USS Liscome Bay (CVE-56)

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Image:USS Liscome Bay CVE56.jpg
USS Liscome Bay (CVE-56)
CareerImage:US Naval Jack 48 stars.svg
Laid down:9 December 1942
Launched:19 April 1943
Commissioned:7 August 1943
Fate:sunk by a Japanese submarine
Stricken:24 November 1943
General Characteristics
Displacement:7800 tons
Length:512 feet 3 inches
Beam:65 feet
Extreme Width:108.1 inches
Draft:22 feet 6 inches
Speed:19 knots
Complement:860 officers and men
Armament:one five-inch gun; 16 40 mm cannon

USS Liscome Bay (CVE-56), a Casablanca-class escort aircraft carrier was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for Liscome Bay in Dall Island off Alaska's southeast coast. Her keel was laid down 9 December 1942 by Kaiser Shipbuilding Company of Vancouver, Washington, under a Maritime Commission contract.

She was originally to have been given to the Royal Navy under the terms of Lend-Lease as the Ameer, but was reappropriated by the U.S. Navy whilst still building.

She was launched on 19 April 1943 sponsored by Mrs. Ben Moreell. She was named Liscome Bay on 28 June 1943 and assigned hull classification symbol CVE-56 on 15 July 1943. She was acquired by the Navy and commissioned on 7 August 1943 with Captain I.D. Wiltsie in command.

After training operations along the West Coast, Liscome Bay departed San Diego, California, on 21 October 1943 and arrived Pearl Harbor one week later. Having completed additional drills and operational exercises, the escort carrier set forth upon what was to be her first and last battle mission. As a unit of CarDiv 24, she departed Pearl Harbor on 10 November attached to TF 52, Northern Attack Force, under Rear Admiral Richmond K. Turner, bound for the invasion of the Gilbert Islands.

The invasion bombardment announcing the United States's first major thrust into the central Pacific began 20 November at 0500, and 76 hours later, Tarawa and Makin Islands were captured. Liscome Bay's aircraft played their part in the 2278 action sorties provided by carrier-based planes which neutralized enemy airbases, supported landings and ground operations in bombing-strafing missions, and intercepted enemy raids. With the islands secured, the U.S. forces began a retirement.

On 23 November, the Japanese submarine I-175 arrived off Makin. The temporary task group built around Rear Admiral H.M. Mullinnix's three escorts, Liscome Bay, Coral Sea (CVE-57) and Corregidor (CVE-58) commanded by Rear Admiral Robert M. Griffin in New Mexico (BB-40) was steaming 20 miles southwest of Butaritari Island at 15 knots. At 0430, 24 November, reveille was made in Liscome Bay. The ship went to routine general quarters at 0505 as flight crews prepared their planes for dawn launchings.

There was no warning of a submarine in the area until about 0510 when a lookout shouted: "Here comes a torpedo!" The torpedo struck abaft the after engineroom an instant later with a shattering roar. A second major detonation closely followed the first, the entire interior burst into flames.

Image:BurialAtSea U.S.NavyAircraftCarrierLiscomeBay.jpg
Burial at Sea for two victims of the submarine attack on the "Liscome Bay"

At 0533, Liscome Bay listed to starboard and sank, carrying Admiral Mullinix, Captain Wiltsie, 53 other officers, and 591 enlisted men—including Cook Third Class Dorie Miller, famous for his actions during the attack on Pearl Harbor—down with her; 272 of her crew were rescued. Counting the sailors who went down with the carrier, American casualties of the assault on Makin exceeded the strength of the entire Japanese garrison of that island.

Liscome Bay received one battle star for World War II service.

See also List of U.S. Navy losses in World War II

[edit] Reference

This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

[edit] External link

Casablanca-class escort carrier
Casablanca | Liscome Bay | Anzio | Corregidor | Mission Bay | Guadalcanal | Manila Bay | Natoma Bay | St. Lo | Tripoli | Wake Island | White Plains | Solomons | Kalinin Bay | Kasaan Bay | Fanshaw Bay | Kitkun Bay | Tulagi | Gambier Bay | Nehenta Bay | Hoggatt Bay | Kadasahan Bay | Marcus Island | Savo Island | Ommaney Bay | Petrof Bay | Rudyerd Bay | Saginaw Bay | Sargent Bay | Shamrock Bay | Shipley Bay | Sitkoh Bay | Steamer Bay | Cape Esperance | Takanis Bay | Thetis Bay | Makassar Strait | Windham Bay | Makin Island | Lunga Point | Bismarck Sea | Salamaua | Hollandia | Kwajalein | Admiralty Islands | Bougainville | Matanikau | Attu | Roi | Munda

List of escort aircraft carriers of the United States Navy

USS Liscome Bay (CVE-56)

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