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  USS Monterey CVL-26 (AVT-2)
Independence class
aircraft carrier

11,000 Tons
622' 6" x 109' 2" x 26'
26 x 40mm AA guns
20 x 20mm AA guns
45 aircraft

Ship History
Built by New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, New Jersey. Laid down on December 29, 1941 light cruiser USS Dayton CL-78. On March 27, 1942 reclassified as CV-26 and renamed USS Monterey four days later. This was the third US Navy vessel to be named USS Monterey, after the Battle of Monterey.

Launched on February 28, 1943 sponsored Mrs. P. N. L. Bellinger. In May 1943 part of the pre-commissioning detachment included Lt(jg) Gerald Ford, future U. S. President who would serve as assistant navigator, Athletic Officer, and antiaircraft battery officer.

Commissioned June 17, 1943 with Captain Lestor T. Hundt in command and reclassified as CVL-26 on July 15, 1943 and had a after shakedown cruise then departed Philadelphia transiting the Panama Canal to the Pacific.

Wartime History
On November 19, 1943 supported the amphibious landings on Makin. On December 25, 1943 as part of Task Group 37.2 (TG 37.2) her carrier aircraft took place in raids against Kavieng. Next, supported the American landings at Kwajalein and Eniwetok until early February 1944.

During February 1944 to July 1944 joined Task Force 58 (TF 58) and her aircraft flew missions against the Caroline Islands, Mariana Islands, New Guinea and the Bonin Islands. During June 19-20, 1944 participated in the Battle of the Philippine Sea.

Afterwards, departed for Pearl Harbor for overhaul then departed on August 29, 1944. On September 3, 1944 participated in strikes against Wake Island. Afterwards, joined Task Force 38 (TF 38) and participated in strikes in the southern Philippines and the Ryukyu Islands. During October through December 1944 supported the American landings at Leyte and Mindoro.

During December 1944 Monterey entered Typhoon Cobra, with winds over 100 knots that lasted for two days and caused several aircraft to break loose and fires in the hanger deck. In January 1945 arrived at Bremerton, Washington for overhaul.

Rejoined Task Force 58 (TF 58) and supporting Okinawa operations and striking Nansei Shoto and Kyūshū during May 9, 1945 to June 1, 1945. Afterwards, joined Task Force 38 (TF 38) for air strikes during July 1, 1945 to August 15, 1945 against Honshū and Hokkaidō.

On September 7, 1945 embarked troops at Tokyo Bay then departed to the United States arriving at New York on October 17, 1945. During World War II, Monterey received eleven battle stars for World War II service. In total, her aircraft sank five enemy warships, and damaged others. She was responsible for the destruction of thousands of tons of Japanese shipping, hundreds of planes, and vital industrial complexes.

Assigned to "Magic Carpet" duty to transport U. S. servicemen back to the United States, and made several voyages between Naples and Norfolk. Decommissioned on February 11, 1947 and was assigned to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Philadelphia Group.

Korean War
On September 15, 1940 recommissioned for the Korean War as a training vessel. On January 3, 1951 departed Norfolk, Virigina to Pensacola, Florida, where she operated for the next 4 years under the Naval Training Command, training aviation cadets, student pilots, and helicopter crews. During October 1-11, 1954 participated in a humanitarian mission in Honduras. On June 9, 1955 departed Pensacola to join the reserve fleet. Decomissioned on January 16, 1956. On May 15, 1959 reclassified AVT-2 in Philadelphia, PA.

During May 1971 sold for scrap and scrapped.

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Last Updated
October 16, 2020


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