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NavSource Online: Aircraft Carrier Photo Archive


Contributed by Mike Smolinski

USS LEYTE   (CV-32)
(later CVA-32, CVS-32 and AVT-10)



Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign: November - Hotel - Romeo - Bravo
Tactical Voice Radio Call: "RUGBY"

CLASS - ESSEX (Long Hull) AKA TICONDEROGA
Displacement 27,100 Tons, Dimensions, 888' (oa) x 93' x 28' 7" (Max)
Armament 12 x 5"/38AA, 32 x 40mm, 46 x 20mm, 82 Aircraft.
Armor, 4" Belt, 2 1/2" Hanger deck, 1 1/2" Deck, 1 1/2" Conning Tower.
Machinery, 150,000 SHP; Westinghouse Geared Turbines, 4 screws
Speed, 33 Knots, Crew 3448.

Operational and Building Data

Initially named Crown Point.

Click On Image
For Full Size Image
Size Image Description Contributed
By And/Or Copyright
As an Attack Carrier (CV/CVA)
CV-32 Leyte
NS023222
142k

Leyte (CV-32) slides down the ways into the James River, at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company. She was christened on Thursday, 23 August 1945, by the ship's sponsor, Mrs. James M. Mead, wife of U.S. Senator Mead (D-New York).

Robert M. Cieri
CV-32 Leyte
NS023202
185k Undated, Official USN image. William R. Strewart
CV-32 Leyte
NS023223
76k

Photo of USS Leyte (CV-32), dated 13 March 1946. BuAer photo from Hampton Roads NAS, # 41379, taken at an altitude of 200 feet (approx. 60 meters). Location is Hampton Roads. Other ships in photo are not identified.

David Buell
CV-32 Leyte
NS023225
141k

Deck edge elevator at flight deck level, looking forward. Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company, 10 April 1946.

Pieter Bakels
CV-32 Leyte
NS023225a
112k

Deck edge elevator, main deck level, broadside, 10 April 1946.

Pieter Bakels
CV-32 Leyte
NS023234
63k

"March 18[, 1947]—CARRIER ASSIGNED—A Navy announcement, said that the 27,000-ton air craft carrier Leyte (above), would depart from Quonset Point, R.I., early in April for a visit to the Mediterranean. (AP Wirephoto from Navy) (m31900usn)"

Tommy Trampp
CV-32 Leyte
NS023215
97k

A Sikorski HO3S-1 helicopter flies beside the carrier during the Second Task Fleet's Operation Frigid, November 1948.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (# 80-G-K-9496).

NHC
CV-32 Leyte
NS023205
99k

Underway in the North Atlantic, during Operation Frigid, 20 November 1948. Photographed by PH1 B.T. Teigan.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-416025).

Scott Dyben
CV-32 Leyte
NS091909809
1.08Mb

Caloosahatchee (AO-98), Leyte (CV-32), and Samuel B. Roberts (DD-823) conducting an underway replenishment during Operation Frigid, 20 November 1948. US Navy photo.

Robert M. Cieri
CV-32 Leyte
NS023211
103k

Ensign Jesse L. Brown (left, front) and Ensign R.G. Rider play a game of backgammon (or "acey-ducey") in the Fighter Squadron 32 ready room, on board USS Leyte, 12 April 1949. Other squadron pilots are relaxing in the background.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (# 80-G-377908).

Note: Midshipman Jesse L. Brown was designated a Naval Aviator in October 1948, the first African-American to achive this status, and received his commission as Ensign in April 1949. He was killed in action on 4 December 1950, while on a close air support mission near the Chosin Reservoir. Ensign Jesse LeRoy Brown was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the escort ship USS Jesse L. Brown (DE-1089, later FF-1089) was named in his honor.

NHC
CV-32 Leyte
NS023224
59k

Ensign Jesse L. Brown, USN, takes the oath of office on board USS Leyte (CV-32), 26 April 1949. Administering the oath is the ship's Commanding Officer, Captain William L. Erdmann. Lieutenant Commander E.D. Williams (center) is witnessing the ceremony.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (#80-G-707201).

NHC
CV-32 Leyte
NS0602108901
121k

Ensign Jesse L. Brown, USN, in the cockpit of an F4U-4 Corsair fighter, circa 1950. He was the first African-American Naval Aviator, and flew with Fighter Squadron 32 (VF-32) from USS Leyte (CV-32).

Official U.S. Navy Photographs, now in the collections of the National Archives (#80-G-708014 and 030318-N-0000X-002).

(See also NS023211, NS023224 and USS Jesse L. Brown.)

Bill Gonyo
CV-32 Leyte
NS023236
53k

Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Thomas J. Hudner, Jr., USN, photographed wearing the Medal of Honor, which he received for heroism during the Korean War. Photograph is dated 29 November 1951.

On 4 December 1950, while serving with Fighter Squadron (VF) 32, aboard USS Leyte (CV-32), during the Korean War, LT(JG) Hudner crash-landed his own plane near the Chosin reservoir in a brave effort to rescue Ensign Jesse L. Brown (see NS023211), another VF-32 pilot whose plane had been shot down.

On 7 May 2012 Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced that an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, DDG-116, would be named Thomas Hudner after the Korean-war hero, who retired from the Navy as a Captain in February 1973. (In May 2012 Hudner was the last living Navy recipient of the Medal of Honor from the Korean War.)

Official U.S. Navy photograph, from the collections of the Naval History & Heritage Command (# NH 97091).

Naval History & Heritage Command
CV-32 Leyte
NS023230
282k

Carriers USS Wright (CVL-49) and USS Leyte (CV-32)—with Carrier Air Group (CVG) 3—moored at Naval Air Station (NAS) Quonset Point, Rhode Island, circa 1950.

US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Photo No.1996.488.195.006. Robert L. Lawson Photograph Collection.

Mike Green
CV-32 Leyte
NS023201
221k

Date and location unknown (maybe a base in Japan, during the Korean War?).

Philip D. Eakins, FISC Yokosuka Det Sasebo, comments: "[P]hoto numbered NS023201 was indeed taken while Leyte was anchored in Sasebo harbor. [...] The small building on the hillside located behind the ship is located at the Akasaki Fuel Terminal, although it canít be seen from the harbor now because of trees that have grown over the past 50+ years."

Collection of Robert Carey
CV-32 Leyte
NS023201a
59k

"The crew of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Leyte (CV-32) spells out the name of the ship on the forward part of the flight deck while she lays at anchor at Sasebo, Japan, during her Korean War cruise in 1950–51. The planes of Carrier Air Group Three (CVG-3) are visible on deck."

U.S. Navy National Museum of Naval Aviation photo No. 1999.272.028.

(Taken at the same time as photo above.)

Robert Hurst
CV-32 Leyte
NS023221
78k

USS Leyte underway and about to launch two Grumman F9F Panthers, circa the early 1950s. Location unknown.

Robert Hurst
CV-32 Leyte
NS023219
80k

Group of Marine fighter pilots of VMF-223 aboard USS Leyte on a Mediterranean cruise, September 6, 1949-January 26, 1950. Captain Rex Wilson is 4th from left, seated.

VMF-223 was part of Marine Aircraft Group 11 (MAG-11), 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW).

Karen Ledesma, daughter of Captain Rex Wilson
CV-32 Leyte
NS023206
124k

Crewmembers swimming over the carrier's side, using her deck edge elevator as a diving platform, at Augusta, Sicily, 27 May 1950.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-415936).

Scott Dyben
CV-32 Leyte
NS023231
158k

"The painting is somewhat amateurish, but I thought it might be a good contribution to NavSource.org because of the historical accuracy and significance. It was painted in September 1950 by a naval aviator (Richard D. McKenzie) while he was with VF-31 Squadron on board the USS Leyte. He flew several aircraft from the USS Leyte, including the Panther F9F shown landing on the USS Leyte in the painting. I do not know his rank at the time of the painting, but he finished his service with the Navy as a Commander."

"Richard's funeral was April 24, 2012 in Wichita, KS with full military honors."

Todd Hershberger,
son-in-law of Richard D. McKenzie
CV-32 Leyte
NS023238
78k

USS Leyte (CV-32) shown well lighted, at the carrier pier at NAS North Island, San Diego, CA on 19 September 1950. Working through the night combat loading, she will get underway for the Korean Peninsula at day break.

Robert M. Cieri
CV-32 Leyte
NS023207
123k

At anchor in Sasebo harbor, Japan, in November 1950, during a break in her Korean War combat operations. Photographed by AFC O.H. Wilson.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-434496).

Scott Dyben
CV-32 Leyte
NS023218
31k

USS Leyte (CV-32) underway in Korean waters. The photo was taken on 15 November 1950, three days before Ensign F. C. Weber, flying an F9F-2 Panther from VF-31 assigned to Leyte, shot down a North Korean MiG-15 (photo # USN-421908).

NHC
CV-32 Leyte
NS023208
158k

Moored off Naval Operating Base, Yokosuka, Japan, during a break from Korean War operations, 1 December 1950. Note old fortification in the left background.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-424599).

Scott Dyben
CV-32 Leyte
NS023212
93k

USS Leyte (CV-32) steams around the end of Naval Air Station, North Island, as she arrives at San Diego, California, after the end of her Korean War combat tour. The scene is partially framed by the tail of a PBM-5 patrol bomber (Bureau # 84771). Photograph is dated 3 February 1951.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. (# NH 97296).

NHC
CV-32 Leyte
NS023229
168k

This AD-4N Skyraider, attached to VC-33 "Avengers," had some problems to recover aboard (1950–51).

Mike Wiles
CV-32 Leyte
NS023228
86k

"Leaving Hampton Roads (in background) en route to Med," 3 September 1951.

Mike Wiles
CV-32 Leyte
NS023226
101k

Aerial port beam view of USS Leyte (CV-32) anchored in Gulf Juan (Occitan: Gòuf Joan), France, near Cannes and the Lérins Islands (French: Îles Lérins), during the ship's 5th Mediterranean Cruise, 3 September–21 December 1951. The embarked Air Group was CVG-3, tailcode "K". Official U.S. Navy photograph.

Robert M. Cieri
CV-32 Leyte
NS023235
225k

"AD-3 (122805[, NE41]) of VC-12, gets chewed up by a landing AD-4Q (124042[, SS45]) of VC-33 on board USS Leyte. Both aircraft suffered strike damage, and one of the pilots was killed. 14 January 1952." Jim Sullivan, Skyraider in action (Carrollton, TX: Squadron/Signal Publications, 1983), 21.

(See also the collection of Robert Carey.)

(If you have any information concerning this accident, please let us know.)

Courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
CV-32 Leyte
NS023203
130k

May 1952, Quonset Point Rhode Island. Official USN image.

Original photo submitted by William R. Strewart.

Larger copy from the collection of Robert Carey.
As an ASW Carrier (CVS)
CVS-32 Leyte
NS023220
60k

The ASW aircraft carrier USS Leyte (CVS-32) underway, date and location unknown, with ZPG-2 aloft and unidentified destroyer in attendance (USN photo.)

Robert Hurst
CVS-32 Leyte
NS023233
147k

Photo of USS Leyte (CVS-32) signed for LT J.F. Ambrose by the ship's commanding officer, CAPT Elliott W. Parish, Jr., 22 April 1955.

Donald Steele
CVS-32 Leyte
NS023232
25k

USS Leyte (CVS-32) refueling from USS Nantahala (AO-60), 30 July 1955, during a Bermuda cruise.

Tommy Trampp
CVS-32 Leyte
NS023213
89k

Grumman S2F-1 Anti-submarine Aircraft "... gets a 'go' signal from USS Leyte flight deck 0fficer as she is launched for anti-submarine patrol during LANTPHIBEX. The specially-designed aircraft were kept flying around the clock during the overseas transit of the amphibious force, and combined with sonar-equipped helicopters and Navy blimps, provided effective protection against four marauding 'Enemy' subs." Quoted from the original caption, which was released by USS Leyte (CVS-32) under date of 1 November 1955.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. (# NH 97297).

NHC
CVS-32 Leyte
NS023214
123k

USS Leyte (CVS-32) off Vieques Island, Puerto Rico, while embarking Marines prior to the "invasion" of the Panama Canal Zone, during amphibious exercises in 1957. She has thirteen HRS and two HUS helicopters of Marine Air Group 26 on her flight deck. Photo was released by the Department of Defense on 2 July 1957.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center. (# NH 97298).

NHC
CVS-32 Leyte
NS023227
55k

A Grumman S2F-1 Tracker of U.S. Navy anti-submarine squadron VS-31 "Topcats" about to take off from the aircraft carrier USS Leyte (CVS-32) in May–June 1957. VS-31 was engaged in an anti-submarine exercise against the submarine USS Halfbeak (SS-352), which resulted in the submarine being "sunk" five times. The first plane visible (modex SP-20) was flown by CDR J.R. Rutledge, commanding officer of VS-31. Note that this plane is still painted in overall glossy sea blue, whereas the other planes are already painted in the then new gray-white paint scheme. VS-31's tail code was changed to "MC" later that year. U.S. Navy "Naval Aviation News," July 1957.

Robert Hurst
CV-32 Leyte
NS023204
22k In Portugal during the 1957 Med cruise,and 6th Fleet NATO operations. © Al Seguin
CVS-32 Leyte
NS023237
78k

Personnel of Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron (HS) 9 "Sea Griffins" in front of one of their Sikorsky HSS-1 Seabat helicopters on board the ASW aircraft carrier USS Leyte (CVS-32) in 1958. U.S. Navy Naval Aviation News, September 1958 issue.

Robert Hurst
CVS-32 Leyte
NS023216
80k

Grumman S2F-2 Tracker Anti-submarine Aircraft landing aboard USS Leyte (CVS-32) during an anti-submarine exercise. The photograph was received by the Naval Photographic Center in February 1958.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph (# USN 1034039).

NHC
CVS-32 Leyte
NS023217
80k

USS Leyte (CVS-32) operating with a ZPG-2 blimp and an unidentified destroyer of Destroyer Squadron Twenty, during anti-submarine exercises in February 1958.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph (# USN 1034040).

NHC
"Mothballed"
CV-32 Leyte
NS023210
64k "Mothballed," Bayonne, NJ, August 1961. © Richard Leonhardt

For more photos and information about this ship, see:

USS LEYTE CV-32 History
View This Vessels DANFS History Entry
(Located On The Hazegray & Underway Web Site, This Is The Main Archive For The DANFS Online Project.)

Crew Contact and Reunion Information
Contact: Le Grande W. Van Wagenen
Address: 43 Frederick Place
Parlin, NJ 08859
Phone: 732-727-5993
E-mail: leyte1956@aol.com
Web site:  
Remarks:  

Additional Resources
Hazegray & Underway World Aircraft Carrier Pages By Andrew Toppan.
USS Leyte (CV-32) Web Page
Official U.S. Navy Carrier Website
Korean Combat Action Reports located on the Naval Historical Center Web Site

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This page was created by Paul Yarnall and is maintained by Fabio Peña
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Last update: 31 May 2014