USS Sable (IX-81)

Sable underway after conversion to a training carrier. Assumed US Navy photo.

Launched
1924
Commissioned
1942
Decommissioned
1945
AD/BC
AD
History

Launched as a sidewheel steam ship on the Great Lakes, the SS Greater Buffalo was acquired by the US Navy in 1942, and converted into an aircraft carrier. Unsuitable for combat, she was renamed USS Sable (IX-81) and used to train pilots on the Great Lakes. Sable qualified her first fifty-nine pilots in just nine hours, and went on to qualify thousands more. She had a few issues though. Low deck height and a slow top speed meant that certain types of aircraft were unable to be used, and on calm days, take-offs were not possible. Sable was decommissioned in November, 1945, and sold for scrap in 1948.

Bonus Photos

SS Greater Buffalo underway in 1942. U.S. Navy National Museum of Naval Aviation photo No.NNAM.1996.488.018.010

Bonus Information

Fun Fact: One of the pilots who qualified on Sable was future President George H. W. Bush.