USS Antietam (CV/CVA/CVS-36) was one of 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers built during and shortly after World War II for the United States Navy. The ship was the second US Navy ship to bear the name, and was named for the American Civil War Battle of Antietam (Maryland). Antietam was commissioned in January 1945, too late to actively serve in World War II. After serving a short time in the Far East, she was decommissioned in 1949. She was soon recommissioned for Korean War service, and in that conflict earned two battle stars. In the early 1950s, she was redesignated an attack carrier (CVA) and then an antisubmarine warfare carrier (CVS). After the Korean War she spent the rest of her career operating in the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Mediterranean. From 1957 until her deactivation, she was the Navy's training carrier, operating out of Florida. Antietam was fitted with a port sponson in 1952 to make her the world's first true angled-deck aircraft carrier. But she received no major modernizations other than this, and thus throughout her career largely retained the classic appearance of a World War II Essex-class ship. She was decommissioned in 1963, and sold for scrap in 1974.
This is a rare picture of the USS Antietam (CV 36) departing unexpectedly and in a hurry from Rotterdam in 1956. The Smit tug "Siberie" is one of the tugs attending. It's certain the picture was taken on departure because there are hardly any spectators. During the fifties, American warships visiting attracted large crowds on arrival. She was summoned to the Eastern Mediterranean due to the outbreak of hostilities between Egypt and UK/France. She joined the 6th. Fleet and assisted in the evacuation of American citizens from Egypt.
Photo : Coll. Robert Smith©