Saratoga, one of the first fast carriers in the United States Navy, was laid down in September 1920 by the New York Shipbuilding Co. and commissioned in November 1927. When the Japanese struck Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Saratoga was just entering San Diego after an interim dry docking at Bremerton. She hurriedly got underway the following day as the nucleus of a third carrier force. In January 1942 she was hit by a deep-running torpedo fired by a Japanese submarine. As flagship of Rear Admiral F. J. Fletcher, Saratoga opened the Guadalcanal assault early on August 7, 1942 when she turned into the wind to launch aircraft. She provided air cover for landings for the next two days and took part in all the operations in the Guadalcanal. Saratoga was surplus to postwar requirements, and she was assigned to Operation “Crossroads” at Bikini Atoll to test the effect of the atomic bomb on naval vessels. She was struck from the Navy list in August 1946. Saratoga received seven battle stars for her WWII service.