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Aircraft carriers

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Wars and warfare

HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08)

HMS Queen Elizabeth is the lead ship of the Queen Elizabeth class of aircraft carriers, the largest warships ever built for the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom and capable of carrying up to 60 aircraft. She is named in honour of the first Queen Elizabeth, a renowned World War I era super-dreadnought, which in turn was named after Queen Elizabeth I. The new Queen Elizabeth will carry her namesake's honours, as well as her Tudor rose-adorned crest and motto.

Wars and warfare

USS Yorktown (CV-5)

USS Yorktown (CV-5) was an aircraft carrier commissioned in the United States Navy from 1937 until she was sunk at the Battle of Midway in June 1942. She was named after the Battle of Yorktown in 1781 and the lead ship of the Yorktown class which was designed after lessons learned from operations with the large converted battlecruiser Lexington class and the smaller purpose-built USS Ranger. She was sunk by Japanese submarine I-68 on 6 June 1942 during the Battle of Midway.

Wars and warfare

USS Enterprise (CV-6)

USS Enterprise (CV-6) was the seventh U.S. Navy vessel to bear the name. Colloquially called "the Big E", she was the sixth aircraft carrier of the United States Navy. A Yorktown-class carrier, she was launched in 1936 and was one of only three American carriers commissioned before World War II to survive the war. She participated in more major actions of the war against Japan than any other United States ship. These actions included the Attack on Pearl Harbor, the Battle of Midway, the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, various other air-sea engagements during the Guadalcanal Campaign, the Battle of the Philippine Sea, and the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Enterprise earned 20 battle stars, the most for any U.S. warship in World War II, and was the most decorated U.S. ship of World War II. She is also the first American ship to sink an enemy vessel during the Pacific War when she sank Japanese submarine I-70 on 10 December 1941. On three occasions during the Pacific War, the Japanese announced that she had been sunk in battle, inspiring her nickname "The Grey Ghost".

Wars and warfare

Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier

The Queen Elizabeth class is a class of two aircraft carriers of the United Kingdom's Royal Navy. The lead ship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, was named on 4 July 2014, in honour of Queen Elizabeth, a renowned World War I era super-dreadnought, which in turn was named for Elizabeth I. She was commissioned on 7 December 2017, with an initial operating capability expected in 2018. The second, HMS Prince of Wales, was launched on 21 December 2017, and is planned to be commissioned in 2020. At the NATO 2014 Wales summit, the Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the second carrier would be brought into service, ending years of uncertainty surrounding its future. This was confirmed by the November 2015 Government Strategic Defence Review, with both carriers entering service, one being available at any time.

Wars and warfare

Japanese aircraft carrier Akagi

Akagi was an aircraft carrier built for the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN), named after Mount Akagi in present-day Gunma Prefecture. Though she was laid down as an Amagi-class battlecruiser, Akagi was converted to an aircraft carrier while still under construction to comply with the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty. The ship was rebuilt from 1935 to 1938 with her original three flight decks consolidated into a single enlarged flight deck and an island superstructure. The second Japanese aircraft carrier to enter service, and the first large or "fleet" carrier, Akagi and the related Kaga figured prominently in the development of the IJN's new carrier striking force doctrine that grouped carriers together, concentrating their air power. This doctrine enabled Japan to attain its strategic goals during the early stages of the Pacific War from December 1941 until mid-1942.

Architecture, Traveling, Wars and warfare

USS Yorktown (CV-10)

USS Yorktown (CV/CVA/CVS-10) is one of 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers built during World War II for the United States Navy. She is named after the Battle of Yorktown of the American Revolutionary War, and is the fourth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name. Initially to have been named Bonhomme Richard, she was renamed Yorktown while under construction to commemorate USS Yorktown (CV-5), lost at the Battle of Midway in June 1942. Yorktown was commissioned in April 1943, and participated in several campaigns in the Pacific Theater of Operations, earning 11 battle stars and the Presidential Unit Citation.

Wars and warfare

Essex-class aircraft carrier

The Essex class was a class of aircraft carriers of the United States Navy that constituted the 20th century's most numerous class of capital ships. The class consisted of 24 vessels, which came in "short-hull" and "long-hull" versions. Thirty-two ships were originally ordered, but as World War II wound down, six were canceled before construction, and two were canceled after construction had begun. No Essex-class ships were lost to enemy action, despite several vessels sustaining very heavy damage. The Essex-class carriers were the backbone of the U.S. Navy's combat strength during World War II from mid-1943 on, and, along with the addition of the three Midway-class carriers just after the war, continued to be the heart of U.S. naval strength until the supercarriers began to come into the fleet in numbers during the 1960s and 1970s.

Architecture, Traveling, Wars and warfare

USS Midway (CV-41)

USS Midway (CVB/CVA/CV-41) was an aircraft carrier of the United States Navy, the lead ship of her class. Commissioned a week after the end of World War II, Midway was the largest ship in the world until 1955, as well as the first U.S. aircraft carrier too big to transit the Panama Canal. She operated for 47 years, during which time she saw action in the Vietnam War and served as the Persian Gulf flagship in 1991's Operation Desert Storm. Decommissioned in 1992, she is now a museum ship at the USS Midway Museum, in San Diego, California, and the only remaining U.S. aircraft carrier commissioned right after World War II ended that was not an Essex-class aircraft carrier.

Wars and warfare

HMS Prince of Wales (R09)

HMS Prince of Wales is the second Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier under construction for the Royal Navy, with plans for active service from 2020. She is the seventh Royal Navy ship to have the name HMS Prince of Wales. Construction of the ship began in 2011 at Rosyth Dockyard and as of May 2018 is in the water being fitted out. She will be handed over to the Royal Navy in 2019, and be fully ready for front-line duties around the globe from 2023.

Wars and warfare

USS Hornet (CV-8)

USS Hornet (CV-8), the seventh ship to carry the name Hornet, was a Yorktown-class aircraft carrier of the United States Navy. During World War II in the Pacific Theater, she launched the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo and participated in the Battle of Midway and the Buin-Faisi-Tonolai Raid. In the Solomon Islands campaign, she was involved in the capture and defense of Guadalcanal and the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands where she was irreparably damaged by enemy torpedo and dive bombers. Faced with an approaching Japanese surface force, Hornet was abandoned and later torpedoed and sunk by approaching Japanese destroyers. Hornet was in service for a year and six days and was the last US fleet carrier ever sunk by enemy fire. For these actions, she was awarded four service stars, a citation for the Doolittle Raid in 1942, and her Torpedo Squadron 8 received a Presidential Unit Citation for extraordinary heroism for the Battle of Midway. Her wreck was located in late January 2019.

Wars and warfare

Japanese aircraft carrier Kaga

Kaga (加賀) was an aircraft carrier built for the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) and was named after the former Kaga Province in present-day Ishikawa Prefecture. Originally intended to be one of two Tosa-class battleships, Kaga was converted under the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty to an aircraft carrier as the replacement for the battlecruiser Amagi, which had been damaged during the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake. Kaga was rebuilt in 1933–35, increasing her top speed, improving her exhaust systems, and adapting her flight decks to more modern, heavier aircraft.

Wars and warfare

HMS Ark Royal (91)

HMS Ark Royal was an aircraft carrier of the Royal Navy that served during the Second World War.

Wars and warfare

USS Saratoga (CV-3)

USS Saratoga (CV-3) was a Lexington-class aircraft carrier built for the United States Navy during the 1920s. Originally designed as a battlecruiser, she was converted into one of the Navy's first aircraft carriers during construction to comply with the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922. The ship entered service in 1928 and was assigned to the Pacific Fleet for her entire career. Saratoga and her sister ship, Lexington, were used to develop and refine carrier tactics in a series of annual exercises before World War II. On more than one occasion these included successful surprise attacks on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. She was one of three prewar US fleet aircraft carriers, along with Enterprise and Ranger, to serve throughout World War II.

Wars and warfare

USS Nimitz

USS Nimitz (CVN-68) is a supercarrier of the United States Navy, and the lead ship of her class. One of the largest warships in the world, she was laid down, launched and commissioned as CVAN-68 but was later redesignated CVN-68 on 30 June 1975 as part of the fleet realignment.

Wars and warfare

USS Lexington (CV-2)

USS Lexington (CV-2), nicknamed "Lady Lex", was an early aircraft carrier built for the United States Navy. She was the lead ship of the Lexington class; her only sister ship, Saratoga, was commissioned a month earlier. Originally designed as a battlecruiser, she was converted into one of the Navy's first aircraft carriers during construction to comply with the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922, which essentially terminated all new battleship and battlecruiser construction. The ship entered service in 1928 and was assigned to the Pacific Fleet for her entire career. Lexington and Saratoga were used to develop and refine carrier tactics in a series of annual exercises before World War II. On more than one occasion these included successfully staged surprise attacks on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The ship's turbo-electric propulsion system allowed her to supplement the electrical supply of Tacoma, Washington, during a drought in late 1929 to early 1930. She also delivered medical personnel and relief supplies to Managua, Nicaragua, after an earthquake in 1931.