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U.S.S. CORAL SEA

(CV-43)

The Ageless Warrior

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USS Coral Sea was commissioned in 1947. This Midway class large aircraft carrier was built at Newport News, Virginia. After initial operations, she made her first cruise in mid 1948 with midshipmen in training. In spring 1949, the Coral Sea began its first deployment with the Sixth Fleet. With the Cold War getting hotter, she went on several more deployments throughout the fifties.

Becoming an Attack Carrier
In October 1952,
Coral Sea was reclassified to be an attack aircraft carrier, which changed her hull number to CVA-43. In early 1957, she was sent to the west coast to be modernized. In January 1960, the new and improved ship was returned to active service.

With a largely expanded flight deck and other upgrades, Coral Sea crossed the Pacific to join the Seventh Fleet. She participated in the Southeast Asian conflict from the early 1960’s into the early 1970’s. In spring 1975, the Coral Sea was reclassified CV-43 to reflect the expansion of her air group. During the late 70’s into the 1980’s, the ship began deploying further west to the Persian Gulf. In March 1983, she began a long voyage from the Mediterranean down to South and Central America. She returned to the Mediterranean a couple of years later.

After later voyages with the Sixth Fleet, she was decommissioned in April 1990.

CV-43 Deployments - Major Events

Add a CV-43 Shellback Initiation Add a CV-43 Deployment - Major Event
Month Year to Month Year Deployment / Event
JUL 1944 Keel Date: 10 JUL 1944
at Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. Newport News VA
APR 1946 Launch Date: 2 APR 1946
OCT 1947 Commissioned: 1 OCT 1947
JUN 1948 - AUG 1948 Mediterranean
MAY 1949 - SEP 1949 Mediterranean
MAY 1950 - SEP 1950 Mediterranean
JUL 1950 - NOV 1950 Mediterranean
MAY 1951 - SEP 1951 CVB-43 USS CORAL SEA deployed Mediterranean Sea summer 1951
JUL 1954 - DEC 1954 Mediterranean
MAR 1955 - SEP 1955 Mediterranean
AUG 1956 - FEB 1957 Mediterranean
OCT 1956 - OCT 1956 SUEZ CANAL CRISIS
MAR 1957 - Shellback Initiation - 5 MAR 1957 - Pacific Ocean
NOV 1960 - AUG 1961 West Pac
DEC 1960 - JUN 1961 West Pac-Viet Nam
FEB 1963 - DEC 1963 West Pac-Indian Ocean
APR 1963 - Shellback Initiation - 22 APR 1963 - Pacific Ocean
DEC 1964 - NOV 1965 West Pac-Viet Nam
MAR 1965 - OCT 1967 West Pac-Viet Nam
MAR 1966 - JAN 1969 West Pac
JUL 1966 - FEB 1967 West Pac-Viet Nam
JUL 1967 - APR 1968 West Pac-Viet Nam
SEP 1968 - APR 1969 West Pac-Viet Nam
JAN 1969 - JAN 1971 West Pac-Viet Nam
SEP 1969 - JUL 1970 West Pac-Viet Nam
JUN 1970 - Shellback Initiation - 20 JUN 1970 - Pacific Ocean
JUN 1970 - Shellback Initiation - 20 JUN 1970 - Pacific Ocean
JUN 1970 - Shellback Initiation - 1 JUN 1970 - Pacific Ocean
JUN 1970 - Shellback Initiation - 1 JUN 1970 - Pacific Ocean
NOV 1971 - JUL 1972 West Pac-Viet Nam
MAR 1972 - NOV 1973 Mediterranean-Indian Ocean
FEB 1973 - NOV 1973 West Pac-Viet Nam
MAR 1973 - NOV 1973 West Pac-Viet Nam
SEP 1974 - JUL 1975 West Pac
APR 1975 - MAY 1975 evacuation of vietnam(operation eagle pull)(operation baby lift)
MAY 1975 - Shellback Initiation - 10 MAY 1975 - Pacific Ocean
MAY 1975 - Shellback Initiation - 10 MAY 1975 - Pacific Ocean
MAY 1975 - MAY 1975 rescue of SS MAYAGUEZ/BATTLE AT KOH TANG ISLAND
MAY 1975 - Shellback Initiation - 12 MAY 1975 - Pacific Ocean
FEB 1977 - SEP 1977 West Pac
NOV 1979 - MAY 1980 West Pac-Indian Ocean
NOV 1979 - MAY 1980 West Pac-Indian Ocean-Persian Gulf
NOV 1979 - MAY 1980 West Pac-Indian Ocean-Persian Gulf
NOV 1979 - MAY 1980 West Pac-Indian Ocean-Persian Gulf
NOV 1979 - JUN 1980 West Pac-Indian Ocean
NOV 1979 - JUN 1980 West Pac-Indian Ocean-Persian Gulf
JAN 1980 - Shellback Initiation - 30 JAN 1980 - Pacific Ocean
JAN 1980 - Shellback Initiation - 30 JAN 1980 - Pacific Ocean
FEB 1980 - JUN 1980 West Pac-Indian Ocean
APR 1980 Shellback Initiation - 18 APR 1980 - Pacific Ocean
MAR 1981 - APR 1981 Pineapple Cruise
AUG 1981 - MAR 1982 West Pac-Indian Ocean
DEC 1981 - Shellback Initiation - 16 DEC 1981 - Indian Ocean
JAN 1983 - Shellback Initiation - 1 JAN 1983 - Indian Ocean
JAN 1983 - JAN 1983 World Cruise
SEP 1985 - Shellback Initiation - 30 SEP 1985 - Atlantic Ocean
OCT 1985 - APR 1986 Mediterranean
JUN 1987 - FEB 1988 Mediterranean
APR 1989 - APR 1989 Dependents Cruise
APR 1990 Decommissioned: 26 APR 1990

CV-43 General Specifications

Class: Midway-class aircraft carrier

Complement: 4104 Officers and Enlisted

Displacement: 45000 tons

Length: 968 feet

Beam: 113 feet

Draft: 35 feet

Final Disposition: Cannibalization finally scrapped 8 September 2000



USS CORAL SEA (CV-43)



Coral Sea (CVB-43) was launched 2 April 1946 by Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co. Newport News Va. sponsored by Mrs. T. C. Kinkaid commissioned 1 October 1947 Captain A. P. Storrs III in command; and reported to the Atlantic Fleet.


Coral Sea sailed from Norfolk 7 June 1948 for a midshipmen cruise to the Mediterranean and Caribbean and returned to Norfolk 11 August. After overhaul and training in the Caribbean she sailed 3 May 1949 for her first tour of duty in the Mediter ranean with the 6th Fleet returning 28 September. She returned to the Mediterranean for duty from 9 September 1950 to 1 February 1951 bringing her impressive strength to the 6th Fleet in its important role as guardian of peace in the Mediterranean.


An overhaul and local operations upon her return as well as training with Air Group 17 prepared her for a return to the Mediterranean once more on 20 March 1951. As flagship for Commander Carrier Division 6 she took part in a North Atlantic Treaty O rganization exercise "Beehive I." She returned to Norfolk 6 October for local and Caribbean operations next sailing for the Mediterranean 19 April 1952. While on service with the 6th Fleet she visited Yugoslavia and carried Marshall Tito on a one-day cruise to observe carrier operations. reclassified CVA-43 on 1 October 1952 she returned to Norfolk for overhaul 12 October.


Coral Sea trained pilots in carrier operations off the Virginia Capes and Mayport Fla. and in April 1953 she embarked the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives for a 3-day cruise. On 26 April the carrier sailed for a tour of duty in the Mediterranean. This cruise was highlighted by a visit to Spain and participation in NATO exercise "Black Wave" with Deputy Secretary of Defense R. M. Kyes on board as an observer. Returning to Norfolk 21 October she carried out tests for the B ureau of Aeronautics and trained members of the Naval Reserve at Mayport Fla. and Guantanamo Bay.


Coral Sea returned to the Mediterranean from 7 July to 20 December 1954 and during this tour was visited by Generalissimo Franco as she lay off Valencia Spain. On her next tour of duty in the Mediterranean from 23 March to 29 September 1955 sh e called at Istanbul and participated in NATO exercises.


Sailing from Norfolk 23 July 1956 for Mayport to embark Carrier Air Group 10 Coral Sea continued on to the Mediterranean on her next tour. She participated in NATO exercises and received the King and Queen of Greece on board as visitors in Octo ber. During the Suez Crisis she evacuated American citizens from the troubled area and stood by off Egypt until November. She returned to Norfolk 11 February 1957. She cleared that port on 26 February and visited Santos Brazil; Valparaiso Chile; an d Balboa C.Z. before arriving at Bremerton Washington 15 April. Coral Sea was decommissioned for conversion 24 May 1957 and upon completion was recommissioned 25 January 1960 to rejoin the Fleet. During September 1960 she conducted training with her new air group along the west coast then sailed in September for a tour of duty with the 7th Fleet in the Far East.

[Note: The above USS CORAL SEA (CV-43) history may or may not contain text provided by crew members of the USS CORAL SEA (CV-43) or by other non-crew members and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]