This is the story of 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 ships to the danger of submarine attack. It would also have required arming and armoring the ships and providing an escort of fighting ships that were needed elsewhere. Commander R. F. Whitehead came up with an idea of doing the training on the protected waters of the Great Lakes. The USS Wolverine and the USS Sable were chosen and thus became the only fresh water, paddle-wheeled, coal-fired aircraft carriers in the history of the world. The author draws upon his collection of vintage photos and a lifetime of research to detail the history of these two great vessels, from their life as cruise ships to their use in the war effort and then to their eventual scrapping.
Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs.