critics of Naval power, renewed their declaration of Navys as obsolete in the atomic era, shifting their derision from battleships to aircraft carriers by citing the ship’s expense and vulnerabilities.
Those who supported carriers retaliated with criticism of the strategic air command conveyor B-36 long-range bombers as being equally vulnerable, expensive, and unable to fulfill their allotted roles in national defense.
The Korean war caught Naval aviation in the midst of transition. The introduction of jet aircraft created a composite force in which carriers were equipped with either jet or propeller-driven aircraft, which differed in performance characteristics, may maintenance requirements, and tactical applications.
Despite the amphibious landings at Inan two and a half months after the North Korean invasion of South Korea, the operations of Naval aviation during the Korean war diverged from the island-hopping campaigns in the Pacific during World War II.
The United Nations sought to and the fighting to the Korean peninsula to avoid the specter of escalation into atomic war.
This policy required the need to sustain carrier airpower for extended periods over a landmass resulting in a predictable pattern that commander task force 77 described in January 1952 as a day to day routine where stamina replaced glamor and persistence was pitted against perseverance.
Carrier aircraft flew deep support missions, attacked supply lines, roamed over enemy territory for targets of opportunity, bombed infrastructure, attacked refineries and hydroelectric plants and escorted land-based bombers on special missions.
These raids challenged men trained to inter predict enemy sea lines of communication and to ward off attacks by enemy Naval forces.
Still during the three years of the Korean war Navy and Marine Corps aircraft flew almost as many sorties dropped 74,000 tons, more bombs and rockets and increased their percentage of total U.S. action sorties from 10 to 30% compared to their performance in all theaters in all of World War II.
Outside the combat area, the fleet continuously maintained peaceful emissions in the Mediterranean and Eastern Atlantic and trained on the same scale as before.
Unlike in World War II, research and development did not shift to emphasize projects that directly applied to the war effort.
Instead, they focused on long range programs aimed at progressively modernizing fleet forces and their equipment with a more effective weapons.
The carrier modernization program continued and underwent revision to incorporate steam catapults and angled flight decks onto Saratoga Ranger, independence, forestall, Kitty Hawk, constellation America, and John F. Kennedy.
The forestall CVA 59 class aircraft carriers entered service. The successful application of nuclear power included the construction of nuclear-propelled carrier enterprise CVA 65.
These additions and improvements strengthened carrier for forces and enabled the operation of a new family of aircraft with high-performance capabilities.
Meanwhile, Naval forces represented the nation in critical areas on different occasions.
These forces evacuated refugees, patrolled troubled waters provided support to menaced nations, and presented a physical symbol of freedom as a bull work between aggressors and oppressed.
During the Cuban missile crisis, the Navy exerted its traditional role of sea control by imposing a Naval blockade that proved instrumental in averting global.
Thermonuclear war, the round, the world, a cruise of a nuclear-powered task force and operations in Indian ocean carried the flag into foreign ports.
Naval forces responded to crises in Africa, the middle east, the Caribbean, and Berlin evacuated Americans trapped, fighting, and by their presence reaffirmed the role of the service in keeping the peace.
Ships and aircraft aided the stricken when hurricanes typhoons, and earthquakes struck in widely distant points In Southeast Asia, the nation responded to communist aggression with retaliatory airstrikes that escalated into a protracted war of limited objectives and little relevancy to U.S. National Security.
The burden of Naval air action in the Vietnam war fell upon the carriers and aircraft of the seventh fleet.
Operations linebacker one and two waged heavy interdiction and bombing campaigns against the North Vietnamese and carrier aircraft carried out extensive aerial mind laying to blockade the enemy main avenue supply.
An uneasy truce resulted in disengagement from the war in 19 73, 2 Years later, Naval air power-assisted in the evacuation of refugees who fled the North Vietnamese conquest of South Vietnam.
The 1970s witnessed the decommissioning of most of the ES CV nine class carriers and commissioning of nuclear-powered carriers, Nimitz CVN 68 and D Y D Eisenhower CVN 69.
And the launch of Carl Vincent CVN, 70 A buildup of Naval aviation, the rise of global acts of terrorism, and the USS to global crises characterized the 1980s.
As the decade began, aircraft carriers sailed, ready to project U.S. power against extremists who held Americans hostage in Iran.
These ships had increasingly deployed to the Indian ocean during the latter part of the 1970s and strengthened the trend into the 1980s as a result of ongoing and growing problems in the Middle East, East Africa, and Asia Naval aviation experienced a resurgence in strength capabilities through building programs and new technology research. The platforms for these technologies also kept pace.
Aircraft carriers, USS Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, and George Washington were authorized for construction by Congress clashes with the Libyans demonstrated Naval aviation’s air to air and strike capabilities and operation urgent fury reestablish democracy on the Caribbean island of Granada Operations in and around.
Lebanon kept Naval aviation occupied during the mid-1980s and responding to terrorist crimes and hijackings around the Mediterranean basin became an ongoing requirement for most of the decade.
When Sadam Husain invaded Kuwait, the UN-imposed an economic blockade to force its withdrawal as the January 15th, 1991 UN deadline for the Iraqis to withdraw their troops from Kuwait approached U.S. aircraft carriers advanced to their stations near the Persian Gulf.
The following night, the morning of January 17th in the middle east ships at sea fired Tomahawk cruise missiles at Iraqi military and political targets and a massive Armada of allied aircraft struck a variety of targets.
The attacks devastated the Iraqis. So thoroughly that principal fighting on the ground ended in barely 100 hours.
And on February 27th, President Bush declared the liberation of Kuwait complete Following the Persian Gulf war Naval aviation patrolled, Iraqi airspace, and supported UN-imposed sanctions as well as limiting the Iraqi threat to minorities within the country and to their neighbors across the middle east.
The fall of the Soviet Union left the United States as the world’s only power, but the new global order presented new threats, the breakup of the composite Yugoslav state into constituent republics presented the first major challenge.
Aircraft carriers kept watch over the situation from the Adriatic sea and supported a number of international operations to ensure the war parties did not use air power to carry out ethnic cleansing aircraft carriers.
John C. Dennis, and Harry S. Truman entered the fleet in the early nineties. The decade also marked a first for women when in April 1993, secretary of defense, Leslie Aspen dropped most of the restrictions that prohibited women from engaging in aerial and naval combat.
Later in the year, Congress supported the secretary’s decision to allow women in combat by repealing the combat exclusion law.
In October 1994, Dwight De Eisenhower became the first carrier to deploy with women permanently assigned on board Operation enduring freedom relied heavily on Navy carrier aircraft, as well as it played a key role in operation Iraqi freedom, which resulted after repeated Iraqi violations of ceasefire records and presumed attempts to develop weapons of mass destruction.
Carrier launched aircraft carried out missions over D and fluid battlefields in Afghanistan and Iraq.
They also tackled global security missions providing aerial surveillance, sea control, intelligence gathering maritime interceptions, evacuated casualties from battlefields and the high seas, and hunted for drugs smugglers to reduce the flow of contraband onto America’s streets.
Naval aviation, organizational, and operational methods evolved to reflect changing missions.
The redesignation and restructuring of the carrier battle groups as carrier strike groups occurred, and the groups fell under numbered fleet commanders for operational and administrative control.
Under the six-plus concept of the fleet response plan of the sea power 21 strategy, the Navy projected power by deploying six such groups in less than 30 days for contingency operations.
With two more groups to follow within three months for rotation or reinforcement, New ships wore the names of U.S. history, including carriers, Ronald Reagan, CVN 76, George H.W. Bush CVN 77, and Gerald R. Ford CVN 78
Future aircraft carriers will carry the tradition forward. Well into the latter half of the 21st century with names like John F. Kennedy CVN 79 enterprise CVN, 80 and Doris Miller EVN 81 as Naval aviation looks to the future.
It is solidly rooted in its past for 100 years. American aircraft carriers have projected power sustained sea control, bolstered, deterrence, and maintained enduring American commitments worldwide.
Like their predecessors, the aircraft carriers of today and tomorrow average new and emerging technologies such as electromagnetic aircraft, launching systems, advanced arresting gear systems that improve safety and reliability, electrical generating capabilities to accommodate new systems, including directed energy weapons, electric utilities that eliminates steam service lines, reduce maintenance or requirements and improve corrosion control and a variety of quality of life improvements.
Using their mobility to operate anywhere with no permission needed full-sized nuclear-powered aircraft carriers are strategically advantageous, delivering speed, endurance, agility, and unquestioned combat capability.
For the foreseeable future carrier sailors will come to the fight, trained and equipped across a full range of missions.
They will conduct precision strikes and maneuvers across the electromagnetic spectrum and cyberspace as they have for a century, they’ll operate in the future with decisive, overwhelming firepower across millions of square miles, anywhere in the world.
Thank you for the video Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Jorge.