Franklin D. Roosevelt Library
Map Room Papers, 1941-1945

Box 162
Folder: Naval Aide's Files
(A1-1) Habbakuks (Floating Airdromes for Asia Theatre) July 1942-January 1945

A1-3

COMINCH FILE

SECRET

UNITED STATES FLEET
OFFICE OF THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF
NAVY DEPARTMENT. WASHINGTON, D. C




1 AUGUST 1942

MEMORANDUM FOR:       THE PRESIDENT

Subject:             Your memorandum of July 27 requesting additional
                         information in connection with the new Navy Shipbuilding
                         Program authorized in H.R. 7184.

1. The subject program which we desire to contract for immediately is a "tailing on" program and not in any way additional ship construction to be superimposed on the current program. See Exhibit A attached hereto predicting completions on the current program in black type and for the new program in red type.

2. The reasons for this are given below in detail but there is one paramount reason which should be stated at once. The entire material allocation of the country is being planned at the present time and it is necessary to include this building program in it and to order all material so that the shipbuilders and manufacturers can make orderly long-range plans. A partial release will not accomplish this purpose.

3. The plan contemplates keeping the existing shipyard ways and facilities, as well as manufacturing plants, operating at their current capacity. No additional shipyard facilities or manufacturing facilities are contemplated. I feel very strongly that facility expansions should be radically curtailed or stopped in order to best promote our defense effort.

4. In order to operate at capacity without serious interruption of production, it is necessary to place contracts sufficiently in advance to insure a continuous flow of materials and thus full utilization of labor and machine tools. It is necessary to place material orders several months in advance of keel laying. Many industrial plants supplying armament, equipment and machinery for ships run out of work well in advance of the shipyards and now require additional orders to prevent a curtailment or stoppage of work in their plants. The term "equipment and machinery" is meant to include all items such as armor, guns, turrets, turbines, gears, shafting, stern posts, boilers, pumps, compressors, etc.

5. With special reference to your question as to deliveries on the 420 escort vessels, shown in red type which are additional to the 300 now under construction shown in black type, and 100 destroyers, shown in red type which are additional to the 221 destroyers now under construction, the general remarks as noted above apply equally as well to these vessels and deliveries are shown on Exhibit A. The same industrial facilities are used for the manufacture of equipment and machinery for the various types of vessels, so it is essential, in order to allow orderly planning to accomplish the program in the minimum time and to prevent confusion and delays, that the program as a whole be set up at one time.

6. This program is a vital part of an integrated war program and represents a decision arrived at during discussions extending over the past several months as to the number and types of Naval vessels necessary to best meet our defense effort. To substitute or superimpose another program such as the building of a number of fast transports could only end up in serious delays. The Army and Navy now have 87 transports in operation, now undergoing conversion or building and duo for early completion, having en approximate capacity for carrying 140,384 officers and men on a single lift, and in addition have under construction by the Maritime Commission 56 transports with a speed of from 16-1/2 to 19 knots, capable of carrying approximately 285,000 troops. Exhibit B shows the predicted completion of the transports now under construction.

7. The Chief of Staff was present at the conference which dealt with those matters and concurred in the view that capacity to transport some 425,000 troops in one lift, when combined with the necessary parallel lift of impedimenta and munitions, would suffice, because the cargo-ship part of the troop-cargo ratio will be below that required for such a troop-lift (425,000).

8. Your approval is requested.

/S/
E.J. KING

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

CONFIDENTIAL



COMPLETION BY QUARTERS

July 28, 1942
(745)


1942

1943

1944

1945

1946


3

4

1

2

3

4

1

2

3

4

1

2

3

4

1

2

1     Battleship – Alabama


1















6           Iowa Class (45,000)




1

1




1

1


1


1



2     Large Cruiser – Alaska Class








1

1








8     Heavy Cruiser – Baltimore Class
17



1

1

1

1



2

1
2

1



6


6


2


1

24     Light Cruiser – Cleveland Class
16               Mod. Cleveland

2

3

1


3

2


3

3
5

2
2

2
3


5

1
1


2


4     Light Cruiser – San Juan Class
3




1

1




1

1



1


1




1

9     Aircraft Carrier – Ex. CL Class


1

1

2

3


1

1









13          Essex Class
10


1

3

1

0

2

1

3


2
2


2




2


3


1

4     New Design (45,000)













2

1

1


36     Aircraft Carriers – Total


2

4

3

3

2

2

4


4

2


2

3

4

1

47     Destroyers – 1620-30 Class

14

20

11

2













170                         2050 Class

7

19

18

31

29

34

19

8

5

1




2



4                    Mod. 2050 Class
100








3
3

1
14


17


21


21


14


7


3


321     Destroyers – Total

21

39

29

33

29

34

19

14

20

18

21

21

14

9

3


117     Escort Vessels – 24 Knots
158

0

0

3

12

26

31

27
14

14
34

2
47

2
46

0
17






183                               19 Knots
262

0

4

19

42

46
7

36
22

25
38

7
52

3
61

1
59

0
23






720     Escort Vessels – Totals


4

22

54

79

89

104

107

113

108

40






204     Submarines

8

12

9

14

14

18

22

22

25

22

16

12

10

1



Totals

31

61

66

107

131

146

147

151

171

161

85

40

35

20

11

3

NOTE: Black - Old Program
Red - New Program


EXHIBIT "A"
Scheduling & Statistics Branch (745)
Bureau of Ships - Navy Department