See the NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER narrative history of CVS 33

See The derivation and linage of the name Kearsarge 
Newspaper clipping written just after the 1950-1952 Modernization


Aircraft carrier CV-33, the USS KEARSARGE, was authorized by an act of Congress in 1942. Commissioned on March 2, 1946, with Captain Francis J. McKenna in command, the KEARSARGE was the third ship of the United States Navy to be so named. This ship had been launched on May 5, 1945, with Mrs. Aubrey Fitch, wife of Vice-Admiral Aubrey W. Fitch, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Air), as sponsor.

The USS KEARSARGE was 888 feet long and carried a crew of 3,000. Her home port was Norfolk and she was engaged in training operations and maneuvers along the East Coast and the Caribbean before joining the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean in June 1948. In 1950 the USS KEARSARGE was modernized to enable her to handle jet aircraft. In 1952 she joined the fast carrier Task Force 77 off the east coast of Korea where her planes flew nearly 6,000 sorties. KEARSARGE earned two battle stars during the Korean War and the nickname "Mighty Kay".

The carrier USS KEARSARGE, while operating with the 7th Fleet, kept watch over the Formosa Straits. In the fall of 1954 she stood by to assist the Nationalist Chinese in the evacuation of the Tachen Islands. In February 1955 she supported units of the fleet in the successful evacuation of 18,000 civilians and 20,000 military personnel from the islands.

During the summer of 1958 USS KEARSARGE was fitted out as an antisubmarine warfare support carrier and reclassified CVS 33. She rejoined the 7th Fleet in Southeast Asian waters as the Communists intensified their effort to overthrow Laos. The power and determination of the 7th Fleet was observed by the enemy and the crisis eased.

On August 1, 1962, USS KEARSARGE departed Long Beach for the Pacific missile range as a recovery ship in the Mercury orbital space flight of astronaut Walter Shirra. The USS KEARSARGE played her role in the space age by retrieving Shirra and his capsule and returning him to Honolulu. On May 18, 1963, the KEARSARGE repeated her earlier recovery by plucking astronaut Gordon Cooper and his capsule "Faith 7" after he orbited the earth 22 times.

In June 1964 the USS KEARSARGE was deployed on her ninth Far Eastern cruise, returning to operations with the 7th Fleet in Southeast Asia. Her service during the Vietnam War included being dispatched to the South China Sea following the attack on US destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin in the summer of 1964. While US Navy planes destroyed North Vietnam oil and supply depots, Kearsarge provided antisubmarine protection for the 7th Fleet. KEARSARGE earned five battle stars and a Meritorious Unit Commendation during the Vietnam War. The aircraft carrier KEARSARGE was decommissioned in 1970.

Phil Oppedahl has a centered ball!
Big K was working hard to get some wind over the deck.


The current namesake of the famous Kearsarge - LDH3