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NavSource Online: Aircraft Carrier Photo Archive


Courtesy of USS Saratoga Association

USS SARATOGA   (CV-3)



Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign: November - Echo - Lima - Bravo

Unit Awards, Campaign and Service Medals and Ribbons



Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: American Defense Service Medal ("Fleet" clasp)
2nd Row: American Campaign Medal / Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (8 stars) / World War II Victory Medal

Lexington Class Aircraft Carrier
Awarded Laid down Launched Commissioned Decommissioned Stricken
(see below) 25 Sep 1920 7 Apr 1925 16 Nov 1927   15 Aug 1946
Builder: New York Shipbuilding Co., Camden, N.J.

Specifications
(As built, 1927)
Displacement (design): 36,000 tons standard; 38,746 tons
Dimensions (wl): 850' x 105' 5.25" x 24' 3"  /  259.1 x 32.1 x 7.4 meters
Dimensions (max.): 880' x 106'  /  268.2 x 32.3 meters
Armor: 7"-5" belt; 2" protective (3rd) deck; 3" (flat)-4.5" (slopes) over steering gear
Power plant: 16 boilers (300 psi); geared turbines and electric drive; 4 shafts; 180,000 shp (design)
Speed: 33.25+ knots
Endurance (design): 10,000 nautical miles @ 10 knots
Armament: 4 twin 8"/55 gun mounts; 12 single 5"/25 gun mounts
Aircraft: 90
Aviation facilities: 2 elevators; 1 flywheel catapult
Crew: 2,122 (ship's company + air wing)
Click on Thumbnail
for Full Size Image
Size Image Description Source
Namesake
Battle of Saratoga
NS020351
205k

The Battle of Saratoga in September and October 1777 was a decisive American victory resulting in the surrender of an entire British army of 9,000 men invading New York from Canada during the American Revolutionary War. The Battle of Saratoga was actually two battles about 9 miles south of Saratoga, New York, namely the Battle of Freeman's Farm and the Battle of Bemis Heights, and is related with the earlier Battle of Bennington, about 15 miles east of Saratoga. The surrender of General John Burgoyne, who was surrounded by much larger American militia forces, took place after his retreat to Saratoga. The capture of an entire British army secured the northern American states from further attacks out of Canada and prevented New England from being isolated. A major result was that France entered the conflict on behalf of the Americans, thus dramatically improving the Americans' chances in the war. The Battle of Saratoga was the turning point in the Revolutionary War. There were actually two battles at Saratoga. The first began with John Burgoyne's offensive on September 19, the second with the fighting during the Battle of Bemis Heights on October 7. In the first Battle at Saratoga, generally referred to by historians as Freeman's Farm, the British lost two men for every one American casualty. In terms of ground gained, however, both sides fought to a draw. In the second Battle, otherwise known as Bemis Heights, British losses were four to one. The rebels' victory was overwhelming. After negotiations, Burgoyne officially surrendered on October 17. He returned to England in disgrace and was never given another command. When news of the American victory reached Europe, France entered the war on the side of the patriots. Money and supplies flowed to the American cause, providing Washington's Continental Army with the support necessary to continue its fight against Great Britain. Britain's loss at Saratoga was disastrous because it showed the European powers that the rebels were capable of defeating the English on their own. More than any other event, it would prove decisive in determining the eventual outcome of the War and the victory of Patriots.

"Surrender of General Burgoyne," painting by John Trumbull (1822); photograph by the Architect of the Capitol.

Text and image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Submitted by Bill Gonyo.
Construction
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020352
191k

Launching of Saratoga at the New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N.J., Tuesday, 7 April 1925. Photo by Aero Service Corp., Philadelphia, PA.

(Digitally enhanced by Tom Kermen.)

Ron Reeves
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020379
5.37M

'Instructions For Operation And Maintenance, 12" DAMAGE CONTROL PUMP, Installed Aboard Aircraft Carrier, CV-3 U.S.S. Saratoga'

The date would be 'as commissioned.'

Ed Zajkowski
The Pre-War Years
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020382
151k

A Chance Vought UO-1 piloted by LCDR Marc Mitscher makes the first landing aboard the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga (CV-3). The fore-and-aft arresting wires were engaged by a "comb" between the aircraft's wheels. The "fiddle bridges" held the wires off the flight deck. Athwartship wires which were snagged by an arresting hook on the aircraft were in simultaneous use. The fore-and-aft wires were soon abandoned. U.S.Navy photo.

Robert Hurst
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020321
99k

Painting by Walter L. Greene, 1927, depicting the ship launching aircraft.

Courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Washington, DC.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph (# NH 42486-KN).

Michael Mohl
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020331
120k

USS Saratoga, probably in January 1928, at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

Jack Treutle
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020303
114k

This ship is in fact Saratoga (CV-3), early in her career.

Manuel D. Tafoya, Sr.
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020316
35k

USS Saratoga (CV-3) at anchor in the late 1920s.

Ron Reeves
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020353
57k

USS Los Angeles (ZR-3) landing on USS Saratoga (CV-3), 27 January 1928. Note lines used to walk the airship forward from the aircraft carrier's stern.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph (# NH 44097).

Paul Rebold
ZR-3 Los Angeles + CV-3 Saratoga
NS02990303
79k

USS Los Angeles (ZR-3) landing on USS Saratoga (CV-3), 27 January 1928.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command photograph (# NH 63067).

Naval History & Heritage Command
ZR-3 Los Angeles + CV-3 Saratoga
NS02990303a
84k

USS Los Angeles (ZR-3) on the after flight deck of USS Saratoga (CV-3), 27 January 1928, after she had landed on board the carrier.

U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command photograph (# NH 44095).

Naval History & Heritage Command
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020313a
198k

USS Saratoga (CV-3) in the Gaillard Cut (Culebra Cut), Panama Canal, bound for the Pacific, on the morning of 7 February 1928.

(Thanks to John Fry for his help.)

US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, photo # 1996.488.011.003.

David Buell
Larger copy submitted by Mike Green
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020313
51k

USS Saratoga steams through the Panama Canal, 7 February 1928. She has two floatplanes on her flight deck. Note that the outer portions of platforms for her 5"/25 guns have been folded up to clear her of the lock walls.

From the collection of EM Gerald M. Charpentier, USN (1917-1920). Contributed by his niece, Elaine C. Witty, via Larry Bohn.
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020313b
44k

USS Saratoga steams through the Panama Canal, probably on the same occasion as photo NS020313, above.

Robert Ruiter; Amsterdam, the Netherlands
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020313c
161k

"USS Saratoga & HMS Despatch in Miraflores locks, Panama Canal," 7 February 1928.

Tommy Trampp
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020313d
90k
CV-3 Saratoga + CV-2 Lexington
NS020367
100k USS Lexington (CV-2), left, and USS Saratoga (CV-3), right, moored at Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, 22 September 1928. Note Sara had a walkway on the face of her stack—one of the few distinguishing features between these otherwise nearly identical twins. Robert M. Cieri
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020366
49k USS Saratoga (CV-3) underway circa 1928. Appearance characteristics at this time included the very wide funnel and the four 8in/55 LA guns in twin mounts on the starboard side of the flight deck. Note also the light-coloured awnings for the groups of three 5in/25 AA guns. Robert Hurst
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020337
52k

Aerial view of USS Saratoga (CV-3), probably in 1929, location unknown.

Robert Hurst
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020354
211k

A Torpedo and Bombing Squadron TWO B (VT-2B) T4M-1 making an approach on USS Saratoga (CV-3), 1929. Note the squadron's dragon insignia on the fuselage just aft of the lower wing.

Scott Ridlon
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020210
192k

USS Lexington (CV-2), top; USS Saratoga (CV-3); and USS Langley (CV-1), accross the pier from Saratoga. Bremerton, Washington, 11 November 1929. This is one of the earliest known photos of Saratoga with her distinctive funnel stripe.

From the collection of Joseph P. English. Contributed by his son, George E. English.
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020304
61k Undated, underway with aircraft on deck. USN
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020320
139k At anchor, date and place unknown. Michael Donegan
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020315
336k

Undated, pre-war photo of USS Saratoga (CV-3) off Ballast Point, Point Loma, California.

Mike Brock
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020322
141k

Aircraft on the flight deck, preparing for launching, circa 1929-30. Planes in the foreground are Boeing F3B-1 fighters [of VB-2B squadron]. In the background are fifteen Martin T4M-1 torpedo planes, of Torpedo Squadron Two (VT-2B).

Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation, Washington, D.C. Collection of Admiral William V. Pratt.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph (# NH 75874).

Note: This photo may have been taken in early 1929, during Fleet Problem IX. In any event, it can't have been taken later than September 1929: the foremost T4M is sitting on the "fiddle bridge" arresting gear, which was removed from Saratoga in said month. The carrier had spent three months (June-August) at anchor at San Pedro, without any aircraft. Sources: Tracy White, Researcher @ Large; John Fry, USS Saratoga CV-3, pages 29–36.

NHC
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020323
79k

Vought O2U-2 Corsair aircraft, of Marine Corps Scouting Squadron 14 (VS-14M) fly past USS Saratoga (CV-3) while preparing to land on board, circa 1930. Note Marine Corps insignia painted under the after cockpit of the closest aircraft.

Courtesy of PHC John L. Highfill, USN (Retired).

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph (# NH 94899).

NHC
CV-2 Lexington, CV-3 Saratoga, AO-9 Patoka
NS020243
92k

USS Los Angeles (ZR-3) flies over ships of the U.S. Fleet, circa 1930. Photographed from on board the airship, with two of her engine cars in the foreground. Ships below are USS Patoka (AO-9), closest to the camera, and the aircraft carriers USS Lexington (CV-2) and USS Saratoga (CV-3).

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (# 80-G-462136).

NHC
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020339
61k

USS Saratoga (CV-3) at anchor circa 1930, location unknown.

Robert Hurst
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020327
90k

USS Saratoga (CV-3) in drydock at Hunter's Point, San Francisco, California, circa the early 1930s. (The S.S. Mexican is in the right distance. She was USS Mexican (ID # 1655) in 1917-1919.)

Courtesy of PHC John Highfill, USN (Retired).

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph (# NH 94849).

Michael Mohl
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020329
31k

USS Saratoga (CV-3) anchored, most likely, at San Diego, early 1930s. Photo by Teddy Krueger, USS Holland (AS-3).

Rick Larson, MMCM(SS) ret.
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020318
47k

Flight deck scene, 1930s.

Photo by Robert Bressan
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020340
98k

A painting of USS Saratoga (CV-3) underway in the 1930s, made by Michael Donegan for Trumpeter models.

Michael Donegan, NAVYDAZE
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020317
50k

A Boeing F4B-4 of Fighting Squadron 6 (VF-6B) departs from the flight deck of the carrier USS Saratoga. Photo taken sometime between June 1931 and June 1933. Photo courtesy of the Boeing Airplane Company.

Robert Hurst
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020324
98k

USS Saratoga (CV-3) dressed with flags on Navy Day, 27 October 1932.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (# 80-G-1007395).

NHC
CV-3 Saratoga
NS013818a
134k

Identifiable ships in this photo possibly at Puget Sound circa 1933 are, from left to right: U.S. Crane Ship No. 1, ex-Kearsarge (BB-5); seaplane tender Jason (AV-2); one of the Colorado-class battleships, possibly the West Virginia (BB-48), in the dry dock; and a Pennsylvania-class battleship along the pier. The aircraft carrier in the photo is USS Saratoga (CV-3) — note the "SARA" on the flight deck aft.

USN Photo courtesy of Pieter Bakels.
Photo & partial text id. courtesy of Chris Hoehn & David C. Nilsen

NS020205
166k

USS Saratoga (CV-3) and USS Lexington (CV-2) in front of Diamond Head. Regardless of what is printed on the picture, it was taken on February 2, 1933 while both sister carriers were awaiting the official beginning of Fleet Problem XIV (February 6.)

[On July 1, 1932 Sara was berthed at Pier 6, Bremerton, WA.]

Geoff Bell
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020301
215k

Sara's aircraft prepare to take off during a Presidential Review by President Roosevelt, off New York City, May 31, 1934. As President Roosevelt watched from USS Indianapolis (CA-35), 90 ships passed by, led by USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) flying the 4-star flag of Admiral Sellers. Note one of Saratoga's two destroyer plane guards (upper left corner).

Image # 80-G-462893.

National Archives
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020301a
89k

Sara prepares to pass in review for President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 31 May 1934 (see NS020301). (Thanks to John Fry for dating the photo).

Photo from NARA, San Francisco.

Tracy White, Researcher @ Large
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020332
134k

Believed to have been taken off New York City. If this is correct, this photo must have been taken in May-June 1934 — there was a Presidential Review on May 31, see above.

Rich Delaney
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020350
105k

USS Lexington (CV-2), left, and USS Saratoga (CV-3) open to the public for viewing at New York City, June 1934.

Photo from the collection of Edmund Cokely WO2, USN (Ret.) Submitted by his son-in-law, John Dupre'
CV-2 Lexington
NS010558
112k

Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington. Aerial photograph taken in the mid-1930s. Alongside the pier in center are the aircraft tender (ex-collier) Jason (AV-2), laid up in 1932 and sold in 1936, and the crane ship Kearsarge. Also present are the aircraft carriers Lexington (CV-2) and Saratoga (CV-3), the latter with her distinctive funnel stripe.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph (# NH 45236).

NHC
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020349
238k

Launching biplanes, circa the mid-1930s. (Please disregard what is printed on the photo.)

Ron Titus
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020310
149k

USS Saratoga (CV-3) landing planes on 6 June 1935.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-651292).

Scott Dyben
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020335
44k

USS Saratoga (CV-3) underway circa 1936, location unknown.

Robert Hurst
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020377
38k

USS Saratoga (CV-3) and three battleships at anchor, San Francisco Bay, most likely on the occasion of the inauguration of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, November 1936.

Ron Reeves
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020381
229k

Grumman J2F-1 Duck, BuNo 0174, number 4 plane of the USS Saratoga (CV-3) Utility Unit, circa 1936–1940.

Brad Proffitt, for his father Floyd Proffitt, USS Thresher (SS-200)
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020341
115k

Left to right: USS Saratoga (CV-3), USS Lexington (CV-2) and USS Ranger (CV-4) off Honolulu, with Diamond Head in the background. This picture was probably taken in April 1938, during Fleet Problem XIX.

(See also photos NS020434 and NS020401).

Photo from the collection of Edmund Cokely WO2, USN (Ret.)
Submitted by his son-in-law, John Dupre'
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020384
430k

USS Saratoga (CV-3) passing under the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco. Date may be January 1939.

Mike Brock
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020342
214k

USS Saratoga (CV-3) underway, seemingly heading north after leaving San Diego. She was awarded the large "E," for Engineering Excellence, for the first time on August 16, 1938. The photo must have been taken before August 1939, when Sara was awarded a second "E," denoted by a hashmark under the giant "E" on her stack. (USN photo.) (Please disregard what is printed on the photo.)

Ron Titus
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020369
84k

USS Saratoga (CV-3) sometime between mid-1938 and mid-1939 (note single Engineering Excellence "E" on her stack).

Paul Rebold
CV-3 Saratoga
NS09120129
229k

USS Relief (AH-1) and USS Saratoga (CV-3)—background—at anchor off one of the Hawaiian Islands, circa summer of 1939–summer 1940.

Brad Proffitt, for his father Floyd Proffitt, USS Thresher (SS-200)
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020375
167k

This tobacco card was issued by John Player & Sons in the U.K. in 1939 and came from a series entitled "Modern Naval Craft."

Tommy Trampp
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020375a
163k
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020380
34k USS Saratoga (CV-3) at anchor. Location is believed to be Hawaii. Date is unknown, but may be late 1930s–early 1940s. Tommy Trampp
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020306
54k USS Saratoga (CV-3) at anchor, 1939–1940 (note hashmark in lieu of a second Engineering "E.") Good view of her forward twin 8" mounts. USN
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020338
65k

Brewster F2A-1 Buffalo, Bureau Number 1393, after LT John Smith "Jimmy" Thach tipped the aircraft onto its nose on the Saratoga's deck, 11 March 1940. Ensign Edward Butch O'Hare also flew this aircraft several times during the summer and fall of 1940. Photo source unknown.

Robert Hurst
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020325
105k

Captain Albert C. Read, USN, Commanding Officer, USS Saratoga (CV-3) inspects the ship's Marines during change of command ceremonies, 15 March 1940. Captain Robert P. Molten, USN, the new CO, is visible over Read's right shoulder, also wearing a "fore and aft" hat.

Collection of Vice Admiral Dixwell Ketcham, USN.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph (# NH 95723).

NHC
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020355
79k

USS Saratoga (CV-3) launching planes, circa summer 1941, as seen from the rear cockpit of a plane that has just taken off. Aircraft on deck are Douglas TBD-1 Devastator torpedo planes, probably from squadron VT-3.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (# 80-G-21191).

Paul Rebold
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020378
65k

A Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat of Fighting Squadron Three (VF-3) prepares to take off from USS Saratoga (CV-3), circa October 1941. The plane's pilot is probably LT John S. Thach, VF-3 Commanding Officer.

Photograph from Department of the Navy collections in the U.S. National Archives (# 80-PR-1154).

Robert Hurst
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020356
96k

Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat fighters, of Fighting Squadron Three (VF-3), on board USS Saratoga (CV-3) in early October 1941. Plane on the aircraft elevator is BuNo 3982 (3-F-9, later 3-F-15), piloted by Ensign Gayle Hermann.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph (# NH 97485).

Paul Rebold.

Some caption details are taken from John B. Lundstrom's "The First Team."
Memorabilia
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020334
246k

USS Saratoga, "The Ship of Happy Landings," Christmas Menu, 1936. Long Beach, California.

Commanding Officer was Captain William F. Halsey, Jr. Later, he was Commander, Third Fleet in the advance across the Pacific during World War II, and attained the rank of Fleet Admiral (the fourth and last officer to hold that rank).

Executive Officer was Commander Frederick C. Sherman. A renowned leader of carrier task groups during World War II, he earned three Navy Crosses and attained the rank of Vice Admiral.

Robert M. Cieri
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020334a
170k
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020334b
165k
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020334c
11k Judith Kirkland Qualm,
daughter of
Frederick B. Kirkland, USMC
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020334d
101k

Christmas Church Service, 1936.

Judith Kirkland Qualm,
daughter of
Frederick B. Kirkland, USMC
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020334e
90k
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020365
66k

Frederick B. Kirkland, aboard USS Saratoga (CV-3), was appointed a Private First Class in the United States Marine Corps on 4 January 1938. (Note signature of Captain John H. Towers).

Judith Kirkland Qualm,
daughter of
Frederick B. Kirkland, USMC
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020372
91k

Grand March Skate, December 1936.

Judith Kirkland Qualm,
daughter of
Frederick B. Kirkland, USMC
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020372a
92k
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020364
105k

Ship's Bell, displayed at the National Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola, Florida. Photo taken on 13 June 2008.

Photo by Judson Phillips
CV-3 Saratoga
NS020374
157k

Ship's Patch.

Courtesy of Don McGrogan, BMCS, USN Ret.

For more photos and information about this ship, see:

View the USS Saratoga (CV-3)
DANFS History entry located on the Hazegray & Underway Web Site.

Crew Contact and Reunion Information
Date:  
Place:  
Contact: Mr. Brad Senter
Address: 1302-28th Avenue North — Texas City, TX 77590
Phone: (toll free) 1-877-360-SARA (7272)
E-mail: USS Saratoga Association
Web site: USS Saratoga Association
Remarks:  

Related Links
Hazegray & Underway World Aircraft Carrier Pages By Andrew Toppan
USS Saratoga Association web site
USS Saratoga (CV-3) by John Fry
Official U.S. Navy Carrier Website
Operation Crossroads: Bikini Atoll, US Naval Historical Center web site
The First Aircraft Carriers Part One: The First American Flattops- Langley, Lexington and Saratoga, an article by Father Steve Dundas

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Last update: 14 September 2013