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NavSource Online: Aircraft Carrier Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

(later AVT-7 and CC-2)

Courtesy of Al Grazevich

Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign: November - India - Lima - India

Unit Awards, Campaign and Service Medals and Ribbons


Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Navy Occupation Service Medal ("Europe" clasp) / National Defense Service Medal (2) [CVL & CC]
2nd Row: Korean Service Medal / United Nations Korean Medal / Republic of Korea War Service Medal (retroactive)

Displacement 14,500 Tons, Dimensions, 683' 7" (oa) x 76' 8" x 28' (Max)
Armament 40 x 40mm, 32x 20mm, 48 Aircraft.
Armor, 4" Belt, 2 1/2" Deck.
Machinery, 120,000 SHP; G.E. Geared Turbines, 4 screws
Speed, 33 Knots, Crew 1787.

Operational and Building Data

Laid down on 21 Aug 1944 at Camden, N.J., by the New York Shipbuilding Corp.; launched on 1 Sep 1945, and commissioned at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard on 9 Feb 1947. Decommissioned on 15 Mar 1956. During her time in reserve, Wright was reclassified on 15 May 1959, an auxiliary aircraft transport, AVT-7. Recommissioned at Puget Sound on 11 May 1963 as a command ship, designated CC-2. Ultimately decommissioned on 27 May 1970, Wright departed Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility, Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, VA, 5 Apr 1974, under tow of USS Edenton (ATS-1) for further transfer to INACTSHIPFAC Philadelphia, PA (thanks to Ron Reeves for the info).

FATE: Stricken from the Navy List on 1 Dec 1977, and sold by the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS) for scrapping on 1 Aug 1980.

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By And/Or Copyright
The Wright Brothers

CVL-49 was named after the Wright brothers: Wilbur (1867-1912, right) and Orville (1871-1948, left), aviation pioneers who made the first sustained, controlled, powered airplane flight in history, near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, December 17, 1903.

A previous ship had borne the name Wright:

  1. An aircraft tender (AZ-1, later AV-1), named for Orville Wright.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia
As a Light Aircraft Carrier, CVL-49
CVL-49 Wright

The newly completed light aircraft carrier USS Wright (CVL-49) underway on 15 March 1947. She carried, fore to aft, an SP fighter-control radar, a surface search radar, an SR-2 for long-range air search, and on the stub mainmast, an SR air search radar plus radomes for the DBM radar direction-finding (countermeasures) system. In theory the combination of an SR-2 and an SR improved overall radar performance by employing two sets operating at different wavelengths. The empty platform on the stub mast appears to have been intended for a TDY jammer.

Photo and text from U.S. Aircraft Carriers: An Illustrated Design History, by Norman Friedman.

Original photo submitted by Green Creek Studios
Larger copy submitted by Robert Hurst
CVL-49 Wright

USS Wright (CVL-49) on 15 March 1947 off Philadelphia, one month after commissioning. A rare SR-4 antenna can be clearly seen on the aft mast outrigger; only a few examples of this radar were installed, for a short period just after the war. Photo USN.

Photo and text from Aircraft Carriers of the U.S. Navy, by Stefan Terzibaschitsch.

Robert Hurst
CVL-49 Wright

USS Wright (CVL-49) photographed on 1 May 1947.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (# 80-G-195684).

Naval History & Heritage Command, via Robert Hurst
Many ships

"This 1949 photo taken from the endpapers of New York Shipbuilding's 50th anniversary book, shows Newton Creek at high tide. The view is to the southeast, toward Gloucester Heights. Yorkship Village (Fairview) is at the upper left, flanked by the North Branch and the wide tidal floodplain of the creek's main channel. A causeway bridge across the main channel links Yorkship Village's Collings Road with Gloucester at the upper right. A rail line (note the freight train) follows the west bank of the creek. Conspicuously missing from this image are the east end of the Walt Whitman Bridge, I-676, and the bridge interchange, all built in the late 1950s. Most of the tidal floodplain seen here was filled and the course of the North Branch was altered during construction. The mouth of Newton Creek is at the center right. A heavy cruiser or battleship is moored in the creek. Another capital ship occupies one of the open slipways. Portions of two light carriers can be seen in the wet slip at the lower left, adjacent to the covered slipways."

"In the lower left of center of the photo are two CVL's afloat and fitting-out. I believe this to be the sisters USS Saipan (CVL-48) and USS Wright (CVL-49), the last two CVL's to be built. This being the case, the photo would have to have [been] taken in the time period between 1 Sep 45 (launch of CVL-49) and 14 Jul 46 (commissioning of CVL-48)."

"The large vessel fitting out to the right of the carriers, afloat and under cover, appears to be an Alaska Class Large Cruiser. USS Hawaii (CB-3) was launched on 3 Nov 45, and construction photos show the fitting out of the vessel under cover."

"The cruiser hull on the stocks on the right of the photo could be [the] canceled USS Youngstown (CL-94). Scrapping of the incomplete vessel began on the builder's way on 21 Jan 1946."

"Not seen on the stocks is another light cruiser, USS New Haven (CL-109), which was launched 14 Dec 1945, 67.8% complete. Construction was canceled 14 Aug 45."

"The[re] is also what appears to be a Baltimore class heavy cruiser at the far right of the photo, in near-complete condition. USS Toledo (CA-133) was launched in May 1945, and commissioned 27 Oct 1946. In the early spring of 1946, this vessel may have been this far along in its fitting-out, to have reached the ship's condition of the photo, but that is only speculation, on my part."

Bill Fessenden


Lieutenant James waves a Texas flag from the cockpit of his F6F Hellcat fighter, after landing on board USS Wright (CVL-49), about 9 August 1948.

Collection of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz.

Naval History & Heritage Command (NH&HC) photo, # NH 62399.



A United States Navy Vought F4U-5 Corsair of Fighter Squadron (VF) 23 "Flashers" on the deck of the light aircraft carrier USS Wright (CVL-49), November 1948. USN photo.

Robert Hurst
CVL-49 Wright
95k Taken in 1949 or 1952 in New York. © George Bartlett
CVL-49 Wright

USS Wright (CVL-49) operating on training duty, with six SNJ Texan aircraft on deck lined up for takeoff, circa the later 1940s or early 1950s. The photo's original caption reads:

"The stage is set for the final scene of Basic Training: the flight students will qualify six carrier landings in SNJ Texans and the curtain will descend on the graduation finale."

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval History & Heritage Command (# NH 97618).

Naval History & Heritage Command
CVL-49 Wright

SNJ Texan trying to recover aboard USS Wright (CVL-49)—note extended tailhook.

This photo may be related to the picture above and to this series of images.

Tommy Trampp
CVL-49 Wright

Group of sailors aboard USS Wright (CVL-49), late 1940s–early 1950s.

Tommy Trampp
CVL-49 Wright

Group photo, USS Wright (CVL-49), late 1940s–early 1950s.

Tommy Trampp
CVL-49 Wright

USS Wright (CVL-49) at anchor, location and date (early to mid-1950s) unknown.

Courtesy of Scott Koen &
CV-32 Leyte

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
David Buell
CVL-49 Wright

Some photos of LCDR Robert D. Cosgrove's squadron, VS-822, on a two-week training duty from NAS New Orleans aboard USS Wright (CVL-49), in August 1950.

ACDUTRA (ACtive DUty TRAining) aircrewmen after a mission.

CDR Michael Cosgrove (Ret.), son of Robert D. Cosgrove
CVL-49 Wright

ACDUTRA ceremony on Wright, 27 August 1950.

CVL-49 Wright

ACDUTRA Corsair landing on Wright.

CVL-49 Wright

ACDUTRA Corsair launching.

CVL-49 Wright

ACDUTRA Corsair ready to launch.

CVL-49 Wright

ACDUTRA loading rockets on Corsair.

CVL-49 Wright

ACDUTRA pilots on Corsair wing.

CVL-49 Wright

ACDUTRA ready room on Wright.

CVL-49 Wright

"LT William R. Jackson, Jr., left, executive officer, and LCDR Robert D. Cosgrove, commanding officer of Squadron VC 822, redesignated Squadron VS 822 by Chief of Naval Air Reserve Training, go over plans for their annual training duty aboard the local station, NAS Pensacola and aboard the carrier USS Wright."

CVL-49 Wright

Undated, probably taken in the early 1950s.

John Spivey
CVL-49 Wright
213k Starboard bow view of the Wright in an undated early 1950s Navy photo after having been converted to an ASW carrier. She carries a tall HF/DF mainmast, necessary for her new role. © Green Creek Studios
CVL-49 Wright

Undated image of the light aircraft carrier USS Wright (CVL-49) underway. The photo was probably taken in the early 1950s, when the ship had been fitted with tall HF/DF mainmasts and with the zenith-search derivative of the SG surface-search radar. Note too the SPS-6B, which did not enter service until about 1950, on the foremast. USN photo.

Photo and text from U.S. Aircraft Carriers: An Illustrated Design History, by Norman Friedman.

Robert Hurst
CVL-49 Wright

USS Wright (CVL-49), location and date unknown but probably taken in the early 1950s (note tall mainmast and SPS-6B radar antenna on the foremast).

Official U.S. Navy photo. U.S. National Archives, San Francisco.

Tracy White, Researcher @ Large
CVL-49 Wright
39k Observation/liaison plane landing and taking off. Probably taken in the early 1950s. Edwin Kaukali
CVL-49 Wright
CVL-49 Wright
58k Date and place unknown (probably taken in the early 1950s). Edwin Kaukali
CVL-49 Wright
138k With F2H Banshees of Experimental & Development Squadron VX-3 (tail code "XC") on deck. Location unknown; taken in the early 1950s. Edwin Kaukali
CVL-49 Wright
244k Undated. Probably taken in the early 1950s. Edwin Kaukali
CVL-49 Wright
CVL-49 Wright

With aircraft of three composite squadron detachments aboard, USS Wright (CVL-49) is underway circa 1951, on her first Mediterranean deployment.

US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, photo # 1988.179.003.

Mike Green
CVL-49 Wright

USS Wright (CVL-49) island structure, as seen from USS Cabot (CVL-28), during operations at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, circa 1951–52.

US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, photo # 1992.025.003.

Mike Green
CVL-49 Wright

"In two ceremonies, one at 90 Church St. and the other aboard the Aircraft Carrier Wright, Rear Adm. Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter assumed command of the 3d Naval District and Rear Adm. Walter S. De Lany became the new commander of the Eastern Sea Frontier yesterday. About 250 officers and men witnessed the 13-minute ceremony in district headquarters in Church St. in which both admirals read their orders and exchanged farewell salutes. Adm. De Lany then reviewed the staff for the last time. Shortly afterward, on the Flight deck of the Wright at Pier 26, Beach St. and North River, Adm. De Lany took over the Frontier command from Vice Adm. Oscar C. Badger, who was retired a full admiral. About 400 officers and men watched Adm. De Lany's son, Lt. Walter S. Jr., help pin the three-star boards of a vice admiral to his father's shoulders."

Leslie Lamers Brunner
CVL-49 Wright

"In New Post. Vice Adm. Oscar C. Badger (left), retiring commander of Eastern Sea Frontier, congratulates his successor, Vice Adm. Walter S. De Lany during ceremony on deck of light aircraft carrier Wright. Ship's berthed at Pier 26, North River."

Daily News, Tuesday, July 1, 1952.

CVL-49 Wright

As seen from HMS Vanguard (23), the photo is a starboard quarter view of USS Wright (CVL-49) and two Royal Navy aircraft carriers, HMS Illustrious (87) and HMS Eagle (R05), steaming in line ahead formation in the North Sea after leaving the Clyde. The carriers were participating in the September 1952 Operation Mainbrace. Wright has Chance-Vought Corsair aircraft ranged on her flight deck.

Imperial War Museums photo, © IWM (A 32288).

Mike Green
CVL-49 Wright

As seen from HMS Vanguard (23), the photo shows a stern view of USS Wright (CVL-49) and two Royal Navy aircraft carriers, HMS Illustrious (87) and HMS Eagle (R05), steaming in line ahead formation in the North Sea after leaving the Clyde. The carriers were participating in the September 1952 Operation Mainbrace. Wright has Chance-Vought Corsair aircraft ranged on her flight deck. Eagle was leading the formation and is almost obscured by Illustrious.

Imperial War Museums photo, © IWM (A 32285).

CVL-49 Wright

A U.S. Navy Grumman AF-2S Guardian of Anti-Submarine Squadron (VS) 31 "Topcats" is launched from the deck of USS Wright (CVL-49), circa 1953.

National Naval Aviation Museum photo, # 1996.253.6224.

Robert Hurst
CVL-49 Wright

USS Wright (CVL-49) photographed circa the mid-1950s, with AD and F4U type aircraft parked on her flight deck.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval History & Heritage Command (# NH 97615).

Note that the ship has only three smokestacks, and the bow 40mm AA mounts have been landed. (From Aircraft Carriers of the U.S. Navy, by Stefan Terzibaschitsch, via Robert Hurst.)

Naval History & Heritage Command
Larger copy submitted by Robert Hurst
CVL-49 Wright

USS Wright (CVL-49) photographed circa the mid-1950s, with a deckload of AD Skyraider aircraft, automobiles and ship's boats.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval History & Heritage Command (# NH 97616).

Naval History & Heritage Command
CVL-49 Wright

USS Wright (CVL-49) underway circa the mid-1950s, with about eighteen U.S. Marine Corps AD Skyraider aircraft parked on her flight deck.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval History & Heritage Command (# NH 97617).

Naval History & Heritage Command
CVL-49 Wright

Three photos of USS Wright (CVL-49) in an inactivation overhaul at Mare Island in 1955. All photos were taken on 2 August 1955.

NS024975: CAPT Thomas P. Wilson, right, skipper of Wright, and CDR Edwin T. Hughes, Executive Officer, watch from the bridge as Mare Island Naval Shipyard workers calk the carrier flight deck.

NS024975a: Starboard bow aspect of carrier berth at Mare Island.

NS024975b: Close-up of workers calking the flight deck.

Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum photos.

Darryl Baker
CVL-49 Wright
CVL-49 Wright
As a Command Ship, CC-2
CVL-49 Wright
11k (Small Image) Configured as Command ship (CC-2). USN
CVL-49 Wright
232k The USS Wright (CC-2) as converted to a Command Ship. She was commissioned as CC-2 on May 11, 1963 as part of the National Emergency Command Post Afloat (NECPA) program. The converted Baltimore-class heavy cruiser USS Northampton (CA-125/CC-1) was her fleetmate in this program. The USS Saipan (CVL-48) had originally been slated for this duty and was in the initial stages of her conversion when she was redesignated as a Major Communications Relay Ship (AMGR-2). When the NECPA program was abandoned, the Wright was decommissioned, this occurring on May 27, 1970. She was stricken on December 1, 1977 and scrapped, this beginning in August, 1980. © Green Creek Studios


USS Wright (CC-2) underway, 17 June 1963. Note the extensive array of large communications antennas installed on the ship's former flight deck.

Official U.S. Navy photograph, from the collections of the Naval History & Heritage Command, (# NH 97621).



USS Wright (CC-2) underway, 17 June 1963, soon after she was converted to a command ship. The photo's lengthy original caption, explaining the ship's mission and features, read:

"The command ship USS Wright (CC-2), one of the newest conceptions in command at sea, was commissioned in the spring of this year. The mission of the command ship is to provide command and control facilities which will contribute to the defense of the U.S. through the World wide communications facilities of the ship. The Wright has the most extensive communications facilities ever put aboard a ship. Its 'Voice of Command' can be heard by ships, aircraft, and stations throughout the World. Wright's command spaces have facilities for theatre-type presentations similar to command posts ashore, including projection equipment and huge motion picture screens. Overall, there are rooms for war operations, plotting, charts and graphics, emergency action, briefings and conferences. On the antenna deck are arranged the largest, most powerful transmitting antenna systems ever installed on a naval vessel. The largest of these antennae towers 114 feet above the deck. An entire room is given to the ship's teletype machines, each of which is capable of receiving incoming messages at the rate of 100 words per minute. The Wright is capable of handling as many messages in a day as many large shore-based communications stations."

Official U.S. Navy photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command, # NH 97619.



USS Wright (CC-2) underway, 17 June 1963, after conversion to a command ship. Official U.S. Navy photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command, # NH 97620.


82k Arriving in San Diego in June 1963. USN

96k Underway, September 1963. USN

115k As above. USN


Another view of USS Wright (CC-2), apparently taken within minutes from the photo above.

Courtesy of Scott Koen &


USS Wright (CC-2) underway off the southern California coast, 25 September 1963, shortly after her conversion to a command ship. Note her extensive array of communications antennas and their associated masts.

Official U.S. Navy photograph, catalog # KN-5885.

Tommy Trampp
CVL-49 Wright
52k Configured as Command Ship CC-2, Chesapeake Bay, July 1964. © Richard Leonhardt


Plan of USS Wright (CC-2), as she appeared in her latter years.

Dennis Miller, BMCS, USNR (Ret.)


People's Republic of China Military Training. US Navy ship poster (wall chart) pertaining to USS Wright (CC-2), 1966. "Modification of 'Wright' class command ship."

Tommy Trampp
CC-2 Wright

The crew of a U.S. Navy Kaman UH-2B Seasprite (BuNo 151316, modex HT-55) of Helicopter Combat Support Squadron (HC) 4 "Invaders" makes the 1000th landing aboard the command ship USS Wright (CC-2), circa 1966.

All Hands magazine, June 1966 issue, p.38.

Robert Hurst

53k Stbd bow view taken 14 Oct 1966 in the VACAPES operating area. Photo by PH2 L.A. Bowders, USN, US Naval Air Station, Norfolk, VA. photo number 17235-10-66. Gary Priolo


USS Wright (CC-2) underway, location unknown, circa 1968.

Courtesy of Scott Koen &

87k From "All Hands" magazine, November 1968 edition. Joe Radigan, MACM, USN, Ret.

27k An aerial port side view of the crew manning the rails, 1968. Karl Priest

103k A 3/4 starboard view of the ship underway with some crew members on the A Deck, 1968. Karl Priest

140k After a cruise. Karl Priest

103k Berthing. Karl Priest

77k Entering NYC. Karl Priest

84k Evening at sea. Karl Priest

27k USS Guadalcanal (LPH-7) off bow. The photo was taken 8 May 1968, about 180 miles south of Norfolk. Scanned from the ship's magazine. Karl Priest

117k "The antenna deck looked a little like Madison Square Garden as the Wright-Guys witnessed several sparring contests at the May 'Smoker.'" Scanned from the ship's magazine. Karl Priest


Jacket patch of the ship's insignia. Its design is based on the National shield, with an American eagle and globe in the lower right. The lightning bolt in the eagle's talons represents command and communications, Wright's mission. The motto "Vox Imperii" is translated "voice of the leaders." The original patch was received from USS Wright in 1970.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph (# NH 69468-KN).



USS Wright (CVL-49), matchbook cover.

Leslie Lamers Brunner

For more photos and information about this ship, see:

Read the USS WRIGHT (CVL-49 / AVT-7 / CC-2) DANFS History entry

Crew Contact and Reunion Information
Contact: Ray Sheridan, President, USS Wright Alumni Association
Address: 2518 Smoldering Wood Dr. — Arlington,Texas 76016
Web site:

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Last update: 29 February 2024