#RedFriday: USS Kearsarge (CV-33, later CVA-33 and CVS-33), 1946-1974

USS Kearsarge (CV-33) In a harbor during the later 1940s, with her crew paraded on the flight deck for inspection. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

USS Kearsarge (CV-33)
In a harbor during the later 1940s, with her crew paraded on the flight deck for inspection.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Red Friday honors and stands behind the members of the United States Military and wishes for their safe return home.

In October 1958, the USS Kearsarge took on a new assignment as a support aircraft carrier CVS 33.

The USS Kearsarge, a 27,100-ton Ticonderoga class aircraft carrier, was built at the New York Navy Yard. She was commissioned in March 1946 and spent her first year of service in training operations in the western Atlantic and Caribbean. During the later 1940s, Kearsarge made two trips to Europe, the first a summer 1947 midshipmen training cruise and the second a mid-1948 deployment to the Mediterranean Sea. In early 1950, the carrier was transferred to the west coast, where she decommissioned in June for extensive modernization work.

USS Kearsarge (CVA-33) With two AJ "Savage" heavy attack aircraft on her flight deck, following her SCB-27A modernization, circa 1952-55. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

USS Kearsarge (CVA-33)
With two AJ “Savage” heavy attack aircraft on her flight deck, following her SCB-27A modernization, circa 1952-55.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Recommissioned in February 1952, Kearsarge now had a stronger flight deck, new island and many other changes to her appearance and capabilities. She made a Korean War combat cruise in September 1952 – February 1953, during which time she was reclassified as an attack aircraft carrier and redesignated CVA-33.

Two A-4C "Skyhawk" aircraft, of Attack Squadron 146 (VA-146) Fly past USS Kearsarge (CVS-33), 12 August 1964. These planes, from USS Constellation (CVA-64), are Bureau #s 149551 and 149570. Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

Two A-4C “Skyhawk” aircraft,
of Attack Squadron 146 (VA-146)
Fly past USS Kearsarge (CVS-33), 12 August 1964.
These planes, from USS Constellation (CVA-64), are Bureau #s 149551 and 149570.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

From mid-1953 to 1958,Kearsarge had regular tours of duty with the Seventh Fleet in the Far East. Her 1955 deployment included supporting the Nationalist Chinese evacuation of the Tachen Islands. The carrier was again modernized in 1956-57, receiving an angled flight deck and enclosed “hurricane” bow to better equip her to operate high-performance aircraft.

USS Kearsarge (CVS-33) At sea, 12 December 1965. She has nine A-4 attack jets on her flight deck, as well as one S-2 anti-submarine plane. Photographed by PH3 Michael D. Stearns. Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

USS Kearsarge (CVS-33)
At sea, 12 December 1965. She has nine A-4 attack jets on her flight deck, as well as one S-2 anti-submarine plane.
Photographed by PH3 Michael D. Stearns.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

Kearsarge was assigned a new role in October 1958, becoming an antisubmarine warfare (ASW) support aircraft carrier, with the new designation CVS-33. In that capacity, she operated ASW fixed-wing airplanes and helicopters to protect the fleet against the threat of hostile underwater attack.

USS Kearsarge (CVS-33) Underway in Hawaiian waters, 5 July 1966, with S-2 and E-1B airplanes and SH-3 helicopters on her flight deck. Photographed by Ph1(AC) R. Sheffield. Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

USS Kearsarge (CVS-33)
Underway in Hawaiian waters, 5 July 1966, with S-2 and E-1B airplanes and SH-3 helicopters on her flight deck.
Photographed by Ph1(AC) R. Sheffield.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

Regular Seventh Fleet deployments continued through the late 1950s and the 1960s, including indirect involvement in the Vietnam Conflict. In 1962 and 1963, Kearsarge carried out a new mission, serving as recovery ship for the orbital flights of astronauts Walter Schirra and Gordon Cooper. Made redundant by the general fleet drawdown of the late 1960s and early 1970s, USS Kearsarge was decommissioned in February 1970. Following three years in the Reserve Fleet, she was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register in May 1973 and sold for scrapping in February 1974.

USS Kearsarge (CVS-33) Underway in the Pacific Ocean, 5 December 1968. Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

USS Kearsarge (CVS-33)
Underway in the Pacific Ocean, 5 December 1968.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

USS Kearsarge (CV-33) Sikorski HO3S-1 helicopter in flight over the carrier's flight deck, during Operation "Frigid", November 1948. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

USS Kearsarge (CV-33)
Sikorski HO3S-1 helicopter in flight over the carrier’s flight deck, during Operation “Frigid”, November 1948.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

USS Kearsarge (CVA-33) Crewmen cleaning mess trays at the mess decks dumpster station, circa the late 1950s. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

USS Kearsarge (CVA-33)
Crewmen cleaning mess trays at the mess decks dumpster station, circa the late 1950s.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

"Sigma 7" Project "Mercury" Space Capsule Is towed toward USS Kearsarge (CVS-33) for pickup, after its orbital flight with astronaut (Commander, USN) Walter Schirra on board, 16 October 1962. Note rescue swimmer on the capsule's flotation collar, and a Kearsarge 26-foot motor whaleboat standing by. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

“Sigma 7” Project “Mercury” Space Capsule
Is towed toward USS Kearsarge (CVS-33) for pickup, after its orbital flight with astronaut (Commander, USN) Walter Schirra on board, 16 October 1962.
Note rescue swimmer on the capsule’s flotation collar, and a Kearsarge 26-foot motor whaleboat standing by.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Sikorski SH-3A "Sea King" helicopters, of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Six (HS-6) Lift off from the flight deck of USS Kearsarge (CVS-33) as she enters Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 27 June 1967. The USS Arizona Memorial is in the distance. Helicopter at left is Bureau # 152124. Photographed by PH3 B.L. Kleckner. Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

Sikorski SH-3A “Sea King” helicopters,
of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Six (HS-6)
Lift off from the flight deck of USS Kearsarge (CVS-33) as she enters Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 27 June 1967. The USS Arizona Memorial is in the distance.
Helicopter at left is Bureau # 152124.
Photographed by PH3 B.L. Kleckner.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

USS Kearsarge (CVA-33) Decommissioning party salutes the colors, as Kearsarge goes out of commission for the last time, at Long Beach, California, 13 February 1970. Those present are (from left to right): Captain Frederick W. Zigler, USN, Commanding Officer, Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility; Rear Admiral Norman C. Gillette, USN, Commander Anti-Submarine Warfare Group Three; Rear Admiral William T. Rassieur, USN(Retired), former Commanding Officer of the ship; Captain Leonard M. Nearman, USN, ship's Commanding Officer; and Mr. C.E. (Gene) Gallman, representing the Mayor of Long Beach. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

USS Kearsarge (CVA-33)
Decommissioning party salutes the colors, as Kearsarge goes out of commission for the last time, at Long Beach, California, 13 February 1970.
Those present are (from left to right):
Captain Frederick W. Zigler, USN, Commanding Officer, Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility;
Rear Admiral Norman C. Gillette, USN, Commander Anti-Submarine Warfare Group Three;
Rear Admiral William T. Rassieur, USN(Retired), former Commanding Officer of the ship;
Captain Leonard M. Nearman, USN, ship’s Commanding Officer; and
Mr. C.E. (Gene) Gallman, representing the Mayor of Long Beach.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

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