U.S. Navy Carrier Air Group Organization
(1939-1945)

(Updated 14 January 2017)

Resources/Bibliography:

U.S. Navy Naval Aeronautic Organization Sheets from 1923-1952 (LINK to NHHC Website)

1 July 1938 Organization (Fiscal Year 1939) (2.1 MB PDF)
1 July 1939 Organization (Fiscal Year 1940) (4.7 MB PDF)

Aviation Spare Allowances for FY1939/40:

Carriers/Ship Based: 50% Spare Airplane Allowance
Patrol Planes: 25% Spare Airplane Allowance
Fleet Marine Force: 50% Spare Airplane Allowance
NAS Pensacola: 20% Spare Airplane Allowance
Other Squadrons/Units: No Spare Airplane Allowance.

Standard Carrier Air Group (Lexington Class/Yorktown Class/Wasp)

1 x Fighter Squadron (18 x VF, 1 x VSB, 2 x VM)
1 x Bombing Squadron (18 x VB)
1 x Scouting Squadron (18 x VSB)
1 x Torpedo Squadron (18 x VTB)
1 x Utility Unit (3 x VSO, 2 x VJ, 1 x VSB*)
NOTE: * In FY1940, the utility units picked up an extra VSB for the air group commander's personal plane.

Small Carrier Air Group (Ranger)

1 x Fighter Squadron (18 x VF, 1 x VSB, 2 x VM)
1 x Bombing Squadron (18 x VB)
2 x Scouting Squadrons (18 x VSB each, for 36 x VSB)
1 x Utility Unit (3 x VSO, 2 x VJ, 1 x VSB*)
NOTE: * In FY1940, the utility units picked up an extra VSB for the air group commander's personal plane.

1 February 1941 Organization (Fiscal Year 1941) (1.9 MB PDF)

Aviation Spare Allowances for FY41:

Carriers/Ship Based: 50% Spare Airplane Allowance
Patrol Planes: 25% Spare Airplane Allowance
Fleet Marine Force: 50% Spare Airplane Allowance
NAS Pensacola, Corpus Christi, Miami, and Jacksonville: 20% Spare Airplane Allowance
Other Squadrons/Units: No Spare Airplane Allowance.

Lexington Class Carrier Air Group

1 x Fighter Squadron (18 x VF, 2 x VM)
1 x Bombing Squadron (21 x VSB)
1 x Scouting Squadron (21 x VSB)
1 x Torpedo Squadron (12 x VTB)
1 x Utility Unit (3 x VSO, 2 x VJ, 1 x VSB)

Yorktown Class Carrier Air Group

1 x Fighter Squadron (18 x VF, 2 x VM)
1 x Bombing Squadron (18 x VB)
1 x Scouting Squadron (18 x VSB)
1 x Torpedo Squadron (18 x VTB)
1 x Utility Unit (3 x VSO, 2 x VJ, 1 x VSB)

Wasp Class Carrier Air Group

2 x Fighter Squadrons (18 x VF, 2 x VM each, for a total of 36 x VF and 4 x VM)
2 x Scouting Squadrons (15 x VSB, 3 x VTB each, for a total of 30 x VSB and 6 x VTB)
1 x Utility Unit (3 x VSO, 2 x VJ, 1 x VSB)

2 November 1940 Organization (Fiscal Year 1942)

Aviation Spare Allowances for FY42:

Carriers/Ship Based: 100% Spare Airplane Allowance
Patrol Planes: 50% Spare Airplane Allowance
Utility Planes: 25% Spare Aircraft Allowance
Fleet Marine Force: 100% Spare Airplane Allowance
NAS Pensacola, Corpus Christi, Miami, and Jacksonville: 20% Spare Airplane Allowance
Inner Patrol Squadrons: 100% Spare Airplane Allowance.
Other Squadrons/Units: No Spare Airplane Allowance.

Fleet Carrier Air Group A (Lexington, Saratoga, Yorktown, Enterprise)

1 x Fighter Squadron (27 x VF, 3 x VM)*
1 x Bombing Squadron (18 x VSB)
1 x Scouting Squadron (18 x VSB)
1 x Torpedo Squadron (18 x VTB)
1 x Utility Unit (3 x VSO, 2 x VJ, 1 x VSB)
Note: To be increased from 18 to 27 planes about 1 October 1941.

Fleet Carrier Air Group B (Wasp)

1 x Fighter Squadron (18 x VF, 1 x VSB, 2 x VM)
1 x Bombing Squadron (18 x VSB)
2 x Scouting Squadrons (18 x VSB each, for 36 x VSB total)
1 x Utility Unit (3 x VSO, 2 x VJ, 1 x VSB)

Fleet Carrier Air Group C (Hornet)

1 x Fighter Squadron (27 x VF, 1 x VSB, 2 x VM)
1 x Bombing Squadron (18 x VSB)
1 x Scouting Squadron (18 x VSB)
1 x Torpedo Squadron (18 x VSB) (Until 18 x VTB can be found)
1 x Utility Unit (3 x VSO, 2 x VJ, 1 x VSB)

FY1943 (148~ KB PDF)

The Fiscal Year 1943 organization is incomplete, being a single page of existing and proposed Navy Aeronautical Squadrons. Such are the throws of the dice for historical archival research.

31 March 1944 Organization (2.1 MB PDF)

Large Carrier Air Group (48 x F7F, 36 x SB2C, 37 x TBF)

Medium Carrier Air Group A (CV-4 Ranger) (27 x F6F, 30 x SB2C, 10 x TBF)
Medium Carrier Air Group B (All Others) (36 x F4F, 36 x SB2C, 19 x TBF)

Light Carrier Air Group (24 x F6F, 9 x TBF)

Escort Carrier (Sangamon) Air Group (24 x FM, 9 x TBF)
Escort Carrier (C3/Kaiser) Atlantic Fleet Air Group (9 x FM, 12 x TBF)
Escort Carrier (C3/Kaiser) Pacific Fleet Air Group (18 x FM, 12 x TBF)

30 April 1944 Organization (17.1 MB PDF)

Large Carrier Air Group (48 x F4U, 36 x SB2C, 37 x TBF)

Medium Carrier Air Group A (36 x F4U, 36 x SB2C, 19 x TBF) (For CVG-85 on Shangri-La and CVG-84)
Medium Carrier Air Group B (36 x F6F, 36 x SB2C, 19 x TBF) (All Others)

Light Carrier Air Group (24 x F6F, 9 x TBF)

Escort Carrier (Sangamon) Air Group (24 x FM, 9 x TBF)
Escort Carrier (C3/Kaiser) Atlantic Fleet Air Group (9 x FM, 12 x TBF)
Escort Carrier (C3/Kaiser) Pacific Fleet Air Group (15 x FM, 9 x TBF)

30 June 1944 Organization (2 MB PDF)

Large Carrier Air Group (49 x F4U, 36 x SB2C, 36 x TBF)

Medium Carrier Air Group A (37 x F6F, 24 x SB2C, 18 TBF) (All Others)
Medium Carrier Air Group B (37 x F4U, 24 x SB2C, 18 TBF) (CVG-7 Hancock and CVG 85 Shangri La)

Light Carrier Air Group (24 x F6F, 9 x TBF)

Escort Carrier (Sangamon) Air Group (24 x FM, 9 x TBF)
Escort Carrier (C3/Kaiser) Atlantic Fleet Air Group (9 x FM, 12 x TBF)
Escort Carrier (C3/Kaiser) Pacific Fleet Air Group (15 x FM, 9 x TBF)

31 August 1944 Organization (2~ MB PDF)

Large Carrier Air Group (49 x F4U, 36 x SB2C, 36 x TBF)

Medium Carrier Air Group (51 x Fighters, 24 x SB2C, 18 TBM)
Night Medium Carrier Air Group (36 x F6F(N), 27 x TBM)

Light Carrier Air Group (24 x F6F, 9 x TBM)
Night Light Carrier Air Group (16 x F6F(N), 9 x TBM)

Escort Carrier (Sangamon) Air Group (18 x F6F, 12 x TBM)
Escort Carrier (C3/Kaiser) Atlantic Fleet Air Group (9 x FM, 12 x TBM)
Escort Carrier (C3/Kaiser) Pacific Fleet Air Group (16 x FM, 12 x TBM)

31 December 1944 Organization (2.8~ MB PDF)

Large Carrier Air Group (97 x F4U, 44 x SB2C)

Medium Carrier Air Group (33 x F6F, 4 x F6F(N), 36 x F4U, 15 x SB2C, 15 x TBM)
Night Medium Carrier Air Group A (16 x F6F, 17 x F6F(N), 27 x TBM) (Enterprise)
Night Medium Carrier Air Group B (24 x F6F, 33 x F6F(N), 18 x TBM) (Saratoga)

Light Carrier (Independence) Air Group (24 x F6F, 9 x TBM)
Light Carrier (Saipan) Air Group (36 x F6F, 12 x TBM)

Escort Carrier (Sangamon) Air Group (18 x F6F, 12 x TBM)

Escort Carrier (C3/Kaiser) Atlantic Fleet Air Group (3 x FM, 16 x TBM)
Escort Carrier (C3/Kaiser) Pacific Fleet Air Group (16 x FM, 12 x TBM)

30 April 1945 Organization (2.4~ MB PDF)

Large Carrier Air Group A (97 x F4U, 48 x SB2C) (Standard)
Large Carrier Air Group B (24 x F8F, 73 x F4U, 32 x F7F) (Alternate)

Medium Carrier Air Group (33 x F6F, 4 x F6F(N), 36 x F4U, 15 x SB2C, 15 x TBM)
Night Medium Carrier Air Group (1 x F6F, 36 x F6F(N), 18 x TBM)

Light Carrier (Independence) Air Group (24 x F6F, 9 x TBM)
Light Carrier (Saipan) Air Group (36 x F6F, 12 x TBM)

Escort Carrier (Sangamon) Air Group (18 x F6F, 12 x TBM)
Night Escort Carrier (Sangamon) Air Group (12 x F6F(N), 12 x TBM)

Escort Carrier (C3/Kaiser) Atlantic Fleet Air Group (3 x FM, 16 x TBM)
Escort Carrier (C3/Kaiser) Pacific Fleet Air Group (16 x FM, 12 x TBM)

31 July 1945 Organization (3.1~ MB PDF)

Large Carrier Air Group (65 x F4U, 4 x F6F(P), 4 x F6F(N), 64 x SB2C)

Medium Carrier Air Group A (49 x F6F, 4 x F6F(P), 4 x F6F(N), 24 x SB2C, 20 x TBM)
Medium Carrier Air Group B (49 x F4U, 4 x F6F(P), 4 x F6F(N), 24 x SB2C, 20 x TBM)
Medium Carrier Air Group C (31 x F6F, 2 x F6F(P), 4 x F6F(N), 36 x F4U, 15 x SB2C, 15 x TBM)
Medium Carrier Air Group D (67 x F6F, 2 x F6F(P), 4 x F6F(N), 15 x SB2C, 15 x TBM)
Medium Carrier Air Group E (67 x F4U, 2 x F6F(P), 4 x F6F(N), 15 x SB2C, 15 x TBM)
Night Medium Carrier Air Group (1 x F6F(P), 36 x F6F(N), 18 TBM(N) )

Light Carrier (Independence) Air Group A (34 x F6F, 2 x F6F(P) )
Light Carrier (Independence) Air Group B (34 x F4U, 2 x F6F(P) )
Light Carrier (Independence) Air Group C (22 x F6F, 2 x F6F(P), 9 x TBM)
Light Carrier (Saipan) Air Group (46 x F6F, 2 x F6F(P) )

Escort Carrier (Sangamon) Air Group A (16 x F6F, 2 x F6F(P), 12 x TBM)
Escort Carrier (Sangamon) Air Group B (16 x F4U, 2 x F6F(P), 12 x TBM)
Night Escort Carrier (Sangamon) Air Group C (12 x F6F(N), 12 x TBM(N) )

Escort Carrier (C3/Kaiser) Air Group A (18 x FM, 2 x FM(P), 8 x TBM, 1 x TBM(P) )
Escort Carrier (C3/Kaiser) Air Group B
(10 x FM, 2 x FM(P), 14 x TBM, 1 x TBM(P) )
Escort Carrier (C3/Kaiser) Air Group C
(14 x FM, 2 x FM(P), 12 x TBM)
Escort Carrier (C3/Kaiser) Air Group D
(3 x FM, 16 x TBM)

Notes: It was the ultimate intention of the US Navy to replace the F6F with either the F4U or F8F. The 30 September 1945 Schedule has the F8F as a 1:1 alternate for the F6F, and there is also the following text:

Until F4U(P) and F4U(N) are available, F6F(P) and F6F(N) must be substituted.”

30 September 1945 Organization (2~ MB PDF)

Large Carrier Air Group (65 x F4U, 4 x F4U(P), 4 x F4F(N), 64 x SB2C) *

* – “Until F4U(P) and F4U(N) are available, F6F(P) and F6F(N) must be substituted.”

(Post-War) Medium Carrier Air Group A (49 x F6F, 4 x F6F(P), 4 x F6F(N), 24 x SB2C, 20 x TBM)
(Post-War) Medium Carrier Air Group B
(49 x F4U, 4 x F4U(P), 4 x F4U(N), 24 x SB2C, 20 x TBM)*

* – “Until F4U(P) and F4U(N) are available, F6F(P) and F6F(N) must be substituted.”

(Other) Medium Carrier Air Group C (31 x F6F, 2 x F6F(P), 4 x F6F(N), 36 x F4U, 15 x SB2C, 15 x TBM)
(Other) Medium Carrier Air Group D
(67 x F6F, 2 x F6F(P), 4 x F6F(N), 15 x SB2C, 15 x TBM)
(Other) Medium Carrier Air Group E
(67 x F4U, 2 x F6F(P), 4 x F6F(N), 15 x SB2C, 15 x TBM)

Night Medium Carrier Group (1 x F6F(P), 36 x F6F(N), 18 x TBM)

Light Carrier Air Group A (34 x F6F, 2 x F6F(P) )
Light Carrier Air Group B (22 x F6F, 2 x F6F(P), 9 x TBM)

(Post-War) Escort Carrier Air Group A (16 x F6F, 2 x F6F(P), 12 x TBM)
(Other) Escort Carrier Air Group B (16 x F6F, 2 x F6F(P), 12 x TBM)
(Night) Escort Carrier Air Group C (12 x F6F(N), 12 x TBM)

CVE Kaiser Composite Squadrons A (18 x FM, 2 x FM(P), 8 x TBM, 1 x TBM (P) )
CVE Kaiser Composite Squadrons B (10 x FM, 2 x FM(P), 14 x TBM, 1 x TBM (P) )
CVE Kaiser Composite Squadrons C (14 x FM, 2 x FM(P), 12 x TBM)
CVE Kaiser Composite Squadrons D
(3 x FM, 16 x TBM)

USMC CVE Group A (16 x F4U, 2 x F4U(P), 12 x TBM)
USMC CVE Group B (16 x F6F, 2 x F6F(P), 12 x TBM)
USMC CVE Group C (8 x F4U, 2 x F6F(P), 12 x TBM)