World War II was raging in the in the early 1940's. During these years, many memorable battles took place in Europe and the Pacific Theater. Some of these battles included, Coral Sea, Midway, Anzio and many others. During this period, the United States ship building industry was in high gear producing ships in an effort to get them out to the fleet as quickly as possible. As fast as these ships were named they were renamed to honor the many historic events that were unfolding during the war. One of the most important Naval battles of the war was the Battle of the Coral Sea in May of 1942. It wouldn't be long before a United States ship would be named to commemorate this historic event.
There were actually three Coral Sea aircraft carriers in the United States Navy. It goes something like this:
Coral Sea #1 - USS Anzio CVE-57
Auxiliary aircraft carrier: ACV-57 was laid down on 12 December 1942 by the Kaiser Shipbuilding Co., Vancouver, Wash. under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 1094); named ALIKULA BAY on 22 January 1943; renamed CORAL SEA on 3 April 1943; launched on 1 May 1943. Redesignated CVE-57 and reclassified as a Casablanca class Escort Carrier, on 15 July 1943; and commissioned at Astoria, Oreg., on 27 August 1943. The USS Coral Sea saw combat in World War II participating in actions at Makin Island, Kwajalein, Emirau Island, New Guinea and Saipan where she sustained minor battle damage. Ultimately, CORAL SEA was ordered back to the United States for a much needed overhaul. On 15 September 1944 the ship was officially renamed USS Anzio to honor the soldiers who won a fierce and decisive four month battle at Anzio, Italy in early 1944.Here is the best page I could find on CVE-57:
Coral Sea #2 - USS Franklin D. Roosevelt CVB-42
Midway Class Large Fleet Carrier: CVB-42 was laid down in 1942. The ship was launched Apr. 29, 1945, as the Coral Sea. However, following Roosevelt's death in office on April 12, 1945, his successor, President Harry S. Truman, ordered that the aircraft carrier already christened Coral Sea be renamed Franklin D. Roosevelt. Commissioned USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVB 42) Oct. 27, 1945.
Don Saddler, who is a former FDR crewmember and an aircraft carrier aficionado, sent me the following:
"First thing you have to agree on is that the "FDR" is really the "Coral Sea". When I was aboard the "Rosie" I went down in the bilges, And right there it said Coral Sea on the KEEL."
From Larry Carl:
"I was on the FDR CVA42 '68-70 as a SN. I remember being in the lower berthing spaces and noticed some lettering on the inside of one the hullplates were a shipfitter back in '45 had marked the plate CORAL SEA in a welding bead.
Coral Sea #3 - USS Coral Sea CVB-43
Midway class Large Fleet Carrier: CVB-43 was laid down on 14 June 1943. Was launched as the Coral Sea on 2 April 1946 by Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Newport News, Va., Commissioned USS Coral Sea CVB-43, 1 October 1947.