The USS Saratoga (CV-3), commissioned in 1927, was an Lexington-class American Aircraft carrier measuring 268 meters (880 ft.) in length and weighting 39,000 tons. Originally she was designed as a battlecruiser, but was later converted into one of the Navy’s first aircraft carriers during construction to comply with the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922.
During her World War II service she first patrolled in the vicinity of Midway Atoll and was later involved in numerous battles including responding to the attack on Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal Campaign, the Battle of Iwo Jima and countless assaults along the Japanese coast. Surviving various heavy attacks which included being torpedoed, a bombed out flight deck, hanger deck fires, and 2 starboard side bomb detonations.
For her service she was rewarded with 7 Battle Stars for her service before de-commissioning in 1945 at the end of the World War 2.
Mid-1946, the ship was used as a target for nuclear weapon tests (“Operation Crossroads”). She survived the first test with little damage, but was sunk by the second test.
The shipwreck of the “Sara” rests in Bikini Atoll at a depth of 52 meters (190 ft.). Her bridge is easily accessible at 18 meters (40 ft.), her deck at 28 meters (90 ft.).
USS Saratoga (CV-3) Shipwreck
Deck guns. (Credits: Jan Kocian)
Deck of the USS Saratoga. (Credits: Jan Kocian)
Image of the bridge of the USS Saratoga shipwreck lying in Bikini Atoll (Credits: Jan Kocian)
Deck guns of the Saratoga (Credits: Jan Kocian)
USS Saratoga (Credits: Jan Kocian)
Forklift on the shipwreck of the USS Saratoga (Credits: Jan Kocian)
Another view of the forklift. (Credits: Jan Kocian)
Twin guns of the USS Saratoga (Credits: Jan Kocian)
Bombs are still to be found on the wreck! So be cautious at all times. (Credits: Jan Kocian)
- USS Indianapolis, sinking and horrors of the USS Indianapolis.
- Airplane graveyard, over hundred of US aircraft wrecks lying on the bottom of Kwajalein Atoll, Pacific Ocean.
- Shipwrecks in Truk Lagoon, in 1944-45 dozens of Japanese vessels from the Imperial Japanese Navy were sunk by US forces.
- Airplane wrecks in Truk Lagoon, next to dozens of Japanese vessels also Japanese airplane wrecks can be found in Chuuk Lagoon.
- Doyle, David: USS Saratoga – Squadron at Sea. Squadron/Signal Publications.
- Fry, John: USS Saratoga CV-3: An Illustrated History of the Legendary Aircraft Carrier, 1927-1946. Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
- Stahura, Barbara: USS Saratoga, CV-3 & CVA/CV-60. Turned.