USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CV-42) Patch – Sew On
A 3 15/16″W x 4″H squadron patch of the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CV-42).
USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVB/CVA/CV-42) was the second of three Midway-class aircraft carriers. To her crew, she was known as “Swanky Franky,” “Foo-De-Roo,” or “Rosie,” with the last nickname probably the most popular. Roosevelt spent most of her active deployed career operating in the Mediterranean Sea as part of the United States Sixth Fleet. The ship was decommissioned in 1977 and was scrapped shortly afterward. She was the first aircraft carrier of the United States Navy to be named in honor of a President of the United States.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was laid down at New York Naval Shipyard on 1 December 1943. Sponsor Mrs. John H. Towers, wife of the Deputy Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, christened the ship Coral Sea at the 29 April 1945 launching. On 8 May 1945, President Harry S. Truman approved the Secretary of the Navy’s recommendation to rename the ship Franklin D. Roosevelt in honor of the late president, who had died four weeks earlier.
Roosevelt was commissioned on Navy Day, 27 October 1945, at the New York Naval Shipyard. Capt. Apollo Soucek was the ship’s first commanding officer. During her shakedown cruise, Roosevelt called at Rio de Janeiro from 1 to 11 February 1946 to represent the United States at the inauguration of Brazilian president Eurico Gaspar Dutra, who came aboard for a short cruise. During April and May, Roosevelt participated in Eighth Fleet maneuvers off the East Coast, the Navy’s first major postwar training exercise.
On 21 July 1946, Roosevelt became the first American carrier to operate an all-jet aircraft under controlled conditions. Lieutenant Commander James Davidson, flying the McDonnell XFD-1 Phantom, made a series of successful take-offs and landings as Roosevelt lay off Cape Henry, Virginia. Jet trials continued in November, when Lt. Col. Marion E. Carl, USMC, made two catapult launches, four unassisted take-offs, and five arrested landings in a Lockheed P-80A.
Fleet maneuvers and other training operations in the Caribbean preceded Roosevelt’s first deployment to the Mediterranean, which lasted from August to October 1946. Roosevelt, flying the flag of Rear Admiral John H. Cassady, Commander, Carrier Division 1, led the U.S. Navy force that arrived in Piraeus on 5 September 1946. This visit showed U.S. support for the pro-Western government of Greece, which was locked in a civil war with Communist insurgents. The ship received thousands of visitors during her calls to many Mediterranean ports. This was the first of twenty Mediterranean deployments Roosevelt would make, initiating an American aircraft carrier presence that would develop into the United States Sixth Fleet.
Roosevelt returned to American waters and operated off the East Coast until July 1947, when she entered Norfolk Naval Shipyard for an extensive overhaul. At that time, her quad 40 mm Bofors anti-aircraft guns were replaced by 40 3-inch (76 mm) Mark 22 guns in Mark 33 twin mountings.
From September 1948 to January 1949, Roosevelt undertook a second tour of duty with U.S. Naval Forces, Mediterranean. In 1950, Roosevelt became the first carrier to take nuclear weapons to sea. In September and October 1952, she participated in Operation Mainbrace, the first major NATO exercise in the North Atlantic. Roosevelt operated with other major fleet units, including the aircraft carriers USS Midway, USS Wasp, and HMS Eagle, as well as the battleships USS Wisconsin and HMS Vanguard.
Roosevelt was reclassified CVA-42 on 1 October 1952. On 7 January 1954, she sailed for Puget Sound Naval Shipyard to undergo extensive reconstruction. Too large to pass through the Panama Canal, Roosevelt rounded Cape Horn and arrived at the shipyard on 5 March 1954. She was temporarily decommissioned there for her refit on 23 April 1954.