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  USS Independence CVL-22
Independence Class
Light Carrier

10,662 Tons Standard
14,751 Tons Loaded
623' x 71.5' x 109.2'
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 CVL-22 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.

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

Wartime History
Departed for a raid in the Central Pacific. On September 1, 1943 carrier aircraft attacked Marcus Island. Next, on October 5-6, 1943 attacked Wake Island.


Sinking History
In 1951, scuttled.

During 2009, Independence was located in 2,600' (790m) in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary off the Farallon Islands at approximately Lat  37°30′00″N Long 123°05′00″W. During March 2015, scientists and technicians from  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) embarked aboard the sanctuary vessel R/V 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. The wreck is resting upright with a slight list to starboard and most of the flight deck intact, although there are gaping holes in the flight deck leading to the hangar deck below 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 mission led by Robert Ballard, deep sea oceanographer, and partnered with the Ocean Exploration Trust and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, brought investigators closer to the wreckage than ever before. Using robotic exploration vehicles, the team surveyed the USS Independence for the first time since it sank 65 years ago, streaming footage online. While investigating the wreckage, researchers found evidence of at least one existing Grumman Hellcat plane as well as anti-aircraft weaponry.

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Last Updated
January 10, 2018


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