Princeton file photo [1682]

USS Princeton

CountryUnited States
Ship ClassIndependence-class Light Carrier
BuilderNew York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, NJ
Laid Down2 Jun 1941
Launched6 Dec 1942
Commissioned25 Feb 1943
Sunk24 Oct 1944
Displacement11000 tons full
Length623 feet
Beam72 feet
Draft26 feet
MachineryGeneral Electric geared turbines with four screws
Power Output100000 SHP
Speed31 knots
Crew1569
Armament24x40mm, 22x20mm anti-aircraft
Armor5" belt, 2" deck, 0.5" conning tower
Aircraft30

Contributor:

ww2dbaseUSS Princeton, an 11,000-ton Independence class small aircraft carrier, was built at Camden, New Jersey. Originally laid down as the light cruiser Tallahassee (CL-61), she was converted to a carrier before launching and redesignated CV-23. That hull number was changed to CVL-23 in July 1943. Princeton was commissioned in February 1943 and, following shakedown operations in the Atlantic area, arrived at Pearl Harbor in August. She covered the occupation of Baker Island in August and September and raided Makin and Tarawa later in September 1943. Princeton had a busy November, supporting the Bougainville landings, raiding Rabaul and Nauru and participating in the invasion of the Gilbert Islands.

ww2dbaseFollowing a quick overhaul at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Princeton helped in the conquest of the Marshall Islands in January and February 1944. Over the next four months, her planes attacked Japanese targets in the Central Pacific and supported amphibious landings at Hollandia, New Guinea. In June, Princeton participated in the invasion of Saipan and the Battle of the Philippine Sea. She continued to cover the Marianas operation in July, then joined in raids on the Palaus, the Philippines, Okinawa and Taiwan during August, September and October.

ww2dbaseOn 24 October 1944, Princeton was off the northern Philippines, taking part in attacks on Luzon airfields to support the Leyte invasion. That morning, she was hit by a Japanese dive-bombing attack and set afire. The blaze could not be contained, and in mid-afternoon a bomb magazine exploded. The after part of the ship was wrecked and severe casualties inflicted on the crew of USS Birmingham (CL-62), which was alongside helping to fight the fires. After her remaining crewmen were removed, USS Princeton was sunk by her escorts.

ww2dbaseSource: Naval Historical Center.

Light Carrier USS Princeton Interactive Map

USS Princeton Operational Timeline

25 Feb 1943 Princeton was commissioned into service.
1 Nov 1943 USS Princeton launched two sorties against Japanese positions on Bougainville, Solomon Islands in support of the landings.
2 Nov 1943 USS Princeton launched two sorties against Japanese positions on Bougainville, Solomon Islands in support of the landings.

Photographs

Launch of Princeton, 18 Oct 1942Princeton underway in the Delaware River, off the Philadelphia Navy Yard, PA, 28 Mar 1943, 1 of 2Princeton underway in the Delaware River, off the Philadelphia Navy Yard, PA, 28 Mar 1943, 2 of 2Light Carrier USS Princeton with a deck full of aircraft on her shakedown cruise, 31 May 1943 off Antigua. Photo 1 of 4
See all 38 photographs of Light Carrier USS Princeton



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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Ronn Owens says:
23 Mar 2006 05:21:35 PM

My mothers older brother, Russel Stevens was killed after the second explosion while fighting the fires. His wife, Katherine is still living in Des Moines. His only daughter, Janet passed away three years ago of cancer. Russell was the oldest of five boys and four sisters. Only one brother, Uncle John Stevens is still livng in Idaho. Ronn Owens Hicksville, Ohio
2. Anonymous says:
15 Mar 2009 10:14:59 AM

I dont know much about my grandfather as he passed away in 1967.I do know he was on the princeton when she was sunk and thats all i know.Where could i get more information?
3. D Knight says:
17 Jun 2009 07:49:04 PM

My grandpa was also a sailor on Princeton and thankfully survived, thanks in part to the efforts and sacrifice of the men on Birmingham. For resources you can look things up under the Freedom of Information Act, and there are some knowledgeable folks at military.com too who might help.
God Bless
4. Anonymous says:
25 Aug 2009 04:40:25 PM

A dear friend of mine had a brother who died aboard the USS Princeton during the battle for Leyte Gulf. His name was Harold Ellison. How can I get some information for his sister, Fran. Thank you. John P
5. John Williams says:
10 Mar 2010 06:02:23 AM

My father in law, Thaddeus Manke of Bayside, N.Y., served aboard the Princeton and survived the battle in which she was sunk by a Japanese bomb attack. He had to jump off the anchor and was lucky enough to have a pilot on deck throw him a Mae West that landed right on his head. The one he had been wearing had bullet holes in it. He couldn't swim and spent the next 13-14 hours adrift in the Pacific until he was picked up by a patrol. He's 83 now, in fragile health but remembers that day as if it were today. Thank God for that pilot who tossed the life vest!!
6. john williams says:
25 Apr 2010 04:14:48 PM

As an update to my 10 March posting, my father-in-law Thaddeus Manke passed away in Bayside, N.Y. on 21 April 2010. He was a wonderful man and he is sorely missed. God bless you Dad.
7. Anonymous says:
30 May 2010 06:59:58 PM

My Uncle Joseph Bernard Flint was served aboard the USS Princeton and was rescued when it went downunfortunately I do not know any more about him or his Navy service.
8. Gary Grimme says:
2 Jul 2010 05:53:44 PM

My uncle, William K. Taylor, was an F6F plane captain on the Princeton and was topside when the carrier was attacked. He saw the plane that dropped the bomb, and watched it as it slammed thru the flight deck, and then explode below decks. He stayed aboard to help fight the fires until the ship exploded again, which sent him overboard and into the ocean. He was rescued from the sea by the DD794 USS Irwin.

Anyone who desires more information about the USS Princeton and the men who served aboard the ship, can contact me at gg32068@yahoo.com, and I will gladly furnish information that will put you in contact with the remaining survivors thru the TIGER RAG & the Princeton Association.
9. Gary Grimme says:
2 Jul 2010 06:00:43 PM

With the permission of the website owner, I have a video that I made about the sinking of the Princeton during the Battle for Leyte Gulf, which can be viewed by cut/paste the following link:

http://exposureroom.com/leytegulf

or

http://exposureroom.com/members/G8RB8R/c3666ade386240cd8841517f27b2ebdd/

10. Patrick Taylor says:
22 Aug 2010 05:51:46 PM

I made the 1968 cruise on Princeton (LPH-5) and while in Branson, MO last week, attending the reunion of the USS Goldsborough DDG 20, I crossed paths with the Princeton reunion and even met an old shipmate. How can I find out more info on the associaiton and their reunions?
11. Esther Morgan says:
24 Aug 2011 07:26:55 AM

my father was on the uss irwin.his ship picked up 646 men i think, from the princeton..my sister is doing a scrap book on our dad in the navy.what im looking for is the names of the men the irwin picked up.i have looked and looked and just cant find it. can anyone help.. thank you
12. John Windolff says:
29 Aug 2011 05:34:33 AM

I had a great uncle Eugene Richie that died while on the Birmingham helping the Princeton.
13. Greg Welch says:
18 Nov 2011 08:56:47 AM

My dad served as a gunnery officer on the Princeton. He jumped over the side before the final explosion and was nearly drowned by a ship giving aid (probably Birmingham). He blacked out and was pulled into a lifeboat where he and held a severly wounded sailor who died in his arms. The Irwin may have picked up my dad. God Bless all who served on her.
14. Anonymous says:
23 Nov 2011 12:19:32 AM

I was told my nncle David Walsh was killed on this boat. Would like to find out if this is true
15. Eric G Schloer Jr says:
17 Jul 2012 07:26:44 PM

Does anyone out there remember my father Eric Schloer? Please let me know, I'm his son and namesake. Thanks!
16. Ron Prince says:
26 Jan 2013 10:22:15 PM

Hello Eric, Jr. I knew your father very well. Our paths crossed in Pensacola, New Jersey, and California. I was a young Navy pilot when we first met. My wife was your babysitter in Pensacola. I was with your father when he made his first flight to Frankfurt, Germany. He introduced me to his family in Frankfurt(aunts and uncles). I last saw him in 1965 at NAS Moffett Field, CA. At Pensacola, I played handball with him and was handily beaten by your Dad. He was a superb athlete even though he was 15 years older than myself. He was one of the finest gentleman I met during my service in the Navy. I was deeply saddened to learn of his untimely death in 1973. Best Regards, Ron
17. Lucien says:
27 Aug 2013 06:41:43 PM

My Uncle Lucien Pelletier was on the main deck of the Princeton taking pictures when he and many other men on board fighting the flames were killed in the explosion of the magazine took out the center of the ship. We(my Family) have been piecing together bits of information from survivors of that first major explosion.
18. Frank Ness says:
20 Sep 2013 04:03:00 PM

Hello Eric, Jr. I had the good fortune to have served with your Dad at NAVPRO Lockheed, in Sunnyvale, CA from 1971 until his untimely passing in 1973. He was one of the finest officers and consummate gentlemen with whom I served during my 20+ year Navy career. If you have turned out anything like him, consider yourself truly blessed. Best regards, Frank
19. Erika Hoff says:
25 Oct 2013 12:48:30 PM

My uncle was aboard this ship, his name is Harold M. Elliott, does anyone remember him. Thank you all for your bravery in service of our country.
20. Bob Pulaski of Baltimore says:
20 Nov 2013 05:08:23 PM

My father, Norman (everyone called him "Ski"), served on Princeton as a gunner's mate until her final day. He passed away 2 years ago, but talked proudly of his Princeton days up until his last few weeks. Pop changed the date on his birth certificate, and enlisted 3 weeks past his 16th birthday. God bless all who served.
21. Keith Smith says:
31 Dec 2013 05:11:40 PM

My father,William D. Smith served on the Princeton that day. He was an AMM. He also lied about his age and was 15 when he enlisted. Wonder if anyone remembers him. He passed in 1994. There are pictures of him swimming from the lifeboat to the USS Cassin Young. The picture is in the archives.
22. Jonathan Weidemann says:
23 Mar 2014 04:31:37 PM

My Uncle, Abel Weidemann, was on the Princeton and was in one of the boiler rooms when the explosions hit. Supposedly someone helped him get a life jacket on and get him overboard.. Does any one remember him or who helped him? Any info at all would be most appreciated.
23. Jim Snow says:
16 May 2014 08:48:05 PM


Response to Post 14. by Anonymous dated 23 Nov 2011 12:19:32 AM. Your uncle, David Samuel Walsh ( date of birth May 24th 1921 ) was a Petty Officer 1st Class and on the Princeton when it went down in October of 1944. There is a headstone memorializing him in Greenwood Cemetery, Reidsville NC. God bless him and his shipmates.
24. Anonymous says:
19 May 2014 04:09:57 PM

My uncle David F. Cardoza MM3C was killed-missing in action in the Battle Of Layte. He was engaged for all nine battles aboard the Princeton, the ninth being Layte. He is one of the lost souls in the bottom of the Sibuyon Sea. Honor him and his comrades for their ultimate sacrifice. God Bless their souls for eternity.
25. Tami S. says:
24 Oct 2014 10:23:04 PM

My father's name is Varon Robert Kindt (Bob). He was a cook aboard the Princeton. He was 29years old on that fateful day. When the initial explosion happened, his clothes caught fire and he was a severely burned on his back. He said he was able to run and he jumped off the fan tail. It was hard for him to about talk about what happened next. My dad tread water for 6 hours. He said it was horrifying to watch and listen to his ship mates succumb to shark attacks andor their injuries. Also not knowing if he would be the next. The salt water was agonizing on his burns. Finally life boats arrived and he was saved. Dad received the purple heart. I know he was haunted at times with those horrible memories and the tragic deaths of so many fine men, but he was extremely proud of his service aboard the Princeton. Sadly we lost him in 1995 from heart failure. He was a great man and is still terribly missed. I pray we never forget the tremendous sacrifices of the many brave souls who bore witness to that catastophic day. To them and all past and present service men and women, I say Thank You.
26. Burt says:
21 Nov 2014 09:25:35 PM

Hi;
Trying to find out some info about a naval aviator who was on the USS Princeton in October of 1943. His name was Lt. Nathaniel G. Kanrick. Does anyone have any information about him?
Thank you
27. Paul Rother says:
28 Feb 2015 06:47:38 PM

My uncle Paul Rother was on the Princeton , having a hard time finding a roster.
28. Dee Foster says:
6 May 2015 05:25:38 PM

Hi, I am the great niece of John George Weber. He was a Machinist Mate First Class and died on Oct 25 1944. He is buried in Manila. I am assuming he died in the battle for Leyte Gulf. Does anyone remember him?
29. Kelly says:
7 Jun 2015 04:49:31 PM

My grandfather Norman S Gorman was on the USS Princeton and survived. Unfortunately he passed when I was 5. My mother has the long photo of all of the crew.
30. steven m owen says:
4 Aug 2015 07:16:27 PM

Jonathan Weidemann says:
23 Mar 2014 04:31:37 PM

My Uncle, Abel Weidemann, was on the Princeton and was in one of the boiler rooms when the explosions hit. Supposedly someone helped him get a life jacket on and get him overboard.. Does any one remember him or who helped him? Any info at all would be most appreciated. FRANK MARTIN OWEN WAS A BOILER MAN AT THE TIME!HE WAS LAST HEARD TO LIVE IN Michigan with his nephew MIKE OWEN OF EAST LANSING MICHIGAN
31. Steven martin owen says:
4 Aug 2015 07:18:05 PM

1944 MUSTER ROLL CVL-23 USS PRINCETONhttps://youtu.be/8yPoHBmZDt4?list=PL74B3FAAFB5A86BE3
32. steven martin owen says:
4 Aug 2015 07:19:58 PM

Uploaded on Jul 15, 2011
The first Muster Roll of the Officers and Crew of the USS Princeton CVL-23, light aircraft carrier, January 1944.https://youtu.be/8yPoHBmZDt4?list=PL74B3FAAFB5A86BE3
33. j ben goodin says:
11 Nov 2015 03:27:38 PM

my uncle bill little, rich mt. ark served on Princeton he died around 2006
34. Mike O'Connor says:
4 Mar 2016 07:20:10 AM

I am working on a book on VF-27, the F6F squadron that was on USS PRINCETON when she was lost. I'd be grateful to hear from anyone who served with or has info or photos on Fighting 27.
35. Betty Arnold Henderson says:
16 Apr 2016 02:31:14 PM

In researching the family tree of a friend, I noticed a memorial on findagrave.com for Lt. Alfred Harris Bell in a cemetery in my home town. I was deeply saddened that this young man was cut down in his 25th year of life and nothing appears on his marker but his name and the years of birth and death, service branch (USNR), and rank. It was the year 1945 is what caught my attention.

A little research here and there has provided almost nothing about this young man. There are two family trees posted that barely mention him. I want to rectify that. It's the least I can do for the sacrifice he made for all Americans.

The dearth of official records on his life is perplexing. Aside from the little data I gleaned from census records and college yearbooks, the most information I found is that his rank was that of Lt. j.g. and he served in the US Navy Reserve.

I found in the only two military records. One lists his home was in Pensacola, Florida and his next-of-kin was his wife, Mrs. Rebecca Arlney Bell. This record is a list of Florida servicemen in all branches who died while on active duty.

The second record I found provides his service number and the world "nonrecoverable". I'm guessing that means Lt. Bell's remains were never found although it might also mean that his service records are sealed.

All I know, then, is the year of his death, 1945. I have no idea as to whether he saw duty overseas or served on a USN ship. I am just trying to leave no stones unturned.

Further research reveals that the USS "Princeton" went down in late 1944 or early 1945. I am wondering about the possibility of Lt. j.G. Bell having served on this vessel. I can find no roster on-line that identifies the "Princeton's"
officers and crew by name.

If you have any information about Lt. JG Bell, I would appreciate your sharing it with me. I want to enhance his memorial.

Lest we forget.

Betty Arnold Henderson
Bradenton, Florida
36. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
16 Apr 2016 08:24:05 PM

Lt(jg) Alfred Harris Bell was a pilot with Fighting Squadron 51. He was killed 24 Jun 1945 during a bombing training exercise when his F6F Hellcat suffered structural failure and crashed in Juan de Fuca Strait, Washington state. His plane sank in 500 feet of water and his body was never recovered. He was not assigned to the USS Princeton.
37. Dick Tobiason says:
8 Jul 2016 06:01:13 PM

I met Robert Houghton Connell today (7/8/16) in Bend, OR. He was a Radioman First Class on the Princeton. He survived the sinking by swimming to the Irwin. We plan to honor him with a free 4 day Honor Flight trip to Washington, DC this Fall.
38. Tim Lynch says:
14 Sep 2016 06:17:09 PM

My Grandfather was aboard the Princeton when it went down. His name was Herbert Thomas Ellis and he passed away in 2007. He didn't like to speak of it to much, but he did say he went into the water. Do you have any record of which ship may have picked him up?
39. Bill Dalton says:
1 Jan 2017 04:36:20 PM

I'm trying to find out information about my father while he served on the Princeton CVL 23. His name is MM William E. Dalton Jr. He was in the air when the ship went down and landed at some unknown location. I'm trying to find out were the airmen were sent after the ship went down. My father is still alive but he has never discusses what happened after their ship was sunk. He's in his 90's now so I don't want to push him but time is running out. Thanks for any help. He was a rear gunner on the Helldiver then a gunner on a B24.
40. Anonymous says:
2 Mar 2017 12:50:43 PM

My Grandfather a Boatswain Mate John W King received a Silver Star in 1944 {which was stolen from my Grandmother's nursing home} for "helping sailors off the sinking ship" because he was humble and/also passed away in 1973 the only person who knew was my Grandmother who sadly has Alzheimer's and the only info she was able to provide was the above. I've search to no avail... I would love to know more... so if anyone has info please contact me at BabydollMcGraw@Yahoo.com Thank you so much for everyone's family's service for our country. Stephanie
41. Dawn Garrison says:
15 Apr 2017 06:14:59 PM

My grandfather, Neal Hanset, passed away when I was a child. Muster roles show he was on the ship shortly before 24 Oct 1944 and he was on the Nov muster role reassigning him. But, is there a way I can confirm if he was actually onboard on her last day? I mean, since he never spoke of it, is it possible he was on leave?

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More on USS Princeton
Event(s) Participated:
» Solomon Islands Campaign
» New Guinea-Papua Campaign, Phase 3
» Marshall Islands Campaign
» Mariana Islands Campaign and the Great Turkey Shoot
» Philippines Campaign, Phase 1, the Leyte Campaign

Light Carrier USS Princeton Photo Gallery
Launch of Princeton, 18 Oct 1942
See all 38 photographs of Light Carrier USS Princeton




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