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USS Ranger (CV-4) to the Mediterranean in 1942?

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  • USS Ranger (CV-4) to the Mediterranean in 1942?

    I just finished reading Operation Pedestal: The Fleet That Battled to Malta, 1942, written by Sir Max Hasting. On page 28, Sir Max wrote:" The Admiralty's draft plan for Pedestal... included four options. The first three required a request to the Americans for the use of their carrier Ranger, with five US Navy escorts."

    Does anyone know what those options were, what five US Navy ships were to be included and why none of the options were executed? He discusses the embarrassing and politics involved, plus the matter about PQ 17, but is there more information involved?

  • #2
    Churchill requested of the US for the USS Ranger & the new battleship USS North Carolina to backfill Royal Navy losses in the Indian Ocean. Admiral King said no...the Ranger was too small for Pacific Operations and left the US with only 1 big deck carrier for the Atlantic. A large part of Ranger's time in 1942 was spent in ferrying US Army Air Force P-40s to Africa for onward use for the Flying Tigers and to work with the Desert Air Force. Plus we were losing carriers at a fast rate in the Pacific and the risk was seen as too great to risk putting Ranger within range of shore based aircraft in the Mediterranean.

    As for the 4 ships likely 1 would be the North Carolina and the remaining destroyers as escorts.

    Ironically a year later due to heavy carrier losses the RN had to loan the HMS Victorius to the USN in winter 1943 for service in the Pacific until new Essex class carriers could join the fleet later that year.
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain