USS Wolverine IX-64 (1942-1947)

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The USS Wolverine was a freshwater aircraft carrier for the United States during World War II. She was originally meant to be and for a time period was a steam powered steamer. However, the Navy needed the Wolverine for the training of new pilots. The ship was originally launched in 1913 and was meant to operate in Lake Michigan, which is where the name Wolverine came from.

Action in World War II

She remained a steamer until January of 1942 when she started her new role as a training ship for the pilots that helped win the war. The training not only helprf the pilots that were learning how to fly off of the challenging flight deck and land on the same moving target, but with her sister ship the Sable, she taught the Landing Signal Officers valuable lessons on what they should be doing to help guide the planes in properly.

The sister ships had problems with training the new pilots since any crash that occurred required them to return to Chicago because the ships had none of the features that many of the standard carriers had, such as elevators, hanger decks, or even extra storage space for the items that were needed for some of the more advanced operations a carrier might face in the war front.

The ships also encountered the problems of not getting enough wind to help launch the planes at times. When those days happened, the line of waiting pilots would required the ships to process multiple pilots in a single day or use a plane that the pilots had not managed to fly in months to get the qualifications that they needed to have.

After the War

When the war was over, the demand for these ships was much lower than what it was during the war. That led to the Wolverine being decommissioned in 1945 and after another two years, she was sold for scrapping in 1947.

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.


Naval Historical Center

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