The Sangamon class was a group of four escort aircraft carriers of the United States Navy that served during World War II. These ships were originally Cimarron-class oilers, launched in 1939 for civilian use. They were acquired and commissioned by the U.S. Navy in 1940–1941. Due to the shortage of MARAD type C3 ships for conversion to desperately needed escort carriers, it was decided in early 1942 to convert four oilers to escort carriers. The conversion took around six months. These ships were the largest escort carrier conversions built for the U.S. Navy.
Being built as T3 tanker oilers, the machinery space was located aft, resulting in the placing of the smokestacks on both sides aft of the flight deck. They were excellent examples of the type, roomy and tough with a large flight deck and good stability on even high seas. The Sangamon could operate about 30 aircraft and were the only escort carriers to operate dive bombers.