Grand Traverse Lighthouse Giftshop

Lake Michigan’s Aircraft Carriers book


Lake Michigan’s Aircraft Carriers is the story of the USS Wolverine and the USS Sable, two Great Lakes excursion ships converted for use as aircraft carrier training during World War II.  Through the duration of the war, the United States Navy qualified 17,800 pilots for aircraft carrier operation.  Training the pilots on either the Atlantic or the Pacific Ocean would have exposed the training ships to the danger of submarine attack, while requiring the escort of fighting ships that were needed elsewhere.  It would also have involved arming and armoring the ships used for training.  Commander R.F. Whitehead came up with an idea that solved all of these problems.  He suggested doing the training on the protected waters of the Great Lakes.

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