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NavSource Online: Aircraft Carrier Photo Archive


Contributed by Mike Smolinski

USS VALLEY FORGE   (CV-45)
(later CVA-45, CVS-45 and LPH-8)



Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign: November - Kilo - Echo - Uniform
Tactical Voice Radio Call: "BEAR CAT"

Unit Awards, Campaign and Service Medals and Ribbons






Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Navy Unit Commendation
2nd Row: Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation [LPH] / National Defense Service Medal (2) [CV/LPH] / Korean Service Medal (8 stars)
3rd Row: Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal [LPH] / Vietnam Service Medal (9 stars) [LPH] / Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry Cross Medal with Palm) [LPH]
4th Row: United Nations Korean Medal / Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal [LPH] / Republic of Korea War Service Medal (retroactive)

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.

Essex Class (*) Aircraft Carrier
Ordered Laid down Launched Commissioned Decommissioned Stricken
14 June 1943 14 Sept. 1943 8 July 1945 3 Nov. 1946 15 Jan. 1970 15 Jan. 1970
Builder: Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, PA
(*) "Long Hull" group, aka Ticonderoga Class

Click On Image 
For Full Size Image
Size Image Description Contributed
By And/Or Copyright
CV-45 Valley Forge
NS024536
87k

The future USS Valley Forge (CV-45) under construction at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, PA. View of bow, looking aft, Wednesday, 15 November 1944.

Ron Reeves
CV-45 Valley Forge
NS024537
85k

The future USS Valley Forge (CV-45) under construction at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, PA. View of stern, looking forward, Wednesday, 4 April 1945.

Ron Reeves
CV-45 Valley Forge
NS024538
81k

The future USS Valley Forge (CV-45) under construction at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, PA. View of stern, looking forward, Friday, 8 June 1945.

Ron Reeves
CV-45 Valley Forge
NS024539
68k

The future USS Valley Forge (CV-45) under construction at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, PA. View of bow, looking aft, Monday, 22 October 1945.

Ron Reeves
CV-45 Valley Forge
NS024501
81k Undated, as completed. USN
CV-45 Valley Forge
NS024540
147k

USS Valley Forge (CV-45) underway with CVAG-11 aboard, possibly during her World Cruise, 9 October 1947–11 June 1948.

Tommy Trampp
CV-45 Valley Forge
NS024511
58k

We had just come back into SF Bay following one of the largest post WW2 exercises in 1948. The total number of ships included all the West Coast carriers, Boxer, Antietam, Valley Forge, Princeton, and Tarawa. Boxer, Valley Forge, and Tarawa went into SF the others into San Diego. Our force attacked the West Coast from Hawaii, the other force was defending.

Tim Leary PH1 USN Ret (1945-1965)
CV-45 Valley Forge
NS024513
157k

At Gibraltar, April-May 1948, during her cruise around the World.

Edwin Kaukali
CV-45 Valley Forge
NS024529
115k

Four F8F Bearcat fighters fly past USS Valley Forge (CV-45), 28 April 1948.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (#80-G-705399).

NHC
CV-45 Valley Forge
NS0576325
215k

USS Valley Forge (CV-45) along with USS William C. Lawe (DD-763), USS William M. Wood (DD-715), USS Lloyd Thomas (DD-764) and USS Keppler (DD-765) at Pearl Harbor during their 1948 World Cruise. (Thanks to Andrew P. for identifying the location.)

Bob Bush
CV-45 Valley Forge
NS024502
123k

View of the carrier's island, with members of the American Ordnance Association visiting on board, while the ship was operating near Long Beach, California, 27 April 1949. An F8F-2 Bearcat fighter is parked alongside the island. Note large SX radar antenna atop the tripod mast, and many onlookers standing on the island walkways.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-K-9904).

Scott Dyben
CV-45 Valley Forge
NS024504
147k

Grumman F8F-2 Bearcat fighters prepare to take off from USS Valley Forge (CV-45) in September 1949. This appears to be a VIP demonstration, as there are a large number of civilians watching from the island walkways. The two F8F-2s in front are Bureau #s 121746 (first plane) and 121722. Note men standing by the wheel chocks, and flight deck tractors standing by at left.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-427668).

BuNo 121746, modex V01, is the commanding officer's aircraft, assigned to CDR David R. Flynn (thanks to Robert Hurst).

Scott Dyben
CV-45 Valley Forge
NS024515
34k

Port bow view of USS Valley Forge (CV-45) (photo # USN-104625).

NHC
CV-45 Valley Forge
NS024545
133k

Aboard USS Valley Forge (CV-45), flight deck crewmen wheel carts of rockets past a Vought F4U-4B fighter, while arming planes for strikes against North Korean targets in July 1950. This plane is Bureau # 97503.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the All Hands collection at the Naval History & Heritage Command (# NH 96976).

Robert Hurst
CV-45 Valley Forge
NS024516
189k

First Korean War Carrier Air Strikes, 3-4 July 1950. A North Korean railroad train is attacked just south of Pyongyang by planes from the joint U.S.-British Task Force 77, 4 July 1950. The carriers involved were USS Valley Forge (CV-45) and HMS Triumph.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (# 80-G-417148).

NHC
CV-45 Valley Forge
NS024517
107k

Wonsan Oil Refinery, Wonsan, North Korea, burning after being struck by USS Valley Forge (CV-45) aircraft on 18 July 1950. Photograph may have been taken on 19 July, when smoke from these fires was visible from the carrier, operating at sea off the Korean east coast.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (# 80-G-418592).

NHC
CV-45 Valley Forge
NS024505
139k

Grumman F9F-3 "Panther", of Fighter Squadron 52 (VF-52), taxies forward on USS Valley Forge (CV-45) to be catapulted for strikes on targets along the east coast of Korea, 19 July 1950. Note details of the ship's island, including scoreboard at left.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-428152).

Scott Dyben
CV-45 Valley Forge
NS024518
71k

USS Valley Forge (CV-45) (left) and USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) (center) at their anchorages at Sasebo, Japan, during Korean War resupply activities, 23 August 1950. The ship in the right distance is USS Rochester (CA-124).

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (# 80-G-418734).

NHC
CV-45 Valley Forge
NS024519
153k

Douglas AD Skyraider attack planes from USS Valley Forge (CV-45), fire 5-inch rockets at a North Korean field position. Photo is dated 24 October 1950.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (# 80-G-422387).

NHC
CV-45 Valley Forge
NS024506
93k

USS Valley Forge (CV-45) and USS Leyte (CV-32) moored at Sasebo, Japan, circa October-November 1950. USS Hector (AR-7) is moored beyond the two carriers, with other U.S. and British warships in the distance.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-426270).

Scott Dyben
CV-45 Valley Forge
NS024544
163k

United Nations ships assigned to support military operations in Korea pictured at anchor in Sasebo, Japan, during a break in the action. Pictured from front to back: the aircraft transport HMS Unicorn (R72), the light cruiser USS Juneau (CLAA-119), the aircraft carriers USS Valley Forge (CV-45) and USS Leyte (CV-32), and the repair ships USS Hector (AR-7) and USS Jason (ARH-1). The photo was taken in late 1950 or early 1951, as this was the only time that Leyte operated off Korea.

U.S. Navy National Museum of Naval Aviation photo No. 1999.272.030.

Robert Hurst
CV-45 Valley Forge
NS024533
139k

Planes from Carrier Air Group (CVG) 2 prepare to launch from USS Valley Forge (CV-45), circa 6 December 1950–26 March 1951. Planes closer to camera are F4U-4 Corsairs from VF-24 "Corsairs" (modex M400 series), VF-63 "Fighting Redcocks" (M200), and VF-64 "Free Lancers" (M100). Skyraiders are in the background—an AD-2 from VA-65 "Fist of the Fleet" (modex M500 series) can be identified in the left background.

Gary Schreffler
CV-45 Valley Forge
NS024507
128k

Crewmen use flight deck tractors with power brooms to sweep snow from the carrier's flight deck, during operations off Korea, circa early 1951. Photo is dated 8 May 1951, but Valley Forge ended her second Korean War deployment in late March of that year. Plane parked in the foreground is a F4U-4 Corsair fighter. Those on the forward flight deck are an AD Skyraider attack plane and a HO3S helicopter.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-428267).

Scott Dyben
CV-45 Valley Forge
NS024508
139k

Crewmen participate in a snowball fight, while clearing snow from the carrier's flight deck during operations off Korea, circa early 1951. Photo is dated 8 May 1951, but Valley Forge ended her second Korean War deployment in late March of that year. Planes parked on deck are F4U-4 Corsair fighters. That at left, with rockets on its wing, is Bureau # 81150.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-428270).

Scott Dyben
CV-45 Valley Forge
NS09500801
119k

USS Jupiter (AVS-8) comes alongside USS Valley Forge (CV-45) to transfer supplies, during operations off the Korean Coast. Photo dated 21 February 1951.

U.S. Navy photo, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives (# 80-G-427412).

Naval History & Heritage Command
CV-45 Valley Forge
NS024530
143k

This photo of USS Valley Forge (CV-45) is believed to have been taken in the spring or summer of 1951, while conducting CarQuals off the West Coast. Planes on deck are AD Skyraiders of VMA-121 "Green Knights" and F4U Corsairs of VMF-451 "Blue Devils."

Robert M. Cieri
CV-45 Valley Forge
NS024528
84k

"The pictures are of two of the three Banshee jets that came aboard [Composite Squadron (VC) 61, tail code "PP"]. The third one was blown overboard by a huge storm that hit during the night hours because it wasn't tied down good enough."

Since the pictures show F9F Panthers from VF-52 (tail code "S") and VF-111 (tail code "V"), they were probably taken during Valley Forge's third Korean War cruise, 15 October 1951–3 July 1952.

Marion J. Leif
CV-45 Valley Forge
NS024528a
89k
CV-45 Valley Forge
NS024534
152k

This appears to be a VF-653 "Dragons" F4U-4 Corsair being readied for launching. Time frame would be USS Valley Forge's third Korean cruise, 15 October 1951–3 July 1952.

Craig Penney, FTM2, USS Connole (DE 1056),
son of ET2 Winfred (Fred) Penney
CV-45 Valley Forge
NS024535
126k

This appears to be a VF-111 "Sundowners" F9F-2 Panther recovering aboard USS Valley Forge (CV-45). Time frame would be the carrier's third Korean cruise, 15 October 1951–3 July 1952.

CV-45 Valley Forge
NS024520
31k

Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, February 1952.

Don Garner
CV-45 Valley Forge
NS024525
193k

View of the city of Wonsan, North Korea, after over a year's bombardment by United Nations' forces, as seen from a USS Valley Forge (CV-45), aircraft on 16 February 1952. Note extensive damage, including craters from bombs and shells.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (# 80-G-439287).

NHC
CV-45 Valley Forge
NS024509
92k

USS Valley Forge (CV-45) taking water over the bow and onto her flight deck, while operating in heavy seas off Korea, 21 March 1952.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-440889).

Scott Dyben
CVA-45 Valley Forge
NS024531
109k

The first of a flight of eight Bell HTL-3 helicopters rise from the flight deck of USS Valley Forge (CVA-45), off the Japanese coast, circa early January 1953. Valley Forge transported these aircraft to the Far East for use in evacuating Korean War battle casualties. The original photo is dated 3 January 1953. Its caption stated that this "was the largest mass take-off of helicopters in the history of Naval aviation".

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center (#NH 96952).

Naval History & Heritage Command, via Robert Hurst
CVA-45 Valley Forge
NS024526
110k

USS Valley Forge (CVA-45) operating in stormy weather off the Korean coast, January 1953.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (# 80-G-642507).

NHC
CVA-45 Valley Forge
NS09065518
131k

Aludra (AF-55) conducting an UNREP (Underway Replenishment) with the destroyer Theodore E. Chandler (DD-717) and attack aircraft carrier Valley Forge (CVA-45) in the Pacific, early 1953, with F9F Panther jets of VF-51 and/or VF-53. US Navy photo.

Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret.
CVS-45 Valley Forge
NS024527
154k

USS Valley Forge as an Anti-Submarine Warfare Support Carrier (CVS), circa 1954–1955, with the AF Guardians of Antisubmarine Squadron 36 (VS-36) on deck.

David Buell
CVS-45 Valley Forge
NS024527a
174k
CV-45 Valley Forge
NS024541
27k

USS Valley Forge (CVS-45) refueling from USS Nantahala (AO-60). Photo dated 1955.

Tommy Trampp
CV-45 Valley Forge
NS024510
104k

USS Valley Forge (CVS-45) in harbor, 20 January 1956, with crewmen paraded on her flight deck spelling out the ship's nickname: "HAPPY VALLEY".

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-689246).

Scott Dyben
CVS-45 Valley Forge
NS024532
190k

Official U.S. Navy photo of USS Valley Forge (CVS-45) underway, dated 17 May 1957. This picture appears to have been taken in the Caribbean or Western Atlantic, with S2F Trackers of Antisubmarine Squadron 36 (VS-36) "Gray Wolves" and HSS-1 Seabats of Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron 5 (HS-5) Det. 52 parked on the flight deck.

Photo USN 1016126, U.S. Naval Photographic Center, U.S. Naval Station, Anacostia, Washington, D.C.

Robert M. Cieri
CVS-45 Valley Forge
NS024543
88k

USS Valley Forge (CVS-45) operating at sea with S2F and HRS aircraft on her flight deck, 6 July 1957.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval History & Heritage Command (# NH 96938).

Richard Miller, BMCS, USNR (Ret.)
CVS-45 Valley Forge
NS024521
112k

In early January 1959, while operating in the stormy North Atlantic, Valley Forge encountered heavy seas that broke over her forward flight deck, tearing away part of its port side. This was another dramatic example of the vulnerabilities of the "open bow" design typical of World War II aircraft carrier design (see also NS021252, NS021846 and NS022011), a problem solved by the enclosed "hurricane bow" fitted to carriers newly built or modernized during the mid-1950s and later. Valley Forge's damage was quickly repaired, using flight deck structure cannibalized from the decommissioned USS Franklin (CVS-13).

Top: Photograph taken on 6 January 1959, looking forward. Note ship's hull number ("45") painted on the flight deck, with the left part of the "4" folded by the broken decking. Official U.S. Navy photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center (# NH 96971).

Middle: Photograph taken on 8 January 1959. Official U.S. Navy photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center (# NH 96956).

Bottom: Forward port portion of the flight deck of USS Franklin (CVS-13) is hoisted into place on the Valley Forge. Photograph was taken on 24 January 1959. Official U.S. Navy photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center (# NH 96972).

NHC
CVS-45 Valley Forge
NS024522
107k
CVS-45 Valley Forge
NS024523
109k
CVS-45 Valley Forge
NS024542
139k

Official U.S. Navy photo of USS Valley Forge (CVS-45) underway, dated May 1959. S2F-1 & -2 Trackers from VS-27 "Pelicans" and HSS-1 Seabats from HS-3 "Tridents" on deck.

Jim Karr
CVS-45 Valley Forge
NS0551008
91k

Task Group ALFA, formation portrait of the anti-submarine group's ships and aircraft, taken during 1959 exercises in the Atlantic, while Secretary of the Navy William B. Franke was embarked. Ships include the group flagship, USS Valley Forge (CVS-45) in center, two submarines, and seven destroyers. Identifiable among the latter are USS Eaton (DDE-510) at left front, USS Beale (DDE-471) following Eaton, USS Waller (DDE-466) in the center foreground, and USS Conway (DDE-507) at right front. Aircraft overhead include two formations of S2F Trackers from the Valley Forge air group, plus one shore-based P2V Neptune from Norfolk Naval Air Station, Virginia. Two HSS-1 helicopters are flying low, directly over the submarines. Official U.S. Navy photograph (# USN 1043095).

Fred Weiss
CVS-45 Valley Forge
NS0551010
105k

As above, different view (photo # USN 1043094).

Fred Weiss
CVS-45 Valley Forge
NS0557603
144k

USS Valley Forge (CVS-45) steams in formation with other units of Task Force ALFA, during anti-submarine exercises in the Atlantic, 1959. The other ships present are (from left): USS Murray (DDE-576), USS Beale (DDE-471), USS Bache (DDE-470), USS Eaton (DDE-510), USS Conway (DDE-507), USS Cony (DDE-508) and USS Waller (DDE-466). Photograph was released for publication on 3 August 1959. Official U.S. Navy photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center (# NH 96944).

Fred Weiss
CVS-45 Valley Forge
NS091910807
125k

Pawcatuck (AO-108) refueling Valley Forge (CVS-45) and Eaton (DDE-510), 18 June 1959. Fourteen S2F anti-submarine planes and two HSS-1 helicopters are parked on the carrier's flight deck and deck-edge elevator. US Navy photo # USN 1043955.

NHC
CV-45 Valley Forge
NS024503
108k

Plaque of the ship's insignia, as used prior to 1959.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph (photo # NH 76443-KN).

NHC
Miscellany
ex-CV-45 Valley Forge
NS024524
10k

The science-fiction cult movie Silent Running (1971; starring Bruce Dern; directed by Douglas Trumbull) was shot in 32 days aboard the stricken Valley Forge. The Making of "Silent Running" documentary (1972) has interesting footage of the ship.

-

For more information about this ship, see:

USS VALLEY FORGE CV-45 History
View this vessel's DANFS history Entry
(Located on the Naval History & Heritage Command website.)

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Name: Mr. John Trahan
Address:2301 Melrose St National City, CA, 91950-2060
Phone: 619-262-0169
E-mail: None


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

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Last update: 22 March 2014