Author Topic: The Paddle Wheel Carriers Wolverine and Sable  (Read 1400 times)

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Offline PeteS in CA

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The Paddle Wheel Carriers Wolverine and Sable
« on: August 18, 2023, 07:22:36 pm »
The Paddle Wheel Carriers Wolverine and Sable

In the wake of Pearl Harbor, with six fleet carriers in combat, and thirteen additional fleet carriers and scores of escort carriers on order or under construction (with more to come), the U.S. Navy needed thousands of pilots and tens of thousands of deck crews qualified for carrier operations. Training these student pilots in the basics was relatively easy using land-based airfields. But the only way for them to be carrier qualified was to train on aircraft carriers. And that was the problem. The solution was the paddle wheel carriers Wolverine and Sable.

The six existing carriers couldn’t be spared for training. Even if one were, it would be vulnerable to submarine attack. Anticipating such a need and situation in early 1941, Cmndr. Richard F. Whitehead, aviation aide at the Great Lakes Training Center at Glenview Naval Air Station north of Chicago, offered to the Bureau of Ships the answer: convert Great Lakes steamers into aircraft carriers and conduct pilot and deck crew training in the secure waters of Lake Michigan. The Bureau of Ships ignored him. The idea re-surfaced following Pearl Harbor and landed on the desk of Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Ernest J. King. Orders were cut and on March 2, 1942, at a cost of $756,000, the Navy requisitioned from the Cleveland and Buffalo Transit Company the passenger ship Seeandbee. It was joined on Aug. 7, 1942, by the Greater Buffalo. The Navy’s “Corn Belt Fleet” was born.

The Seeandbee and Greater Buffalo were coal-burning, side-paddle wheel pleasure cruise ships plush with luxurious amenities. The amenities, which included elegant mahogany paneling, padded furniture and more than 400 fancy bathrooms, were the first to go as ship refitters stripped away the frou-frou in order to turn the luxury ships into no-nonsense training vessels.
... By the time the ships were decommissioned in November 1945, the training carriers had qualified approximately 35,000 pilots, one of them being Lt. (j.g.) George H. W. Bush, the future president of the United States.

Paddle wheel, coal-fired, speed similar to USN escort carriers, flight deck length similar to USN light carriers, steaming on Lake Michigan, safe from German or Japanese submarines and aircraft, used to practice landings and take-offs (no hangar deck), what's not to like, and maybe chuckle at (Paddle wheel propulsion? :silly: ). The ships were also used to train plane handlers.

Unlike the Japanese, the US Army and Navy managed to train huge numbers of pilots during WW2. Part of what made the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot so deadly is that so many IJN and IJA pilots were not fully trained and lacked flight hours. The Turkey Shoot plus the IJN committing so many pilots and planes - many of whom were lost - to Formosa during a TF38 attack on the island were what led to Ozawa's carrier force being an almost defenseless decoy during the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
If, as anti-Covid-vaxxers claim, , , The Vaccine is deadly, where in the US have Pfizer and Moderna hidden the millions of bodies of those who died of "vaccine injury"? Is reality a Big Pharma Shill?

Millions now living should have died. Anti-Covid-Vaxxer ghouls hardest hit.