Essex file photo [3168]


CountryUnited States
Ship ClassEssex-class Aircraft Carrier
Hull NumberCV-9
BuilderNewport News Shipbuilding
Laid Down28 Apr 1941
Launched31 Jul 1942
Commissioned31 Dec 1942
Decommissioned9 Jan 1947
Displacement27,100 tons standard; 36,380 tons full
Length872 feet
Beam148 feet
Draft34 feet
Machinery8 boilers, 4 Westinghouse geared steam turbines, 4 shafts
Bunkerage6,330t fuel oil; 240,000gal aviation fuel
Power Output150,000 shaft horsepower
Speed33 knots
Range20,00nm at 15 knots
Armament4x5in twin 38 cal guns, 4x5in single 38 cal guns, 8x40mm quad 56 cal guns, 46x20mm single 78 cal gun
Armor2.5-4in belt, 1.5in hangar, protective decks, and STS top and sides of pilot house, 4in bulkheads
Recommission15 January 1951
Final Decommission30 June 1969


ww2dbaseEssex was the lead ship of her class of aircraft carriers. After her shakedown cruise, she joined the Pacific Fleet in May 1943. She launched her aircraft against Japanese positions on Marcus Island on 31 Aug 1943, Wake Island on 5-6 Oct 1943, Tarawa on 18-23 Nov 1943, Kwajalein on 4 Dec 1943, and various targets in the Marshall Islands between 29 Jan and 2 Feb 1944. On 17-18 Feb 1944, she participated in the great carrier raid against Truk, then she proceeded to the Marianas Islands to raid Japanese positions there a few days later. After spending some time in San Francisco for overhaul, she struck Marcus Island on 19-20 May 1944 and Wake Island on 23 May. Between 12 Jun and 10 Aug, she served in the Mariana Islands region in support of the landing and occupation operations. Between 6 and 10 Sep, she launched sorties against Palau Islands, Mindanao of the Philippine Islands, and Japanese shipping in the region. Between 10 and 14 Oct 1944, she struck Okinawa and Taiwan in support of the American invasion of the Philippine Islands; she remained in the area to supply direct support for the Philippines campaign. On 25 Nov 1944, she received battle damage for the first time when a special attack D4Y dive bomber piloted by Lt. Yoshinori Yamaguchi crashed into the port edge of her flight deck, killing 15 and wounding 44. Although the damage caused by the kamikaze attack was serious, she was able to make temporary repairs and remain on the front lines. In Dec 1944, Essex's aircraft supported the Lingayen Gulf landing operations both directly at Luzon and indirectly by striking Taiwan, Sakishima, and Okinawa, which were among the islands she would continue to attack until Feb 1945. During the final few months of the war she launched air strikes against Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and the Japanese home islands. She was decommissioned from WW2 service on 9 Jan 1947.

ww2dbaseOn 16 Jan 1951, after modernization, she was recommissioned and served in the Korean War and the Cold War. Her final decommission took place in 1969, and was sold for scrap on 1 Jun 1975.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Mar 2007

Aircraft Carrier Essex (CV-9) Interactive Map


Basic drawing for the proposed new class of United States aircraft carrier, a variation known as Design 9F, that would essentially be adopted for the Essex and the Essex-class, 23 Sep 1941USS Essex at Hampton Roads, Virginia, United States, 1 Feb 1943. Photo 1 of 2.USS Essex at Hampton Roads, Virginia, United States, 1 Feb 1943. Photo 2 of 2.USS Essex leaving Norfolk, Virginia, United States, for shakedown exercises, 15 Mar 1943.
See all 79 photographs of Aircraft Carrier Essex (CV-9)

Essex Operational Timeline

28 Apr 1941 The USS Essex keel was laid at Newport News, Virginia, United States, the first of the Essex-class aircraft carriers.
31 Dec 1942 Essex 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.
2 Nov 1943 Battleships USS Washington, USS Massachusetts, and USS South Dakota escorted by destroyers USS Nicholas, USS Fletcher, USS LaVallette, USS Jenkins, and USS Taylor rendezvoused and joined with carriers USS Essex, USS Bunker Hill, and USS Independence with battleships USS Alabama, USS Indiana, USS Tennessee, USS Maryland, and USS Colorado and cruisers USS Portland, USS Mobile, USS Santa Fe, and USS Birmingham with destroyers USS Taylor and USS Radford. Together, this task group steamed toward Nandi Bay, Fiji.
5 Nov 1943 USS Essex arrived at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides.
7 Nov 1943 Carriers USS Essex, USS Bunker Hill, and USS Independence with battleships USS Washington, USS Massachusetts, USS South Dakota, USS Alabama, USS Indiana, USS Tennessee, USS Maryland, and USS Colorado with cruisers USS Portland, USS Mobile, USS Santa Fe, and USS Birmingham escorted by destroyers USS Nicholas, USS Fletcher, USS LaVallette, USS Jenkins, USS Taylor, and USS Radford arrived at Nandi Bay, Fiji.
1 Sep 1944 USS Essex crossed the Equator in the Pacific Ocean on a southward course.
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.
4 Jan 1945 TBM-5C torpedo bombers of VT-4 squadron, escorted by F6F-5 fighters of VF-4 squadron, both from USS Essex, attacked a number of Japanese airfields in Taiwan. Rojoseki Airfield in Rojoseki District of Shoka (now Erlin District of Changhua), Hokuto (misnamed "Keishu" in US records) Airfield in Shoka, and Mato Airfield in Tainan (now Madou District of Tainan) sustained damage.
9 Jan 1947 Essex was decommissioned from service.

Did you enjoy this article or find this article helpful? If so, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:


Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds

Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
21 Jun 2009 02:22:56 PM

Thank you for the page with the info and photos. I found a small coconut in my late grandfather's things. He had marked in "Gilbert Island" and a date which is not longer readble. He served on the Essex during WWII and passed away several years ago at age 98. He was very proud of his service and the Essex.
2. shirley gray says:
16 Nov 2009 04:57:50 PM

my brother was on this ship in wwii .. I would like to know more
3. Larry DuBroc says:
10 Mar 2010 07:15:26 PM

My Father served on the ship during WWII. He was a radarism very seldom spoke of the War but was proud to serve on the Essex. He is no longer with us would like to know if anyone knew him.
4. Walter Vatcher says:
11 Feb 2011 11:14:58 AM

I am trying to determine which aircraft carrier my father served on in WW2. His name is Walter "Blackie" Vatcher DOB: 9-29-1920 He was a Corsair pilot in USMC during Pacific Campaign. Any info would be greatly appreciated.
5. Anonymous says:
30 Mar 2011 11:30:35 AM

My father served on the Essex in WWII as a machinists mate. He had a few stories. From what I remember Cookie Lavagetto and Dennis Day served on the ship.
6. Alan says:
25 Aug 2011 01:23:09 AM

The USMC squadron VFN-101 operated six radar-equipped F4U-2s initially from the USS Essex and later from the Hornet and Intrepid.
7. Mark says:
12 Mar 2012 07:37:04 PM

My father Mark Hill was a Corsair pilot on the Essex in 1945. Any info on him?
8. Thomas Broussard says:
13 Mar 2012 02:10:18 PM

My father Roy Broussard served aboard the Essex
in WWII as part of a marine detachment.
I know little beyond the the naval engagements
witch were numerous. He told me before he died
that he participated in 2 landings, but due to
the fire in St Louis .I am not able to find this information.
9. Art Kinowski says:
17 Oct 2012 05:59:46 PM

Trying to find info on my father aboard USS Essex. He is AM 2nd class Edward J.Kinowski.
Stationed in the Philipenes. Anyone with info please e-mail me at
10. Anonymous says:
6 Nov 2012 07:16:18 AM


This is a long shot; I'm looking for an Irish ancestor who had a son born in Philadelphia. His name was Joseph John Hough - Joseph is buried in Holy Sepulchre cemetery Philadelphia. His headstone says he was born in 1909 and died 1977 He was BM2 and served in WWII.
I have found a muster list for the USS Essex CV9 that records a Joseph John Hough. his service number is given as 708 76 37 and his rating Fc3 the muster list is dated 31st Jan 1944.

Is there anyway I can identify if this is the same Joseph as my Philadelphia Joseph.

I'm an Irishman living in the UK so research is not so easy from here.

Thanks in advance for any advice or assistance.

God Bless America!

Martin H
11. Anonymous says:
9 Nov 2012 09:57:31 PM

My father Leroy "Bud" Walker was a Marine on the USS Essex CV9 during WW2 1943-45. He never talked much about it, but I would like to know more of what it was like. Any insight on how I can dig deeper would be appreciated. Semper Fi
12. Anonymous says:
27 Nov 2012 10:46:38 PM

My father Virgil Hue Gray served on the USS Essex, he's been gone since 2002 but I still remember the times he talked about the Great Carrier and his shipmates, I could see how proud he was to have served. I will always be proud of him.
13. Anonymous says:
25 Dec 2012 05:14:21 PM

My uncle Glenn Schrobilgen served on the Essex during WWII. He never talked to anyone about his time on the Essex he kept it tio himself. I believe he was a mechanic and a tail gunner on a dive bomber. He was also selected to go on war bond tour. Is there information available about his service or why he was selected to go on the tour?
14. Mark Bearss says:
2 Jan 2013 01:08:42 PM

My father Lt. Joseph W. Bearss, USN served aboard the Essex after it became equipped with radar. I would enjoy hearing from anyone if they have additional information about his service aboard.
15. Teresa De La Cruz says:
23 Jan 2014 02:05:37 PM

My father served on the USS Essex during WWII as a gunner. He kept a diary of his time on the Essex. He was a proud Navy man and spoke very proudly of his ship. Would like to know the names of the servicemen that served on the ship during WWII. Thank you.
16. b o'malia says:
5 Mar 2014 08:41:35 PM

Interested in info on ens Howard c. Green. He was a Navy pilot on the uss Essex in wwll and was a member of Santana playmates. He was lost in action in September. 1944 and his body was not recovered. He was engaged to a relative at the time of his death. All friends who knew the couple are deceased. Would like to know if anyone remem ers him and if had any siblings who may still be alive.
17. nancy rolfe dubois says:
23 Jun 2014 03:31:18 PM

my dad was on the Essex injured in June 1943 . we never knew . his name was william rolfe [red].
18. Anonymous says:
24 Oct 2014 07:09:10 PM

My father-in-law, Garland served on the Essex in WWII. Passed away last December. Do any of you remember or know him?
19. Jackie Murphy says:
8 Dec 2014 05:09:48 PM

My grandfather, Jack F. Gold, was on the Essex from 1941 till 1946. He was the Commissary Chief. My daugther, his great-granddaughter woould like more information on his time on the Essex. It's still very hard to locate information if anyone has any suggestions. I do know that after 20 years in he was in the USS Essex Fleet Reserve. That is my next step.
20. Tracey says:
26 Jan 2015 08:41:24 AM

My Dad Sgt Richard C Remington was a Marine serving on this ship all during WWII
21. Daniel Turner says:
31 May 2015 08:57:34 PM

Teresa de la Cruz-
My grand father was a gunner aboard the Essex during wwii. I would love to share info. Email me at dtkarate @ gmail . Com
22. Danny Brister says:
3 Aug 2015 08:44:18 PM

I have a ring that my Dad had in his Navy stuff it belonged to a Clarence R Wilson,i would like for his family to have this ring,if anyone knows any family members please notify me and i will send it to them.
23. tomhough says:
24 Sep 2015 03:19:48 PM

my father john hough was a stor keeper on the essex
24. Pip says:
19 Oct 2015 03:40:46 PM

Robert Morgan Dorsett was a pilot from VMF-213 who flew off of the Essex on Jan 7th. I believe he was taken prisoner of war after getting lost in severe weather and running out of fuel on a mission to Aparri Airfield (missing declared dead one year later in '46). If anyone has any information on him, stories etc. they would be willing to share it would be greatly and sincerely appreciated.
25. Pip says:
20 Oct 2015 09:24:42 AM

Oops, I mean on January 7th 1945*.
26. Deb F says:
5 Mar 2016 11:40:00 AM

My father was on the Essex 9 during WWII. He was a chief petty officer and did transcriptions from morse code as well as the payroll. He was also stationed in some islands near New Guinea. His name was Peter Biggam and he was from IL.
27. Deb F says:
5 Mar 2016 11:42:53 AM

Actually island refeenced for my dad was Esprito Santu in New Hebrides
28. J.B. says:
13 Mar 2016 04:19:17 PM

I recently purchased an album of photos from The Essex during November? 1945 actions against Japan? Some pics of downed planes and some servicing Corsair/Hellcats... I don't know what to do with them as they are a fascinating piece of history, I doubt belongs on ebay.
29. Ted Zaborski says:
15 Mar 2016 05:50:37 AM

I have a cousin that served on the Essex in WWII. He was a radio operator/gunner on one of the tbf/tbm Avenger torpedo bombers. His name was Joseph Kohut from Dedham, Ma. Does any one have any info?
30. James Garrett says:
29 Mar 2016 01:24:52 PM

My daddy served on Essex from launch until she made it back to Seattle. He was an AMS2 in the 9th squadron. He also manned a 20 during combat. I would appreciate hearing from any who might have known him. He went by Bill Garrett though his name was Willie L Garrett. He passed in 1974 before Essex was scrapped the next year. It would have destroyed him to know she met such an end. I served as a gunnermate from 69 to 71 as a reserve but when I heard my.tincan was used for target practice it gutted me. You know they can't all be a musem but such ends to such brave ladies just isn't right.
31. Edwin Brown says:
22 May 2016 07:13:33 PM

I fought in WWII aboard US Essex. I am now 92 yrs old. Would like to have a reunion of any of my mates who are still living. I also have a twin Brother Edward who served and is still living. We were both Navy Men
32. James Garrett says:
3 Jul 2016 12:53:48 PM

My dad AMS2 Bill Garrett served on Essex for the entire war. He was a member of Air Group 9. He shared many stories with me that I'd be glad to exchange if anyone wants. I also have some pictures of him and his buddies if there is some place I can post I'd be happy to share.
33. David Hertling says:
9 Oct 2016 05:49:02 PM

My father-in-law was an F6F Hellcat pilot who served on the USS Essex during WWII. Does anyone remember him? He passed away in 2003. We are writing a family history and documenting his service. Any information would be welcome.
34. David Hertling says:
11 Oct 2016 05:55:15 AM

In my previous comment I forgot to include my father-in-law's name - John Curl. He was an F6F Hellcat pilot and served on the USS Essex in WWII.
35. Jean Collin says:
10 Feb 2017 09:04:17 AM

My father - Henry Bays Jr. served on the USS Essex..
I just found the Thanksgiving Menu aboard the carrier from 1957
36. Robin Welch says:
20 Apr 2017 08:25:43 PM

Just a note like so many others to pay notice and respect to the shipmates of my father, Kenneth Lee Welch, who served with tremendous pride aboard his beloved Essex. He was a watertender and served in the boiler room with B Division. As a child, I met some of his shipmates at Essex Reunions in Louisville, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, and St. Louis. Among those I met, I remember with tremendous respect and pride meeting Capt. Donald B. Duncan. There were tears in my father's eyes at seeing the Old Man one more time and the awe in which he held him translated instantly to me, his young son, as he introduced us.

Sail on across the seas of the Great Beyond, bold mariners!
37. Joan Haselman says:
21 Aug 2017 04:39:37 PM

My father, James Francis Hays, also served on the USS Essex in WWII. He was from California and entered the Navy after his graduation from USC. Then he went to Chicago for his Naval training.
38. Charles Dobbs says:
13 Dec 2017 01:03:35 PM

I am trying to find out about my grandfather, I know he was a gunners mate aboard the Essex his name is Everett Kidd
39. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
13 Dec 2017 06:42:21 PM

To Charles Dobbs (above):
According to the Essex Muster Rolls, GM2c Everett Kidd, service number 634 09 11, enlisted 6 Jan 1942, he was received aboard on 3 Jun 1944 from the receiving station at Pearl Harbor, and the was transferred off the ship on 19 Nov 1945 to the receiving station at Seattle, Washington. The best source of information about his service would be a copy of his service record. See for more on how to do that.
40. Ted Zaborski says:
23 Jan 2018 08:55:03 AM

Trying to find info on my cousin who served on the Essex in the pacific.
His name is E.J. Kohut, ARM 2/C, Torpedo Group 15. All I know is that he was KIA.

Thanks for any info.
41. Robin Welch says:
24 May 2018 05:09:32 AM

Looking to find out about my grandfather, Kenneth Lee Welch. I know he worked down in the boiler room; but I can’t seem to find much in him at all.
42. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
24 May 2018 10:55:32 AM

Robin Welch (above):
USS Essex Muster Rolls list at least 15 entries for Kenneth Lee Welch dating from 15 Sep 1943 through 2 May 1946 and perhaps beyond. The Muster Rolls indicate he enlisted on 15 Jun 1943 at Huntington WVa and had a service number of 828 25 77. He was received aboard Essex on 15 Sep 1943 from the Pleasanton Distribution Center in Pleasanton, California with a rating of Fireman 3rd-class (remembering that “Fireman” did not mean firefighter but one who tended the boiler fires). He appears regularly in the Essex Muster Rolls, rising to the rating of Water Tender 3rd-class (also a boiler room job) and apparently left the ship 2 May 1946 in Bremerton, Washington.

To learn even more about his service, I cannot recommend highly enough the value of requesting a copy of his service record. See
43. Mark A Watts says:
21 Sep 2018 06:56:38 PM

Willey Monroe Jones my grandfather was on the Essex in dimond head when pear was attacked paw-paw passed in 1994 he left me with a shell of the Essex about 8 inches long and as round as a quarter he didn't speak much about it he said we won but at a price I also had a great Uncle Jimmy white whom was crushed between 2 tanks in the battle of heroshima pordon the spelling any info would be great fully appreciated I remember his job consisted of guns
44. Tom spanel says:
7 Jan 2019 07:36:19 PM

My uncle was romaine Spanel and served on the Essex as an electrician. He was a great man like all those that served.
45. Dannielle Lund says:
9 Feb 2019 06:47:57 PM

My daddy served on exxes he a
Always talks about it,What a remarkable carrier,
46. Kathleen A Mayton says:
10 Jul 2020 02:06:05 PM

My father, James Thomas Zappen served on the Randolph in ww2
47. Anonymous says:
30 Sep 2020 11:18:59 AM

I wanted to thank this site for the posted pics of the US Essex. My father served on this magnificent flagship and was on it when it was hit by the kamikaze. He had told me about the attack but these pics certainly were appreciated & terrifying. Thank you to all service personnel & their families.
48. Steve Gormley says:
30 Dec 2020 11:33:47 AM

My uncle Bill Gormley was a gunner with VT-15 on the Essex. He was shot down during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. He was repatriated some 49 days later with a American Sub.
49. Michael Cohen says:
27 Jul 2021 09:15:34 PM

To Steve Gormley
My uncle Michael M Cohen was a radioman with VT 15 on the Essex. He was lost 8 Sept 44 during a raid on Peleliu.
50. Debbie says:
23 Dec 2021 10:13:42 AM

My father R. E. Fowler, Jr also served in the Essex in 1944 with VF-15.

All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.

Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments


1. We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

2. For inquiries about military records for members of the World War II armed forces, please see our FAQ.

Search WW2DB
More on Essex
Event(s) Participated:
» Gilbert Islands Campaign
» Marshall Islands Campaign
» Attack on Truk
» Philippines Campaign, Phase 1, the Leyte Campaign
» Philippines Campaign, Phase 2
» Typhoon Cobra
» Raid into the South China Sea
» Battle of Iwo Jima
» Okinawa Campaign
» Preparations for Invasion of Japan

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

Aircraft Carrier Essex (CV-9) Photo Gallery
Basic drawing for the proposed new class of United States aircraft carrier, a variation known as Design 9F, that would essentially be adopted for the Essex and the Essex-class, 23 Sep 1941
See all 79 photographs of Aircraft Carrier Essex (CV-9)

Famous WW2 Quote
"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."

Winston Churchill

Support Us

Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 a month will go a long way. Thank you!

Or, please support us by purchasing some WW2DB merchandise at TeeSpring, Thank you!