|USS Kasaan Bay (CVE-69)|
USS Kasaan Bay in Narragansett Bay, 1944
|Career (United States)|
|Name:||USS Kasaan Bay|
|Builder:||Kaiser Shipbuilding Company|
|Laid down:||as ACV-69|
|Launched:||24 October 1943|
|Sponsored by:||Mrs. R. W. Morse|
|Commissioned:||4 December 1943|
|Decommissioned:||6 July 1946|
|Reclassified:||CVHE-69 on 12 June 1955|
|1 battle star for World War II service|
|Fate:||Sold for scrap 2 February 1960|
|Class & type:||Casablanca-class escort carrier|
|Length:||512 ft 3 in (156.13 m)|
|Beam:||65 ft (20 m), flight deck: 108 ft 1 in (32.94 m)|
|Draft:||22 ft 6 in (6.86 m)|
|Speed:||18 kn (33 km/h)|
|Armament:||1 × 5 in (127 mm)/38 cal dual purpose gun, 16 × Bofors 40 mm guns (8x2), 20 × Oerlikon 20 mm cannons (20x1)|
USS Kasaan Bay (CVE-69) was a Casablanca class escort carrier of the United States Navy. She was classified ACV-69 on 20 August 1942, launched as CVE-69 on 24 October 1943 by Kaiser Shipbuilding Company in Vancouver, Washington, under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Mrs. R. W. Morse; and acquired and commissioned by the Navy on 4 December 1943, Captain B. E. Grow in command.
World War II
Kasaan Bay was laid down initially as an S4-S2-BB3 oiler, in May 1943. She was completed as CVE-69 in October 1943 and was commissioned in December 1943. Following a short shakedown KasaanBay as assigned to Pacific Fleet aircraft and personnel ferry and replenishment duty, commencing in January 1944. On 8 January 1944, the carrier departed San Francisco with a cargo of planes and passengers for Pearl Harbor. Upon returning to San Diego she sailed for Norfolk, arriving on 28 February for overhaul and operations along the East Coast. On 28 May, she departed New York in company of Tulagi and Mission Bay with a cargo of planes for Casablanca, returning to New York on 17 June with 342 survivors of Block Island, which was torpedoed on 29 May.
The escort carrier departed Quonset Point, Rhode Island on 30 June and arrived Oran on 10 July. Throughout July, she engaged in ASW patrol and flight operations in the Mediterranean before rehearsing for the assault on Southern France. Kasaan Bay departed Malta on 12 August, and 3 days later arrived in the invasion area off the French Riviera. In one of the few instances in which F6Fs operated in combat from a CVE, F6F-5s and -5Ns assigned to the 24-plane squadrons VF-74 aboard Kasaan Bay and VOF-1 aboard Tulagi carried out a variety of missions in support of the landings and fighting inland. The CVEs conducted operations in concert with British escort carriers. Limited opportunities for air-to-air combat presented themselves but Kasaan Bay pilots shot down two German aircraft. She completed her assignment on 30 August and departed Oran, Algeria on 6 September, arriving Norfolk 12 days later.
Following a cruise carrying planes to Casablanca in late October, Kasaan Bay was assigned to the Pacific Fleet and arrived San Diego on 2 January 1945. During January she sailed to Pearl Harbor, Guam, and Ulithi with planes and replacements for other ships of the Fast Carrier Task Force.
The escort carrier returned Pearl Harbor on 14 February and immediately commenced training operations for air groups and replacement pilots. Kasaan Bay continued this duty until early June when she was assigned ASW patrols in the shipping lanes between the Marshall and Mariana Islands protecting the fleet's supply line during its final assault on Japan's defenses.
The following squadrons operated from Kasaan Bay during her career:
|July 1943||July 1943||Composite Squadron 69||FM/TBF|
|March 1944||March 1944||Composite Squadron 12||FM/TBM|
|June 1944||August 1944||Fighting Squadron 74||F6F-5/F6F-5N|
|June 1945||September 1945||Composite Squadron 72||FM/TBM|
When hostilities ended 14 August, Kasaan Bay returned to Guam where she was assigned "Magic-Carpet" duty. She departed Saipan on 13 September with her first group of returning veterans arriving San Diego 30 September. For the next 3 months, she made three cruises to Hawaii and the Philippines to transport homeward bound troops to the United States.
The escort carrier returned to San Francisco on 28 December and sailed for the East Coast on 29 January 1946, arriving Boston on 22 February. She decommissioned on 6 July 1946 and joined the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. While in reserve, Kasaan Bay was reclassified CVHE-69 on 12 June 1955. She was sold for scrap on 2 February 1960.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- Photo gallery at navsource.org
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