This image is the cover for the book Essex Class Aircraft Carriers, 1943–1991, Images of War

Essex Class Aircraft Carriers, 1943–1991, Images of War

A photographic history of the US Essex-class aircraft carriers of World War II—including the USS Intrepid that now serves as a New York City museum.

Essex-class aircraft carriers played an essential role in the victory of the United States over Japan in the Second World War, and Leo Marriott’s photographic history is a fascinating introduction to them. Without these remarkable ships, the island-hopping campaign of American forces across the Pacific towards Japan would not have been possible. They also took part in the Korean and Vietnam wars that followed.

During the Second World War they were at the center of the powerful task groups that could put up hundreds of aircraft to support forces on the ground. They were also prime targets for Japanese air attacks, in particular the kamikaze suicide missions. A total of twenty-four were eventually commissioned including several after the end of the war.

The selection of rare photographs and the expert text cover the evolution of US aircraft carrier design prior to the Second World War and look at the factors which shaped the design and construction of the Essex class. Included are dramatic action shots of the new breed of naval aircraft that was launched from their flight decks, including Hellcat and Corsair fighters that took on the Japanese and the carrier-borne jets that flew over Korea and Vietnam.

“An outstanding book.” —Anchorwatch

“A book that will surely delight all naval history enthusiasts because it well illustrates the importance that the aircraft carrier had in changing the way warfare is waged at sea.” —On the Old Barbed Wire

Leo Marriott

Leo Marriott has written numerous books on aviation, naval and military subjects including Treaty Cruisers, Catapult Aircraft, Jets at Sea and Early Jet Fighters: British and American 1944-1954. He is now retired after a fifty-year career as an air traffic controller but still maintains his pilot’s license flying a syndicate-owned Cessna 172. Apart from aviation and naval history, his other interests include sailing, photography and painting.

Pen and Sword Maritime