Hancock, Steel Leviathan - An awesome, magnificent city of steel - sensitive, fast, versatile and potent..
The following was submitted by Lowell Price, AM3, who served in Hancock 1956 - 1957 who states:
"This article was written in my cruise book "Strike!" in 1957. It tells a lot about the Hanna and her conversion to one of the best and most modern ships in the Pacific Fleet. We do not have a lot of knowledge about her from WWII until Vietnam. The author is unknown to me, but please review and let me know what you think."
"The carrier in this story is the U.S.S. Hancock (CVA-19). As this is written, it is the most modern carrier in the Pacific Fleet: An awesome, magnificent city of steel - sensitive, fast, versatile and potent. Bearing the name of the first signer of the Declaration of Independence, the Hancock has carved a proud wake through the seas of carrier history. Although not launched until the latter part of World War II -- January 24, 1944 -- she participated in the last bitter Pacific battles around the Philippines, Okinawa, Iwo Jima, and Japan itself. Her planes battered enemy airfields, industrial installations, merchant and naval vessels and military forces.
The last Japanese aircraft to be destroyed in World War II was downed by a Hancock pilot. Her total battle score was the destruction of 733 Japanese planes, 17 warships and 31 merchant vessels, a record for which the ship became known as the "Fightin' Hannah." The Hancock did not escape these actions unscathed. While providing close air support to the Tenth Army on Okinawa, a low-flying Kamikaze slipped through the curtain of air defense fire from formation guns and crashed on Hannah's plane-cluttered flight deck, turning it into a holocaust. More than eighty Hancock sailors were killed or injured, and the damage sustained necessitated a trip to Pearl Harbor for repairs.
"After the cessation of hostilities, the Hancock was assigned to the Pacific Reserve Fleet where she remained in mothballs for seven years - after a well earned rest.
"Following her recommissioning in 1954, the Hancock spent a year testing and perfecting her new steam catapults which were installed during her modernization period. The Hancock was the first American ship to be fitted with this equipment.
"In April, 1956, after her first peacetime Far Eastern cruise, the Hancock entered the dry-dock at San Francisco Naval Shipyard. Here shipyard workers and a skeleton crew of Hancock sailors completed the modifications begun two years earlier at Puget Sound when she was designated the first of the Hancock class. When her screws again churned blue salt water into white foam, she was equipped with an angle deck, hurricane bow, a mirror landing system, and a multitude of electronic and special weapons improvements that made her the newest, toughest carrier in the Pacific.
"The Hancock returned to active duty on November 16, 1956 and after a period of underway training, she embarked for the Orient on 6 April, 1957. Once again the steel leviathan prowled the open sea; a symbol of power and might, discouraging aggressive movements in eastern waters. If called upon, the Hancock could and would strike, with annihilating force."
Lowell Price, AM3
USS Hancock Ships Company
Sept. 1956 thru Sept. 1957
V-6 Division Sheet Metal Shop
Lowell Price - If you find this Web Page, sound off!
Thank you, Lowell for sending in this article, which again states what fine ship the Hancock really was.
For other Sentiments similar to this one go here
USS Hancock Vietnam War Deployment History - 1964 - 1975
Bits and Pieces of our
Collective Hancock Experience
that makes up the Hancock Mystique