book cover
Cover Page




Aircraft Carriers






Torpedo Boats

Liberty Ships

Foreign Warships

Warships Associated With
World War II in the Pacific


Essex class

  1. USS Intrepid (New York, New York)
  2. USS Yorktown (Charleston, South Carolina)

USS Intrepid and USS Yorktown appear to meet the criteria for designation. Both ships are Essex class aircraft carriers that fought against Japan in World War II and represent the role and power of the aircraft carrier as the principal capital ship of the navy after 1941. The Pacific War against Japan was fought over vast reaches of ocean employing aircraft carriers as highly mobile weapons capable of destroying enemy ships and bases at great distances. Japan's success early in the war and that of the United States later in the conflict was directly dependent on the achievements of the carrier battlegroups deployed by each side. Essex class carriers represent the determination and industrial potential of the United States to achieve victory in World War II. Both ships have been altered from their World War II configuration with the addition of angled flight decks. Both ships are in good condition and are preserved as museum ships.

Two other Essex class carriers inspected during this study are USS Lexington and USS Shangri La. USS Lexington is still in active service with the navy as a training carrier based in Florida. During the course of this study she was in the Philadelphia Navy Yard undergoing a refit. She is expected to remain on active duty with the navy until the 1990s. It is recommended that she be reexamined again after her retirement by the navy to determine if her condition and integrity, at that time, warrant her designation as a National Historic Landmark.

Note: In July 2003 USS Lexington was designated a National Historic Landmark. USS Lexington is now located at the USS Lexington Museum on the Bay in Corpus Christi, Texas.

USS Shangri La is in the Philadelphia Navy Yard awaiting final disposition by the navy. She has been promised to a group of citizens in Tampa, Florida as the centerpiece of an air, sea, and space museum. USS Shangri La is not recommended for designation due to her poor condition.


Last Modified: Fri, Aug 25 2000 12:00:00 pm PDT

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