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
SECRET

August 12, 1942

MEMORANDUM FOR
                                           THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY

The program of 570 combatant ships is hereby approved with the exception of the 4 New Design 45,000 ton aircraft carriers.

These four are not approved at the present time for two reasons:

1. They will not be completed until the following dates: two in the third quarter of 1945 – three full years from now; one in the fourth quarter of 1945; and the fourth in the first quarter of 1946. To these completion dates it would seem reasonable to add six months each before those ships would be ready to take their places in combat.
2. While these ships would carry over 100 planes apiece, it is by no means determined that one ship of this size would be better tactically than two ships which would carry half the number of planes or three ships which would carry only one-third as many planes.

The 4 New Design 45,000 ton carriers would call for roughly 180,000 tons of steel.

I should, therefore, like to have a study made as to the advisability of building 16 11,000 ton carriers of the slower type, seeking to put into service 8 in 12 months and 8 more in the following 12 months – in other words, 8 carriers by the Autumn of 1943; 8 more by the Autumn of 1944 and the possibility of still another 8 by the autumn of 1945 – at which time we would get the first 2 of these proposed 45,000 ton carriers.

It should be remembered that in the light of history, and on the doctrine of probability, this war may well be over before the lapse of three years.

F.D.R.

Copies to Admiral Leahy and Admiral King

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SECRET

August 10, 1942

MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT

The program of 570 combatant ships which was recently approved by you consists of the following:

4      New design 45,000 ton Aircraft Carriers
10    ESSEX design Aircraft Carriers
17    BALTIMORE design Heavy Cruisers
16    Modified CLEVELAND design Light Cruisers
3      SAN JUAN design Light Cruisers
100  Modified design Destroyers, and
420  Destroyer Escort Vessels.

The attached table shows the estimated completion dates of the previous shipbuilding program in black and the corresponding dates for the additional program in red.

This new extension to the Naval Shipbuilding Program is a "tailing-on" program and will:

(a) Utilize to the best advantage shipbuilding end manufacturing facilities now engaged in Naval Shipbuilding and those facilities becoming available as a result of the indefinite deferment of five (5) large Battleships and four (4) Large Cruisers.
(b) Maintain for all practical purposes the rate of production of Naval vessels which will shortly be obtained under the current Navel program.
(c) Maintain currently expected levels of labor forces and material requirements.
(d) Require no increase in shipbuilding or manufacturing facilities now existing or about to come into production, but will keep these facilities employed to the maximum extent materials will permit.

Mr. Wayne Coy's memorandum of July 6, 1942. gave a complete picture of the Shipbuilding Program, both Naval and Maritime. This memorandum included the new extended Naval Shipbuilding Program, referred to above and the steel plate requirements for the new program. The estimates of the requirements for the Naval Shipbuilding Program given in Mr. Wayne Coy's memorandum remain substantially the same.

The above comments are predicated on no material change in the maximum war effort as now established.

This memorandum has been reviewed and cleared by Admiral Land and Mr. Batt representing Mr. Nelson.

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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

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THE WHITE HOUSE
WASHINGTON

August 8, 1942.

MEMORANDUM FOR
              CAPTAIN McCREA

Can you before Tuesday next get me a very simple one page statement as to the tying in of all this data with the Navy's request for my approval of a program covering ten or twelve additional carriers, four new type 40,000 ton carriers, etc., etc?

Such a program ought to have the approval of Nelson and Land.

F. D. R.

Memo for the Pres –
The Memo you wished
is attached – Navy Rep(?) John McCrea