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USS Princeton (CVL-23)

Image Information
Underway in the Atlantic area, during her shakedown cruise. Planes parked aft include nine SBD scout bombers and twelve F4F fighters. USS Princeton, an 11,000-ton Independence class small aircraft carrier, was built at Camden, New Jersey. Originally laid down as the light cruiser Tallahassee (CL-61), she was converted to a carrier before launching and redesignated CV-23. That hull number was changed to CVL-23 in July 1943. Princeton was commissioned in February 1943 and, following shakedown operations in the Atlantic area, arrived at Pearl Harbor in August. She covered the occupation of Baker Island in August and September and raided Makin and Tarawa later in September 1943. Princeton had a busy November, supporting the Bougainville landings, raiding Rabaul and Nauru and participating in the invasion of the Gilbert Islands. Following a quick overhaul at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Princeton helped in the conquest of the Marshall Islands in January and February 1944. Over the next four months, her planes attacked Japanese targets in the Central Pacific and supported amphibious landings at Hollandia, New Guinea. In June, Princeton participated in the invasion of Saipan and the Battle of the Philippine Sea. She continued to cover the Marianas operation in July, then joined in raids on the Palaus, the Philippines, Okinawa and Formosa during August, September and October. On October 24, 1944, Princeton was off the northern Philippines, taking part in attacks on Luzon airfields to support the Leyte invasion. That morning, she was hit by a Japanese dive-bombing attack and set afire. The blaze could not be contained, and in mid-afternoon a bomb magazine exploded. The after part of the ship was wrecked and severe casualties inflicted on the crew of USS Birmingham (CL-62), which was alongside helping to fight the fires. After her remaining crewmen were removed, USS Princeton was sunk by her escorts.
Image Filename wwii1265.jpg
Image Size 163.71 KB
Image Dimensions 700 x 500
Photographer Unknown
Photographer Title
Caption Author United States Navy Historical Center
Date Photographed May 31, 1943
State or Province
Country Caribbean Ocean
Archive United States Naval Historical Center
Record Number
Status Caption ©2007, ©2024 MFA Productions LLC
Image in the Public Domain

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