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NavSource Online: Aircraft Carrier Photo Archive


Courtesy of Robert Sourisseau

USS ESSEX   (CV-9)
(later CVA-9 and CVS-9)



Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign: November - Alpha - Golf - Oscar
Tactical Voice Radio Call: "BANKNOTE"


Unit Awards, Campaign and Service Medals and Ribbons








Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Presidential Unit Citation / Navy Unit Commendation
2nd Row: Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation / Navy Expeditionary Service Medal / China Service Medal (extended)
3rd Row: American Campaign Medal / Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (13 stars) / World War II Victory Medal
4th Row: Navy Occupation Service Medal ("Asia" clasp) / National Defense Service Medal (2) / Korean Service Medal (4 stars)
5th Row: Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (4) / Philippine Presidential Unit Citation / Korean Presidential Unit Citation
6th Row: Philippine Liberation Medal (2 stars) / United Nations Korean Medal / Republic of Korea War Service Medal (retroactive)

Essex Class Aircraft Carrier
Ordered Laid down Launched Commissioned Decommissioned Stricken
3 Jul 1940 28 Apr 1941 31 Jul 1942 31 Dec 1942
15 Jan 1951
9 Jan 1947
30 Jun 1969

1 Jun 1973
Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Newport News, Va.

Specifications
(As built, 1942)
Displacement: 27,100 tons standard; 36,380 tons full load
Dimensions (wl): 820' x 93' x 28.5' (full load)  /  249.9 x 28.3 x 8.7 (full load) meters
Dimensions (max.): 872' x 147.5'  /  265.8 x 45 meters
Armor: 4"-2.5" belt; 1.5" hangar & protective deck(s); 4" bulkheads; 1.5" STS (top, side of pilot house); 2.5" (top) steering gear
Power plant: 8 boilers (565 psi, 850°F); 4 steam turbines; 4 shafts; 150,000 shp (design)
Speed: 32.7 knots
Endurance (design): 20,000 nautical miles @ 15 knots
Armament: 4 twin & 4 single 5"/38 gun mounts; 8 quad 40-mm/56-cal gun mounts; 46 single 20-mm/70-cal guns mounts
Aircraft: 90 (Air Group 9, October 1943)
Aviation facilities: 1 deck-edge, 2 centerline elevators; completed without catapults (an H-2 was fitted to the starboard side of the flight deck at Norfolk, April–May 1943, after shakedown cruise)
Crew: 2,600+ (ship's company + air wing, as designed)

(After SCB-27A, 1951)
Displacement: 28,200 tons standard; 40,600 tons full load
Dimensions (wl): 819.1' x 101.4' x 29.7' (full load)  /  249.7 x 30.9 x 9.1 (full load) meters
Dimensions (max.): 898.1' x 151.9'  /  273.7 x 46.3 meters
Armor: belt replaced by blister with 60-lb STS
Power plant: (as above)
Speed: 31.7 (max) / 30 (sust) knots
Endurance (design): n/a
Armament: 8 single 5"/38 gun mounts; 14 twin 3"/50 gun mounts
Aircraft: 70+
Aviation facilities: 1 deck-edge, 2 centerline elevators; 2 hydraulic catapults (H 8)
Crew: ~2,900 (ship's company + air wing)

(After SCB-125, 1956)
Displacement: 30,800 tons standard; 41,200 tons full load
Dimensions (wl): 824.5' x 101' x 30.1' (full load)  /  251.3 x 30.8 x 9.2 (full load) meters
Dimensions (max.): 890' x 196'  /  271.3 x 59.7 meters
Armor: (as above)
Power plant: (as above)
Speed: 32 (max) / 30.3 (sust) knots
Endurance (design): n/a
Armament: 7 single 5"/38 gun mounts; 4 twin 3"/50 gun mounts
Aircraft: ~70 (CVA role), ~50 (CVS role)
Aviation facilities: 2 deck-edge, 1 centerline elevators; 2 hydraulic catapults (H 8)
Crew: 2,300+ (ship's company + air wing)
Click On Image
For Full Size Image
Size Image Description Contributed
By And/Or Copyright
1942 — 1947
The Early Years — World War II
CV-9 Essex
NS0209ab
532k

USS Essex (CV-9), World War II.

Overhead plan and starboard profile meticulously drawn by John Robert Barrett. Available from Navy Yard Associates (if you decide to purchase artwork from them please indicate that you heard about their work from NavSource).

Navy Yard Associates
CV-9 Essex
NS020938
91k

Essex just after launch, July 31st, 1942 at Newport News Shipbuilding.

Steve Whitby
CV-9 Essex
NS020939e
132k

Essex at inclining, 19 December 1942. Quarter port, bow. Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company photo.

Ed Zajkowski
CV-9 Essex
NS020939
112k

Essex at inclining, 19 December 1942, looking starboard to island. Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company photo. Notice she hasn't had her SK and SC air search radar and Mk 4 fire control radars added yet.

Original photo submitted by Steve Whitby.

Larger copy submitted by Pieter Bakels
CV-9 Essex
NS020939d
170k

Essex at inclining, 19 December 1942. Flight deck, looking forward. Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company photo.

Ed Zajkowski
CV-9 Essex
NS020939b
188k

Essex at inclining, 19 December 1942. Flight deck, looking aft. Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company photo.

Original photo submitted by Pieter Bakels.
Replacement photo by Ed Zajkowski.
CV-9 Essex
NS020939a
100k

Essex at inclining, 19 December 1942, looking forward. Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company photo.

Pieter Bakels
CV-9 Essex
NS020939c
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Forward 5"/38 gun mounts and island of Essex (CV-9), 19 December 1942.

Gerd Matthes, Germany
CV-9 Essex
NS0209ad
88k

Essex (CV-9) on sea trials off the coast of Virginia, December 1942.

Gerd Matthes, Germany
CV-9 Essex
NS020941
101k

Right after commissioning, Dec. 31st. 1942.

Steve Whitby
CV-9 Essex
NS020940
101k

Essex leaving Newport News for Norfolk Navy yard, Dec. 31st. 1942.

Steve Whitby
CV-9 Essex
NS020940a
155k

Uncropped version of photo NS020940, above.

Ron Titus
CV-9 Essex
NS020983
127k

Official U.S. Navy photograph of USS Essex (CV-9). Aerial, broad side on port bow view taken at Hampton Roads, Va., and dated 1 February 1943. Photo from the U.S. Naval Photographic Center, U.S. Naval Station Anacostia, Washington, D.C. (serial number USN 36007).

Robert M. Cieri
CV-9 Essex
NS020983a
43k

Port broadside photo of USS Essex (CV-9) on 1 February 1943, one month after being commissioned. The ship is painted in Measure 21 camouflage scheme and is completing shakedown cruises off Norfolk Navy Yard before leaving for the Pacific War Zone.

Photo from the Naval Recognition Manual files (1943–1945).

Mike Green
CV-9 Essex
NS020968
67k

USS Essex (CV-9) at Hampton Roads, Norfolk, VA, 3 February 1943, just one month after commissioning. US Navy photo.

Robert Hurst
CV-9 Essex
NS020972
59k

USS Essex (CV-9) underway in the Pacific, date unknown (probably 1943—thanks to Tracy White—.) She is camouflaged in Measure 21.

Robert Hurst
CV-9 Essex
NS020913
90k

Scene on the flight deck, looking aft from the carrier's island during her shakedown cruise, 20 March 1943. Planes parked on deck are F6F-3 fighters (in foreground, with wings folded) and SBD-4 scout bombers.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-K-698).

Scott Dyben
CV-9 Essex
NS020914
138k

Underway at 1615 hrs. during May 1943, in position 37 05'N, 74 15'E, as photographed from a blimp from squadron ZP-14. Among the aircraft parked on her flight deck are 24 SBD scout bombers (parked aft), about 11 F6F fighters (parked in after part of the midships area) and about 18 TBF/TBM torpedo planes (parked amidships).

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-68097).

Scott Dyben
CV-9 Essex
NS020942
113k

Essex in San Francisco for a refit, April 15th, 1944. At this time, she had her dazzle paint (Measure 32, Design 6/10D) applied. Photo shows her loading new SB2C-3's.

Steve Whitby
CV-9 Essex
NS020942a
113k

Four more images of USS Essex (CV-9) after her San Francisco refit, April 15, 1944. Modifications are circled. Note that Essex had a single quad 40-mm gun mount on the fantail, left of centerline.

Pieter Bakels
CV-9 Essex
NS020942b
171k David Buell
CV-9 Essex
NS020942c
142k
CV-9 Essex
NS020942d
142k
CV-9 Essex
NS020942e
217k

Port bow view of USS Essex (CV-9) underway, 15 April 1944, after refit at Hunters Point Navy Yard. She had Measure 32, Design 6/10D camouflage scheme applied during her refit.

This image is part of an album collected by CAPT Carlos W. Wieber during his command of Essex, 7 August 1944–30 June 1945.

US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Photo No.1983.046.010.001.

Mike Green
CV-9 Essex
NS020942f
180k

Port broadside view of USS Essex (CV-9) underway, 15 April 1944, after refit at Hunters Point Navy Yard. She had Measure 32, Design 6/10D camouflage scheme applied during her refit.

This image is part of an album collected by CAPT Carlos W. Wieber during his command of Essex, 7 August 1944–30 June 1945.

US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Photo No.1983.046.010.002.

CV-9 Essex
NS020995
147k

Fresh from her San Francisco refit, USS Essex (CV-9) is seen ferrying aircraft in the Pacific, April 1944. Note the bridge had been modified by removing the island's forward 40-mm quad gun mount and extending the flag bridge.

Robert M. Cieri
CV-9 Essex
NS020976
38k

Model of USS Essex (CV-9) painted in Measure 32, Design 6/10D camouflage, as she appeared during most of 1944.

Courtesy of Joel Rosen, Motion Models
CV-9 Essex
NS020985
121k

Model of USS Essex (CV-9), as she appeared during World War 2, on display at the National Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola, Florida. Photos taken on 13 June 2008.

Photos by Judson Phillips
CV-9 Essex
NS020985a
78k
CV-9 Essex
NS0209ac
122k

Bombing Squadron (VB) 15 combat aircrewmen and crew, NAS Puunene, Maui, T.H., April 1944.

Standing (l to r): Fraoli, Schmidt, Shetler, Flanagan, Krueger, Cribb, Lowe, Henry, Duncan, Swihart, John, Guilbeau, Sheehan, Forrest, Whitby, Downey, Dobbie, Dwyer, Frobom, Lemieux, Graham, O.C. Adams.

Middle row (l to r): McPherson, Corey, Jackson, Rowland, McConnell, Laborde, Stienkemeyer, Penza, Hooten, Miller, Murphy, Gotsis, Hogue, Terrell, Kataja, Sharron, Dorosh, Bussy, Murray, Harris, Hammons, Fowler, Hughes, C.A. Adams.

Front row (l to r): Magel, Gledhill, Ness, Clark, Holland, Hoole, Peterson, Pate, North, Robbins, Kissell.

Steve Whitby
CV-9 Essex
NS0209aca
99k

Aviation Radioman, Second Class (ARM2c), Stanley Nelson Whitby, USNR, of Peckville, PA, Bombing Squadron 15 (VB-15) aboard USS Essex (CV-9). ARM2c Whitby was killed in action on 13 October 1944, while Air Group 15 was conducting attacks on Formosa and the Pescadores Islands. ARM2c Whitby earned the Navy-Marine Corps Medal, Air Medal with two Gold Stars, and the Purple Heart.

CV-9 Essex
NS020993
86k

Officers of Torpedo Squadron Fifteen (VT-15) aboard USS Essex (CV-9). Photo taken at Majuro Atoll sometime between 15 and 19 May 1944. Hand written id's by Bob Cosgrove (note cryptic note at the bottom). About half the men in this picture would earn the Navy Cross in October–November 1944, and at least three of them (Otto R. Bleech, Edwin S. Filipczak and Paul E. Southard, Jr.) would be killed in action in 1944–5.

CDR Michael Cosgrove (Ret.), son of Robert D. Cosgrove
CV-9 Essex
NS020993a
56k
CV-9 Essex
NS020993b
81k

Men of Torpedo Squadron Fifteen (VT-15) aboard USS Essex (CV-9). Photo taken at Majuro Atoll sometime between 15 and 19 May 1944. Hand written id's by Bob Cosgrove—his crewmen (Digby Denzel and Loyce Deen) are at the far left, rows 1 & 2.

CDR Michael Cosgrove (Ret.), son of Robert D. Cosgrove
CV-9 Essex
NS020993c
157k
CV-9 Essex
NS020944
77k

This SB2C Helldiver of VB-15 had its rudder practically torn off over Marcus Island, 19 May 1944, but Lt(jg) James Wanner Barnitz was able to bring it back aboard Essex. Gunner was ARM3c Herbert N. Stienkmeyer, USNR.

Steve Whitby
CV-9 Essex
NS020943
118k

Good shot of VB-15 and VT-15 aircraft on the Essex, turning into the wind, May 27th, 1944 just before the Marianas campaign. The light carrier is San Jacinto (CVL-30) and the Essex-class carrier is Wasp, (CV-18).

Steve Whitby
CV-9 Essex
NS020945
151k

Lt(jg) Cliff Jordan and his gunner, ARM2c Stan Whitby, from VB-15, return from a mission in support of the invasion of Saipan with damage to the right elevator and stabilizer, 19 June 1944. They shot down a Japanese Kate torpedo bomber with their SB2C-3 Helldiver in the process!

Steve Whitby
CV-9 Essex
NS020954
133k

TBM-1C from VT-15 aboard Essex having wounded removed, October 1944.

Steve Whitby
CV-9 Essex
NS020955
91k

CDR David McCampbell, Commander, Air Group 15, in his F6F-5 Hellcat, "Minsi III". This photo must have been taken after October 24, 1944. On that day, CDR McCampbell shot down nine Japanese aircraft, to raise his total to 30. He became the Navy's top "Ace," with 34 confirmed air victories (plus 20 aircraft destroyed on the ground).

Photo by LCDR Paul S. Rundall, USN(Ret).

Contributed by his grandson, Ryan Romero
CV-9 Essex
NS020946
98k

Lt(jg) William S. Rising (right) and his radioman/gunner, ARM2c John W. Montgomery, of VB-15, were shot down over Manila Bay on 6 November 1944. They spent almost seven weeks crawling through rice paddies and avoiding Japanese forces on Luzon and Mindoro with the help of friendly Filipinos until finally picked up by PT boats on 23 December.

Steve Whitby
CV-9 Essex
NS020994
178k

Bob Cosgrove giving a brief aboard USS Essex (CV-9) prior to a raid on Formosa.

CDR Michael Cosgrove (Ret.), son of Robert D. Cosgrove
CV-9 Essex
NS020900
146k

Bob Cosgrove and crew in front of a TBM Avenger. From left, Digby Denzel (radioman), Bob Cosgrove (pilot), Loyce Deen (gunner).

CDR Michael Cosgrove (Ret.), son of Robert D. Cosgrove
CV-9 Essex
NS020900a
173k

Bob Cosgrove landing his TBM-1C Avenger, BuNo 46353, on USS Essex (CV-9), with his dead gunner, Loyce Deen, killed by an AA shell exploding in the turret while on a run on an IJN cruiser in Manila Bay, 5 November 1944.

"[T]he pilot was an expert for the plane was a wreck and barely flyable." (Philip A. St. John, USS Essex CV/CVA/CVS-9, (Paducah, KY: Turner Publishing, 1999), 40.)

CV-9 Essex
NS020900b
89k

Deck crewman has covered up Deen while a decision is being made what to do with the aircraft, which sustained heavy battle damage.

CV-9 Essex
NS020900c
93k

Deen will be buried in his plane. The service on the fantail with the chaplain standing on the wing of the plane. In attendance, RADM Frederick C. Sherman, Task Group 38.3 commander, and David L. McDonald, XO of Essex and eventually CNO (1963–1967).

CV-9 Essex
NS020900d
137k

TBM-1C Avenger BuNo 46353 pushed off the flight deck after the completion of the funeral service.

CV-9 Essex
NS020992
160k

Left to right: Bob Chaffe, Bob Cosgrove, Harry Goodwin, Jerry Crumley, Charlie Hurd, Walt Harper. All pilots in Torpedo Squadron Fifteen (VT-15). Taken early November 1944 after an awards ceremony, shortly before the air group left USS Essex (CV-9). Chaffe, Cosgrove, Goodwin and Crumley were eventually awarded Navy Crosses for action during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, 24–25 October 1944.

CDR Michael Cosgrove (Ret.), son of Robert D. Cosgrove
CV-9 Essex
NS0209aa
.PDF file
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Get FREE Adobe Reader
650k

CAPT Robert D. Cosgrove's Aviators Flight Log Book while he was aboard USS Essex (CV-9), April–November 1944.

CDR Michael Cosgrove (Ret.), son of Robert D. Cosgrove
CV-9 Essex
NS020991
157k

USS Essex (CV-9) refueling from the T2-SE-A1 oiler USS Tallulah (AO-50) in a heavy sea off Luzon, 9 November 1944.

Pieter Bakels
CV-9 Essex
NS020911a
93k

A Japanese kamikaze hits USS Essex (CV-9) on November 25, 1944 during naval operations under Admiral Halsey in support of US landings on Leyte. (See also NS020911.)

Robert Hurst
CV-9 Essex
NS015714k
204k

USS Essex (CV-9) takes a hit, as seen from USS South Dakota (BB-57).

"On 25 November 1944, for the first time in her far-ranging operations and destruction to the enemy, Essex received injury. A kamikaze hit the port edge of her flight deck landing among planes gassed for takeoff, causing extensive damage, killing 15, and wounding 44." (Quoted from DANFS.)

Pieter Bakels
CV-9 Essex
NS020911
84k

Japanese Kamikaze aircraft explodes after crashing into the carrier's flight deck amidships, during operations off the Philippines, 25 November 1944. Photographed from USS Langley (CVL-27).

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-273032).

(See also NS020911a.)

Scott Dyben
CV-9 Essex
NS020911b
54k

USS Essex (CV-9), November 1944, following a kamikaze hit. The ammo cans are visible on the bulkhead inboard of the catwalk.

National Archives photo # 80-G-270718.

(See also NS020911a.)

Pieter Bakels
CV-9 Essex
NS020921
64k

Fire aboard USS Essex (CV-9) after an F6F-5P's Hellcat drop tank burst on landing, 16 December 1944.

National Archives (College Park, MD) photo # 80-G-301346.

Tracy White, Researcher @ Large
CV-9 Essex
NS020949
86k

Ship's newspaper logo, circa 1944-1945.

Steve Whitby
CV-9 Essex
NS020956
105k

(Poor quality) photo of a VT-83 TBM heading for a water landing after having most of its tail shot away, early-mid 1945. Tough bird!

Steve Whitby

NS021743
203K

Task Group 58.3, under Rear Admiral Frederick C. Sherman, departs Ulithi on 10 February 1945. Seen from USS Bunker Hill (CV-17) are USS Cowpens (CVL-25), left, and USS Essex (CV-9), center.

Task Force 58 conducted attacks against the Tokyo area (16–17, and 25 February) both to neutralize the enemy's airpower before the landings on Iwo Jima (19 February) and to cripple the aircraft manufacturing industry.

Pieter Bakels
CV-9 Essex
NS020947
147k

Underway, March 1945. By this time she had been repainted into Measure 21 camouflage.

Steve Whitby
CV-9 Essex
NS020957
133k

A VB-83 SB2C-4 from Essex, March 1945.

Steve Whitby
CV-9 Essex
NS020948
101k

VB-83's SB2C-4's Helldivers during the Okinawa Invasion, April 1st, 1945.

Steve Whitby
CV-9 Essex
NS020960
76k

Corsairs from VBF-83 flying from the Essex in March of 1945. Essex had the first F4U-1D/FG-1D's deployed on a fleet carrier. Note that the ship's fighter squadron, VF-83, was equipped with F6F Hellcats.

Steve Whitby
CV-9 Essex
NS020961
93k

A Corsair just about to plow through a wave breaking over the bow with full flaps, full up elevators and full right rudder.

Steve Whitby
CV-9 Essex
NS0209ai
84k

F4U Corsairs and F6F Hellcats of Air Group 83 aboard USS Essex (CV-9), during the Okinawa Campaign.

Robert Rocker
CV-9 Essex
NS0209ak
167k

A Marine Corps F4U-1D Corsair comes in for a landing aboard the carrier USS Essex (CV-9). Photo USN.

From Aircraft Carriers, by Norman Polmar.

Robert Hurst
CV-9 Essex
NS020989
50k

Partial view of USS Essex (CV-9) flight and hangar decks, looking down elevator shaft. Photo by Paul Madden CPHOM.

Pieter Bakels
CV-9 Essex
NS015703q
693k

USS South Dakota (BB-57)—background—firing, as seen from USS Essex (CV-9), during the occupation of Okinawa. USN photo.

Pieter Bakels
CV-9 Essex
NS015701b
333k

Anti-aircraft bursts from Task Force 58 as a Japanese plane is hit and explodes just beyond USS Essex (CV-9), in an action off Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, 11 April 1945. Photo taken from USS South Dakota (BB-57). USN photo.

Pieter Bakels
CV-9 Essex
NS020915
124k

USS Essex (CV-9) receiving provisions via highline from USS Mercury (AK-42) on 27 April 1945, while operating off Okinawa. Essex crewmen in the foreground are stacking bags of flour. Note man on Mercury's forward hatch, directing the hoisting of another load from her hold.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-373777).

Scott Dyben
CV-9 Essex
NS020916
122k

Underway at sea during the Okinawa Campaign, 20 May 1945. Note that her air group contains both F4U and F6F fighters.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-373816).

Scott Dyben
CV-9 Essex
NS020990
65k

TBM Avengers and SB2C Helldivers from Essex Air Group 83 dropping bombs on Hakodate, Japan, July 1945.

Pieter Bakels
CV-9 Essex
NS020958
91k

Men of USS Essex posed in front of the ship's scoreboard, mid-1945.

Photo by LCDR Paul S. Rundall, USN(Ret).

Contributed by his grandson, Ryan Romero
CV-9 Essex
NS020959
112k

"Essex-class aircraft carrier." (From a Russian publication).

This drawing shows the appearance of a "short hull" Essex late in the war, with two lattice radio masts, island structure modified with an extended flag bridge and one quad 40-mm gun mount removed, and up to 18 quad Bofors gun mounts (16 visible here plus one or two on the bow, hidden by the flight deck). Essex herself, however, carried her original five lattice radio masts through the entire war and had no more than eleven 40-mm mounts: one on the bow and one on the stern, one on each 5" sponson, two on the (never fitted) hangar deck catapult's port side extension, three on the island and two on the starboard quarter.

Alex Tatchin

For more photos and information about this ship, see:

View the USS Essex (CV-9 / CVA-9 / CVS-9)
DANFS History entry located on the Naval Historical Center Web Site.

Crew Contact and Reunion Information
Date:  
Place:  
Contact: H. Bruce Sims
Address: 581 Conkle Rd.
Hampton, Georgia 30228-2702
Phone: 770-707-1812
E-mail: hangerbay9@aol.com
Web site: USS Essex (CV/CVA/CVS-9/LHD-2) Association
Remarks:  

Related Links
Hazegray & Underway World Aircraft Carrier Pages By Andrew Toppan.
Official U.S. Navy Carrier Website
Korean Combat Action Reports located on the Naval Historical Center Web Site
USS Essex (CV/CVA/CVS-9/LHD-2) Association
USS Essex CV9 — A Tribute

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Last update: 18 November 2013