Newport News SB & DD Co.
Oct. 27, 1943
Mar. 20, 1945
Sep. 10, 1945
Franklin D. Roosevelt
New York Navy Yard
Dec. 1, 1943
Apr. 29, 1945
Nov. 3, 1945
Newport News SB & DD Co.
Jul. 10, 1944
Apr. 2, 1946
Oct. 1, 1947
The exact as built specifications for each ship varied slightly. Final specifications for each ship varied widely and are not listed here.
Displacement: 45,000 tons, Full load 60,100 tons
Length: 968 feet
Beam: 113 feet
Extreme Width: 136 feet
Draft: 35 feet
Propulsion: Steam turbines, 12 Boilers
Top Speed: 33 knots
Armor: 3.5 inch flight deck, 7.6 inch belt
Armament: 18 Five-inch guns, 84 40mm guns and 28 20mm guns.
Overview: These carriers were the largest US warships constructed during World War II. Completed too late for service in that conflict, they were the backbone of US naval strength for the first decade of the cold war. These ships were the first US aircraft carriers designed with an armored flight deck. Also, the first US warships with a designed width too large to enable them to pass through the Panama Canal. Another design feature was the placement of the ships guns below the the level of the flight deck. This was done to prevent gun blast damage to the aircraft on the flight deck. Beginning in 1949 they were modified to store, assemble and load nuclear weapons, making them the world's first warships with a nuclear strike capability. The P2V-3C Neptune and AJ-1 Savage were the first carrier based delivery aircraft.
The life span of the Midway carriers covered 47 years. They were eclipsed in size and capability within ten years but remained work horses throughout. They faced many planned decommisioning's but proved their worth time and again and had longer service lives than some of the super-carriers built after them.
Classification: Originaly classified as CV, but changed to CVB on July 15, 1945. Another reclassification to CVA took place on October 1, 1952. Final classification to CV took place on June 30, 1975.
Modernization: All three carriers underwent major reconstructions during their service life.
SCB 110: The FDR and Midway were the first to get modernized. The plan included the addition of the angle deck, new catapults, arresting gear, hurricane bow, three deck edge elevators and new electronics.
SCB 110A: The Coral Sea was the last of the three to get the modernization and actually received a more extensive overhaul under plan SCB-110A.
SCB 101: Planned for all three in the Midway class. The USS Midway was the only one of the three to get this modernization. The cost was much greater than budgeted so the other two ships had their SCB 101 plans cancelled. SCB-101 included a longer flight deck, new catapults, and other modifications.
Roosevelt: Decommisioned and sold for scrap in 1977.
Coral Sea: Decommisioned and sold for scrap in 1990. Finished scrapping in 2000.
Midway: Permanent museum in San Diego 2004.