I think the Midways sort of show the folly of attempting to grow a 40s prop carrier much beyond an Essex, or at least illustrate a serious set of diminishing returns. Although how would an angled deck play at the time? I have no idea.
Regards supercarriers, perhaps something like CVA-58 - the ability to launch USAF strategic bombers while at sea could be quite game-changing (it'd render a good chunk of the islands campaigns moot, potentially, if you already have a suitable carrier handy)
That's a very interesting point on a singular CVA, although I don't think we had a bomb capable of being carried even by something like a AJ Savage until the early 1950s.
Re. the carrier thing, the angled deck wasn't far into the future and drastically improved landing safety IIRC, but you would still have to train everyone to it if you introduced it out of the blue. That's why I was thinking LHD, to have a minimal cross-decking capability with baseline carriers back then, allied with a deep shoebox hull full of support stuff.
Surely you'd be off-loading the fancy kit (I'd thought about carrying something that the 1940s engineers would find simply jaw-dropping like a CNC rig or some UV lithography gear to get them past the electronics of the 1960s and jumped straight into something a bit more solid - the problem being that anything that's not a party piece is damned heavy - anything involved in bulk metalworking is just massive and CNC mills, for all that they're hypnotic (matched only by pen plotters) aren't really suited to mass production, as I understand it) - I can certainly picture carrying the gear and the data, but why waste ship tonnage carrying the associated workshop and training rooms when they're relatively simple to build ashore?
Regarding "modern" AAA, you certainly could explore some of the concepts that were played with in the 1950s, but with modern metallurgy for the barrels. Squeezebore medium-caliber guns, subcaliber long-range AA rounds for the 8", SAM-N-8 Zeus...
Good points all around, but we are bumping again into the technology wall that made me ditch Transtemporal Naval Command to go found the Transtemporal Engineering Academy somewhere near Mare Island
If I may go on a tangent here to try and explain why I keep getting swamped in this line of thought, then I'll leave you fine gentlemen discuss the actual shipbuilding if you prefer:
Bear in mind, this is all based on the assumption that we're in for the long haul and that our little expedition has to be sustainable over the course of the war.
@apdsmith, agreed, you can't carry enough CNCs to mass-produce modern ammunition forever, but a few high-quality, compact machines of every type can make critical spares and (in our case) prototypes while only taking up a few dozen tons and dozen square meters. I'm not talking about carrying a steel furnace onboard either. Now if you want to spread out the knowledge and tech based on that, you will need the ability to produce these CNCs more or less from scratch. After all, you will need them to assemble the advanced fuzes and steering kits for the guided shells you will lavish on the rest of the USN, right? You don't get to be stingy with that stuff when it means watching your comrade in arms drown in battles you already know the outcome of
... IN which of those burning ships is your great-uncle, by the way?
So you need to train Navy engineers to use digital CNCs, sure. Nothing unfeasible, they are smart guys and they can learn. You also need to train them or others to build more CNCs. Thing is, a CNC, like any other tech, doesn't happen in a vacuum. If CNCs weren't being built in 1941, it wasn't for want of ideas, but because all of the prerequisites weren't available. There's the chips and computers, of course, but what about the carbide tools, high-speed synchronous motors, self-lubricating bearings, high-tensile alloyed steel?
That works for the CNCs to build shells or gunbarrels, as well as for the electronics for the comms, the aircraft engines, the propellants, the code machines, the fancy drugs your crew will need to keep healthy in the 1940s Pacific campaigns...
This is why you need the complete stack of blueprints for everything down to the furnaces, and restart the technological food chain, as it were, from the bottom up, if it is to be sustained.
@erik, you touch on exactly the same point from a different direction when you mention using modern metallurgy to improve on traditional gun designs. Anything that can't be reproduced with vintage technology will not be sustained and extended to the rest of the fleet. The only other solution would be to take the future/present tech you want to bring back and retro-engineer everything to make their reproduction 40s-proof before leaving, and that won't work with everything. Forget on-board electronics, for one.
Ah well, we could go on forever on the requirements for rebuilding a technological base from scratch and the epistemological underpinnings thereof, but that's not what we're here for, is it?
And be glad I'm sparing you the excruciatingly Stephensonian debate over how to hide the whole time-travel shenanigans and the ensuing bending of the laws of probability...
I'll see myself out now, have fun!