USS Antietam CV-36
Dragon 1/700 USS Antietam CV-36
Scott Van Aken
Can be built full hull or waterline.
The second Antietam (CV-36) was laid down on 15
March 1943 by the Philadelphia Navy Yard; launched on 20 August 1944 sponsored
by Mrs. Millard E. Tydings, the wife of Senator Tydings of Maryland; and
commissioned on 28 January 1945, Capt. James R. Tague in command.
The aircraft carrier completed fitting out at
Philadelphia until 2 March 1945 when she got underway for her shakedown cruise.
The ship arrived in Hampton Roads on the 5th and conducted operations from
Norfolk until 22 March when she stood out of Chesapeake Bay bound for Trinidad
in the British West Indies. At the conclusion of her shakedown cruise,
Antietam returned to Philadelphia on 28 April to begin post-shakedown
availability. She completed repairs on 19 May and departed Philadelphia that
After a three-day stop at Norfolk, the warship resumed
her voyage to the Panama Canal in company with USS Higbee (DD-806),
USS George W. Ingram (APD-43), and USS Ira Jeffery (APD-44). She
arrived at Cristobal on 31 May 1945, transited the canal the next day, and
continued her voyage up the coast to San Diego. She stopped at San Diego from 10
to 13 June before beginning the first leg of her transpacific voyage.
Antietam arrived in Pearl Harbor on the 19th and remained in the Hawaiian
Islands conducting training missions until 12 August. On that day, she shaped a
course for the western Pacific.
Three days out of Oahu, she received word of the
Japanese capitulation and the consequent cessation of hostilities. Thus, by the
time of her arrival in Eniwetok Atoll on 19 August 1945, her mission changed
from combat to occupation support duty. On the 21st she exited the lagoon in
USS Cabot (CVL-28) and a screen of destroyers bound for Japan. En
route, she suffered some internal damage which forced her into port at Apra
Harbor Guam, for inspections. The inspection party deemed the damage minimal;
and the carrier remained operational, resuming her course on the 27th. By that
time, however, her destination had been changed to the coast of the Asian
mainland. She stopped at Okinawa between 30 August and 1 September and arrived
in Chinese waters near Shanghai the following day.
The aircraft carrier remained in the Far East for a
little more than three years. The Yellow Sea constituted her primary theater of
operations while her air group provided support for the Allied occupation of
North China, Manchuria, and Korea. During the latter stages of that assignment,
her airmen conducted surveillance missions in that area as a result of the civil
war in China between communist and nationalist factions which later resulted in
the expulsion of Chiang Kai-shek's forces from mainland China and the
establishment of Mao Tse-Tung's communist People's Republic of China. Throughout
the period, however, she did depart the Yellow Sea on occasion for visits to
Japan, the Philippines, Okinawa, and the Marianas. Early in 1949, she concluded
her mission in the Orient and headed back to the United States for deactivation.
Antietam remained in reserve at Alameda,
Calif., until communist forces from the north invaded South Korea in the summer
of 1950. She began reactivation preparations on 6 December and went back into
commission on 17 January 1951, Capt. George J. Dufek in command.
Initially, the carrier conducted shakedown training
and carrier qualifications along the California coast, first out of Alameda and,
after 14 May 1951, out of San Diego. She made one voyage to Pearl Harbor and
back to San Diego in July and August before departing the latter port on 8
September and heading for the Far East. Antietam arrived in the Far East
later that fall and, by late November, began the only combat deployment of her
career. During that tour, she made four cruises with Task Force (TF) 77, in the
combat zone off the coast of Korea.
In between fighting assignments, she returned to
Yokosuka, Japan. During each of those periods, her air group carried out a
variety of missions in support of United Nations forces combating North Korean
aggression. Those missions included combat air patrol logistics interdiction —
particularly against railroad and highway traffic — reconnaissance antisubmarine
patrols, and night heckler missions. Between late November 1951 and mid-March
1952, Antietam's air group flew nearly 6,000 sorties of all types. She
returned to Yokosuka on 21 March 1952 at the conclusion of her fourth cruise
with TF 77 to begin preparations for her voyage back to the United States.
The aircraft carrier returned home in April and
rejoined the Pacific Reserve Fleet briefly. She was reactivated later that
summer and, in August, transited the Panama Canal to join the Atlantic Fleet. In
September, the warship entered the New York Naval Shipyard for major
alterations. In October, she was redesignated an attack aircraft carrier,
CVA-36. In December 1952, Antietam emerged from the yard as America's
first angled-deck aircraft carrier.
She operated out of Quonset Point, R.I., until the
beginning of 1955. During the intervening years, she participated in numerous
fleet and independent ship's exercises. After August 1953, at which time she was
redesignated an antisubmarine warfare (ASW) carrier, CVS-36, Antietam
concentrated up on honing her hunter/killer skills. In January 1955, she
embarked upon a voyage to the Mediterranean Sea where she served with the 6th
Fleet until March. Resuming duty with the Atlantic Fleet ASW forces, she
operated along the eastern seaboard until the fall of 1956. In October of that
year, she cruised to the waters of the eastern Atlantic for NATO ASW exercises
and goodwill visits to ports in Allied countries.
While the carrier was in Rotterdam, the Suez crisis
broke out in the eastern Mediterranean. Antietam cut short her visit to
the Netherlands and headed for the "middle sea" to bolster the 6th Fleet during
the evacuation of American citizens from Alexandria, Egypt. At the end of that
assignment, she conducted ASW training exercises with Italian naval officers
embarked before returning to Quonset Point on 22 December 1956.
After resuming operations along the eastern seaboard
early in 1957, Antietam was assigned on 21 April 1957 to training duty
with the Naval Air Training Station, Pensacola, Fla. Mayport, however, served as
her home port because ships of her draft could not then enter port at Pensacola.
For almost two years the aircraft carrier operated out of Mayport training new
Navy pilots and conducting tests on new aviation equipment-most noteworthy on
the Bell automatic landing system during August of 1957. She also participated
in annual Naval Academy midshipmen cruises each summer.
In January 1959, after the deepening of the channel
into Pensacola had been completed, Antietam's home port was changed from
Mayport to Pensacola. For the remainder of her active career, the carrier
operated out of Pensacola as an aviation train ing ship. On two occasions, she
provided humanitarian services to victims of hurricane damage. The first came in
September of 1961 when she rushed to the Texas coast to provide supplies and
medical assistance to the victims of hurricane Carla. The second came just over
a month later when she carried medical supplies, doctors, nurses, and other
medical personnel to British Honduras to help with the victims of hurricane
Hattie. Otherwise, she spent the final four years of her naval career in routine
naval aviation training duty out of Pensacola.
On 23 October 1952, Antietam was relieved by
USS Lexington (CVS-16) as aviation training ship at Pensacola and was
placed in commission, in reserve, on 7 January 1963. Berthed at Philadelphia,
Pa., she remained in reserve until May of 1973 when her name was struck from the
Navy list. On 28 February 1974, she was sold to the Union Minerals & Alloys
Corp. for scrapping.
knowledge, this is the first 1/700 27C (angled deck) Essex class carrier kit that has
been done. Like many of you, I have been waiting quite a while for this as I
served on two of them early in my USN career; the Hancock and Oriskany. While
this cannot be built as either one of those (no hurricane bow for one thing), it
is a step in the right direction. Typical of these hundreds of parts kits, I've
shown the sprue parts guide
This kit can be built either waterline or with a full
hull; your choice. It can also be built as it was right after it was converted
to an angled deck in 1953 or as it was after a second refit in 1957. There are a
considerable number of differences between the two and Dragon has provided all
the bits and pieces to do either configuration. The moldings on the kit are top
rate and without the myriad of ejector pin marks that have plagued Trumpeter
ship kits since day one.
For example; the 1953 build had a different main mast
from the 1957 version as well as a few other minor changes to the island
equipment. The angled reinforcements for the angled deck were open in the 1953
version. These were later plated over or the later variant. The kit also allows
the various side shutter doors to be posed in a variety of positions if you
don't want them fully closed. The kit does have a nicely done hangar deck though
it is sparsely populated. In other words, it is lacking fixtures, but the basic
bulkheads are there if you wish to add to it. Dragon also provides a clear
flight deck in case you decide to add detail to the hangar deck. A nice option
and one I'm sure will be appreciated.
of photo etch frets (one quite small and not shown) provide the appropriate
lattice works for the radio masts and the area under the deck edge elevator (a
plastic version is also provided if you don't feel comfortable with photo-etch).
The kit also comes with a 1/700 tug boat, which I thought was nice. You also get
aircraft with this kit. There are two of each and some of them provide the
option of having one with folded wings. Each has a pretty nicely done landing
gear as well with the main gear generally molded in one piece with a segment
that is also part of the lower fuselage. These are all molded in clear plastic
to allow for a transparent canopy. You get a pair of Skyraiders, Panthers,
Cougars, Banshees, Cutlasses, Corsairs and Dragonflys. I'm not really sure which
would be appropriate together so you'll need to do some research. Filling a deck
with aircraft is obviously not an option unless Dragon decides to additional
aircraft sets as did Trumpeter.
Decals are very nicely done and include both the deck
markings and the insignia/codes for the air wing planes as well. Instructions
are well drawn and easy to follow.
It is great to see a 1/700 27C finally make it to kit form. I can see that a whole
bunch of ships will be done in the future, including some of the dedicated ASW
ships with their S-2s and Sea Horse helos as well as Vietnam era types with
Skyhawks, Crusaders and a Skywarrior or two!
My thanks to the fine folk at
www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the
review kit. Get yours today at your local retailer or ask them to order it for
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