This marked the beginning of a major onslaught on Navy funding. The fiscal constraints placed on the military in the late 1940’s were severe, and plans debated in the summer of 1949 for the Fiscal Year 1951 budget called for deep cuts in naval aviation. Operational Essex Class carriers were to be reduced from eight to four, Carrier Air Wings from fourteen to six, operational Saipan Class carriers from ten to eight, Marine Squadrons from twenty three to twelve, Anti Submarine Warfare Squadrons from eight to seven, and Patrol Squadrons from thirty to twenty. While the Navy was struggling to maintain its carrier fleet, the Air Force was pushing for a seventy-group bomber force.
The famous "Revolt of the Admirals" cost Admiral Denfield his position as CNO, but it saved carrier-based naval aviation. The first atomic bombs went to sea on the USS Franklin Roosevelt in 1950. The Navy’s inability to convey carrier doctrine to policy makers negatively effect America’s preparedness for subsequent wars and conflicts of a limited nature. It would take the accumulated experience of numerous limited engagements, and more particularly, the Vietnam War, for defense planners to recognize anything approaching the full potential of the carrier.
|Displacement||75,900 to 79,300 tons full load|
|Flight Deck Width||190 feet|
|Power Plant|| Eight boilers|
four geared steam turbines
280,000 shaft horsepower
|Aircraft|| 12 VA [89,000 lb 2,000-nm radius bombers]|
45 XF2H Banshee fighers
|Armament||8 5-inch/54 guns|
6 3-inch/37 guns
|Complement|| 3,019 ship's company|
2,480 in air wing
|United States||CVA 58||Newport News||18 Apr 1949||--||23 Apr 1949|