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NavSource Online: Aircraft Carrier Photo Archive

Patch at left courtesy of Guy Dunbar (USS Coral Sea CVA-43 Association)
Patch at right courtesy of CAPT Gene Oleson, CHC, USN (Ret) (bluejacket.com)

USS CORAL SEA   (CVB-43)
(later CVA-43 and CV-43)



Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign: November - India - Juliet - Alfa
Tactical Voice Radio Call: "MUSTANG"

Specifications

Class: MIDWAY

As built: Displacement: 45,000 tons (60,000 fl) — Dimensions: 900' wl (968' oa) x 113' (136' fd) x 32' 9" / 274.3 wl (295 oa) x 34.4 (41.5 fd) x 10 meters — Armor: 7.6" belt, 3.5" flight deck, 6.5" conning tower (side) — Power plant: 12 565-psi boilers, 4 geared turbines, 4 screws; 212,000 shp — Speed: 33 knots — Endurance (design): 20,000 nm @ 15 knots — Armament: 14 5"/54, Mk.39 single mounts; 84 40-mm (planned but not fitted); 28 20-mm (planned but probably not fitted) — Aircraft: 137 — Aviation facilities: 3 elevators; 2 hydraulic catapults — Crew: approx. 4,100

Last configuration: Displacement: 52,000 tons (65,200 fl) — Dimensions: 900' wl (979' oa) x 121' (236' fd) x 35' / 274.3 wl (298.4 oa) x 36.9 (71.9 fd) x 10.7 meters — Speed: 32 knots — Armament: 3 Phalanx CIWS — Aircraft: 65 — Aviation facilities: 3 elevators; 3 steam catapults — Crew: approx. 4,700



Operational and Building Data

Initially classified as an "Aircraft Carrier", hull number CV-43. Contract awarded on 14 June 1943 to Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Newport News, Va. Reclassified as a "Large Aircraft Carrier" (CVB-43) on 15 July 1943. Laid down 10 July 1944, launched 2 April 1946 and commissioned 1 October 1947.

Reclassified as an "Attack Aircraft Carrier" (CVA-43) on 1 October 1952. Decommissioned at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Wash., on 24 May 1957 to receive a major conversion (SCB-110A): enlarged flight deck, angled deck, relocation of elevators, more powerful catapults, enclosed "hurricane" bow, greater beam, etc. Recommissioned 25 January 1960.

Reclassified as a "Multi-Purpose Aircraft Carrier" (CV-43) on 30 June 1975.

FATE: Decommissioned and stricken 30 April 1990. Sold by the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS) for scrapping on 7 May 1993. Scrapping was delayed by numerous financial, legal and environmental issues; finally completed 8 September 2000.


Click On Image 
For Full Size Image
Size Image Description Contributed
By And/Or Copyright
The Early Years
CVB-43 Coral Sea
NS024367
173k

"Newport News Shipbuilding, Va.—2 April 1946—The 45,000 ton aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea CVB 43 was Christened by the ship's sponsor Mrs. Thomas C. Kinkaid, as she swung the traditional bottle of Champagne striking the bow. On the left is the matron of honor Mrs. Joseph W. Henderson, Jr., Admiral C.L. Cox is behind Mrs. Kinkaid and on the right is Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid. International News Photo by P.N. Breon of INP."
Robert M. Cieri
CVB-43 Coral Sea
NS024387
163k

Overhead view of USS Coral Sea (CVB-43) on 30 September 1947. The ship is en route to Norfolk Navy Yard for commissioning.

US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Robert L. Lawson Photograph Collection, # 1996.488.120.003.

Mike Green
CVB-43 Coral Sea
NS024387a
108k

Broadside view of USS Coral Sea (CVB-43) on 30 September 1947. The ship is en route to Norfolk Navy Yard for commissioning.

US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Robert L. Lawson Photograph Collection, # 1996.488.120.004.

CVB-43 Coral Sea
NS024387b
208k

Closeup of the future USS Coral Sea (CVB-43) taken on Tuesday, 30 September 1947. National Archives photo (# 80-G-389078).

Gerd Matthes, Germany
CVB-43 Coral Sea
NS024388
111k

Bow view of USS Coral Sea (CVB-43) on 1 October 1947. The ship is en route to Norfolk Navy Yard for commissioning later that day.

US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Robert L. Lawson Photograph Collection, # 1996.488.120.005.

Mike Green
CVB-43 Coral Sea
NS024312
57k Underway in the Hampton Roads, Va., area Dec. 10, 1947. USN
CVB-43 Coral Sea
NS024313
137k

Photographed in 1948. Coral Sea, as shown in this and the above photo, was completed with 14, rather than 18, 5"/54 guns: note the absence of two of the after mounts on each side, as compared to her sister ships Midway and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Official U.S. Navy photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center (photo #: NH 97648).

NHC
CVB-43 Coral Sea
NS024368
124k

A nice view of USS Coral Sea (CVB-43) probably taken during her shakedown cruise, 19 January–5 April 1948, to Cuba and Panama Canal, with Battle Carrier Air Group (CVBG) 5 embarked.

Jim Geldert
CVB-43 Coral Sea
NS024351
132k

"The crew of USS Coral Sea (CVB-43) stands at attention on the flight deck." From All Hands magazine, November 1950 issue.

Stanley Svec
CVB-43 Coral Sea
NS024318
91k

Vought F4U-5 Corsair fighter takes off from USS Coral Sea (CVB-43), while she was operating in the Mediterranean Sea, November 1950. This is a U.S. Marine Corps aircraft. Note radar antennas atop the island, and flag signal reading "085 turn".

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-423543).

Scott Dyben
CVB-43 Coral Sea
NS024342
.PDF file
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4.78M

Med Cruise Book, September 9, 1950–February 1, 1951, with Carrier Air Group 17 (CVG-17).

Map, pages 1–8 and 10–17.

Mike Sharp,
via Robert Hall
CVB-43 Coral Sea
NS0406827
96k

USS Coral Sea (CVB-43) as seen from USS Baltimore (CA-68) in 1952.

(See also photos NS0406819 and NS0406840).

George Panos,
Ex QMS 2/C
CVB-43 Coral Sea
NS024328
127k

USS Coral Sea (CVB-43) and USS Salem (CA-139) during Med. exercises, 1952. Note helo between Coral Sea and Salem.

George Panos,
Ex QMS 2/C
CVB-43 Coral Sea
NS024329
93k

USS Coral Sea (CVB-43) during 1952 Med Cruise.

George Panos,
Ex QMS 2/C
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024369
41k

The first XFJ-2 Fury, BuNo 133754, conducted carrier qualification tests aboard USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) in late 1952.

Pieter Bakels
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024352
149k

Aerial view of USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) with Carrier Air Group 10 (CVG-10) aboard, probably in 1954. Lightship in the background appears to be USCG LV 84/WAL 509, which was stationed at the entrance of the St. Johns River, near Jacksonville, FL, 1929–1954.

David Buell
Mediterranean Cruise, 7 July–20 December 1954
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024314
65k

Maneuvers at high speed in the Mediterranean Sea, 28 July 1955.

Official U.S. Navy photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo #: 80-G-K-18394).

NHC
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024385
70k

Genoa, Italy, 29 August 1955. Carrier Air Group (CVG) 17.

Carlo Martinelli
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024385a
98k
After SCB-110A Modernization
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024335
46k

"Column Left..." The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada parade down the flight deck of the USS Coral Sea. The Highlanders, commanded by LCOL Ian Bell-Irving, were guests of Coral Sea during the ship's visit to Vancouver, British Columbia, March 1960. US Navy photo now in the Seattle Branch of the National Archives.

Tracy White
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024373
49k

USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) during her 12 December 1961–17 July 1962 WestPac deployment, as seen from USS Henry B. Wilson (DDG-7).

WA Jagger EM2,
via Dan Marks
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024353
175k

Official US Navy Photograph, USN 1061345, dated January 12, 1962, officially released. US Naval Photographic Center. Caption on back reads: "USS Coral Sea (CVA 43) leaving Subic Bay, Phillipines. British ships in background."

David Buell
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024315
139k

USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) steams alongside USS Bellatrix (AF-62) during underway replenishment in Western Pacific waters. USS Duncan (DDR-874) is at left. Photo was released by USS Coral Sea under date of 16 April 1962. Among the planes on the carrier's flight deck are seven A3D Skywarrior heavy attack aircraft.

Official U.S. Navy photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center (photo #: NH 97649).

Planes from Carrier Air Group (CVG) 15 are parked on the flight deck. Visible are F8U-2N Crusaders of VF-154 "Black Knights," F3H Demons of VF-151 "Vigilantes," A4D-2 Skyhawks of VA-155 "Silver Foxes," A4D-2N Skyhawks of VA-153 "Blue Tail Flies," AD-6 Skyraiders of VA-152 "Friendlies," WF-2 Tracers of VAW-11 Det. D "Early Eleven," A3D-2 Skywarriors of VAH-2 "Royal Rampants," and a single HUP-3 Retriever helicopter of HU-1 Det. D, "Pacific Fleet Angels." (Thanks to Robert Hurst.)

Naval History & Heritage Command
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024384
165k

USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) conducting a replenishment at sea with an unidentified oiler and an unidentified destroyer, apparently in late 1962–early 1963 in the Eastern Pacific.

US Navy photo.

Paul L. Adkisson, MMCM, USN (Ret.)
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024344
105k

"En route to her third WestPac deployment [3 April–25 November 1963] USS Coral Sea makes a stop at Sydney, Australia to be the only U.S. Navy carrier in the annual observance of the Battle of the Coral Sea". Quoted from Naval Aviation News, June 1963 issue.

Official US Navy photo. (Appears to have been taken before 1963.)

Robert Hurst
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024370
113k

An E-1B Tracer, BuNo 148907, assigned to VAW-11 "Ealy Eleven" Det. D (top), and an A-1H/J Skyraider assigned to VA-152 "Friendlies" (bottom), photographed at the Royal Australian Navy Air Station, HMAS Albatross, near Nowra, about 100 miles south of Sydney, Australia, (probably in May) 1963. Both VA-152 and VAW-11 Det. D were part of Carrier Air Group (CVG) 15, deployed to WestPac aboard USS Coral Sea (CVA-43)—see also NS024344—.

Photos by Kimberley Dunstan, Royal Australian Navy (Ret.)
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024370a
121k
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024372
133k

USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) visited Sydney, Australia, in May 1963, marking the 21st anniversary of the battle for which she was named (sometimes also referred in Australia as the "Battle for Australia").

Carrier Air Group (CVG) 15 deployed with Coral Sea and included the following squadrons: VF-151 "Vigilantes," F-3B Demons; VA-152 "Friendlies," A-1H & A-1J Skyraiders; VA-153 "Blue Tail Flies," A-4C Skyhawks; VF-154 "Black Knights," F-8D Crusaders; VA-155 "Silver Foxes," A-4B Skyhawks; VAH-2 "Royal Rampants," A-3B Skywarriors; VAW-11 Det. D "Early Eleven," E-1B Tracers; VFP-63 Det. D "Eyes of the Fleet," RF-8A Crusaders; and HU-1 Det. D "Pacific Fleet Angels," UH-2A Sea Sprites.

Submitted by Kimberley Dunstan, Royal Australian Navy (Ret.),
courtesy of Ron Sofge & the USS Coral Sea Tribute Site
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024372a
124k Submitted by Kimberley Dunstan, Royal Australian Navy (Ret.),
USN photo courtesy of the USS Coral Sea Tribute Site
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024372b
138k Submitted by Kimberley Dunstan, Royal Australian Navy (Ret.),
courtesy of Leslie Withrow & the USS Coral Sea Tribute Site
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS0578201
185k

Mattaponi (AO-41) refueling Rowan (DD-782) to starboard, Coral Sea (CVA-43) to port. US Navy photo, likely taken in 1964–1965.

-
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024341
87k

Photograph taken by Commander Jim Waldron in 1965, off the coast of Vietnam.

CDR Jim Waldron, USNR (Ret.)
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS09051822
79k

Paricutin (AE-18) rearming Coral Sea (CVA-43) in the South China Sea, 26 February 1965. US Navy photo.

David Hanson for his father CAPT. Ralph M. Hanson USN (Ret) CO USS Paricutin, 1964-65
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS09051823
56k

Paricutin (AE-18) rearming Coral Sea (CVA-43) in the South China Sea, 26 February 1965. US Navy photo.

David Hanson for his father CAPT. Ralph M. Hanson USN (Ret) CO USS Paricutin, 1964-65
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS09051824
56k

Paricutin (AE-18) rearming Coral Sea (CVA-43) in the South China Sea, 26 February 1965. US Navy photo.

David Hanson for his father CAPT. Ralph M. Hanson USN (Ret) CO USS Paricutin, 1964-65
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS09051825
92k

Paricutin (AE-18) rearming Coral Sea (CVA-43) in the South China Sea, 26 February 1965. US Navy photo.

David Hanson for his father CAPT. Ralph M. Hanson USN (Ret) CO USS Paricutin, 1964-65
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS09051826
68k

Paricutin (AE-18) rearming Coral Sea (CVA-43) in the South China Sea, 26 February 1965. US Navy photo.

David Hanson for his father CAPT. Ralph M. Hanson USN (Ret) CO USS Paricutin, 1964-65
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024336
101k

USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) steams past USS Ranger (CVA-61) in the South China Sea, 24 March 1965, during the early days of the air campaign against North Vietnam.

Aircraft in the foreground is a North American RA-5C Vigilante reconaissance plane (BuNo 149313) assigned to RVAH-5 "Savage Sons." Planes parked beyond it include McDonnell F-4B Phantom II fighters and Douglas A-1 Skyraider attack aircraft. Photographed by JOC R.D. Moeser, USN.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph (# USN 1110187-C).

NH&HC
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024336a
102k

Aboard USS Coral Sea (CVA-43), the Catapult Officer signals "launch" and an A-4C Skyhawk (from VA-153 "Blue Tail Flies" squadron) starts down the flight deck, during operations in the South China Sea, 24 March 1965. The plane is being launched from the carrier's starboard catapult. Photographed by PH1 James F. Falk, USN.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph (# USN 1111691-A).

NH&HC
Task Force 77
NS026119
166k

Task Force 77 operating in the South China Sea, March 1965. It had recently launched strikes against North Vietnam. Carriers present are (clockwise from bottom): Ranger (CVA-61), Yorktown (CVS-10), Coral Sea (CVA-43) and Hancock (CVA-19). The guided missile cruiser Canberra (CAG-2) is in the center of the formation. The destroyer screen includes: England (DLG-22), Gurke (DD-783), Rogers (DD-876), Walker (DD-517), O'Bannon (DD-450), Somers (DD-947), Jenkins (DD-447), John A. Bole (DD-755), Higbee (DD-806), Buck (DD-761), Joseph Strauss (DDG-16) and Ernest G. Small (DD-838). This photograph was specially posed, and does not represent a normal operating formation.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph (# USN 1109915).

James Shriver, PHCM, USN (Ret), notes: "The photo [...] was taken in an exercise we called 'Operation Candid Camera.' On day one it was tried by a Vigilante photo plane. They missed. So the next day it was tried again and the photos were taken with a hand held camera from a HS-8 helicopter. The photographer was PH1 Elvin C. Conarty (now deceased). I was there... I processed the film and printed the photos."

NHC
CVA-43
NS024371
118k

USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) as seen from USS Perkins (DD-877) in July 1966, west bound at the start of her second Vietnam War cruise (29 July 1966–23 February 1967). Carrier Air Wing was CVW-2.

Michael O'Brien
CVA-43
NS024371a
149k
CVA-43
NS024371b
161k
CVA-43
NS024371c
132k
CVA-43
NS024380
50k

USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) at Alameda, CA, around 22 April 1967. Coral Sea had returned from her second Vietnam deployment on 23 February.

David Miller
CVA-43
NS024348
54k

Two views of USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) taken at 11AM on July 26, 1967 as she left San Francisco headed for WestPac and her third Vietnam deployment — an eventful cruise, involving many of the heaviest strikes of the war. Air Wing was CVW-15.

Courtesy of
William T. Larkins
CVA-43
NS024348a
62k
CVA-43
NS024390
148k

A Douglas A-1 Skyraider assigned to VA-25 "Fist of the Fleet" comes in to recover aboard USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) in January 1968. Note the destroyer on plane-guard duty astern of the carrier. Photo US Navy.

Robert Hurst
CVA-41 + CVA-43 + CVA-19 + CVA-34
NS024345
175k

Aerial view of the San Francisco Naval Shipyard at Hunters Point, sometime between April and July 1968. USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) and USS Hancock (CVA-19) are easily identifiable. Also visible in this photo are Midway (CVA-41), undergoing her SCB-101.66 modernization in the drydock just aft of Coral Sea, and USS Oriskany (CVA-34), undergoing an 8-month overhaul in the background.

Chester Morris comments: "The two A shaped structures (painted with stripes) next to the large overhead crane at the bottom of the photo, are a part of the system used to test the new Polaris missile during the 60's at Hunters Point. They would fire a missile with what I assume was compressed air, and they were a part of the catching apparatus."

Robert M. Cieri
4th Vietnam Cruise, 7 September 1968 – 18 April 1969
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024308
70k Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, October 1968. © Richard Leonhardt
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024309
62k Passing Arizona Memorial, 1968. © Joe Radigan
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024343
85k

Aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) along with a supply ship and her escorts whilst operating in the Gulf of Tonkin during 1969. A Soviet "trawler," in fact an Okean-class AGI (intelligence collector) is in the foreground.

Robert Hurst
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024360
495k

McDonnell F-4B Phantom II, BuNo 151487, modex NL215, VF-161 "Chargers," probably during the ship's fourth Vietnam cruise.

Glenn M. Miller
CVAN-65, CVA-19, CVA-43
NS026583
362k

Front to back: USS Enterprise (CVAN-65), USS Hancock (CVA-19), three auxiliaries (which appear to be USS Markab (AR-23) with USS Pictor (AF-54) outboard, and USS Procyon (AF-61) forward of them), and USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) at NAS Alameda, CA, possibly in the first half of July 1969.

Robert M. Cieri
5th Vietnam Cruise, 23 September 1969 – 1 July 1970
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024319
87k Near the Philippines, late 1969. Carrier in the background is USS Ranger (CVA-61). David Guerra
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024320
92k The Philippines, circa 1969, with two F-4B Phantom II from the "Vigilantes" of VF-151. David Guerra
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024321
77k Circa 1969. David Guerra
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024378
115k

On her way back home, after her 5th Vietnam Cruise, USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) made a port call to Sydney, Australia, 13–17 June 1970. This series of photos was taken during an open house event while in port.

Kaman UH-2C Seasprite, BuNo 152202, modex NL006, HC-1 Det. 9 "Pacific Fleet Angels."

Courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024378a
142k

Grumman E-2A Hawkeye, BuNo 150539, modex NL010, VAW-116 "Sun Kings."

CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024378b
103k

McDonnell F-4B Phantom II, BuNo 149450, modex NL206, VF-161 "Chargers."

(The original NL206, BuNo 152286, had been lost in an operational accident on 25 February, as it ran out of fuel and the crew had to eject—both pilot and RIO were rescued.)

CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024378c
128k

Ling-Temco-Vought A-7A Corsair II, BuNo 152685, modex NL306, VA-82 "Marauders."

CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024378d
123k

Grumman A-6A Intruder, BuNo 152902, modex NL500, VA-35 "Black Panthers."

CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024374
117k

Darrell took this picture on 1 July 1970, while standing on the Golden Gate Bridge just as USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) was passing under the bridge. Coral Sea was returning from her fifth combat tour off Vietnam.

Darell E. Baty
6th Vietnam Cruise, 12 November 1971 – 17 July 1972
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024362
585k

Departing Alameda.

Glenn M. Miller
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024355
100k

F-4B Phantom IIs BuNo 150466, "Old Nick 204" from VF-111 "Sundowners," and BuNo 149457, "Screaming Eagle 113" from VF-51 "Screaming Eagles" drop Mk.82 500-lb bombs over North Vietnam, March 8, 1972.

CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024359
518k

F-4B Phantom II, VF-111 "Sundowners."

CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024361
533k

SH-3G Sea King, HC-1 Det. 6 "Pacific Fleet Angels."

CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024363
588k

Underway replenishment.

CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024364
614k

Sweethearts (and a VF-111 "Sundowners" F-4B Phantom II).

CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024365
130k

USS Coral Sea (CVA-43), as seen from USS Schenectady (LST-1185), probably off California in the early 1970s.

Chuck Case, USS Schenectady LST-1185 (1971–1975)
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024365a
138k
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024365b
141k
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024391
167k

CDR Gary A. Scoffield was the commanding officer of Attack Squadron (VA) 22 between 28 July 1973 and 8 November 1974. The unit, nicknamed the "Fighting Redcocks" and equipped with A-7E Corsair IIs, was part of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 15 and deployed aboard USS Coral Sea (CVA-43). Image from the 1978 USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) Cruise Book.

Bill Gonyo
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024346
146k

Aerial view of Naval Air Station Alameda, summer of 1974. Left to right: USS Coral Sea (CVA-43), USS Hancock (CVA-19), USS Oriskany (CVA-34), and USS Enterprise (CVAN-65).

Robert M. Cieri
CVA-43, CVA-19, CVA-34, CVAN-65
NS024346a
345k

Same as NS024346, above, from a different angle.

CVN-65, CV-43, CV-34
NS026523
157k

Left to right: USS Enterprise (CVN-65), USS Coral Sea (CV-43), USS Kansas City (AOR-3), USS Wabash (AOR-5), and USS Oriskany (CV-34) at NAS Alameda, CA, July-August 1975.

Official US Navy photo from the Naval Photographic Center, Washington, D.C.

Robert M. Cieri
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024376
119k

A series of photos of USS Coral Sea (CV-43) taken while in port in San Francisco on Bicentennial Day, 4 July 1976.

John Skillman
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024376a
124k

A-7E Corsair II, VA-94 "Shrikes." Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 15.

CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024376b
111k

F-4J Phantom II, VF-191 "Satan's Kittens." Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 15.

CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024376c
158k

Skyline.

CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024376d
153k

Flight deck, island.

CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024376e
159k

Partial view of island, from elevator.

CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024376f
177k

Island.

F-4J Phantom II, VF-194 "Red Lightnings," Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 15.

CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024376g
147k

RF-8G Crusader, VFP-63 "Eyes of the Fleet." Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 15.

CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024376h
149k

A-7E Corsair II, VA-22 "Fighting Redcocks." Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 15.

John Skillman
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024376i
159k

E-2B Hawkeye, VAW-114 "Hormel Hogs." Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 15.

CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024376j
169k

F-4J Phantom II, VF-194 "Red Lightnings." Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 15.

CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024376k
151k

A-6E Intruder, VA-95 "Green Lizards." Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 15.

CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024376l
166k

Island.

CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024376m
172k

Island.

CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024376n
138k

USS Coral Sea (CV-43). San Francisco, 4 July 1976.

CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024376o
152k

USS Coral Sea (CV-43). San Francisco, 4 July 1976.

CV-43 Coral Sea
NS0265by
106k

Two LTV A-7E Corsair II attack aircraft in formation, possibly in early 1977. The one in the foreground (BuNo 157502, modex NK410) is from Attack Squadron (VA) 27 "Royal Maces," operating from the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-65); the other (BuNo 158002, modex NL404) is from VA-94 "Shrikes," operating from the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea (CV-43). Photo courtesy of Ling Temco Vought.

Robert Hurst
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024316
98k

Underway on 10 September 1977, during a WESTPAC cruise. Little altered since her SCB-110A refit, by this time she had only three 5"/54 guns left; within three years, all were gone.

Note UH-46 helicopter over the carrier's flight deck, amidships, with cargo suspended below. Two of the F-4 fighters visible (parked aft of the starboard after aircraft elevator) are wearing camouflage paint schemes.

Official U.S. Navy photograph by PH1 Don Hanson; Naval Historical Center photo #: NH 97650.

NHC
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024381
122k

This F-4 Phantom II crash landed on the flight deck of USS Coral Sea (CV-43), sometime in 1977–79.

Duane Wehus,
V-3 Div.,
Coral Sea,
1977–79
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024327
95k Approaching Oakland, CA, October 1979. Photo by Gerhard Mueller-Debus
CV-43
NS024349
117k

With Carrier Air Wing 14 (CVW-14) aboard, USS Coral Sea (CV-43) departs San Francisco for WestPac and the Indian Ocean, November 13, 1979.

Courtesy of
William T. Larkins
CV-43
NS024349a
122k
CV-43
NS024349b
114k
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024379
57k

USS Coral Sea (CV-43) in port, location unknown, probably in the late 1970s–early 80s.

Tommy Trampp
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024375
21k

USS Coral Sea (CV-43) conducting flight operations with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 14, and an Underway Replenishment (UNREP), in the Arabian Sea, 4 April 1980. Taken from USS Cook (FF-1083).

Carl T. Orbann
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024375a
29k
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024375b
29k
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024375c
226k
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS140979407
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Mandan (YTB-794) and another, unidentified tug assist the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea (CV-43) as she arrives at Naval Station Subic Bay, Luzon, P.I., from her deployment in the Arabian Sea, 9 May 1980. Air Wing is Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 14.

NS140979407: DVIC photo # DNSC8511123 by PH3 Joseph Gallegos, USN.

NS024382: U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum photo # 1996.488.120.089. Robert L. Lawson Photograph Collection.

DefenseImagery.mil
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024382
119k U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum,
via Mike Green
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024377
292k

A great aerial view of USS Coral Sea (CV-43) and USS Sylvania (AFS-2) during an underway replenishment, circa 1981–83. A CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter can be seen between the two ships (right of the photo) transferring stores.

James E Lockard USN Retired
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024323
37k A starboard beam view of the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea (CV-43) underway off the coast of California during an operational readiness evaluation, February 1981. US Navy photo (DVIC id: DNSN9300760). Defense Visual Information Center
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024324
27k A close-up view of the island of the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea (CV-43) as three Attack Squadron 305 (VA-305) A-7B Corsair II aircraft fly in formation overhead. The Coral Sea was taking part in carrier qualifications off the coast of southern California. March 10, 1981. US Navy photo by ENS A. Legare (DVIC id: DNSN9300848). Defense Visual Information Center
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024325
52k A rear view of an A-6E Intruder aircraft being launched and an A-7 Corsair II aircraft awaiting launch from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea (CV-43), May 1981. US Navy photo by PH2 Robert S. Swinland (DVIC id: DNST8200679). Defense Visual Information Center
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024326
54k A stern view of the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea (CV-43) underway approaching Naval Station, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in 1981. US Navy photo by PH2 Vick (DVIC id: DNSC9300769). Defense Visual Information Center
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024337
100k A bow view of the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea (CV-43) underway near Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines, March 1982. US Navy photo by PH1 Dave MacLean (DVIC id: DNST8500273). Defense Visual Information Center
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024338
111k A port quarter view of the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea (CV-43) underway near Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines, March 1982. US Navy photo by PH1 Dave MacLean (DVIC id: DNST8500275). Defense Visual Information Center
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024339
63k A port view of the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea (CV-43) approaching the Golden Gate Bridge en route to Naval Air Station, Alameda, California, after a Western Pacific (WESTPAC) deployment, March 23, 1982. Crewmen spell out "San Francisco's own" on the flight deck. US Navy photo by PH3 Curt Fargo (DVIC id: DNST8205158). Defense Visual Information Center
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024340
100k Crewmen line the rails on the island of USS Coral Sea (CV-43). The aircraft carrier was returning to her home port, Naval Air Station, Alameda, California, after a Western Pacific (WESTPAC) deployment, March 23, 1982. Note the large "dish" antenna of the SPS-30 height-finding radar (top right corner). US Navy photo by PH3 Curt Fargo (DVIC id: DNST8205145). Defense Visual Information Center
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024307
85k

The large harbor tug USS Acconac (YTB-812) nudges the starboard bow of USS Coral Sea (CV-43) during docking operations. The aircraft carrier was returning to Naval Air Station Alameda, CA, after a Western Pacific (WESTPAC) deployment, March 23, 1982. US Navy photo by PHAA Kathy Moss (DVIC id: DNST8205152).

Note Coral Sea was, at the time, fitted with Phalanx CIWS, SPS-30 and SPS-43A radars.

Defense Visual Information Center
CVB-43 Coral Sea
NS024306
72k A similar, but later (1985+), view: SPS-30 height-finding radar replaced by a 3D SPS-48, SPS-43A long-range air-search radar substituted by SPS-49. Coral Sea had the Fleet's last operational SPS-30 radar. USN
CV-43
NS024389
545k

Sikorsky SH-3H Sea King, BuNo 149005, modex NK611, HS-12 "Wyverns," Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 14, aboard USS Coral Sea (CV-43), 1983, location unknown.

Note USS Dahlgren (DDG-43) in the background.

Courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com
CV-41 + CV-43 + CVN-65
NS024331
96k

Photo taken on 13 April 1983, during exercise FleetEx 83-1, in the North Pacific Ocean. The three carriers are, clockwise from left, USS Enterprise (CVN-65), USS Midway (CV-41), and USS Coral Sea (CV-43).

Then LT Jim Petroski was aboard the Big E in the Reactor Dept., as RC division officer, and comments: "I spent some time up on the signal bridge during this photo op and got some great pictures of aircraft flying over us. Our air wing was the only one which could fly that day as the sea was quite rough—wave splashes were coming over the hurricane bow—and neither the Coral Sea nor Midway could launch/recover a/c. The frigate to starboard of "E" went up to 1/2 under in the waves, and the Coast Guard cutter to port came about 2/3 out of water. Quite a sight that day."

"The April 13 date sounds correct. We were crossing and re-crossing the international date line a lot at that time. So some days were 46 hours long, and others were 2 hours long. It was easy to forget what day it was!"

Darrell Young (RM3), USS Coral Sea, 1983-1987
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024332
269k World Cruise '83. Darrell Young (RM3), USS Coral Sea, 1983-1987
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024333
43k World Cruise '83. Darrell Young (RM3), USS Coral Sea, 1983-1987
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024330
111k At Portsmouth, Va., 1983, undergoing a major overhaul that would enable her to operate F/A-18 Hornets. Darrell Young (RM3), USS Coral Sea, 1983-1987
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024347
182k

At 1948 Thursday, April 11, 1985 USS Coral Sea (CV-43) collided with the Ecuadorean tanker Napo about 45 miles southeast of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The carrier had been in the area since April 3 on refresher training and was conducting flight operations when the collision occurred. Eleven aircraft airborne at the time of the accident were diverted to the Naval Air Station at Guantanamo Bay. There was a Soviet intelligence gathering ship shadowing Coral Sea, since her embarked Carrier Air Wing 13 (CVW-13) was equipped with the then new F/A-18A Hornet aircraft. There were no injuries to crew members of either ship, but the carrier's bow had a 30-foot hole punched in and some radar and communications equipment damaged, and had to return to Norfolk. The Napo was holed above the waterline and spilled 7,600 barrels of oil before reaching Guantanamo for repairs.

This series of three photos was taken by Bill Fessenden from the bridge wing of USS Charleston (LKA-113). At the time LKA-113 was moored to the South Wall of US Naval Station Norfolk's Destroyer and Submarine (D&S) piers. Bill was using a 35-mm camera equipped with a 200-mm telephoto lens and Kodak 400 speed color film. Coral Sea is seen traveling south bound in Hampton Roads, heading towards the Elizabeth River, and eventually, to Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, VA. Damage to the ship's bow area, as the result of the recent collision with Napo, is clearly visible.

In the first photo, Coral Sea can be seen passing by two unidentified Sturgeon-class submarines, as well as the after area of USS Glover (FF-1098).

In the second photo, the ship at the extreme right is USS Milwaukee (AOR-2), while the object on the left of third photo, is the forward "H" frame of Charleston.

Bill Fessenden
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024347a
150k
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024347b
163k
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024386
252k

USS Coral Sea (CV-43) conducts an Underway Replenishment (UNREP), second half of the 1980s. Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 13, tail code "AK", was aboard. A Knox-class frigate is steaming astern of the aircraft carrier (top left corner of the photo).

-
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024317
176k

Underway at sea in 1986.

Official U.S. Navy photograph by PH2 Robert Chouinard; Naval Historical Center photo #: NH 97652-KN.

NHC
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024334
126k Off Toulon, France, when the NBC "Today" show was onboard, November 23, 1987. Darrell Young (RM3), USS Coral Sea, 1983-1987
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024383
291k

USS Coral Sea (CV-43), with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 13, in port, Marseille, France, December 1987.

Philippe Gonzales
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024366
63k

An F/A-18 Hornet of VFA-137 taxis forward through catapult steam, during flight operations on 18 January 1988. Photographed by PH2(AW) Wayne Edwards.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center (# NH 97654-KN).

NHC
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024301
80k

Making over 30 knots, during a high speed run on 1 March 1989.

Official U.S. Navy photograph by PH2 Michael Skeens; Naval Historical Center photo #: NH 97651-KN.

NHC
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024356
68k

USS Coral Sea (CV-43) silhouetted against a low sun, as she arrives at Palma, Spain, during her final Mediterranean deployment, June 1989. Photographed by PH2 Michael Skeens.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center (# NH 97653-KN).

NHC
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS0161023
192k

Underway in formation off the coast of Lebanon are, from left, the guided missile cruiser USS Belknap (CG-26), the battleship USS Iowa (BB-61), the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea (CV-43) and the amphibious assault ship USS Nassau (LHA-4), 16 Aug 1989.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph # DN-SC-90-11755, by PH3 Michael Skeens.

Defense Visual Information Center
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024302
155k USS Coral Sea (CV-43) and USS Wasp (LHD-1) at the end of "Coral Maru"'s final deployment, 28 September 1989. Deactivation and stripping at Norfolk started a few days later. Official USN photo by PH3 Rick Stamm. (DVIC id: DNSC9011762). Defense Visual Information Center
Memorabilia
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024322a
233k

USS Coral Sea (CVA-43), Far East Cruise, 12 November 1971–17 July 1972.

Tommy Trampp
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024322b
137k

Four Group Boilers * * Able-Baker-Charlie — Steamin' Demons, Lite-'Em Up!! — CVA 43.

Tommy Trampp
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024322c
152k

West-Pac 1974-75 — USS Coral Sea CVA-43 — Mike "Oscar" Pfeffer — Hawaii, Philippines, Singapore, Australia — Operation Frequent Wind, Mayaguez Rescue.

Tommy Trampp
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024322
45k Decommissioning patch. Mike Smolinski
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024357
177k

An anchor from Coral Sea donated to the "Citadel" Military Academy/University, South Carolina. It sits on the outside of the parade grounds along with several other military artifacts. March 2008.

(Note that Coral Sea was actually awarded the Navy Unit Commendation, the Meritorious Unit Commendation, and 12 Campaign Stars for her Vietnam, not World War II, war service.)

Photos by Robert Hall
CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024357a
173k
Models
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024358
98k

Model on display at the National Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola, Florida. Photos taken on 13 June 2008.

Photos by Judson Phillips
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024358a
82k
CVA-43 Coral Sea
NS024354
30k Model of USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) as she appeared in the mid-1960s. Courtesy of Joel Rosen, Motion Models
Ex-USS Coral Sea
ex-CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024350
105k Ex-Coral Sea at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, on a Family Day, 1992. Richard Smith
ex-CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024350a
112k
ex-CV-43 Coral Sea
NS024350b
108k

For more information and photos of this ship, see:

USS CORAL SEA CVB-43 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 Name: Mr. Herman Doernbach
Address:3144 S 98th St Milwaukee, WI, 53227-4210
Phone: 414-321-0098
E-mail: None

Additional Resources
Hazegray & Underway World Aircraft Carrier Pages By Andrew Toppan.
Official U.S. Navy Carrier Website
U.S.S. Coral Sea CVA-43 Association.
Main
Photo Index
Aircraft Carrier
Photo Index Page

Comments, Suggestions or Image submissions, E-mail Carrier Information
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This page was created by Paul Yarnall and is maintained by Fabio Peña
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Last update: 30 March 2014