Surviving Grumman S2F Tracker Information Repository
By David D Jackson

Focusing on Existing Grumman S2F / S-2 Tracker, TF-1 / C-1A Trader and WF-2 / E-1B Tracer Airframes

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The CVS Anti-Submarine Carrier


136427 weapons bay open at Anderson, IN

During WWII the Navy found one of the most effective means of combating submarines on the open seas was the use of small escort carriers which used Grumman TBMs and F4Fs to spot and destroy submarines as they escorted convoys across the North Atlantic.  These small carriers were built on the hulls of merchant ships, which were small and slow.  However, after WWII the aircraft that were being introduced were becoming heavier and faster, with the introduction of jet powered aircraft, and the targeted submarines were becoming faster also..  The small escort carriers of WWII were therefore no longer suitable for the anti-submarine task.  It was decided to convert  Essex class carriers of WWII to the anti-submarine role, each of which would be escorted by smaller vessels which making up an anti-submarine task force.  Note in the photo below the (11) Trackers, (2) AD-5Ws, and the (4) HSS-1s in the air, and the (2) Trackers on the deck.

Below is information about the different CVS carriers.


USS Essex
CVS-9

The USS Essex was the first and namesake a class of 24 aircraft carriers  which formed the nucleus of the fast carrier task groups which were very important to the defeat of Japan in the Pacific in WWII.  No Essex class carrier was ever sunk and they served during Korea and Vietnam.  Today several are Museums located through the US. (USS Lexington, USS Hornet , USS Intrepid , USS Yorktown )

USS Essex Home Page        USS Essex Photo Album 
 


USS Yorktown
CVS-10

The USS Yorktown has been a great tourist attraction in Charlestown, SC for many years.  This is again the result of a large amount of hard work by dedicated individuals to start such a project and then maintain the Yorktown and the other ships on display with her over the years.

USS Yorktown Museum            CVS-10            VS-23


USS Intrepid
CVS-11

USS Intrepid Photos   USS Intrepid Museum


The USS Hornet
CVS-12

The USS Hornet through the efforts of many hard working dedicated persons has been saved for future generations as a Museum in Alameda, CA.  Unfortunately, most of the great WWII ships such as the Hornet were long ago cut up for scrap long ago. 

Note that the USS Hornet's Museum web site's home page opening photo shows her in the CVS configuration with Grumman Trackers on her deck.

USS Hornet Museum                       US Hornet Photos


The USS Ticonderoga
CVS-14


Photo courtesy of Gary Goldberg.


Photo courtesy of Gary Goldberg.

USS Ticonderoga Photos


The USS Randolph
CVS-15

 

The photos in this section of the USS Randolph were taken by Tracker Air Group member Tom Fisher during his tour on this carrier in the late 1950's.  As this time there were (2) squadrons of Trackers aboard, (1) detachment of AD-3W early warning Skyraiders, and one squadron of Sikorsky HSS-1 Seabats aboard the Randolph.  All of the these aircraft types can be observed in the photos below and the photo below was taken at Pier 86 in New York City.

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Task Force Alpha

USS Randolph History                USS Randolph Photo Page


The USS Lexington
CVS-16

USS Lexington Photos   USS Lexington Museum


The USS Wasp
CVS-18

If you want to see a larger version of this, and can spend a little time waiting for the download, then click

  The Wasp as CVS-18 took part in the blockade of Cuba in 1962 and was the prime recovery ship for Gemini 4, 6A, 7, 9, and 12 in the mid sixties.  She was decommissioned on 1 July 1972 and then scrapped after thirty years of service for her country.


USS Wasp Home Page                USS Wasp Photo Page  


USS Bennington
CVS-20

The USS Bennington was another of the Essex Class carriers, which during WWII had its air group participate in the sinking of the Japanese battleship Yamato.  While on cruise in 1953 she suffered a series of explosions which left 103 of her crew dead.  Converted to the CVS configuration in 1960, she would serve 3 tours in in the South Chin Sea off of Vietnam from 1965 to 1969.  HC-7, Det 110 Seadevils would operate from the Benny and perform SAR with its helicopters.

USS Bennington Home Page        USS Bennington Photo Album    HC-7 Seadevils
 


USS Boxer
CVS-21

 

USS Boxer CVS-21 History     USS Boxer Wikipedia


USS Leyte
CVS-32

USS Leyte Photos   USS Leyte Wikipedia


USS Kearsarge
CVS-33

USS Kearsarge was the 16th Essex  class aircraft carrier and the third ship in the Navy to bear the name. She was made redundant by the general fleet drawdown of the late 1960s and early 1970s, and was decommissioned on February 13, 1970. Following three years in the Reserve Fleet, she was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register in May 1973 and sold for scrapping in February 1974.

USS Kearsarge CV-33 History     USS Kearsarge Wikipedia


USS Antietam
CVS-36

USS Antietam Photos   USS Antietam Wikipedia
 


USS Princeton
CVS-37


Photo courtesy of Don Bailey.


Photo courtesy of Don Bailey.


Note the starboard side main gear wheel bouncing across the deck.  Photo courtesy of Don Bailey.


USS Princeton CVS-37 History    USS Princeton Wikipedia


USS Lake Champlain
CVS -39


A deck load Trackers.  US Navy Photo via Bill Pope.


More Trackers.  US Navy Photo via Bill Pope.


This photo and the one below were taken May-June of 1960.  Photo courtesy of Bill Pope.


Photo courtesy of Bill Pope.

The USS Lake Champlain, nicknamed "The Champ", was the last of the straight deck carriers, finishing out her service to the country in 1966.  From  1960-64 The Champ was home to CVSG-54, which consisted of VS-22 and 32, HS-5,  and VAW-33 Det 39) 

US Navy CV-39 History       


USS Tarawa
CVS-40

USS Tarawa Photos   USS Tarawa Wikipedia


USS Valley Forge
CVS-45

USS Valley Forge Photos   USS Valley Forge Wikipedia


USS Philippine Sea
CVS -47


 CVS-47 anchored at Hong Kong in 1957.  Photo courtesy of Joe Dunegan.


 Photo courtesy of Joe Dunegan.


 Photo courtesy of Joe Dunegan.

Make sure you visit Joe Dunegan's VS-37 Website for great information and photos:  VS-37 Website

 

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