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Launched in 1943 in Camden, New Jersey, USS Cowpens (CVL-25) reported for duty at Pearl Harbor in the fall of the year. Participating in attacks on Wake Island and the Marshall Islands, she also launched air strikes on Mille and Makin atolls and Kwajalein and Wotje.

War Operations

She returned to Pearl Harbor to prepare for the next mission, to invade the Marshall Islands. Planes from her decks went on to attack Kwajalein and Eniwetok. Later, during the raids upon the Palaus, she helped supply air and antisubmarine patrols. From her spot off of New Guinea, she was able to assist in the strikes on Truk, Satawan, and Ponape.

Further Assistance

Cowpens played an active and vital role in the military operations of the Pacific, including the following:

  • Attacks on Saipan
  • Raids on Iwo Jima, Pagan, Rota, Guam
  • Battle of the Philippines
  • Invasion strikes on the Palaus
  • Covered landings on Morotai
  • Strikes over Okinawa and Formosa
  • Provided air cover for withdrawal of damaged ships Canberra and Houston
  • Struck targets at Luzon, Formosa, Indo-Chinese Coast and Hong Kong
  • Air strikes over Tokyo, Kure, Hokkaido, and Honshu

Cowpens was affected by a typhoon in 1944, but quick-thinking crew helped to prevent further damage despite one casualty and many planes and other equipment. She went on to participate in other operations that proved vital to U.S. military success.

In 1947, she was decommissioned. For her service, she received a Navy Unit Commendation and twelve battle stars.

CVL-25 Deployments - Major Events

Add a CVL-25 Shellback Initiation Add a CVL-25 Deployment - Major Event
Month Year to Month Year Deployment / Event
NOV1941-Keel Date: 17 NOV 1941
at New York Shipbuilding Corporation
JAN1943-Launch Date: 17 JAN 1943
JAN1943-JAN1945Middle Pacific
MAY1943-Commissioned: 28 MAY 1943
OCT1943-Shellback Initiation - 3 OCT 1943 - Pacific Ocean
JAN1944-JAN1944Golden Shellback Intiation
JAN1947-Decommissioned: 13 JAN 1947

CVL-25 General Specifications

Complement: 1569 Officers and Enlisted

Displacement: 11000 tons

Length: 622.5 feet

Beam: 71.5 feet

Draft: 26 feet

Flank Speed: 32 knots