Coral Sea (CV-43) (nicknamed Ageless Warrior), a Midway-class aircraft carrier, was commissioned on 1 October 1947 at the Newport News Shipbuilding Yard. She had two sister ships, the USS
Midway, after which the class was named, and the USS
Franklin D. Roosevelt. She had an overall length of 968 feet, a 932 foot long flight deck, a breadth of 136 feet, and a full load displacement of 60,000 tons. The ship was named after the Battle of the Coral Sea (May 1942), which established the necessity and dominance of the aircraft carrier as a fixture of modern navies. The Battle of the Coral Sea was a major turning point for Allied forces in the Pacific theater, marking the end of the Japanese offensive and the beginning of the Allied offensive.
Coral Sea spent a good portion of the 1950’s conducting cruises throughout the Mediterranean. In 1960, she was attached to the Seventh Fleet and supported US operations in Vietnam, taking part in Operation Rolling Thunder, Operation Freedom Porch, and Operation Pocket Monkey. She remained on deployment in Vietnam until 1 November 1965. In 1980, the
Coral Sea was stationed in the Arabian Sea during the Tehran hostage crisis (4 November 1979 – 20 January 1981). In 1985 the
Coral Sea retuned to the Mediterranean, participating in the retaliation against Libyan forces for firing at U.S. naval forces (March – April 1986). She continued deployments in the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean throughout the remainder of her service. The USS
Coral Sea was decommissioned on 26 April 1990 and was sold for scrapping on 7 May 1993.
More information on the USS
Coral Sea’s operational service can be found at:
Paul Rensselaer Beall was born on August 28, 1909, in Des Moines, Iowa. He received an MA in 1940 from the University of Michigan and his doctorate from Pennsylvania State University in 1948. He taught at the University of Michigan (1939-1941) and Pennsylvania State University (1941-1950), and was director of information (1950) and then scientific advisor (1952) to the commanding general of the Air Research and Development Command of the U.S. Air Force in Baltimore. From 1965 to 1967, Beall was president of Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Michigan Alumnus (Vol. 71, p. 54) and the finding aid for the Paul R. Beall Papers (MS 7) at Oglethorpe University Library.