While not as famous as their larger and faster sister ships such as the Essex- and Yorktown-class carriers, escort carriers made an enormous contribution towards Allied victory both in the Pacific and Atlantic theatres. Rather than relying on size or speed, it was their sheer numbers that made them so effective. Indeed, the Casablanca-class escort carrier was the most-produced aircraft carrier in history. In partnership with the Royal Navy, they provided the backbone of Allied anti-submarine efforts in the Atlantic, finally and irrevocably turning the tide of the war against the U-boats in 1943. In the Pacific, they provided the air cover for the series of landings which led to the doorstep of Japan by 1945. These robust ships faced submarine, air, and even surface threats from the Japanese, but proved able to contend with everything thrown their way.
Fully illustrated with contemporary photographs and unique specially commissioned artwork, this book shines a new light on these unjustly overlooked workhorses of the US Navy – ships that helped usher in the Allied victory over the Axis powers in the Atlantic and Pacific.
Read an extract of US Navy Escort Carriers 1942–45