Shipmates, it's interesting to note that HANCOCK was originally laid-down as TICONDEROGA, and the name was on her keel plate, and later changed to HANCOCK.

It's also interesting to note that TICONDEROGA was originally laid-down as HANCOCK, text and image courtesy of Wikipedia Online Free Encyclopedia. Please visit the website for more information, or follow links below.

The ship was laid down as Hancock on 1 February 1943 at Newport News, Virginia, by the Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co.; renamed Ticonderoga on 1 May 1943, launched on 7 February 1944, sponsored by Miss Stephanie Sarah Pell, and commissioned at the Norfolk Navy Yard on 8 May 1944, Captain Dixie Kiefer in command. The name itself refers to the historic Fort Ticonderoga which played a part in early American history. It was to become the lead ship of the Ticonderoga class, though it and other ships of this class are often subsumed into the Essex class carriers.

Ticonderoga remained at Norfolk for almost two months outfitting and embarking Air Group 89. On 26 June, the carrier shaped a course for the British West Indies. She conducted air operations and drills en route and reached Port of Spain, Trinidad, on the 30th. For the next 15 days, Ticonderoga trained intensively to weld her air group and crew into an efficient wartime team. She departed the West Indies on 16 July and headed back to Norfolk where she arrived on the 22d. Eight days later, the carrier headed for Panama. She transited the Panama Canal on 4 September and steamed up the coast to San Diego the following day. On the 13th, the carrier moored at San Diego where she loaded provisions, fuel, aviation gas, and an additional 77 planes, as well as the Marine Corps aviation and defense units that went with them. On the 19th she steamed for Hawaii where she arrived five days later.

Ticonderoga remained at Pearl Harbor for almost a month. She and Carina (AK-74) conducted experiments in the underway transfer of aviation bombs from cargo ship to aircraft carrier. Following those tests, she conducted air operations - day and night landing and antiaircraft defense drills - until 18 October when she exited Pearl Harbor and headed for the western Pacific. After a brief stop at Eniwetok, Ticonderoga arrived at Ulithi Atoll in the Western Carolines on the 29th. There she embarked Rear Admiral Arthur W. Radford, Commander, Carrier Division 6, and joined Task Force 38 as a unit of Rear Admiral Frederick C. Sherman's Task Group 38.3.