Franklin D Roosevelt Library
The President's Secretary's File (PSF), 1933-1945
Series 4: Departmental Correspondence
Box 62
Folder: Navy - Knox, Frank, 1942-1945

THE WHITE HOUSE
WASHINGTON

May 22, 1942

MEMORANDUM FOR
THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY

I wish you and Admiral King would talk with me about this proposed new building program, to be started in 1943 and 1944.

I should like especially to talk over the desirability of building 45,000 ton aircraft carriers; the possibility of cutting the size of 27,000 ton aircraft carriers by four or five thousand tons and putting the saved tonnage into aircraft carriers of approximately twelve to fourteen thousand tons.

Also, I should like to discuss the relative advantages of 13,600 ton heavy cruisers vs. the 11,000 ton heavy cruisers. I am inclined to go along without further ado with the program for the small light cruisers, the destroyers and the escort vessels.

F.D.R.

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PSF Knox

THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY
WASHINGTON

CONFIDENTIAL                                                                                                         5397

May 19, 1942

CONFIDENTIAL
(SC)A1-3/1943-44
(023300A)

My dear Mr. President:

Please note the attached memorandum from Admiral King dealing with the Combatant Ship Building Program for 1943 and 1944.

If this suggested outline meets with your approval, may I have your authority to initiate legislation for this program.

Sincerely yours,

/S/
FRANK KNOX



The President
The White House

Enclosure

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COMINCH FILE
(SC)A1-3(1943-44)

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

MAY 15 1942

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY.

You have approved the 1943-1944 Combatant Ship Building Program. Congressional authorization for this program is necessary at an early date in order to occupy shipbuilding ways becoming available in 1943 and 1944. The program consists of the following:

Type

Unit Tonnage

Number

Total Tonnage

CV   Aircraft Carriers

45,000

4

180,000

CV   Aircraft Carriers

27,100

10

271,000

CA   Heavy Cruisers

13,600

17

231,200

CL   Light Cruisers

11,000

16

176,000

CL   Light Cruisers

6,000

3

18,000

DD   Destroyers

2,100

100

210,000

DE   Escort Vessels

1,400

420

   580,000   

Total



1,674,200

Authorization for 200,000 tons of Naval construction has been obtained by Public Law No. 551, signed by the President on May 13, 1942. This tonnage is intended for submarines and is to occupy all submarine ways becoming available in 1943 and 1944.

The above ship building program contemplates merely a continuation of the present ship building program at the peak rate and not an increase in the peak rate of Naval ship building.

It is considered advisable that Presidential authority be obtained for initiating legislation for this combatant ship building program.

/S/
E.J. KING

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CONFIDENTIAL

May 19, 1942

CONFIDENTIAL
(SC)A1-3/1943-44
(023300A)

My dear Mr. President:

Please note the attached memorandum from Admiral King dealing with the Combatant Ship Building Program for 1943 and 1944.

If this suggested outline meets with your approval, may I have your authority to initiate legislation for this program.

Sincerely yours,

/S/
FRANK KNOX



The President
The White House

Enclosure

Original of this ltr
filed 5/20/42.

This is President's Copy