FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT LIBRARY
PRESIDENT'S SECRETARY FILE
SERIES 4: DEPARTMENTAL CORRESPONDENCE
BOX 59
FOLDER: Navy, July - December 1941

UNITED STATES SENATE
–––––
MEMORANDUM

To Adm. Stark.

I shall not bother the President with this. I have told Adm. Robinson to go ahead on program as outlined.

[illegible signature]

NAVY DEPARTMENT
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS
WASHINGTON

December 11, 1941

MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT

I consider it imperative that, for the next few years, we utilize our naval shipbuilding capacity to the utmost, by laying down new ships as soon as building ways are made available by the launching of ships in the current naval building program. Some building ways will become available in March 1942.

On this basis the appended tables show the additional combatant ships that can be laid down within the calendar years 1943, 1943 and 1944, without interference with the present naval or merchant shipbuilding programs.

These tables are based on information available in November 1941 and do not fully take into account the effects of the recently ordered speed-up in our current naval program. Undoubtedly this speed-up will permit some advancement, particularly in the latter part of this supplementary program, but it is too early to make an accurate estimate of its effects.

This supplementary program does not include any battleships because it appears impracticable to include them without interference with current building programs.

The progress of the war may dictate some modification of the numbers and types presented in these tables.

It is respectfully recommended that immediate authorization be obtained to build 900,000 additional tons of combatant ships. It is further recommended that this authorization permit transfer, within the total of 900,000 tons, of tonnage from one type to another as war experience may dictate.

/S/
H.R. STARK

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In Reply Refer to Initials and No.
Op-10-MD

NAVY DEPARTMENT
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS
WASHINGTON

December 13, 1941

Dear Mr. President:

We have very carefully gone over your thoughts as presented by Jack on the Carrier Program.

First, I would bring to your attention the fact that we have six C-3 merchant type vessels being built by the Maritime Commission (one just delivered) now being converted to LONG ISLANDS for the British. The flight deck extended to full length of the ship.

Second, the British have asked us for nine more converted ships of this type.

Third, we are looking into the additional fifteen for ourselves.

Getting these twenty-four additional vessels will be at the expense of the Allied shipping situation, with which you are familiar. We are taking this up with Land and of course under the new setup, Harry will be in this.

Now as to the Carrier Program (additional to the above) which we sent over:– both Newport News and New York Ship have reversed their previous statements that they could build HORNETS, that is, 21,000 ton ships, more quickly than they could ESSEX type of 27,500 ton type; this for the reason that the ESSEX type is now in production, is easier and quicker to build, and sources of supply of materials are fully developed. The reason that they are easier and quicker to build is:– the construction is simple and the ship can be erected quicker since the parts go together better. The ESSEX type has been specially engineered for rapid production by making the maximum use of welding. This was not done on the HORNET type. A redesign of the HORNET type to permit welding would mean much delay.

The small RANGER-WASP type has very inferior protection against under-water damage. They are really very vulnerable.

The ESSEX is much superior to either the HORNET or the RANGER. It has a much more reliable engineering plant and far better under-water protection.

You will remember when you called me over the phone I told you all dates referred to calendar years; that is correct. In making up the typewritten sheet, an error was made in using the term "fiscal" year.

We are working on the assumption that you approve the overall 900,000 tons and are sending over a bill for your approval.

It is my understanding that Senator Walsh and Congressman Vinson are prepared to push the bill through, once you approve.

The General Board, Bureau of Ships, and Bureau of Aeronautics concur with me in the recommendation that we build ships of the 27,500 ton ESSEX class.

/S/
H.R. STARK

The President
           The White House

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SHIPBUILDING DIVISION (745)
BUREAU OF SHIPS
NAVY DEPARTMENT

NOVEMBER 14, 1941

EXTENSION TO CURRENT BUILDING PROGRAM


1942

1943 (1ST HALF

1943 (2ND HALF

1944

1945

1946

1947

TOTAL


LAY DOWN

COMPLETE NO.

LAY DOWN

COMPLETE NO.

LAY DOWN

COMPLETE NO.

LAY DOWN

COMPLETE NO.

COMPLETE NO.

COMPLETE NO.

COMPLETE NO.

NO.

TONNAGE

NO.

TONNAGE

NO.

TONNAGE

NO.

TONNAGE

NO.

TONNAGE

AIRCRAFT CARRIERS (CV)

1

21,000





1

21,000




1

1



2

42,000

CV

AIRCRAFT CARRIERS (CV)

1

28,455


1

28,455


2

56,910


2

56,910


2

2

2

6

170,730

CV

LARGE CRUISERS (CB)










5

141,750



2

3

5

141,750

CB

LIGHT CRUISERS (CL)

2

21,000 OK


4

42,000 OK


1

10,500


11

115,500

2

6

10


18

189,000

CL

LIGHT CRUISERS (CL)







1

6,300





1



1

6,300

CL

DESTROYERS (DD)

11

24,255 OK


38

83,790 OK

1

35

77,175

4



62

17



84

185,220

DD

DESTROYERS (DD)

2

3,424 OK


8

13,696 OK

2

8

13,696

4



12




18

30,816

DD

SUBMARINES (SS)

   7   

   11,214  OK


   10   

   16,020 OK

         

   14   

   22,428   

   7   

   23   

   36,846   

   14   

   33   

         

         

   54   

   86,508   

SS


24

109,348


61

183,961

3

62

208,009

15

41

351,006

91

60

14

5

188

852,324


TOTALS

24

109,348


85

293,309


147

501,318


188

852,324








NOTE: THE ABOVE TOTAL TONNAGES HAVE BEEN INCREASED BY APPROXIMATELY FIVE PER CENT (5%) ABOVE THE DESIGNATED UNIT TONNAGES NOW UNDER CONSTRUCTION TO TAKE CARE OF WAR DEVELOPMENTS.

ESTIMATED COSTS PER INCREMENT INCREASE

1942

1943 (1ST HALF)

1943 (2ND HALF)

1944

TOTAL


UNIT COST

NO.

COST

NO.

COST

NO.

COST

NO.

COST

NO.

AMOUNT

CV AIRCRAFT CARRIERS

$55,000,000

1

$55,000,000



1

55,000,000



2

110,000,000

CV AIRCRAFT CARRIERS

$84,840,000

1

$84,840,000

1

$84,840,000

2

169,680,000

2

169,680,000

6

509,040,000

CB LARGE CRUISERS

84,587,000







5

422,935,000

5

422,935,000

CL LIGHT CRUISERS

40,844,000

2

$81,688,000

4

163,376,000

1

40,844,000

11

449,284,000

18

735,192,000

CL LIGHT CRUISERS

30,000,000





1

30,000,000



1

30,000,000

DD DESTROYERS

14,634,000

11

160,974,000

38

556,092,000

35

512,190,000



84

1,229,256,000

DD DESTROYERS

12,000,000

2

24,000,000

8

96,000,000

8

96,000,000



18

216,000,000

SS SUBMARINES

   7,629,000   

      7      

   53,403,000   

      10      

     76,290,000     

     14     

    106,806,000    

        23        

    175,467,000    

        54        

    411,966,000    

      TOTALS


24

$459,905,000

61

976,598,000

62

1,010,520,000

41

1,217,366,000

188

3,664,389,000

      GRAND TOTALS




85

$1,436,503,000

147

$2,447,023,000

188

$3,664,389,000



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CONFIDENTIAL

December 12, 1941

PROPOSED EXTENSION TO CURRENT BUILDING
PLAN

CALENDAR YEAR 1942

Type

Number That Can Be Laid Down In 1942

Tonnage by Type

Estimated Completion In:

1943

1944

1945

1946

1947

CV-9 Class

2

56,910


1

1



CL-55 (Cleveland Class)

2

21,000


2




DD

13

28,665

7

6




SS

7

11,214

7





1942 Total

24

117,789






CALENDAR YEAR 1943

Type

Number That Can Be Laid Down In 1943

Tonnage by Type

Estimated Completion In:

1943

1944

1945

1946

1947

CV-9 Class

4

113,820



2

2


CL-55 (Cleveland Class)

7

73,500



5

2


CL51 (Atlanta Class)

1

6,300



1



DD

89

194,273

4

68

17



SS

47

75,294


14

33



1943 Total

148

463,187






CALENDAR YEAR 1944

Type

Number That Can Be Laid Down In 1944

Tonnage by Type

Estimated Completion In:

1943

1944

1945

1946

1947

CV-9 Class

2

56,970





2

CB (Alaska Class)

5

141,750




2

3

CL-55

9

94,500



1

8


1944 Total

16

293,160






Three Year Total

188

874,136

Keels to be laid in 1944 not included in contract awards now being made but the authorization granted should be for the entire amount of tonnage, i.e., 874,136 (rounded off to 900,000).

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In reply address not the signer
of this letter but Bureau of Aeronautics,
Navy Department, Washington D.C.

Refer to No. Aer-1-GB
                 CV

CONFIDENTIAL

NAVY DEPARTMENT
BUREAU OF AERONAUTICS
WASHINGTON

12 December 1941

MEMORANDUM to THE CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS

SUBJECT:          Large versus small aircraft carriers.

1.Many studies of subject matter have been made by the Navy Department, in the most recent of which it has been necessary to take careful cognizance of the following factors which vitally affect design and displacement features:

(a) The increasing size, power, weight, and endurance of modern carrier airplanes.
(b) The increased take-off run necessary to launch these planes and corresponding increase in landing speed.
(c) Increased storage space required for fuel, oil, weapons, and other supplies incident to subparagraph (a) above.
(d) The need for heavily armored decks to protect hangar spaces from the lighter bombs and the vital spaces below the protective deck from penetration by heavy bombs.
(e) Sufficient beam to permit the degree of compartmentation needed to insure good water-tight integrity and damage control incident to under-water damage by mines or torpedoes.
(f) The vital necessity for high speed, thus requiring for any given tonnage large boiler and engine room spaces with corresponding reduction in spaces available for aircraft, their accessories, and supplies.
(g) Large, fast elevators needed to accommodate the latest planes and to accelerate their handling to and from the flight deck.
(h) Greatly increased anti-aircraft installations which of necessity encroach on the flight deck areas otherwise available for the operation and handling of airplanes.

2. Consideration of the foregoing leads to a strong case for the large carrier; by "large" is meant a type of the minimum overall dimensions and displacement of the ESSEX class, i.e.,

Standard displacement......27,000 tons
Trial displacement.............33,700 tons
Length............................. 820 ft.
Beam............................... 93 ft.
Speed ............................ 33 knots plus.

3. This type is capable of carrying a balanced complement of airplanes of formidable offensive potentialities (fighter, bomber, and torpedo) and has embodied characteristics which give for its displacement the maximum degree of security, protection, and flexibility of operation to its aircraft.

/S/
J.H. Towers