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[1996.488.019.009] Literature and Research - 'USS Wolverine (IX-64)'
USS Wolverine
USS Wolverine (IX-64)
Accession Number 1996.488.019.009
Accession Date 01/05/1996
Date Created 04/06/1943
Object Desciption A view of the coal burning USS Wolverine (IX-64) lying at anchor in Lake Michigan.
Object Notes USS Wolverine (IX-64) was a fresh water aircraft carrier of the US Navy during World War II. The Navy converted her from a coal burning paddle wheeler and used her for advanced training of naval aviators in carrier take-offs and landings. She was commissioned in August 1942, decommissioned and stricken from the Navy List in 1945. During her period of service she trained thousands of aviators and Landing Signal Officers.
Medium Black and White
Notes Though several conventional carriers, such as Ranger (CV-4) and Charger (CVE-30), saw WW II duty training naval aviators, two ships were unique in this service: USS Wolverine (IX 64), commissioned in August 1942, and USS Sable (IX 81), commissioned in May 1943. Their IX hull numbers signified "unclassified miscellaneous auxiliary." Both were Great Lakes excursion ships converted for aviation training. Based at Chicago they operated on Lake Michigan, providing flight decks on which student aviators qualified for carrier landings and many flight deck crews and LSOs received their first practical experience in handling aircraft aboard ship.

Wolverine (IX-64) was a coal-fired, side-wheel excursion steamer built in 1913. She was originally named Seeandbee, after her original owners' company name: the Cleveland and Buffalo Transit Co. The American Shipbuilding Co. at Wyandotte, Mich built her. The Navy acquired Seeandbee in March 1942 and designated her IX-64. Conversion began in May 1942. When completed Wolverine offered a 550-foot flight deck. She commenced training operations in January 1943. However, Wolverine was slow moving. As newer, heavier aircraft joined the Fleet more wind over the deck was required to launch them safely (a problem shared with some CVEs). When dead calm wind conditions occurred training operations would be suspended for the day, though sometimes SNJ trainers might be mustered to prevent logjams of waiting student aviators.
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