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CVE 21 Firsts



Now that we have airplanes that can fly they can't leave without this landing signal officer. (LSO)

        The following was taken from official Navy publications:

  1. CVE 21 pioneered the use of HF/DF (high frequency direction finder) against the submarine menace in the Atlantic.

  2. CVE 21 was the first US Navy aircraft carrier to pioneer the hunter/killer process as put into operation by Captain Logan Ramsey in the search for German submarines in WW2.

  3. The planes of CVE 21 were the first to use airborne rockets in attack on German submarines. On 11 Jan 1944 Lt.(jg) L.L. McFord with crewmen C. Gertsch and W.H. Ryder flying a TBF-1C fired rockets on German submarine U-758.

  4. CVE 21 was the first and only US Naval Aircraft Carrier sunk by enemy action in the Atlantic.

  5. The crew of CVE 21 was the first crew of a US Naval vessel which had been sunk in combat to be maintained as a unit until another ship of the same name could be prepared for its use in WW2.





Above is a small reproduction of a 1943 artist sketch of an F4F Wildcat fighter being flown off the deck of CVE 21. The decision to launch the aircraft by catapult or direct fly off depended upon wind speed and the weight of bombs, rockets or torpedos aboard.