U.S. Navy Ship Silhouettes

The WWII U.S. Navy manual FM 30-50: Recognition Pictorial Manual of Naval Vessels contained the following U.S. ship silhouettes showing the relative size of the various classes of aircraft carriers, battleships, cruisers, and destroyers.

WW2 U.S. Navy Battleships and Cruisers

WW2 U.S. Navy Aircraft Carriers and Destroyers

From top to bottom, ships shown are

  • Battleships-BB: Iowa; South Dakota Class; Nevada; North Carolina Class; Pennsylvania; Tennessee; Colorado Class; New Mexico Class; New York Class; Arkansas
  • Heavy Cruisers-CA: Northampton Class; New Orleans Class; Portland Class; Pensacola Class; Wichita; Baltimore Class
  • Light Cruisers-CL: Atlanta Class; Omaha Class; St. Louis; Brooklyn Class; Cleveland Class
  • Aircraft Carriers-CV-CVL-CVE: Saratoga-CA; Essex Class-CV; Enterprise-CV; Ranger-CV; Independence Class-CVL; Bogue, Sangamon, Prince William Classes-CVE; Long Island-CVE; Casablanca-CVE; Charger-CVE
  • Destroyers-DD: Mahan-Dunlap Classes; Gridley-Bagley Classes; Benham-Sims Classes; Benson-Livermore Classes; Fletcher Class; Porter Class; Somers Class; Farragut Class; Fletcher (Catapult) Class; Flush Deck Type; DE-1; DE-51

Source: FM 30-50: Recognition Pictorial Manual of Naval Vessels, U.S. Navy Department, September 1943.

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4 comments to U.S. Navy Ship Silhouettes

  • InTheNavy

    Thanks for taking the time to post this.

  • That shows how big the Essexes were in comparison to Saratoga – Sara *looked* longer to me, but the CV-9s were almost as long. Also shows how much the island/funnel design was slimmed down from the Yorktowns to the Essex.

  • Anonymous

    I was in the Navy, job selection was slim because I am colorblind, became a Corpsman & picked a specialty that wasn’t needed much “in the fleet,” but I did fill-in for a guy who worked on an LHD during one deployment. His wife was 8 months pregnant & he didn’t want to risk missing it, because they couldn’t tell anybody where we were going or for how long until we got underweigh.

    I’ll never forget the feeling I got walking into that shipyard in Norfolk & seeing the amphibious ships and aircraft carriers there. I had seen destroyers and battleships before, but they are nothing in comparison to the awesome scale of the big ships. You look at them and it doesn’t make sense how something that large, made out of steel can ever float. I spent a month on board the LHD & never got to explore most if it, they are just so big. They pull these giant ships up near land, open a giant trap door on the front, and deploy hovercrafts filled with Marines onto the beach.

    I believe our Naval fleet alone is larger than the rest of the world’s fleets combined(?). Let us pray that we always maintain that domination, and that we use it as a force for good.

    The strangest part of the whole experience was when we were coming back in to port in VA, the CO personally made an announcement over the PA that a bar in Norfolk that was known to be a hangout for special forces was bombed while we were gone, killing a dozen servicemen etc. He advised us of an area to avoid… yet there was never any mention of this in the media. This was around Spring 2000.

  • Greg

    I have a old porthole that I believe came off a US Navy WW2 ship. The outer Diameter is 16 1/2 inches, the double glass is 12 inches, it has 4 dogs. I believe it is brass and weights about 45 lbs. Can anyone advise me, or point me in the right direction of identifying the ship this might have come off of.

    Thank you