Earlier this week, I wrote about 101-year-old Al Oesterle recounting his memories of the sinking of this ship. Here is some more information on the ship.
For part of this background information, click on the USS Princeton label below and go back to my Feb. 23, 2013, blog entry.
The Princeton was laid down as the Cleveland class light cruiser Tallahassee (CL-61) by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation in 1941 and was reclassified as the Independence class light aircraft carrier CV-23 on 16 February 1942. and renamed the Princeton a month later.
It was launched 18 October 1942, sponsored by Margaret Dodds (wife of Princeton President Harold Dodds) and commissioned at Philadelphia 25 February 1943, with Captain George R. Henderson in command.
After a shakedown cruise in the Caribbean Sea and reclassification to CVL-23, the ship, with Air Group 23 got underway for the Pacific and arrived at Pearl Harbor on 9 August. She sortied with TF 11 on August 25 and headed for Baker Island. There she served as flagship of TG 11.2 and provided air cover during the occupation of the island and construction of the airfield there 1-14 September.
During that time, planes from the Princeton downed the new Japanese Emily reconnaissance planes and more importantly provided the U.S. Navy with photographs of them.