In 1948 the military branches of the United States had to fight for every dollar. World War Two had only ended three years earlier and most citizens had not realized that the Cold War had started. The darling of the services was the newly minted USAF, whose generals assured everyone that there were no need for the Army and Navy since the heavy bombers of the air force would win wars quickly with the atomic bomb. The US still had a monopoly on the A-Bomb but that ended the next year with the first Soviet nuclear bomb test. In 1948 the navy did manage to get a new carrier authorized, the USS United States CVB-58. This island-less design had four deck edge elevators, five-inch gun sponsons on the quarters and was 10,000 tons heavier than the Midway class carriers. It was designed to specifically operate larger and heavier jet aircraft entering operations and planned for the future. Six days after being laid down, the contract was cancelled. Congress had listened to the happy promises of the air force and cancelled the carrier in order to but more B-36 Peacemakers. This Congressional and air force happy bubble was rudely burst early in 1950 with the start of the Korean War. Nuclear strategic bombers were not the weapon system that was needed. It was tactical aircraft that was desperately needed. USAF aircraft had to fly from Japan initially and it was the USN carrier force that was most responsive to tactical requirements. Congress, always blowing with the wind, woke up to the obvious, the aircraft carrier is a very flexible, if expensive, weapons system. This was the genesis for the first super-carrier design, the Forrestal class.
The design of USS Forrestal CV-59 owed much to the aborted USS United States design. The Forrestal was even larger than the United States and 15,000 tons heavier than the Midway class. The Forrestal had the four deck edge elevators and quarter gun sponsons, each with two new 5-inch/42 MK54 rapid fire guns. The forward sponsons were too low and subject to damage by the sea at high speeds. They were removed starting in 1961. The design was also the basis for all subsequent USN carrier designs. Carlos Marquadt produces a model of USS Forrestal CVA-59 as built 1955. CMP-1010 has all of the original gun positions, as well as yellow deck numerals.
CMP-1010 is available from Morning Sunshine Models.