UP COMING REUNION
Norfolk, VA 2021
CV/CVA/CVS 14 History
[from: Dictionary of American Fighting Ships, Vol. VII, 1981, pp. 182-
displacement: 27,100 tons
length: 888 feet
beam: 93 feet; extreme width at flight deck: 147½ feet
draft: 28 feet 7 inches
speed: 33 knots
complement: 3,448 crew
armament: 12 five-
The fourth Ticonderoga (CV-
Ticonderoga remained at Norfolk for almost two months outfitting and embarking Air Group 80. On 26 June, the carrier shaped a course for the British West Indies. She conducted air operations and drills en route and reached Port of Spain, Trinidad, on the 30th. For the next 15 days, Ticonderoga trained intensively to weld her air group and crew into an efficient wartime team. She departed the West Indies on 16 July and headed back to Norfolk where she arrived on the 22d for post-
Ticonderoga remained at Pearl Harbor for almost a month. She and Carina (AK-
The carrier sortied from Ulithi with TF 38 on 2 November. She joined the other carriers as they resumed their extended air cover for the ground forces capturing Leyte. She launched her first air strike on the morning of the 5th. The planes of her air group spent the next two days pummeling enemy shipping near Luzon and air installations on that island. Her planes bombed and strafed the airfields at Zablan, Mandaluyong, and Pasig. They also joined those of other carriers in sending the heavy cruiser Nachi to a watery resting place. In addition, Ticonderoga pilots claimed six Japanese aircraft shot down and one destroyed on the ground, as well as 23 others damaged.
Around 1600 on the 5th, the enemy retaliated by sending up a flock of planes piloted by members of the suicide corps dubbed kamikaze, or "Divine Wind," in honor of the typhoon that had destroyed a Chinese invasion fleet four centuries previously. Two of the suicide planes succeeded in slipping through the American combat air patrol and antiaircraft fire to crash Lexington (CV-
She refueled and received replacement planes on the 7th and then headed back to continue pounding enemy forces in the Philippines. Early on the morning of 11 November, her planes combined with others of TF 38 to attack a Japanese reinforcement convoy, just as it was preparing to enter Ormoc Bay from the Camotes Sea. Together, the planes accounted for all the enemy transports and four of the seven escorting destroyers. On the 12th and 13th, Ticonderoga and her sisters launched strikes at Luzon airfields and docks and shipping around Manila. This raid tallied an impressive score: light cruiser Kiso, four destroyers, and seven merchant ships. At the conclusion of the raid, TF 38 retired eastward for a refueling breather. Ticonderoga and the rest of TG 38.3, however, continued east to Ulithi where they arrived on the 17th to replenish, refuel, and rearm.
On 22 November, the aircraft carrier departed Ulithi once more and steamed back toward the Philippines. Three days later, she launched air strikes on central Luzon and adjacent waters. Her pilots finished off the heavy cruiser Kumano, damaged in the Battle off Samar. Later, they attacked an enemy convoy about 15 miles southwest of Kumano's not-
While her air group busily pounded the Japanese, Ticonderoga's ship's company also made their presence felt. Just after noon, a torpedo launched by an enemy plane broached in Langley's (CVL-
TF 38 stood out of Ulithi again on 11 December and headed for the Philippines. Ticonderoga arrived at the launch point early in the afternoon of the 13th and sent her planes aloft to blanket Japanese airbases on Luzon while Army planes took care of those in the central Philippines. For three days, Ticonderoga airmen and their comrades wreaked havoc with a storm of destruction on enemy airfields. She withdrew on the 16th with the rest of TF 38 in search of a fueling rendezvous. While attempting to find calmer waters in which to refuel, TF 38 steamed directly through a violent, but unheralded, typhoon. Though the storm cost Admiral Halsey's force three destroyers and over 850 lives Ticonderoga and the other carriers managed to ride it out with a minimum of damage. Having survived the tempest's fury, Ticonderoga returned to Ulithi on Christmas Eve.
Repairs occasioned by the typhoon kept TF 38 in the anchorage almost until the end of the month. The carriers did not return to sea until 30 December 1944 when they steamed north to hit Formosa and Luzon in preparation for the landings on the latter island at Lingayen Gulf. Severe weather limited the Formosa strikes on 3 and 4 January 1945 and, in all likelihood, obviated the need for them. The warships fueled at sea on the 5th. Despite rough weather on the 6th, the strikes on Luzon airfields were carried out. That day, Ticonderoga's airmen and their colleagues of the other air groups increased their score by another 32 enemy planes. The 7th brought more strikes on Luzon installations. After a fueling rendezvous on the 8th, Ticonderoga sped north at night to get into position to blanket Japanese airfields in the Ryukyus during the Lingayen assault the following morning. However, foul weather, the bugaboo of TF 38 during the winter of 1944 and 1945, forced TG 38.3 to abandon the strikes on the Ryukyu airfields and join TG 38.2 in pounding Formosa.
During the night of 9 and 10 January, TF 38 steamed boldly through the Luzon Strait and then headed generally southwest, diagonally across the South China Sea. Ticonderoga provided combat air patrol coverage on the 11th and helped to bring down four enemy planes which attempted to snoop the formation. Otherwise, the carriers and their consorts proceeded unmolested to a point some 150 to 200 miles off the coast of Indochina. There, on the 12th, they launched their approximately 850 planes and made a series of anti-
The three task groups of TF 38 completed their transit during the night of 20 and 21 January. The next morning, their planes hit airfields on Formosa, in the Pescadores, and at Sakishima Gunto. The good flying weather brought mixed blessings. While it allowed American flight operations to continue through  the day, it also brought new gusts of the "Divine Wind." Just after noon, a single-
Wounded denizens of the deep often attract predators. Ticonderoga was no exception. The other kamikazes pounced on her like a school of sharks in a feeding frenzy. Her antiaircraft gunners struck back with desperate, but methodical, ferocity and quickly swatted three of her tormentors into the sea. A fourth plane slipped through her barrage and smashed into the carrier's starboard side near the island. His bomb set more planes on fire, riddled her flight deck, and injured or killed another 100 sailors-
The stricken carrier arrived at Ulithi on 24 January but remained there only long enough to move her wounded to hospital ship Samaritan (AH-
Her repairs were completed on 20 April, and she cleared Puget Sound the following day for the Alameda Naval Air Station. After embarking passengers and aircraft bound for Hawaii, the carrier headed for Pearl Harbor where she arrived on 1 May. The next day, Air Group 87 came on board and, for the next week, trained in preparation for the carrier's return to combat. Ticonderoga stood out of Pearl Harbor and shaped a course for the western Pacific. En route to Ulithi, she launched her planes for what amounted to training strikes on Japanese-
Two days after her arrival, Ticonderoga sortied from Ulithi with TF 68 and headed north to spend the last weeks of the war in Japanese home waters. Three days out, Admiral Halsey relieved Admiral Spruance, the 5th Fleet reverted back to 3d Fleet, and TF 68 became TF 38 again for the duration. On 2 and 3 June, Ticonderoga fighters struck at airfields on Kyushu in an effort to neutralize the remnants of Japanese air power-
During the two-
The two atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the 6th and 9th, respectively, convinced the Japanese of the futility of continued resistance. On the morning of 16 August, Ticonderoga launched another strike against Tokyo. During or just after that attack, word reached TF 38 to the effect that Japan had capitulated.
The shock of peace, though not so abrupt as that of war almost four years previously, took some getting used to. Ticonderoga and her sister ships remained on a full war footing. She continued patrols over Japanese territory and sent reconnaissance flights in search of camps containing Allied prisoners of war so that air-
Her arrival at Tokyo ended one phase of her career and began another. She embarked homeward-
On 31 January 1952, Ticonderoga came out of reserve and went into reduced commission for the transit from Bremerton to New York. She departed Puget Sound on 27 February and reached New York on 1 April. Three days later, she was decommissioned at the New York Naval Shipyard to begin an extensive conversion. During the ensuing 29 months, the carrier received the numerous modifications-
In January 1955, the carrier shifted to her new home port-
Those modifications were completed by early 1957 and, in April, she got underway for her new home port-
Between 1958 and 1963, Ticonderoga made four more peacetime deployments to the western Pacific. During each, she conducted training operations with other units of the 7th Fleet and made goodwill and liberty port calls throughout the Far East. Early in 1964, she began preparations for her sixth cruise to the western Pacific and, following exercises off the west coast and in the Hawaiian Islands, the carrier cleared Pearl Harbor on 4 May for what began as another peaceful tour of duty in the Far East. The first three months of that deployment brought normal operations-
Two days later, late in the evening of the 4th, Ticonderoga received urgent requests from Turner Joy (DD-
After a return visit to Japan in September, the aircraft carrier resumed normal operations in the South China Sea until winding up the deployment late in the year. She returned to the Naval Air Station, North Island, Calif., on 15 December 1964. Following post-
Ticonderoga's winter deployment of 1965 and 1960 was her first total combat tour of duty during American involvement in the Vietnam War. During her six months in the Far East, the carrier spent a total of 116 days in air operations off the coast of Vietnam dividing her time almost evenly between "Dixie" and "Yankee Stations," the carrier operating areas off South and North Vietnam, respectively. Her air group delivered over 8,000 tons of ordnance in more than 10,000 combat sorties, with a loss of 16 planes, but only 5 pilots. For the most part, her aircraft hit enemy installations in North Vietnam and interdicted supply routes into South Vietnam, including river-
Following repairs she stood out of San Diego on 9 July to begin a normal round of west coast training operations. Those and similar evolutions continued until 15 October, when Ticonderoga departed San Diego, bound via Hawaii for the western Pacific. The carrier reached Yokosuka, Japan, on 30 October and remained there until 5 November when she headed south for an overnight stop at Subic Bay in the Philippines on the 10th and 11th. On the 13th, Ticonderoga arrived in the Gulf of Tonkin and began the first of three combat tours during her 1966-
On 28 December, Ticonderoga sailed for her fourth combat deployment to the waters off the Indochinese coast. She made Yokosuka on 17 January 1968 and after two days of upkeep continued on to the Gulf of Tonkin where she arrived on station on the 26th and began combat operations. Between January and July Ticonderoga was on the line off the coast of Vietnam  for five separate periods totaling 120 days of combat duty. During that time, her air wing flew just over 13,000 combat sorties a gainst North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces, most frequently in the continuing attempts to interdict the enemy lines of supply. In mid-
On the 27th, she headed north to Yokosuka where she spent a week for upkeep and briefings before heading back to the United States on 7 August. Ticonderoga reached San Diego on the 17th and disembarked her air group. On the 22d, she entered the Long Beach Naval Shipyard for post-
During the first month of 1969, Ticonderoga made preparations for her fifth consecutive combat deployment to the southeast Asia area. On 1 February, she cleared San Diego and headed west. After a brief stop at Pearl Harbor a week later, she continued her voyage to Yokosuka where she arrived on the 20th. The carrier departed Yokosuka on the 28th for the coast of Vietnam where she arrived on 4 March. Over the next four months, Ticonderoga served four periods on the line off Vietnam, interdicting communist supply lines and making strikes against their positions.
During her second line period, however, her tour of duty off Vietnam came to an abrupt end on 16 April when she was shifted north to the Sea of Japan. North Korean aircraft had shot down a Navy reconnaissance plane in the area, and Ticonderoga was called upon to beef up the forces assigned to the vicinity. However, the crisis abated, and Ticonderoga entered Subic Bay on 27 April for upkeep. On 8 May, she departed the Philippines to return to "Yankee Station" and resumed interdiction operations. Between her third and fourth line periods, the carrier visited Sasebo and Hong Kong.
The aircraft carrier took station off Vietnam for her last line period of the deployment on 26 June and there followed 37 more days of highly successful air sorties against enemy targets. Following that tour, she joined TF 71 in the Sea of Japan for the remainder of the deployment. Ticonderoga concluded the deployment-
Ticonderoga arrived in San Diego on 18 September. After almost a month of post-
During the remainder of her active career, Ticonderoga made two more deployments to the Far East. Because of her change in mission, neither tour of duty included combat operations off Vietnam. Both, however, included training exercises in the Sea of Japan with ships of the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force. The first of these two cruises also brought operations in the Indian Ocean with units of the Thai Navy and a transit of Sunda Strait during which a ceremony was held to commemorate the loss of Houston (CA-
In between these two last deployments, she operated in the eastern Pacific and participated in the recovery of the Apollo 16 moon mission capsule and astronauts near American Samoa during April of 1972. The second deployment came in the summer of 1972, and, in addition to the training exercises in the Sea of Japan, Ticonderoga also joined ASW training operations in the South China Sea. That fall, she returned to the eastern Pacific and, in November, practiced for the recovery of Apollo 17. The next month, Ticonderoga recovered her second set of space voyagers near American Samoa. The carrier then headed back to San Diego where she arrived on 28 December.
Ticonderoga remained active for nine more months, first operating out of San Diego and then making preparations for inactivation. On 1 September 1973, the aircraft carrier was decommissioned after a board of inspection and survey found her to be unfit for further naval service. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 16 November 1973, and arrangements were begun to sell her for scrap.
Ticonderoga received five battle stars during World War II and three Navy Unit Commendations, one Meritorious Unit Commendation, and 12 battle stars during the Vietnam War.
© USS Ticonderoga Veterans Association 2001-