USS Sargent Bay underway, circa 1944
History
United States
NameSargent Bay
NamesakeSargent Bay, Revillagigedo Island
Orderedas a Type S4-S2-BB3 hull, MCE hull 1120[1]
Awarded18 June 1942
BuilderKaiser Shipyards
Laid down8 November 1943
Launched31 January 1944
Commissioned9 March 1944
Decommissioned23 June 1946
Stricken27 June 1958
IdentificationHull symbol: CVE-83
Honors and
awards
6 Battle stars
FateSold for scrap, 30 July 1959
General characteristics [2]
Class and type Casablanca-class escort carrier
Displacement
Length
  • 512 ft 3 in (156.13 m) (oa)
  • 490 ft (150 m) (wl)
Beam
Draft20 ft 9 in (6.32 m) (max)
Installed power
Propulsion
Speed19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph)
Range10,240 nmi (18,960 km; 11,780 mi) at 15 kn (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Complement
  • Total: 910 – 916 officers and men
    • Embarked Squadron: 50 – 56
    • Ship's Crew: 860
Armament
Aircraft carried27
Aviation facilities
Service record
Part of:
Operations:

USS Sargent Bay (CVE-83) was a Casablanca-class escort carrier of the United States Navy. She was named after Sargent Bay, located within Revillagigedo Island, and was built for service during World War II. Launched in January 1944, and commissioned in March 1944, she served in support of the Invasion of Iwo Jima and the Battle of Okinawa. Postwar, she participated in Operation Magic Carpet. She was decommissioned in June 1946, when she was mothballed in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. Ultimately, she was sold for scrapping in July 1959.

Design and description

A profile of the design of Takanis Bay, which was shared with all Casablanca-class escort carriers.
A profile of the design of Takanis Bay, which was shared with all Casablanca-class escort carriers.

Main article: Casablanca-class escort carrier

Sargent Bay was a Casablanca-class escort carrier, the most numerous type of aircraft carriers ever built,[2] and designed specifically to be mass-produced using prefabricated sections, in order to replace heavy early war losses. Standardized with her sister ships, she was 512 ft 3 in (156.13 m) long overall, had a beam of 65 ft 2 in (19.86 m), and a draft of 20 ft 9 in (6.32 m). She displaced 8,188 long tons (8,319 t) standard, 10,902 long tons (11,077 t) with a full load. She had a 257 ft (78 m) long hangar deck and a 477 ft (145 m) long flight deck. She was powered with two Skinner Unaflow reciprocating steam engines, which drove two shafts, providing 9,000 horsepower (6,700 kW), thus enabling her to make 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph). The ship had a cruising range of 10,240 nautical miles (18,960 km; 11,780 mi) at a speed of 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph). Her compact size necessitated the installment of an aircraft catapult at her bow, and there were two aircraft elevators to facilitate movement of aircraft between the flight and hangar deck: one each fore and aft.[3][2][4]

One 5-inch (127 mm)/38 caliber dual-purpose gun was mounted on the stern. Anti-aircraft defense was provided by eight 40-millimeter (1.6 in) Bofors anti-aircraft guns in single mounts, as well as twelve 20-millimeter (0.79 in) Oerlikon cannons, which were mounted around the perimeter of the deck. By the end of the war, Casablanca-class carriers had been modified to carry thirty 20-mm cannons, and the amount of 40-mm guns had been doubled to sixteen, by putting them into twin mounts. These modifications were in response to increasing casualties due to kamikaze attacks. Casablanca-class escort carriers were designed to carry 27 aircraft, but the hangar deck could accommodate more. For example, during the Invasion of Iwo Jima, she carried 20 FM-2 fighters, and 12 TBM-1C torpedo bombers, for a total of 32 aircraft.[5] During the Battle of Okinawa, she carried 18 FM-2 fighters, 10 TBM-1C variant torpedo bombers, and 3 TBM-3 variant torpedo bombers, for a total of 31 aircraft.[6]

Construction

Her construction was awarded to Kaiser Shipbuilding Company, Vancouver, Washington under a Maritime Commission contract, on 18 June 1942, under the name Didrickson Bay, as part of a tradition which named escort carriers after bays or sounds in Alaska.[7] The escort carrier was laid down on 8 November 1943, under a Maritime Commission contract, MC hull 1120, by Kaiser Shipbuilding Company, Vancouver, Washington. She was launched on 31 January 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Edith W. DeBaun; transferred to the United States Navy and commissioned on 9 March 1944, with Captain William Theodore Rassieur in command.[1][8]

Service history

Sargent Bay being moved by tugs off the Washington coast, 25 March 1944.
Sargent Bay being moved by tugs off the Washington coast, 25 March 1944.
The destroyer escort Crowley transfers a sick crewman onto Sargent Bay.
The destroyer escort Crowley transfers a sick crewman onto Sargent Bay.

Upon being commissioned, Sargent Bay underwent a shakedown cruise down the West Coast to San Diego. She then underwent a transport mission, ferrying P-47 Thunderbolts of the 333rd Fighter Squadron, 318th Fighter Group to Saipan. She unloaded her cargo on 18 July, and reported to the 3rd Fleet at Pearl Harbor on 17 August. The next day, she departed, bound for Eniwetok and Manus Island. On 6 November, she left Manus, assigned to Task Group 30.8 (Fleet Oiler and Transport Carrier Group) on the first of four tours with replenishment groups operating off the Philippines. She provided air cover and support for the vulnerable oilers which supplied the frontline fast carrier groups with fuel and replacement aircraft, enabling them to operate out at sea for long periods of time. During this time period, Sargent Bay was based out of Ulithi. She remained on this duty until 27 January 1945, staying out at sea in two to four week increments.[8]

In February 1945, Sargent Bay was assigned to Task Group 52.2, the escort carrier group responsible for providing air cover in preparation for the Invasion of Iwo Jima. Along five other carriers, she operated under the command of Rear Admiral Clifton Sprague, in Carrier Division 26.[5] Her air contingent provided artillery spotting and close air support for the marines struggling through the island, and she also conducted aircraft screening for the task group, as well as anti-submarine patrols. She continued operations until 11 March, when she retired along with her task group.[8]

Sargent Bay was only out of action for a short period of time, as she joined Task Group 52.1.1, the escort carrier force assigned to support the planned Battle of Okinawa. Under the command of Rear Admiral Felix Stump, she began operations off of Okinawa on 25 March.[6] She provided many of the same duties as she did during the Invasion of Iwo Jima, including conducting anti-aircraft patrols. Notably, on the late evening of 3 April, her fighters shot down one of a pair of kamikazes attempting to approach the escort carriers. Anti-aircraft fire from the destroyer Capps brought down the other kamikaze.[9] On 7 April, she traded places with the escort carrier Makassar Strait, as she briefly left to join the Logistics Support Group, before returning to the strike force on 18 April. She left again on 15 May, for repairs at Guam. She rejoined operations over Okinawa on 2 June, before finally retiring from the operation on 20 June.[8]

Proceeding south, she arrived off of Leyte on 23 June, and spent the next month performing upkeep. She then sailed for the United States, arriving at San Pedro on 9 August for repairs and overhaul. There, news of the Japanese surrender broke. After completing overhaul, she joined the Operation Magic Carpet fleet, which repatriated U.S. servicemen from around the Pacific. During the month of October, she made two runs, transporting personnel from Hawaii. She then conducted a run to Eniwetok, and a final run to Okinawa, finishing her duties before the New Year.[8]

Passing through the Panama Canal, Sargent Bay arrived at Boston on 23 March 1946 for inactivation. She was decommissioned on 23 June, and subsequently stored at the South Boston Naval Annex, where she was mothballed as part of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. She was reclassified CVU-83 on 12 June 1955. She was struck from the Navy list on 27 June 1958, and she was sold on 30 July 1959 to J.C. Berkwitt Co., New York. She was ultimately broken up in Antwerp, Belgium, starting September 1959.[8]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Kaiser Vancouver 2010.
  2. ^ a b c Chesneau & Gardiner 1980, p. 109.
  3. ^ Y'Blood 2014, pp. 34–35.
  4. ^ Hazegray 1998.
  5. ^ a b Y'Blood 2014, p. 321.
  6. ^ a b Y'Blood 2014, p. 349.
  7. ^ Maksel 2012.
  8. ^ a b c d e f DANFS 2016.
  9. ^ Y'Blood 2014, p. 358.

Sources

Online sources

  • "Sargent Bay (CVE-83)". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Naval History and Heritage Command. 27 April 2016. Archived from the original on 2 June 2019. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  • "Kaiser Vancouver, Vancouver WA". www.ShipbuildingHistory.com. 27 November 2010. Archived from the original on 19 June 2019. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  • "World Aircraft Carriers List: US Escort Carriers, S4 Hulls". Hazegray.org. 14 December 1998. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  • Maksel, Rebecca (14 August 2012). "How Do You Name an Aircraft Carrier?". Air & Space/Smithsonian. Retrieved 23 December 2019.

Bibliography