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US Cold War Aircraft Carriers


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Table of Contents

Origins of the Super Carrier (World War II Carriers; The Midway Class Battle Carrier; The USS United States)/ The Forrestal Class (Carrier Structures; The Flight Deck and Hangar Bay; Launch and Recovery Operations; Significant Structures; Defensive Systems; Electronic Systems and Radar; USS Forrestal; USS Saratoga; USS Ranger; USS Independence)/ The Kitty Hawk Class (Major Differences from Forrestal Class; USS Kitty Hawk; USS Constellation; USS America; USS John F. Kennedy)/ Enterprise - A Class of Its Own (Design and Development; Electronic Systems and Radar; Propulsion)/ Operational History (The Forrestal and Enterprise Fires; Carrier Air Wing Evolution)

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An in-depth look at the first US super carriers - from the design and development of the Forrestal, Kitty Hawk and Enterprise classes, to their operational history during the Cold War and beyond.

About the Author

Brad Elward is an attorney-at-law based in Peoria, Illinois. He has broken into aviation journalism in the past years, having written several volumes on post-war naval aviation and having work published in such erstwhile periodicals as World Air Power Journal.


"A companion to the author's earlier book on the Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, this book covers the earlier supercarriers built during the Cold War, the four Forrestal- and four Kitty Hawk-class carriers and the nuclear-powered USS Enterprise, the last of which was retired in 2012. These carriers were the first designed after World War II and were large enough to more safely handle large jet aircraft and ease deck-handling and sortie generation. Four steam catapults, four flight-deck elevators, a spacious armored flight deck and a high capacity for aircraft made them highly efficient war machines. They participated heavily in the air campaign in Southeast Asia and in other flare-ups of the Cold War era. The book details the development of the carriers and describes the history of each in detail, accompanied by color photos and several original works of art." --Seapower Magazine (July / August 2014)

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