Independence file photo [1433]


CountryUnited States
Ship ClassIndependence-class Light Carrier
BuilderNew York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, New Jersey, United States
Laid Down1 May 1941
Launched22 Aug 1942
Commissioned14 Jan 1943
Decommissioned28 Aug 1946
Sunk26 Jan 1951
Displacement11,000 tons full
Length623 feet
Beam72 feet
Draft26 feet
MachineryGeneral Electric geared turbines with four screws
Power Output100,000 shaft horsepower
Speed31 knots
Armament24x40mm, 22x20mm anti-aircraft


ww2dbaseUSS Independence (CVL-22) was the lead ship of her class of nine light carriers. She was originally laid down as the light cruiser Amsterdam, but was converted before launching. After her shakedown cruise in the Caribbean, she sailed to the Pacific and participated in operations against operations at Marcus, Wake, Rabaul, and the landing at the Gilbert Islands. At the Gilberts she was damaged by a torpedo on 20 Nov 1943 and returned to the US for repairs. In Jul 1944 she returned to active rosters and participated in the actions at Palau in Sep 1944. She later saw actions off Philippines and Okinawa, including participating in the Battle of Leyte Gulf in Oct 1944. After a brief period of refitting, she took part in the aerial bombardment of the Japanese home islands.

ww2dbaseAfter the war, she helped transporting American troops back to the United States. On Jul 1946 she was badly damaged as a target in atomic bomb tests at Bikini Islands. Her radioactive hull became a subject of radiological research and was scuttled off California, United States in Jan 1951. Her wreck was found in 2015.

ww2dbaseSource: Naval Historical Center.

Last Major Revision: Jan 2006

Light Carrier Independence Interactive Map


Independence soon after completion, circa early 1943Light Carrier USS Independence in port, 1943Aviation Ordinanceman poses aiming the twin Browning M1919 .30 caliber machine of an SBD Dauntless scout bomber aboard light carrier USS Independence during her shakedown cruise to Trinidad, 30 Apr 1943.Gun crews on a twin 40mm Bofors anti-aircraft mount take their meals at general quarters aboard the Light Carrier USS Independence in the Caribbean Sea, 30 Apr 1943.
See all 19 photographs of Light Carrier Independence

Independence Operational Timeline

14 Jan 1943 Independence was commissioned into service.
31 Aug 1943 USS Yorktown (Essex-class) and TF 15 arrived at the launching point about 128 miles from Marcus Island in the early morning, spent most of that day launching fighter and bomber strikes on Marcus Island before beginning the retirement to Hawaii that evening.
29 Sep 1943 A fast carrier strike force built around carriers USS Essex, USS Yorktown, USS Lexington, USS Cowpens, USS Independence, and USS Belleau Wood, escorted by USS Nashville and other warships, departed US Territory of Hawaii for combat operations.
5 Oct 1943 Task Force 19 consisting of Essex-class carriers Essex, Lexington, and Yorktown with light carriers Cowpens, Independence, and Belleau Wood escorted by cruisers New Orleans, San Francisco, Birmingham, Nashville, Santa Fe, and Mobile and destroyers Hull, Hazelwood, Bancroft, Caldwell, Coghlan, Braine, Halford, Kidd, Bullard, Chauncey, John Rodgers, Harrison, Murray, Ringgold, Sigsbee, Schroeder, Dashiell, Conner, Burns, Boyd, and Bradford began two days of strikes against Wake Island. So intense was the bombardment that island commander Rear Admiral Sakaibara Shigemitsu was convinced it was a prelude to an invasion and he ordered the execution of all 98 remaining POWs that had been there since 23 Dec 1941, many of whom had been civilian contractors at the time of their capture.
5 Nov 1943 USS Independence arrived at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides.
18 Dec 1944 Many ships from the United States Third Fleet, Task Force 38 sailed into Typhoon Cobra in the Philippine Sea. Three destroyers and 790 men were lost.
24 Jul 1945 United States Navy carriers launched air strikes against the Kure area of southern Japan. One F6F Hellcat flying from USS Independence was damaged by cruiser fire near Tanabe Bay and was forced to ditch. The pilot, Lt Burdick Burtch, was picked-up safely by rescue submarine USS Silversides.
28 Aug 1946 Independence was decommissioned from service.
26 Jan 1951 USS Independence was scuttled about 30 miles (about 50 kilometers) off Half Moon Bay, California, United States. The wreck would be discovered by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 2015.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. John G. Lambert says:
7 Apr 2013 09:02:46 AM

For more detailed information, link to a
Non-fiction book on the ship is:

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More on Independence
Event(s) Participated:
» Solomon Islands Campaign
» Gilbert Islands Campaign
» Philippines Campaign, Phase 1, the Leyte Campaign
» Typhoon Cobra
» Raid into the South China Sea
» Preparations for Invasion of Japan

» US Aircraft Carrier Functions
» US Aircraft Carrier Operational Status By Month
» US Carrier Time Operational

Light Carrier Independence Photo Gallery
Independence soon after completion, circa early 1943
See all 19 photographs of Light Carrier Independence

Famous WW2 Quote
"I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil."

General Douglas MacArthur at Leyte, 17 Oct 1944

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