The USS Ranger (CV-4) was an American-built aircraft weighing 14,500 tons, constructed in Newport New, Virginia. She was commissioned in June 1934 and made a thorough search journey to South America preceding her journey to the Pacific in early 1935.
The Ranger appeared again in the Atlantic in 1939. Unable to keep up with the larger vessels, the Ranger was too small and slow for the combat in the Pacific. Because of this she remained in the Atlantic for most of the remaining part of her service. However, Ranger did participate in Neutrality Patrols after war broke out in Europe in September 1939. These operations became progressively more intense during 1941.
Action in World War II
Near the beginning of 1942 the USS Ranger (CV-4) participated in operations in the South Atlantic, and then carried U.S. Army fighter planes to West African headquarters in April and July. Throughout November 1942, she provided air cover for the invasion of Morocco in Operation Torch and the Naval Battle of Casablanca. In 1943, the Ranger fought alongside the British Home Fleet in the northeastern Atlantic. During this time she also instigated strikes on German shipping along the Norwegian coast.
Though she ultimately spent the majority of the war in the Atlantic, the Ranger received an overhaul before being sent to the Pacific to deploy air battalions for combat maneuvers in 1944. She mostly ran night flight training operations from Pearl Harbor but never actually met the Japanese in direct combat.
After the War
After the surrender of the Japanese empire, she returned to the Atlantic until her removal from service in 1946. Despite being one of only three pre-war aircraft carriers to survive the conflict, she was sold for scrap the following year.
Asbestos in Navy Ships
Although an essential component of the naval fleet, even today, aircraft carriers also pose a lasting health risk to soldiers serving on them. Unfortunately, products containing asbestos were common, especially on older ships, because of the material’s high resistance to heat and fire. Despite its value as an insulator, asbestos fiber intake can lead to several serious health consequences, including mesothelioma, a devastating cancer without cure. Current and former military personnel who came into contact with these ships should seek immediate medical attention in order to detect possible health consequences associated with asbestos exposure.