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VT-46 | Torpedo Squadron Forty-Six


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VT-46 | Torpedo Squadron Forty-Six


Another short-lived squadron, Torpedo Forty Six deployed aboard the USS Independence CVL-22 from 13 March 1945 through 14 June 1945. Air Group CVLG-46 was comprised of VT-46 and sister squadron VF-46.


INDEPENDENCE returned to Ulithi 13 March 1945 and got underway next day for operations against Okinawa, last target in the Pacific before Japan itself. She carried out pre-invasion strikes 30 to 31 March, and after the assault 1 April remained off the island supplying Combat Air Patrol and strike aircraft. Her planes shot down numerous enemy planes during the desperate Japanese attacks on the invasion force. INDEPENDENCE remained off Okinawa until 10 June when she sailed for Leyte.


Embroidered on wool.




USS Independence CVL-22


USS Independence (CVL-22) off Hunters Point in June 1944. Independence shows the unusual tumble-home hull form of her class. The deck cargo consists of twin-engined Lockheed PV-1 Ventura patrol bombers en-route to the combat area. USN photo.



Independence (CVL 22) was the lead ship of its class of light aircraft carriers that were critical during the American naval offensive in the Pacific, and later was one of more than 90 vessels assembled as a target fleet for the Bikini Atoll atomic bomb tests in 1946.


Assigned as a target vessel for the Bikini atomic bomb tests (Operation Crossroads), she was placed within one-half mile of ground zero for the 1 July 1946 explosion. She did not sink, however, and after taking part in another explosion on the 25 July was taken to Kwajalein. The highly radioactive hulk was later taken to Pearl Harbor and San Francisco for further tests and was finally sunk in weapons tests off Farallon Islands, off the coast of California, 26 January 1951.



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