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USS Essex CV 9

The USS Essex (CV-9) was a United States Navy aircraft carrier that played a vital role in World War II. Commissioned in December 1942, the Essex-class carrier was immediately sent into action in the Pacific Theater, where it participated in several major battles including the Battle of the Philippine Sea and the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

One of the most notable engagements in which the Essex participated was the Battle of the Philippine Sea, also known as the "Great Marianas Turkey Shoot." In this battle, the Essex and other American carrier groups engaged in a decisive battle with the Imperial Japanese Navy, resulting in a resounding victory for the United States. The Essex's air group, led by then-Commander David McCampbell, shot down a total of 34 enemy aircraft in this battle alone.

The Essex also played a key role in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, considered to be the largest naval battle of World War II. The carrier's air group launched numerous strikes against Japanese surface ships, contributing to the eventual American victory in the battle.

Throughout its service, the USS Essex was awarded 13 battle stars for its actions in World War II. After the war, the carrier was decommissioned and later served as a training vessel until her final decommissioning in 1969.

The USS Essex was more than just a vessel, it was a symbol of American naval power and heroism. The sailors who served on board the Essex, and the aviators who flew from its decks, demonstrated incredible courage and skill in the face of adversity. Their contributions to the war effort were instrumental in securing victory for the United States and the Allied powers.

The USS Essex may no longer be with us, but its legacy lives on. It serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by the men and women of the United States Navy in defense of freedom and democracy. And it will always be remembered as one of the most iconic and successful aircraft carriers in American history.