9 Photos Of The WWII Aircraft Carrier That Used To Be A Luxury Steamer

History
US Navy

The USS Wolverine is one of the oddest aircraft carriers in US Navy history.


Built in 1912, the Wolverine was originally a side-wheel steamer called the SS Seeandbee that was used for luxury cruises on the Great Lakes. But it got a second career when it was bought by the US Navy in 1942 as the service rapidly stood up a carrier force to answer Japanese aggression.

By January 1943, the Wolverine had been converted into an aircraft carrier to train naval aviators and flight deck crews for World War II.

It was based in Navy Pier in Chicago so that it could operate in Lake Michigan, but it lacked many features that combat carriers have, such as elevators and hangar decks.

Check it out below:

This is the SS Seeandbee in 1912, decades before the US purchased it in March 1942.

Maritime History of the Great Lakes

The president of the company that owned the SS Seeandbee, Thomas J. McGuire, reportedly even overcharged the US by $500,000 for the ship. He was later fined only $5,000 for the fraudulent price.

To convert the ship into a carrier, the US stripped off the large wooden superstructure and exhausts.

US Naval History and Heritage Command

And built a flight deck in its place.

US Naval History and Heritage Command

The USS Wolverine was commissioned in August 1942. It landed its first aircraft in September 1942.

USS Wolverine as she completes her fitting out in the summer of 1943.US Navy

It had a 550-foot flight deck, about a long as modern-day guided missile cruiser.

USS Wolverine lying at anchor in Lake Michigan on 6 April 1943.US Navy National Museum of Naval Aviation

WATCH NEXT:

It's a photo for the ages: a Marine NCO, a Greek god in his dress blues, catches the eye of a lovely young woman as her boyfriend urges her on in distress. It's the photographic ancestor of the much-loved "distracted boyfriend" stock photo meme, made even sweeter by the fact that this is clearly a sailor about to lose his girl to a Devil Dog.

Well, this photo and the Marine in it, which hopscotched around Marine Corps Facebook and Instagram pages before skyrocketing to the front page of Reddit on Thursday, are very real.

The photo shows then-Staff Sgt. Louis A. Capozzoli — and he is absolutely not on his way to steal your girl.

Read More Show Less
(U.S. Attorney's Office in Maryland)

GREENBELT, Md. (Reuters) - A U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant accused of amassing a cache of weapons and plotting to attack Democratic politicians and journalists was ordered held for two weeks on Thursday while federal prosecutors consider charging him with more crimes.

Read More Show Less
An undated image of Hoda Muthana provided by her attorney, Hassan Shibly. (Associated Press)

Attorneys for the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America have filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Attorney General William Barr and President Donald Trump asking the court to recognize the citizenship of an Alabama woman who left the U.S. to join ISIS and allow she and her young son to return to the United States.

Read More Show Less
U.S. soldiers surveil the area during a combined joint patrol in Manbij, Syria, November 1, 2018. Picture taken November 1, 2018. (U.S. Army/Zoe Garbarino/Handout via Reuters)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will leave "a small peacekeeping group" of 200 American troops in Syria for a period of time after a U.S. pullout, the White House said on Thursday, as President Donald Trump pulled back from a complete withdrawal.

Read More Show Less
Construction crews staged material needed for the Santa Teresa Border Wall Replacement project near the Santa Teresa Port of Entry. (U.S. Customs and Border Patrol/Mani Albrecht)

With a legal fight challenge mounting from state governments over the Trump administration's use of a national emergency to construct at the U.S.-Mexico border, the president has kicked his push for the barrier into high gear.

On Wednesday, President Trump tweeted a time-lapse video of wall construction in New Mexico; the next day, he proclaimed that "THE WALL IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION RIGHT NOW"

But there's a big problem: The footage, which was filmed more than five months ago on Sep. 18, 2018, isn't really new wall construction at all, and certainly not part of the ongoing construction of "the wall" that Trump has been haggling with Congress over.

Read More Show Less