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US Navy Escort Carriers 1942–45

US Navy Escort Carriers 1942–45 Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review November 2017 Title US Navy Escort Carriers 1942–45
Author Mark Stille Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2017 ISBN 9781472818102
Format 48 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $18.00

Review

Seaborne airpower plainly proved decisive in forging Allied superiority over Axis navies in World War II.

And substantial numbers of inexpensive, quickly constructed Allied escort carriers fulfilled critical secondary roles – freeing larger, faster carriers for major maritime operations.

Now Mark Stille tells the terrific tale in US Navy Escort Carriers 1942–45 – number 251 in Osprey's perennially popular "New Vanguard" range.

Built on merchant and tanker hulls, escort carriers (CVEs) fulfilled task-force, convoy-protection, anti-submarine, close-support, and aircraft-ferry duties – in both Atlantic and Pacific theaters of operations.

CVEs proved game-changers.

Stille kick-starts contents with summaries of shipboard aircraft types, air group organizations, defensive weapons, and radars. Notes on Atlantic and Pacific operations follow.

Osprey's succinct saga then surveys all WWII US Navy escort carrier classes:

  • Long Island
  • Bogue
  • Sangamon
  • Casablanca and
  • Commencement Bay.

Individual sections summarize individual ships, design, construction, armament, wartime service, and fates.

Here's where readers will also grasp the wisdom in America's decision to produce escort carriers: Casablanca-class vessels alone totaled 50 units. Axis production capacity could never match that.

Modelers will certainly appreciate Paul Wright's color plates with camouflage comments. B&W photos, two color shots, a cut-away, and two action paintings also illustrate the account. And extended captions, tables, ship specifications, selected bibliography, and index further season the story.

But wasn't USS Langley (CV-1) another American aircraft carrier completed without an island?

What an interesting, informative effort. Now how about a similar study of US Navy WWII Light Carriers – CVLs? What do you say, Osprey?

Recommended!

My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!