First off I don't track configuration changes on carriers, but I have some observations about the Korean War mobilization process of returning units to service. I realized this from the Departure Reports for some 100+ destroyers returned to service and observed the same on some cruiser that I looked at as well.
The first step for the USN when bringing a unit back to service was to get them "de-mothballed" and they would NOT make major changes from when the ship was decommissioned. How many changes were made prior to her being decommissioned in 1947, I don't know. A few changes were being made to USN units during the late 1940's Post-WWII era, particularly radar. All weapons and sensors were brought up to working order, even if obsolete. The only items that WOULD be upgraded, were to communications to bring the ship up to the latest USN Standards. If slated for a major upgrade, like SHANGRI LA, the ship would go on a series of shakedown cruises to be sure everything necessary for the ship to operate was working and to determine how much needed to be done during her modernization.
So, the 1947 photo of SHANGRI LA that Tracy referenced is likely how she appeared for the year after she recommissioned.
I have four Essex Class long hulls in my to do pile, built up to hanger deck level, then suspended. I have a particular fondness for the Korean War era and intend to do all four in the 1950 to 1952 time frame.
Of those Shangri La was activated for Atlantic service for about a year before she went into the yard for her combo 27C/125 modernization. I want to depict Shangri La during that year's period.
To that end, was there any preliminary work done on Shangri La in anticipation of her long conversion period, during the activation process if the year before? I am most concerned with the two bow 40mm mounts (and directors), which, I understand we very wet forward. I know some Essex Class straight decks had them removed a little later in time. I, of course, am also interested in any other additions or removals done during the activation process.
Pictures of Shangri La during that period are few and far between, and good photos more so.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.