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Photo # 80-G-K-22688:  USS Forrestal in the Mediterranean Sea, 29 April 1957

Online Library of Selected Images:
U.S. NAVY SHIPS -- Listed by Hull Number

CV -- Aircraft Carriers.
Includes CV, CVA, CVAN, CVB, CVL, CVN, CVS and CVT.
Does not include CVE, CVHE, and CVU.

U.S. Navy aircraft carriers intended to operate with the main fleet were numbered in the "CV" series, which was originated as part of the cruiser ("C") group of designations. During and after World War II, ships in the CV series were frequently given modified designations, including CVA (attack aircraft carrier), CVAN (nuclear-powered attack aircraft carrier), CVB (large aircraft carrier), CVL (small aircraft carrier), CVN (nuclear-powered aircraft carrier), CVS (anti-submarine warfare support aircraft carrier) and CVT (training aircraft carrier). All of these expanded designations were numbered in the original CV series.

World War II also generated a separate number series for aircraft carriers that were intended for auxiliary purposes such as escorting convoys, transporting aircraft and other missions which did not require the high speed of the CV series ships. Originally called Aircraft Escort Vessels (AVG), then Auxiliary Aircraft Carriers (ACV), they were finally termed Escort Aircraft Carriers (CVE). During the mid-1950s, many CVEs were redesignated as Escort Helicopter Aircraft Carriers (CVHE) and Utility Aircraft Carriers (CVU). These retained their original CVE series numbers.

This page provides the hull numbers of all U.S. Navy aircraft carriers numbered in the CV series, with links to those with photos available in the Online Library.

See the list below to locate photographs of individual aircraft carriers.

If the aircraft carrier you want does not have an active link on this page, contact the Photographic Section concerning other research options.

Left Column --
Aircraft Carriers numbered
CV-1 through CV-40:

Right Column --
Aircraft Carriers numbered
CVB-41 through CVN-76:


  • To the best of our knowledge, the Online Library's pictures are all in the Public Domain, and can therefore be freely downloaded and used for any purpose.

  • Some images linked from this page may bear obsolete credit lines citing the organization name: "Naval Historical Center". Effective 1 December 2008 the name should be cited as: "Naval History and Heritage Command".

    If you want higher resolution reproductions than the Online Library's digital images, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

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    Page made 5 May 2002
    New ships added 4 October 2009