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USS SHIPLEY BAY was the 31st CASABLANCA - class escort aircraft carrier. Decommissioned on June 28, 1946, the SHIPLEY BAY was placed in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Boston. The ship was re-classified CVHE 85 on June 12, 1955. The SHIPLEY BAY was stricken from the Navy list on March 1, 1959, and was sold on October 2, 1959.
|General Characteristics:||Awarded: 1942|
|Keel laid: November 22, 1943|
|Launched: February 12, 1944|
|Commissioned: March 21, 1944|
|Decommissioned: June 28, 1946|
|Builder: Kaiser Shipbuilding Co., Vancouver, Wash.|
|Propulsion system: four boilers|
|Length: 512.5 feet (156.2 meters)|
|Flight Deck Width: 108 feet (32.9 meters)|
|Beam: 65 feet (19.9 meters)|
|Draft: 22.6 feet (6.9 meters)|
|Displacement: approx. 10,400 tons full load|
|Speed: 19 knots|
|Aircraft: 28 planes|
|Armament: one 5-inch L/38 gun, 16 40mm guns, 20 20mm guns|
This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS SHIPLEY BAY. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.
|March 1944||VC-81 (12 FM and 9 TBF/TBM)|
|May - July 1945||VC-97 (14 FM and 12 TBM)|
History of USS SHIPLEY BAY:
SHIPLEY BAY was laid down under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 1122) on 22 November 1943 by Kaiser Co., Inc., Vancouver, Wash, launched on 12 February 1944; sponsored by Mrs. L. B. Richardson; and commissioned on 21 March 1944, Capt. Edgar T. Neale in command.
SHIPLEY BAY moved down the coast and operated in the San Diego-San Pedro area until 3 May when the carrier began her maiden voyage to Pearl Harbor and the South Pacific ferrying planes and pilots to advance bases. She shuttled between the west coast, Pearl Harbor, Majuro Atoll, Guadalcanal, and Tulagi until October. During this period, the carrier transported 496 aircraft.
SHIPLEY BAY's next assignment was that of replenishment carrier, delivering pilots, aircraft, and ammunition to the fast carriers operating with Task Force (TF) 38. She rendezvoused with TF 38 for three re-supply missions, delivering 100 planes. The first rendezvous was made from 17 to 29 October, 150 miles east of Samar, P.I.; the second took place 450 miles east of Luzon from 10 to 24 December; and the last, from 26 December 1944 to 12 January 1945, occurred 350 miles northeast of Luzon. SHIPLEY BAY returned to Pearl Harbor and operated as a training carrier for the next three months.
On 22 April, SHIPLEY BAY stood out of Pearl Harbor en route to Okinawa, via Guam, for her first combat operations. From 7 to 16 May, planes from the carrier attacked enemy gun emplacements, supply dumps, radar installations, and caves, flying 352 missions. On the 16th, while taking on gasoline from CACHE (AO 67), the aviation gasoline tanks were damaged, and she was forced to return to Guam for repairs.
SHIPLEY BAY was back in action off Okinawa on 9 June with five other escort carriers. From 14 to 16 June, strikes were launched against Miyako Shima and Ishigaki Shima to neutralize the airfields on those islands. Aircraft from SHIPLEY BAY returned to pound the airfields again from 18 to 22 June. On that day, the carrier departed the operating area. She was at the repair base in San Diego undergoing overhaul when the war ended.
On 26 September 1945, SHIPLEY BAY sailed out of San Diego to participate in Operation "Magic Carpet," the return of American forces from overseas. The carrier shuttled from San Francisco to Pearl Harbor, Okinawa and Kwajalein, returning several thousand troops to the United States.
SHIPLEY BAY sailed to Boston in February 1946 for deactivation and lay-up, arriving there on 9 March. On 28 June, the carrier was placed "out of commission, in reserve," with the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. SHIPLEY BAY was struck from the Navy list on 1 March 1959 and sold for scrap on 2 October of that year.
SHIPLEY BAY received two battle stars for World War II service.
USS SHIPLEY BAY Image Gallery: