World War 2


Battle-Scarred Ship Larger Than the Titanic Returns Home After Deadly Kamikaze Attack

VIETNAM WAR 1964 - USS Ticonderoga (CVA 14) - Photo by Bill Ray

Battle-Scarred Ship Larger Than the Titanic Returns Home After Deadly Kamikaze Attack

No other battle-scarred ship in the American fleet had a career like the USS Ticonderoga. Launched in early 1944, the massive aircraft carrier only saw a year of fighting in the Second World War. However, at that time it was subjected to numerous kamikaze attacks by Japanese pilots. See the stunning footage and our recap of the final stretch home for an aircraft carrier that refused to quit.

The Journey Home

Battle-scarred ship
Few ships survived horrific kamikaze attacks like the Ticonderoga.

The Ticonderoga was launched in 1944, as previously stated. However, its actions in the liberation of the Phillippines led to its later status as a battle-scarred ship. Despite that, it would finish the war.

To the West Coast

Battle-scarred ship
Just months before, the Ticonderoga’s flight deck was on fire and men were dying.

As with any other battle-scarred ship returning from the Pacific Theater, the Ticonderoga would enter San Francisco for its journey home. After three massive combat operations, the carrier ended up needing repairs. However, the ship sailed on, much to the relief of its crew and the Navy as a whole.

A Full Journey

Battle-scarred ship
After the attacks, the Ticonderoga went on to wait for its next moves.

The Ticonderoga didn’t have an easy journey home, despite the battle-scarred ship’s reputation. Thankfully, it wasn’t enemy fire that plagued it, but weather instead. That said, the ship would escort nearly 2,200 servicemen home from Okinawa on its final stretch.


Battle-scarred ship
The war was over by the time Ticonderoga finally arrived in Japan in September of 1945.

Kamikaze tactics weren’t unusual in the last years of the war. The American Navy bore the brunt of these suicide attacks, resulting in battle-scarred ships like the USS Ticonderoga. The Ticonderoga received a vicious one of these attacks in January of 1945 when a Japanese pilot crashed through the flight deck. Despite the extensive damage, the Ticonderoga kept fighting on.

Open Doors

Battle-scarred ship
Ticonderoga would continue patrolling the waters and skies above Japan while waiting for its next order.

Despite the loss of 144 men and multiple aircraft, the Ticonderoga never sank. After repairs, it participated in further combat operations before being called home. The battle-scarred ship was just too tough to quit.

Waiting Ashore

USS Ticonderoga
By October of 1945, it was time for the Ticonderoga to journey home.

Carrying its full crew and an additional 2,200 servicemen, the Ticonderoga’s journey home is the end of the war for those onboard. They would come home and resume their lives, while the Ticonderoga would be deactivated for the time being.

An End to Bloodshed

USS Ticonderoga
In its final battle in the Pacific, Ticonderoga took out three battleships and an aircraft carrier.

For the battle-scarred ship coming home, the Ticonderoga’s long struggle in the Pacific was over. It wasn’t the end of the ship’s career by any means, as it would serve admirably until 1974 when it was finally decommissioned.

Families Reunited

USS Ticonderoga
1947 would see the Ticonderoga placed on reserves, the world did not need such an unkillable aircraft at the time.

A war of the scale and scope of the Second World War had never been fought before. As such, battle-scarred ships like the Ticonderoga carried young men who came from all walks of life. The ship returning home meant families were reunited with their loved ones, despite the losses the ship suffered.


USS Ticonderoga
1952 would see the Ticonderoga reactivated on a reduced commission.

I cannot state enough how large of an undertaking it is to transport thousands of men over an ocean to come back home. The Ticonderoga faced horrible conditions on its journey back to the States, but it fared well and the servicemen aboard were able to arrive in San Francisco safely.


USS Ticonderoga
The tough-as-nails ship had a storied career, its short time in the Second World War doing more than enough to cement its reputation.

Upon disembarking, it wasn’t uncommon to see servicemen met by their loved ones. For some like in the above photograph, were immediately embraced upon leaving the ship. The hard years of the war were gone, the chance to rebuild and start anew was finally here.

A Promising Career

USS Ticonderoga
Interestingly, the Ticonderoga would be present during the Gulf of Tonkin incident.

Despite its original aims, the Ticonderoga would be retro-fitted with new equipment for the jets America would use in its next wars. 1955 saw the ship prepped for aircraft like the F-8E Crusader.

Watch the Full Video

USS Ticonderoga
The Ticonderoga’s name has been stricken from service, after nearly 30 years of incredible service.

If you want to see the incredible footage of this battle-scarred ship returning home, you can view it here. The Ticonderoga would serve during the Vietnam War nearly 20 years after this newsreel, where it went through multiple tours of duty before its eventual retirement.

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