By Tommy H. Thomason

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Once Upon a Time

This is Saratoga (CV-3) in the early 1930s with a partial deckload of Boeing fighters, Curtiss or Vought scout bombers, and Martin torpedo bombers. All are biplanes; only the last have folding wings. There are approximately the same number of airplanes on deck as there are in the Hornet picture, with plenty of room left for more. In fact, more than twice as many.

Built on battle cruiser hulls, Sara and her sister ship, Lexington (CV-2), were as big and as fast as battleships, the aircraft firepower augmented by eight 8-inch guns in turrets forward and aft of the island and gigantic exhaust funnel structure. They were slightly bigger and faster than the Essex-class carriers that were built just before and during World War II.

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