By Thomas I. Bradshaw
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Additional resources for Carrier down: the story of the sinking of the U.S.S. Princeton (CVL-23)
It was later reported that Julia Gardiner, on the night of 27 February, had a frightening dream that while she was aboard a warship a pair of white horses came toward her, each bearing a skeleton as its rider. One skeleton had her father's face. Julia went to her father that morning and told him of her nightmare. The vessel of which she had dreamed resembled the new Princeton closely. Terrified by her experience, she begged Colonel Gardiner not to take the planned cruise. He brushed aside his daughter's fears as the result of "overwrought nerves," and refused to change their plans.
Everyone was well pleased with our group," said Lieutenant Commander Clifford. "It should be noted also that Air Group Commander Miller had really done a job in selling the Princeton to the pilots during the forming period. " That spirit carried over to the men on the Princeton's escort destroyers. At one point, a fight broke out ashore between sailors from the Ringgold a member of the Princeton flotilla and bluejackets from the carrier Belleau Wood. Their difference of opinion concerned the relative merits of the two flattops.
While the hulls were only partially completed, a critical need for aircraft carriers in the forward areas of the Pacific brought a shift in plans. The nine cruisers were ordered to be finished as light carriers (CVLs). This necessitated a change, again in keeping with naval custom, that flattops be named after battles or former navy vessels. Thus the first of the new carriers was altered from USS Amsterdam to USS Independence, which in turn gave that name to the nine-ship class. Other members of the Independence class were: the Princeton (started as the Tallahassee), the Belleau Wood (New Haven), Cowpens (Huntington), Monterey (Dayton), Langley (Fargo), Cabot (Wil- Page 6 mington), Bataan (Buffalo), and San Jacinto (Newark).
Carrier down: the story of the sinking of the U.S.S. Princeton (CVL-23) by Thomas I. Bradshaw
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