Franklin D. Roosevelt


Displacement:  45,000 t.
Length:  968'
Beam:  113'
Draft:  35'
Speed:  33 k.
Complement:  4,104
Armament:  18 5"
Class:  Midway
Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVB-42) was launched 29 April 1945 by New York Naval Shipyard as Coral Sea (CVB-42); sponsored by Mrs. John H. Towers, wife of the Deputy Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet; renamed Franklin D. Roosevelt 8 May 1945; and commissioned 27 October 1945 Captain A. Soucek in command. She was reclassified CVA-42 on 1 October 1952.

During her shakedown cruise, Franklin D. Roosevelt called at Rio de Janeiro 1 to l1 February 1946 to represent the United States at the inauguration of the Brazilian president, Eurico G. Dutra, who came aboard for a short cruise. Fleet maneuvers and other training operations in the Caribbean preceded her first deployment to the Mediterranean, from 8 August to 4 October during which she was a part of a U.S. Navy force which visited Athens to bolster the government of Greece during its successful f ight against the Communist. She received thousands of visitors during her calls to many Mediterranean ports, giving Europeans an opportunity to view this impressive addition to America's seapower for peace. The first opportunity for general visiting by the American public came at New York City during Navy Day celebrations of late October.

Franklin D. Roosevelt operated off the east coast until July 1947 when she entered Norfolk Naval Ship Yard for a prolonged overhaul, during which she received improvements to her equipment and facilities. On 13 September 1948, the carrier sailed from Norfolk for a second tour of duty with the Mediterranean forces, from which she returned 23 January 1949. During the next 5 years, Franklin D. Roosevelt took part in intensive operations off the Virginia Capes, along the east coast, and in th e Caribbean, and made four tours of duty in the Mediterranean. Assigned to extensive conversion at Puget Sound Naval Ship Yard, the carrier sailed from Norfolk 7 January 1954. Too large to pass through the Panama Canal, she rounded Cape Horn, and arrive d at the shipyard 5 March. She was decommissioned there 23 April 1954.

In February 1957, Franklin D. Roosevelt sailed to the Gulf of Maine for cold weather tests of catapults, aircraft, and other carrier equipment, including the "Regulus" guided missile. In July, she sailed for the first of three post-conversion cr uises to the Mediterranean completed through 1960. Her assignments in the Mediterranean added NATO exercises to her normal schedule of major fleet operations, and found her each year entertaining a distinguished list of guests. A constant emphasis on he r stateside operations was development of advanced tactics and procedures.

Transcribed by Michael Hansen