In 2002, Jason McDonald began an extraordinary project to document the experiences of American sailors who served on Independence class light carriers in World War II and Korea.
In 1939, Admiral John McCain argued for the creation of light carriers, since the Essex class fleet carriers were expected to take four years to build. With dozens of Cleveland class light cruisers planned for construction, nine were selected conversion to light carriers. New York Shipbuilding in Camden, New Jersey built all nine ships.
They served in World War II and Korea, and two more were custom built as carriers on Baltimore cruiser hulls after the war. One was lost in combat; the others were used in training or given to foreign service. Their decades of use are little known today.