World Aircraft Carriers List: US Auxiliary Fleet Carriers

Revised 26 November 2001
Version 2.01
Compiled and Maintained by: Andrew Toppan
World Aircraft Carrier Lists Main Page:

Planned Liner Conversions
Manhattan (AVG 2 reserved)
Washington (AVG 3 reserved)
America (AVG 4 reserved)
Kungsholm (AVG 5 reserved)

Planned liner conversions

Concept/Program: During the 1930's there was much interest in the possibility of employing fast passenger liners as warships in wartime. Extensive studies were carried out on the idea of converting liners to auxiliary carriers; potential liners were identified and plans for conversion were drawn up. As war grew near, four ships were specified for conversion and allocated aircraft carrier designations. However, it was decided that these ships would be better employed as troopships, and freighters were substituted in the auxiliary carrier role.

Due to their size and speed, these ships would have been quite unlike other AVG/CVE-series conversions. They would have served as auxiliary fleet carriers, as did several Japanese liner conversions, rather than as second-line transport and ASW ships.

Class: These ships are grouped together for convenience; if converted they would have been single-ship classes.

Design: Generally envisioned removal of the funnels, bridge, masts, upper superstructure, etc., and addition of a full-length flight deck and hangar. The flight deck would have been carried high above the hull to allow proper height in for the hangar.

Conversion: No conversion work was carried out; all served as troopships.

Classification: These ships were never formally assigned the AVG-series designations listed here, but AVG 2 through 5 were reserved for these ships.

Operational: AP 21 through 23 (AVG 2 through 4) frequently operated together during WWII; they were the largest and fastest US troopships.

No name assigned
merchant Manhattan
(AVG 2 reserved) - AP 21
Photos: [Liner Manhattan], [As Wakefield (AP 21)], [Wakefield buring], [After 1942 fire], [Gutted for reconstruction], [Rebuilding], [Returned to service].

DANFS History

Planned conversion of 33,560 ton liner Manhattan (New York SB, launched 5 December 1931, completed 8/1932). Chartered by the government 6 June 1941, commissioned as Wakefield (AP 21) 15 June 1941. Burned at sea 2 Sept 1942; ship was completely gutted and declared to be a total loss; purchased by the Navy. Towed to Halifax and beached, then towed to Boston and totally reconstructed at Boston Navy Yard starting 10/1942. Ship was completely demolished down to the bare hull, then rebuilt and returned to service.

Decommissioned to reserve 16 June 1946. Stricken 1957 but retained in the National Defense Reserve Fleet until 1959; subsequently sold and scrapped in 1964.

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No name assigned
merchant Washington
(AVG 3 reserved) - AP 22
Photos: [Liner Washington].

DANFS History

Planned conversion of 34,600 ton liner Washington (New York SB, launched 5/1933). Chartered by the government 6 June 1941 and commissioned as Mount Vernon (AP 22) 16 June 1941.

Decommissioned 18 January 1946, returned to owners, reconverted, and renamed Washington. Scrapped in 1964.

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No name assigned
merchant America
(AVG 4 reserved) - AP 23
Photos: [Liner America], [As West Point (AP 23)], [West Point]

DANFS History

Planned conversion of 35,600 ton liner America (Newport News, laid down 22 August 1938, launched 31 August 1939, completed 8/1940). Chartered by the government 1 June 1941. Commissioned as West Point (AP 23) 16 June 1941.

Reconverted, renamed Americas and returned to original owners 31 October 1946. Renamed Australis 1965, America 1978, then Italis, then Aflerdoss, American Star 1993. Broke tow 18 Jan 1994 and was wrecked in the Canary Islands.

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No name assigned
merchant Kungsholm
(AVG 5 assigned)
Photos: [Kungsholm]

Planned conversion of Swedish liner Kungsholm (Built by Blohm & Voss 1928). Conversion cancelled 31 Dec 1941. Served as US Army troopship John Ericsson. Returned to service as liner Italia postwar.

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The World Aircraft Carrier Lists
Compiled and Maintained by Andrew Toppan (
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