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The fourth ship to bear the name Independence, this CVL-22 was launched in 1942 in Camden, New Jersey and commissioned by the Navy in early 1943. Independence was among the class of carriers created by converting cruiser hulls.

After completing training in the Caribbean, she sailed through the Panama Canal and joined the Pacific Fleet in San Francisco. She participated in crucial training exercises in Pearl Harbor and later sailed with fellow carriers Essex and Yorktown to raid Marcus Island to destroy the majority of installations on the island. Independence followed up this success through a similar operation against Wake Island in 1943.

Navy Service

Independence continued her attacks, finding success in shooting down six Japanese planes. After refueling at Espiritu Santo, she continued on to the Gilberts and completed strikes on Tarawa.

The Japanese launched a counterattack on Independence. She was attacked by aircraft that shot torpedoes. One of the torpedoes hit her and caused serious damage. She returned to San Francisco in early 1944 for repairs.

Fixed and Ready to Strike

Independence continued to serve missions designed to destroy the enemy. When it became clear that the Japanese were not launching counterattacks, she shifted to regular day-type duties and provided night-time reconnaissance duties where needed. She further played important roles in missions in the Philippines and Okinawa. After the war, she helped transport veterans home from the Pacific theatre. Her distinguished service during World War II earned her eight battle stars.

Atomic Bomb Testing

After her valiant service during WWII, Independence served as a target vessel during the atomic bomb tests on Bikini. Though she did not sink from the blasts, she did sustain damage and was studies for radioactive exposure. She was decommissioned and sunk off the coast of the Farallon Islands.

CVL-22 Deployments - Major Events

Add a CVL-22 Shellback Initiation Add a CVL-22 Deployment - Major Event
Month Year to Month Year Deployment / Event
MAY1941-Keel Date: 1 MAY 1941
at New York Shipbuilding Corporation
AUG1942-Launch Date: 22 AUG 1942
JAN1943-Commissioned: 14 JAN 1943
AUG1946-Decommissioned: 28 AUG 1946

CVL-22 General Specifications

Class: Independence class light carrier

Complement: 1569 Officers and Enlisted

Displacement: 10662 tons

Length: 623 feet

Beam: 71.5 feet

Draft: 26 feet

Range: 13 000 nautical miles

Final Disposition: Sunk off Okinawa 6 April 1945