World Aircraft Carriers List: US Assault Carriers

Revised 26 November 2001
Version 2.08
Compiled and Maintained by: Andrew Toppan
World Aircraft Carrier Lists Main Page:

Block Island (LPH 1)
Thetis Bay (LPH 6)
Boxer Class
Boxer (LPH 4)
Princeton (LPH 5)
Valley Forge (LPH 8)

Iwo Jima Class
Iwo Jima (LPH 2)
Okinawa (LPH 3)
Guadalcanal (LPH 7)
Guam (LPH 9)
Tripoli (LPH 10)
New Orleans (LPH 11)
Inchon (LPH 12)

Tarawa Class
Tarawa (LHA 1)
Saipan (LHA 2)
Belleau Wood (LHA 3)
Nassau (LHA 4)
Peleliu (LHA 5)
LHA 6 through LHA 9

Wasp Class
Wasp (LHD 1)
Essex (LHD 2)
Kearsarge (LHD 3)
Boxer (LHD 4)
Bataan (LHD 5)
Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6)
Iwo Jima (LHD 7)
LHX Project

Block Island (Commencement Bay Class) escort aircraft carrier

Specifications as originally commissioned
Displacement: 21,397 tons full load
Dimensions: 525 x 75 x 30.5 feet/160 x 22.9 x 9.3 meters
Extreme Dimensions: 557 x 105 x 30.5 feet/17.4 x 32 x 9.3 meters
Propulsion: Steam turbines, 4 450 psi boilers, 2 shafts, 16,000 hp, 19 knots
Crew: 1054
Armor: none
Armament: 2 single 5/38 DP, 3 quad, 12 dual 40 mm AA, 20 single 20 mm AA
Aircraft: 33

Concept/Program: In 1957 it was planned to convert this ship to an amphibious assault ship, but the conversion was cancelled before work was started.

Class: Commencement Bay class.

Design: Details of the proposed conversion are not known.

Conversion: No conversion work was carried out.

Classification: Reclassified LPH 1 when the conversion was initially planned, but returned to old designation (CVE 106) after the conversion was cancelled.

Block Island
ex Sunset Bay
CVE 106 - LPH 1 - CVE 106 - AKV 38
Photos: [During WWII], [During 1950's reactivation].

DANFS History

Built by Todd-Pacific. Laid down 25 Oct 1943, launched 10 June 1944, commissioned 30 Dec 1944.

Served in the Pacific in 1945. Decommissioned to reserve 28 May 1946; used as a school ship at Annapolis while in reserve. Recommissioned as an ASW carrier 28 April 1951. Decommissioned to reserve 27 Aug 1954

Redesignated LPH 1 22 Dec 1957 while in reserve, but conversion to LPH was cancelled 6/1958 prior to start of conversion work. Returned to original designation 17 Feb 1959. Redesignated as an aviation transport (AKV 38) 7 May 1959 while in reserve. Stricken for disposal 1 July 1959. Sold and scrapped in Japan in 1960.

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Thetis Bay amphibious assault ship

Displacement: ~11,000 tons full load
Dimensions: 490 x 65 x 19.75 feet/149.4 x 19.8 x 6 meters
Extreme Dimensions:498 x 108 x 19.75 feet/151.9 x 32.9 x 6 meters
Propulsion: VTE reciprocating engines, 4 285 psi boilers, 1 shaft, 9,000 hp, 20 knots
Crew: ~900
Troops: 938
Armor: none
Armament: 4 dual 40 mm AA
Aircraft: 20

Concept/Program: Converted to become the first US amphibious assault ship following trials of the concept in other carriers. She carried troops and light equipment, but not the heavy equipment carried by later ships. Troops were landed via helicopter only.

Class: Originally Casablanca class as an escort carrier.

Design: Built on a modified S4 Special type merchant freighter hull.

Conversion: Aviation facilities modified to support helicopters, gun armament greatly reduced. The extreme aft section of the flight deck was cut away to increase clearances around the aft elevator. Facilities for troops and their equipment were fitted.

Modifications: No major modifications in service.

Classification: Classed as helicopter assault carrier (CVHA) upon conversion, but changed to amphibious assault ship (LPH) to avoid confusion with first-line CVA-type carriers.

Departure from Service/Disposal: Replaced by larger, more efficient purpose-built assault ships.

Thetis Bay
CVE 90 - CVHA 1 - LPH 6
Photos: [Thetis Bay during WWII], [As converted to assault carrier, designated CVHA 1], [Redesignated LPH 6].

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 22 Dec 1943, launched 16 March 1944, commissioned 21 April 1944. Served mostly as a transport in the Pacific.

Decommissioned to reserve 7 Aug 1946. Redesignated as a helicopter assault carrier (CVHA 1) 1 July 1955, converted and recommissioned 20 July 1956. Redesignated as an amphibious assault ship (LPH 6) 28 May 1959. Decommissioned and stricken for disposal 1 March 1964. Proposed for transfer to Spain but CVL 28 transferred instead. Sold and scrapped in 1966.

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Boxer class amphibious assault ships

Displacement: 38,000 tons full load
Dimensions: 820 x 93 x 28 feet/249.9 x 28.3 x 8.5 meters
Extreme Dimensions: 888 x 147.5 x 28 feet/270.6 x 44.9 x 8.5 meters
Propulsion: Steam turbines, 4 565 psi boilers, 4 shafts, 75,000 hp, 25 knots
Crew: 1,200
Troops: 1450
Armor: 1.5 inch hangar deck, 2.5-4 inch belt
Armament: 2 dual, 2 single 5/38 SP (4 dual 5/38, no single in Boxer)
Aircraft: 30 helicopters

Concept/Program: Essex/Ticonderoga class fleet carriers converted to serve as interim assault ships after they were rendered obsolete as carriers. All had seen service as ASW carriers immediately prior to conversion. Conversion of Lake Champlain to LPH was considered but cancelled.

Class: Originally Essex and Ticonderoga class fleet carriers.

Conversion: Catapults, arresting gear, etc. removed. All guns removed except two dual 5/38 and 2 single 5/38 retained for fire support roles. Most radars were removed. 4 of 8 boilers were deactivated; half the hangar was converted as troop berthing and equipment storage spaces.

Variations: Boxer retained all four of the original dual 5/38 mounts and no single mounts.

Modernization: All underwent FRAM II life extension overhaul.

Classification: Reclassified as LPH at the time of conversion.

Operational: These ships were not fully satisfactory in this role. Troop berthing spaces were poorly arranged; equipment storage and transfer facilities did not allow heavy equipment to be carried. The smaller, purpose-built Iwo Jima class ships were much less expensive to operate and maintain and were more effective as assault ships.

Departure from Service/Disposal: Discarded 1969-1970 after completion of the Iwo Jima class.

CV 21 - CVA 21 - CVS 21 - LPH 4
Photos: [Boxer as completed], [After conversion to assault ship].

DANFS History

Built by Newport News. Laid down 13 Sept 1943, launched 4 Dec 1944, commissioned 16 April 1945.

Damaged by explosion 8/1952. Redesignated as an ASW carrier (CVS 21) 15 Nov 1955. Redesignated as an amphibious assault ship (LPH 4) 30 Jan 1959. FRAM II life extension FY 1962.

Decommissioned and stricken for disposal 1 Dec 1969. Sold for scrapping 2/1971 and subsequently scrapped at Kearny NJ.

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ex-Valley Forge
CV 37 - CVA 37 - CVS 37 - LPH 5
Photos: [Princeton as completed], [As ASW carrier], [Converted to assault ship].

DANFS History

Built by Philadelphia Navy. Laid down 14 Sept 1943, renamed 21 Nov 1944, launched 8 July 1945, commissioned 18 Nov 1945.

Decommissioned to reserve 21 June 1949. Recommissioned for Korean War service 28 Aug 1950 without significant modifications. Redesignated as an attack carrier (CVA 37) 1 October 1952. Redesignated as an ASW carrier (CVS 37) 12 Nov 1953.

Redesignated as an amphibious assault ship (LPH 5) 2 March 1959; converted at Long Beach Navy Yard 3/1959 to 5/1959. FRAM II life extension 10/1960 to 6/1961. Decommissioned and stricken for disposal 30 Jan 1970. Subsequently sold and scrapped starting 9/1973.

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Valley Forge
CV 45 - CVA 45 - CVS 45 - LPH 8
Photos: [Valley Forge as completed], [As ASW carrier], [Converted to assault ship].

DANFS History

Built by Philadelphia Navy. Laid down 7 Sept 1945, launched 18 Nov 1945, commissioned 3 Nov 1946.

Redesignated as an ASW carrier (CVS 45) 12 Nov 1953.

Converted to amphibious assault ship 3/1961 to 7/1961; redesignated LPH 8 1 July 1961. FRAM II life extension, date unknown. Decommissioned and stricken for disposal 15 Jan 1970. Sold 29 Oct 1971 and subsequently scrapped.

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Iwo Jima class amphibious assault ships

Displacement: 18,474 tons full load
Dimensions: 556 x 84 x 26 feet/169.5 x 25.6 x 7.9 meters
Extreme Dimensions: 592 x 104 x 26 feet/180.5 x 31.7 x 7.9 meters
Propulsion:Steam turbines, 2 600 psi boilers, 1 shaft, 22,000 hp, 22 knots
Crew: 667
Troops: 2157
Armor: none
Armament: 4 dual 3/50 AA
Aircraft: 20+ helicopters

Concept/Program: First purpose-built amphibious assault ships. These were much more efficient and effective than the previous converted ships.

Design: All-new design, similar in size and overall configuration to WWII escort carriers.

Variations: Inchon completed with small landing craft in davits to provide bad-weather assault capability.

Modifications: Overall there were few modifications. Two 3/50 mounts were replaced by 8-cell Sea Sparrow BPDMS launchers (except in Okinawa no missiles were mounted), and two Phalanx CIWS were added. Several .50 cal MGs were carried for defense against small craft. Ultimately approximately 25 helicopters were embarked.

Modernization: No major modernizations.

Departure from Service/Disposal: Replaced by LHDs during the 1990's.

Other Notes: Inchon was converted to a mine countermeasures command and support ship instead of being decommissioned. She was fitted with facilities for a mine countermeasures group commander and carried 11 minesweeping and utility helicopters. Outfitted to provide in-port and underway support, maintenance and replenishment for surface mine countermeasures vessels. The Sea Sparrow and 3/50 AA were removed; 4 25 mm Bushmaster cannon were added. Troop spaces converted to standard berthing spaces to accommodate crew of 815 plus 652 in various detachments.

Iwo Jima
Photos: [At launch], [Iwo Jima as completed], [In service].

DANFS History

Built by Puget Sound Navy Yard. Laid down 2 April 1959, launched 17 Sept 1960, commissioned 29 Aug 1961.

Decommissioned and stricken for disposal 31 July 1993. Sold 25 July 1995 and scrapped at Brownsville, TX 1/1996 to 11/1996.

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Photos: [In service].

DANFS History

Built by Philadelphia Navy Yard. Laid down 1 April 1960, launched 14 Aug 1961, commissioned 14 April 1962.

Decommissioned and stricken 19 Nov 1992 but retained as a parts hulk; transferred to MarAd custody for layup 16 January 1993 but returned to the Navy 18 Aug 2000 and moved to Bremerton, WA.

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Photos: [As completed], [Laid up at Philadelphia].

DANFS History

Built by Philadelphia Navy Yard. Laid down 1 Sept 1961, launched 16 March 1963, commissioned 20 July 1963.

Decommissioned and stricken 31 Aug 1994 but not disposed of. Reportedly this ship was considered for conversion to a mine countermeasures support ship (MCS) instead of, or in addition to, Inchon. Preservation efforts at New York City and Quincy MA failed. Storaged at Philadelphia pending disposal; later moved to James River.

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Photos: [As completed], [Late service appearance].

Built by Philadelphia Navy Yard. Laid down 15 Nov 1962, launched 22 Aug 1964, commissioned 16 Jan 1965.

Operated as Sea Control Ship 1972-1974 for trials of the SCS concept. Major overhaul 1994-1995 to provide 10 years of additional service. Decommissioned 25 August 1998; stricken 11/1998 retroactive to 25 August 1998. Stored at Norfolk pending disposal; later moved to James River.

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LPH 10
Photos: [As completed],

DANFS History

Built by Ingalls. Laid down 15 June 1964, launched 31 July 1956, commissioned 6 Aug 1966.

Operated as mine countermeasures support ship during Desert Storm. Hit mine 18 Feb 1991 with significant damage to starboard bow; repaired in the Gulf. Decommissioned and stricken 8 Sept 1995. Leased to US Army 27 June 1997 as a missile trials platform; currently moored at Mare Island awaiting conversion/use by the Army.

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New Orleans
LPH 11
Photos: [In service],

DANFS History

Built by Philadelphia Navy Yard. Laid down 1 March 1966, launched 3 Feb 1968, commissioned 16 Nov 1968.

Decommissioned 31 October 1997; laid up in reserve at Suisun Bay pending preservation at Long Beach. Stricken for disposal 23 October 1998.

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LPH 12 - MCS 12
Photos: [As completed], [After conversion to MCS], [With MH-53Es & UH-46s on deck].

Built by Ingalls. Laid down 8 April 1968, launched 24 May 1969, commissioned 20 June 1970.

Redesignated MCS 12 6 March 1995; converted to mine countermeasures support ship at Ingalls 3/1995 to 28 May 1996. Transferred to Naval Reserve Force (NRF) 30 September 1996 with partial reserve crew.

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Tarawa class amphibious assault ships

Displacement: 39,300 tons design full load
Dimensions: 778 x 106.5 x 25.75 feet/237 x 32.5 x 7.8 meters
Extreme: 820 x 126 x 25.75 feet/249.9 x 38.4 x 7.8 meters
Propulsion: Steam turbines, 2 600 psi boilers, 2 shafts, 70,000 shp, 22 knots
Crew: 902
Troops: 1900
Armor: none
Armament: 2 8-cell Sea Sparrow BPDMS, 3 single 5/54 DP, 6 single 20 mm
Aircraft: 30 helicopters initially

Concept/Program: A new concept in assault ships, combining the roles of helicopter assault ships (LPH), dock landing ships/transports (LSD/LPD) and command ships (LCC) in one hull. 9 ships were planned, but 4 cancelled due to cost overruns in this and other programs.

Design: Large, bulky hull. Full length flight deck with large hangar. 268 x 78 foot docking well. Extensive storage areas for vehicles and bulk cargo. Large island; extensive command and hospital facilities. 5" guns at flight deck corners. Design included extensive automation, which initially caused serious problems.

Modifications: Aft 5" gun removed to make space for RPV controls; forward 5" guns removed from some ships 1990's. 2 Phalanx CIWS added to all ships, and 2 21 cell RAM are to be added in place of (or in addition to) Sea Sparrow.

Modernization: No major modernizations, but austere overhaul/life extension planned for 1990's; this work will mainly serve to correct existing deficiencies and repair wear-and-tear. Weight reduction will probably include removal of all 5" guns, half the ships' boats, the boat deck and the boat crane; Nassau has already undergone these modifications.

Operational: Now operate with approx. 30 helicopters and 6 VSTOL (Harriers).

Photos: [In service].

Built by Litton-Ingalls. Laid down 15 Nov 1971, launched 1 Dec 1973, commissioned 29 May 1976.

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Photos: [As completed]. [In service].

Built by Litton-Ingalls. Laid down 21 July 1972, launched 18 July 1974, commissioned 15 Oct 1977.

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Belleau Wood
Photos: [In service].

Built by Litton-Ingalls. Laid down 5 March 1973, launched 11 April 1977, commissioned 23 Sept 1978.

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Photos: [In service].

Built by Litton-Ingalls. Laid down 13 Aug 1973, launched 21 Jan 1978, commissioned 28 July 1979.

Operated as Sea Control Ship 1981.

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ex Da Nang
Photos: [In service].

Built by Litton-Ingalls. Laid down 12 Nov 1976, renamed 15 Feb 1978, launched 25 Nov 1978, commissioned 3 May 1980.

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No names assigned
LHA 6 through 9
All cancelled; none named or ordered. Would have been built by Litton-Ingalls.


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Wasp class amphibious assault ships

Displacement: 40,530 tons design full load
Dimensions: 778 x 106 x 26.6 feet/237 x 32.3 x 8 meters
Extreme Dimensions: 844 x 140 x 26.6 feet/8.1 x 257.4 x 42.7 meters
Propulsion: Steam turbines, 2 600 psi boilers, 2 shafts, 70,000 hp, 22 knots
Crew: 1,082
Troops: 1,875
Armor: none
Armament: 2 8-cell NATO Sea Sparrow, 2 21-cell RAM, 3 Phalanx CIWS, 8 .50 cal MG
Aircraft: 30 helicopters + 6 VSTOL or 20 VSTOL + 6 helicopters as SCS

Concept/Program: An improved version of the Tarawa class, essentially a continuation of the LHA series.

Design: Modified Tarawa design. Changes include: reconfigured docking well, 5" guns eliminated and flight deck corners plated in, command spaces and island reconfigured, improved support facilities for Harriers, aircraft elevator arrangement improved, improved self defense armament.

Classification: Should have been classified in the LHA series.

Operational: Design includes provision to operate as a Sea Control Ship with VSTOL aircraft and ASW helicopters.

Photos: [In service].

Built by Litton-Ingalls. Laid down 30 May 1985, launched 4 Aug 1987, commissioned 29 July 1988.

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Photos: [In service].

Built by Litton-Ingalls. Laid down 20 March 1989, launched 7 Jan 1991, commissioned 19 Oct 1992.

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Photos: [In service].

Built by Litton-Ingalls. Laid down 6 Feb 1990, launched 26 March 1992, commissioned 25 Sept 1993.

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Photos: [In service].

Built by Litton-Ingalls. Laid down 8 April 1991, launched 13 Aug 1993, commissioned 11 Feb 1995.

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Photos: [On trials].

Laid down 25 April 1994, launched 15 March 1996, commissioned 20 September 1997.

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Bonhomme Richard
Photos: [Building].

Building at Litton-Ingalls. Laid down 18 June 1995, commissioned 15 August 1998.

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Iwo Jima

Laid down 3 November 1997 at Litton-Ingalls, launched 4 February 2000, commissioned 30 June 2001.

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No name assigned

Construction at Ingalls planned; long-lead items ordered.

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LHX Project amphibious assault ships

Concept/Program: A next-generation assault ship program, intended to replace the Tarawas. This project has not been a high priority and is not at an advanced stage design. First currently planned for authorization 2005 with commissioning in 2011. It is assumed that at least 5 will be constructed. However, consideration is being given to continuation of Wasp class production instead of a new LHX design.

Design: It is expected that the design will be based on the Wasp design, with the principal change being use of a "dry deck" (for hovercraft) instead of a docking well. Major technological advances since the Wasp design will surely bring changes in armament, electronics, propulsion, aircraft support facilities, etc. Exterior configuration will include passive stealth measures.

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The World Aircraft Carrier Lists
Compiled and Maintained by Andrew Toppan (
Copyright © 1995-2003 by Andrew Toppan
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