Please report any broken links or trouble you might come across to the Webmaster. Please take a moment to let us know so that we can correct any problems and make your visit as enjoyable and as informative as possible.

NavSource Online: Aircraft Carrier Photo Archive

(later CVL-26 and AVT-2)

Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign: November - Foxtrot - November - Delta

Unit Awards, Campaign and Service Medals and Ribbons


Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: American Campaign Medal
2nd Row: Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (11 stars) / World War II Victory Medal / Navy Occupation Service Medal ("Asia" clasp)
3rd Row: National Defense Service Medal (Korea) / Philippine Presidential Unit Citation / Philippine Liberation Medal (2 stars)
(More info)

Independence Class Light Aircraft Carrier
Ordered Laid down Launched Commissioned Decommissioned Stricken
9 Sep 1940(*)
18 Mar 1942(**)
29 Dec 1941 28 Feb 1943 17 Jun 1943
15 Sep 1950
11 Feb 1947
16 Jan 1956

1 Jun 1970
Builder: New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N.J.
(*) As a Light Cruiser (CL-78), see below
(**) As an Aircraft Carrier (CV-26), see below

(As built, 1943)
Displacement (design): 11,000 tons standard; 15,100 tons full load
Dimensions (wl): 600' x 71' 6" x 26' (max)  /  182.9 x 21.8 x 7.9 (max) meters
Dimensions (max.): 622' 6" x 109' 2"  /  189.7 x 33.3 meters
Armor: 5"-3.25" belt (2" belt over fwd magazine); 2" protective deck(s); 0.38" bridge; 5"/3.75" bhds; 5" bhds, 2.25" above, 0.75" below steering gear
Power plant: 4 boilers (565 psi, 850°F); 4 geared turbines; 4 shafts; 100,000 shp (design)
Speed: 31+ knots
Endurance (design): 12,500 nautical miles @ 15 knots
Armament: 2 quad 40-mm/56-cal gun mounts; 8 (soon 9) twin 40-mm/56-cal gun mounts; 16 single 20-mm/70-cal guns mounts
Aircraft: 30+
Aviation facilities: 2 centerline elevators; 1 hydraulic catapult (H 2-1)
Crew: approx. 1,560

Click On Image
For Full Size Image
Size Image Description Contributed
By And/Or Copyright

Ordered on 9 November 1940 as a Cleveland-class light cruiser, this ship was assigned hull number CL-78 and named Dayton, for a city in Ohio (NS022632).

Designated for completion as an aircraft carrier, she was reordered from New York S.B., 18 March 1942, and redesignated CV-26, 27 March 1942.

Renamed Monterey, 31 March 1942, after a city in California (NS022632a), captured during the Mexican War by a landing force of 250 Marines and bluejackets under Captain William Mervine, USMC, 7 July 1846 (NS022632b). The city of Monterey, south of San Francisco, was founded by the Spanish in 1598 and named for Gaspar de Zúñiga y Acevedo, 5th Count of Monterey (actually spelled "Monterrey" in Spanish) and 9th Viceroy of New Spain (Nueva España).

Previous ships that had borne the name:

  1. A steam screw tug.
  2. A monitor.

(Maps NS022632 and NS022632a courtesy of

(NS022632b: Officers of Commodore John D. Sloat raise the U.S. flag over Monterey, author unknown, circa 1855.)

World War II
CV-26 Monterey

"CAMDEN, N.J., FEB. 28[, 1943]—TO JOIN FLEET.  The U.S.S. Monterey is launched today thirteen and a half months after the keel-laying at the yards of the New York Shipbuilding Corporation. The aircraft carrier is the fifth of its class launched since August 1942. The sponsor was Mrs. P.N.L. Bellinger of Washington D.C. (ap worephoto [sic])"

Tommy Trampp
CV-26 Monterey

Monterey was sponsored by Mrs. Patrick N.L. Bellinger (née Miriam Benoist), wife of Rear Admiral Bellinger, Deputy Chief of Staff to Admiral King.

Courtesy of Temple University Digital Collections, George D. McDowell Philadelphia Evening Bulletin Photographs, identifier P561134B.

Temple University,
via Michael Mohl
CV-26 Monterey

Undated port broadside view of USS Monterey as completed. The ship carries Measure 22 camouflage scheme.

Naval History & Heritage Command, photo # NH 67623.

Mike Green
CV-26 Monterey

Monterey (CV-26) in June 1943, only a few days before commissioning, at the fitting-out basin at Camden, NJ. Measure 22 is carried. Photo USN.

Robert Hurst
CVL-26 Monterey

Port side view of USS Monterey on 17 July 1943, taken outside Philadelphia Navy Yard. Radar SK and SC-2 can be made out, and the aircraft on deck are SNJ trainers. Above the forward identification number can be seen the A-shaped opening which was characteristic of this class; these were later partly or completely sealed off. Photo USN (A. D. Baker Collection).

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

Mike Green notes that "wartime censors have erased her radar antennas from this photo."

Robert Hurst
CVL-26 Monterey

Aerial view of USS Monterey (CVL-26) underway, painted in Measure 22 camouflage, circa June 1943–July 1944.

David Upton
CVL-26 Monterey

Ship's gunnery officers, October 24, 1943.

Pictured second from right in first row is LT Gerald R. Ford Jr., who later became the 38th President of the United States (1974-1977) (see NS027805a).

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-366872).

Gerald R. Ford

LCDR Gerald Ford, who later became the 38th President of the United States (1974–1977) in uniform, 1945. Ford received his commission as an Ensign in the U.S Naval Reserve on 13 April 1942 and later participated in many actions in the Pacific aboard the fast aircraft carrier USS Monterey (CVL-26) (see NS022607). He was eventually released from active duty under honorable conditions in February 1946. President Ford, 93, passed away on 26 December 2006 at his home in Rancho Mirage, Calif. DOD photo (# 061227-N-0000X-003).

Robert M. Cieri
CVL-26 Monterey

Ships of Task Force 50 en route to the Gilberts and Marshalls to support the invasions of Makin and Tarawa, 12 November 1943. Ships are (l-r): USS Alabama (BB-60); USS Indiana (BB-58), in distance, camouflaged; and USS Monterey (CVL-26). Photographed from USS Lexington (CV-16).

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-204917).

CVL-26 Monterey

Carrier Air Group 30 aircraft being prepared on board USS Monterey (CVL-26) for a raid on the Gilbert Islands during November–December 1943. USN.

From Carrier Air War in Original WWII Color, by Robert Lawson and Barrett Tillman.

Robert Hurst
CVL-26 Monterey

Maneuvers to recover planes planes during operations in the Bismarcks-New Guinea area, March 1944. Photographed from USS Santee (CVE-29). Bow of USS Erben (DD-631) is in the foreground. Note details of her forward 5"/38 gun mount and crewmen lounging on her foredeck.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-247064).

Scott Dyben
CVL-26 Monterey

A Nakajima B6N2 Tenzan ("Heavenly Mountain," allied reporting name Jill) torpedo plane attacks USS Monterey (CVL-26) off Truk. Date not given, probably taken during TG 58.2 raid on Truk, 30 April 1944.

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) photo, # 80-G-366989.

Bob Canchola, BT, USN (Ret.)
CVL-26 Monterey

Navy crewmen aboard USS Monterey (CVL-26) bringing an F6F Hellcat to the flight deck on elevator, June 1944. National Archives photo # 80-G-414667.

Tracy White
CVL-26 Monterey

Activities aboard USS Monterey (CVL-26). Navy pilots in the forward elevator well playing basketball, circa June 1944. Jumper of the left is future President Gerald Ford. National Archives photo # 80-G-417628.

National Archives
CVL-26 Monterey

Gerald R. Ford and members of the crew of the USS Monterey watch the festivities as the ship crosses the equator and other crew members pay homage to King Neptune, 1944. Item from Collection GRF-WHPO: White House Photographic Office Collection (Ford Administration), 12/06/1973 – 01/20/1977.

Submitted by Tracy White
CVL-26 Monterey

USS Monterey (CVL-26) catapults an F6F Hellcat fighter during operations in the Marianas area, June 1944. Note flight deck numbers, crewmen with catapult bridles, plexiglass bridge windscreen and pelorus.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-416686).

Scott Dyben
CVL-26 Monterey

"A crewman of the USS Monterey is shown with a stack of sandwiches. June 1944. Victor Jorgensen."

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), photo # 80-G-468794.

CVL-26 Monterey

Lieutenant Commander Roger W. Mehle, Commander Air Group 28, reports the results of an air strike on Tinian to Captain Stuart H. Ingersoll, Commanding Officer of USS Monterey (CVL-26), in one of the carrier's ready rooms, 11 June 1944. Note LCdr. Mehle's shoulder holster (marked "U.S.") and revolver.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-427309).

CVL-26 Monterey

Marianas Operation, June 1944—TBM Avenger bombers prepare to take off from USS Monterey (CVL-26) to attack targets on Tinian, June 1944.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), # 80-G-432851.

Scott Dyben
CVL-26 Monterey

Battle of the Philippine Sea, June 1944—Lieutenant Ronald P. "Rip" Gift, USNR, relaxes with other pilots in a ready room on board USS Monterey (CVL-26), after landing on her at night following strikes on the Japanese fleet, 20 June 1944. Note admonition "Get the Carriers" on chalk board in the background. Photographed by Lieutenant Victor Jorgensen, USNR.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-474791).

Pilot with back against board—black hair—next to Gift is LT(JG) Paul G. Pennoyer, Jr., USNR. Both Gift and Pennoyer were awarded the Navy Cross "for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy" on 20 June 1944. (Thanks to Paul Pennoyer, son of LT Pennoyer, for the identification.)

Naval History & Heritage Command
CVL-26 Monterey

"A Navy pilot hurries to his torpedo-bomber on the USS Monterey to take part in a strike against Guam. July 1944. Victor Jorgensen."

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), photo # 80-G-468756.

Courtesy of Scott Koen &
CVL-26 Monterey

USS Monterey (CVL-26) at anchor in the Western Pacific, 6 September 1944. A good view of her dazzle camouflage, Measure 33, Design 3D.

National Archives photo, College Park, MD. CINCPAC Confidential Files, 1943–45.

Tracy White, Researcher @ Large
CVL-26 Monterey

USS Monterey (CVL-26) at Eniwetok, 6 September 1944, wearing camouflage Measure 33, Design 3D.

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) photo, RG-313, Box320.

Mike Green
CVL-26 Monterey

An open-canopied F6F-5 Hellcat of VF-28 launches as part of USS Monterey's strikes on Okinawa on 10 October 1944, with USS Hornet (CV-12) in the distance. Monterey launched 32 CAP fighters and 28 strike sorties against the island and ships in the surrounding area as part of Task Force 38's pre-invasion support of the landings on Leyte in the Philippines a week later.

US Navy photo, now in the custody of the US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), College Park, Maryland. Photo # 80-G-283693.

Tracy White, Research @ Large
CVL-26 Monterey

At anchor in Ulithi Atoll, Caroline Islands, on 24 November 1944, during a break from operations off the Philippines. Note F6F-5 fighters of Light Carrier Air Group 28 (CVLG-28) parked aft on her flight deck. Photographed from USS Wasp (CV-18).

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-290628).

Scott Dyben
CVL-26 Monterey

CAPT Stuart H. Ingersoll, C.O. of a U.S. Navy carrier [USS Monterey (CVL-26)], smiles in complete relaxation as the pilots report over the inter-plane system that their mission is completed and that the bombers are on their way home. December 1944.

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), photo # 80-G-425170.

CVL-26 Monterey

Pacific Typhoon, 17–18 December 1944: Action Report Extract, USS Monterey (CVL-26).

Naval History & Heritage Command
CVL-26 Monterey

A damaged [General Motors] TBM-1C Avenger of Torpedo Squadron Twenty Eight (VT-28) aboard the light aircraft carrier USS Monterey (CVL-26). It was thrown around the hangar deck during a typhoon in December 1944.

Photo from Air War over the Pacific, by Robert C.Stern.

Robert Hurst
CVL-26 Monterey

Photo 1756-45, Puget Sound Navy Yard, 22 March 1945, CVL26 [USS Monterey], Port Mk 28 Mod. 2 Installation [radar mounted on a twin 40mm mount, following overhaul].

This radar was part of the Mk 63 Gun Fire Control System added to some ships during overhauls in 1945. Note the extra electronics box below the barrel springs. This is the mount just forward of the LSO platform on the port side.

Source is "Pearl Harbor Navy Yard General Correspondence Files, 1941–45," National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), San Francisco, California. Record Group 181.

Tracy White, Research @ Large
CVL-26 Monterey

USS Monterey (CVL-26) flies an extra-large U.S. Ensign on the day news was received of Japan's surrender, 15 August 1945. Monterey was then operating off Japan. Note antennas on the carrier's foremast, including a "YE" homing beacon antenna at the masthead.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-366832).

Scott Dyben
CVL-26 Monterey

USS Monterey (CVL-26) on her way to the States with her victory homeward bound pennant. Photographed 2 October 1945.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) photo, # 80-G-355187.

CVL-26 Monterey

USS Monterey (CVL-26) underway 12 October 1945.

CVL-26 Monterey

"GOBS Greet Broadway Show Girls—Crewmen of the carrier Monterey applaud as four (sic) girls from the Broadway show, Polonaise, put on an impromptu dance on the hangar (sic) deck of the ship which is docked in New York, N.Y., Oct. 22[, 1945]. The entire cast of the show entertained the personnel of the aircraft carrier."

"Associated Press Photo, TO-10/22/45-520P-JJL  22, NYC CONN NR AB BING NY-MATS FLS"

Tommy Trampp
CVL-26 Monterey

Air Groups that served on USS Monterey (CVL-26) during World War 2.

ABCS Walter E. Skeldon, USS Monterey (1945–1947)

& Fabio Peña, NavSource
CVL-26 Monterey

USS Monterey around 1946 with her name emblazoned in large letters on the hull. The flying of an especially large national flag after a victory was common practice in the US Navy. SP radar is fitted on the mast platform in place of SC-2. After carrying camouflage Measure 33/3D for seven months, Monterey was repainted in Measure 21. Photo USN.

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

Robert Hurst
The 1950s
CVL-26 Monterey

Officers and enlisted personnel of USS Monterey (CVL-26) stand at attention on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier at the Philadelphia Naval Base as Captain Donald L. Mills, USN, reads orders reactivating the warship, 15 September 1950.

Courtesy of Temple University Digital Collections, George D. McDowell Philadelphia Evening Bulletin Photographs, identifier P561135B.

Temple University,
via Michael Mohl
CVL-26 Monterey

Booklet of General Plans, corrected to suit the ship, 6 November 1950.

Courtesy of Ed Zajkowski, via the Historic Naval Ships Association.

Curtis Tammany
CVL-26 Monterey

USS Monterey (CVL 26), 1951. With the outbreak of hostilities in Korea, Monterey was recommissioned on September 15, 1950 and proceeded to Pensacola, Fla., where she operated for the next four years under the Naval Training Command. Note SNJ training aircraft on deck.

David Buell
CVL-26 Monterey

"Old Glory snaps in the wind and signals halliards 'belly aft' as the aircraft carrier USS Monterey (CVL-26) turns up the knots on a cruise out of Pensacola, Fla., with visitors on board."

(From "All Hands" magazine, June 1951.)

Stanley Svec
CVL-26 Monterey

"700 men of USS Monterey (CVL-26) spell out a welcome to New Orleans, La."

(From "All Hands" magazine, July 1951.)

Stanley Svec
CVL-26 Monterey

USS Monterey (CVL-26) underway in the Gulf of Mexico on 28 August 1951, while serving as a training carrier. An SNJ training plane is on her flight deck, aft. Photographed by Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center (photo # NH 97451).

CVL-26 Monterey

"Light Aircraft Carrier Independence."  (From a Russian publication).

This drawing actually shows Monterey as she appeared in July 1952. Note the longer port catapult, new radar antennas and reduced 20-mm battery.

Alex Tatchin
CVL-26 Monterey

Starboard side view and plan of the Independence-class light carrier USS Monterey (CVL-26), July 1952. Note the longer port catapult.

Line drawing by A.D. Baker III. From U.S. Aircraft Carriers: An Illustrated Design History, by Norman Friedman.

Robert Hurst
CVL-26 Monterey

USS Monterey (CVL-26) operating as a training carrier under the Naval Training Command, circa 1952–53.

Photo by LT(JG) Philip Nelson, USS McNair (DD-679).

Steve Nelson, for his father,
LT(JG) Philip Nelson, hometown of Tulsa, OK
CVL-26 Monterey

USS Monterey (CVL-26) underway in the Gulf of Mexico, 29 January 1953, with her crew spelling out "Mardi Gras 1953" on her flight deck. Note that all her guns have been removed. She was then serving as training carrier, operating out of Pensacola, Florida, a duty she performed from January 1951 until June 1955.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center (photo # NH 97452).

CVL-26 Monterey

USS Monterey (CVL-26) underway, circa 1955.

Official U.S. Navy photo from Jane's Fighting Ships 1956–1957.

Robert Hurst
Ex-USS Monterey
CVE-108 Kula Gulf

"An unusual feat is accomplished at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard when two carriers are placed in one dry-dock. Shown are the USS Kula Gulf (CVE-108) and the USS Monterey (CVL-26)." From a Philadelphia Naval Shipyard booklet, late 1950s.

EMC(SW) Brian Kroenung

For more photos and information about this ship, see:

Read the USS Monterey (CV-26 / CVL-26 / AVT-2) DANFS History entry

Crew Contact and Reunion Information
Contact: Mr. Philip Knowles, Pres. USS MONTEREY (CVL-26) Association
Phone: 413-637-3515
Web site:  

Related Links
Hazegray & Underway World Aircraft Carrier Pages By Andrew Toppan.

Photo Index
Aircraft Carrier
Photo Index Page
Auxiliary Aircraft Landing Training Ship (AVT)
Index Page
Photo Index Page

Comments, Suggestions or Image submissions, E-mail Carrier Information
Problems and site related matters, E-mail Webmaster

This page was created by Paul Yarnall and is maintained by Fabio Peña
All pages copyright NavSource Naval History

Last update: 28 December 2021