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  USS Independence CVL-22
USN
Independence Class
Light Carrier

10,662 Tons (standard)
14,751 Tons (loaded)
623' x 71.5' x 24.3'
26 x 40mm AA guns

30 Aircraft including
9 x Dive Bombers
9 x Torpedo Bombers
12 x Fighters

Ship History
Built by New York Shipbuilding Corporation in Camden, NJ. Laid down May 1, 1941 as a light cruiser USS Amsterdam CL-59. Launched August 22, 1942 as USS Independence, the first light carrier of the Independence Class Light Carrier. Sponsored by Mrs. Dorothy Warner, wife of Rawleigh Warner. Commissioned January 14, 1943 with Captain G. R. Fairlamb, Jr., in command.

Independence conducted a shakedown cruise and training in the Caribbean then via Panama Canal to San Francisco arriving on July 3, 1943 then departed for Pearl Harbor arriving July 14, 1943. The next day redesignated CVL-22 and conducted training exercises with USS Essex (CV-9) and USS Yorktown (CV-10).

Wartime History
Departed for a raids against Japanese occupied islands in the Central Pacific. On September 1, 1943 her carrier aircraft attacked Marcus Island. On October 5-6, 1943 her aircraft attacked Wake Island.

PARTIAL HISTORY

Postwar
Independence was moored at San Francisco and was used to study decontamination until the carrier's age and risk of sinking resulted in the decision for her to be scuttled.

Sinking History
On January 26, 1951 towed from San Francisco and scuttled off Farallon Islands at at approximately Lat  37°30′00″N Long 123°05′00″W.

Shipwreck
During 2009, Independence was located upright with a slight list to starboard and most of the flight deck intact, although there are gaping holes leading to the hangar deck below on the sea floor at a depth of 2,600' (790m)  off the Farallon Islands in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

During March 2015, scientists and technicians from  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) embarked aboard the sanctuary vessel RV Fulmar used the autonomous underwater vehicle Echo Ranger to make a survey of the wreck, employing the echoscope three-dimensional imaging sonar to make a series of images of it. What appears to be an airplane on the hangar deck is visible through the forward aircraft elevator hatch. No signs of radioactive contamination were detected, and a NOAA spokesman described the wreck as "amazingly intact."

During 2016, a team from the Ocean Exploration Trust and and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) led by Robert Ballard used robotic exploration vehicles (ROVs) to make a closer inspection and survey of the shipwreck while streaming the footage online. During their survey, they located at least one F6F Hellcat inside the hanger and documented anti-aircraft guns aboard.

References
Dive Training "50 Years After Sinking, Aircraft Carrier 'Amazingly Intact'" June 2015 page 18
NOAA Sanctuaries USS Independence

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Last Updated
May 12, 2018

 

SCUBA
2,600'
790m
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