USS Hoggatt Bay (CVE-75)
USS Hoggat Bay (CVE-75) in January 1944
|Career (United States)|
|Name:||USS Hoggatt Bay|
|Launched:||4 December 1943|
|Commissioned:||11 January 1944|
|Decommissioned:||20 July 1946|
|Fate:||Sold for scrap on 31 March 1960|
|Class & type:||Casablanca-class escort carrier|
|Length:||512 ft 3 in (156.13 m) overall|
|Beam:||65 ft 2 in (19.86 m), 108 ft (33 m) maximum width|
|Draft:||22 ft 6 in (6.86 m)|
|Speed:||19 knots (35 km/h)|
|Range:||10,240 nmi (18,960 km) at 15 kn (28 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)|
|Part of:||United States Pacific Fleet|
|Operations:||Mariana and Palau Islands campaign, Philippines campaign, Battle of Okinawa, Operation Magic Carpet|
|Awards:||5 Battle Stars|
She was launched under Maritime Commission contract by Kaiser Co. Inc., Vancouver, Washington, on 4 December 1943. Originally classified AVG-75, she had been reclassified ACV-75 on 20 August 1942. Sponsored by Mrs. Victor Sundrik, she was reclassified again to CVE-75 on 15 July 1943, and was commissioned at Astoria, Oregon on 11 January 1944, with Captain W. V. Saunders in command.
After intensive training off the California coast, Hoggatt Bay transported aircraft and crews to Pearl Harbor from 10–25 March 1944. Upon her return and further training in antisubmarine work, she sailed on 1 May for Pearl Harbor and Majuro. The combination of escort carriers and destroyers had proven itself effective against submarines in the Second Battle of the Atlantic, and was now to be used in the Pacific against the Japanese. Hoggatt Bay and a group of destroyers and destroyer escorts patrolled in the southwest Pacific from 26 May-19 June with notable success. England scored a kill on Ro-105 on 31 May and Taylor sank Ro-111 with depth charges and gunfire 11 June. These operations and those of other groups did much to reduce Japanese submarine interference with the invasion of the Marianas.
Returning to the patrol area after a brief stay at Eniwetok, Hoggatt Bay 's group provided air support and cover for the Marianas operation from 5 July–9 August, after which the ships returned to Manus Island. Next on the timetable of Pacific conquest was Peleliu, a valuable air base for further advances, and Hoggatt Bay sortied 1 September to furnish antisubmarine protection and search planes for the invasion. For nearly two months the escort carrier cruised these seas south and west of the Marianas in support of American operations. Samuel S. Miles, a member of her group, sank I-177 on 3 October, and later in the month planes from Hoggatt Bay helped provide air cover for Houston as she struggled toward Ulithi.
The ship arrived at Ulithi on 28 October, and sailed on 10 November to provide air support for the developing campaign in the Philippines. This was followed by amphibious exercises in Huon Gulf, New Guinea, in preparation for the Lingayen unit operations. Arriving at Manus on 20 December 1944, Hoggatt Bay joined the great task force which departed from that and other staging bases in late December for Lingayen Gulf. The voyage through the Philippines was a perilous one, as the Japanese attacked with their last desperate weapon, the suicide plane. Crewmen on Hoggatt Bay and the other ships fought continuously after 3 January, downing many of the attackers, but Ommaney Bay was lost and other ships damaged. Arriving Lingayen Gulf on 6 January, Hoggatt Bay sent her carrier planes in to support the landings and destroy strong points despite suicide attacks; this vital work continued until 17 January, when the ship set course for Ulithi, and then San Diego.
The veteran escort carrier returned to San Diego 15 February 1945, and after much-needed repairs sailed 6 April to join the vast fleet arrayed off Okinawa in support of the invasion. She arrived Okinawa 8 May via Pearl Harbor and Ulithi and immediately took station south of the island to lend her aircraft to the carrier air forces engaged in the operation. Her planes flew direct support missions, photographic flights, and supply drops during the period from 8 May-24 June.
Hoggatt Bay arrived at Leyte Gulf on 27 June, and after a month of training sailed on 28 July for Adak, Alaska. The surrender came while the carrier was en route, however, and the planned operation was replaced by occupation plans. After her arrival on 18 August, Hoggatt Bay sailed for Ominato. She arrived September and supported the occupation of Hokkaidō and northern Honshū. During this period aircraft from the ship discovered many Japanese prison camps, and the ship had the pleasure of evacuating Lieutenant Colonel James Devereux, Marine Commander at Wake Island when captured by the Japanese. Hoggatt Bay also participated in the occupation of Aomori before anchoring in Tokyo Bay on 27 September.
The escort carrier departed Tokyo on 30 September and, after a brief service with the "Magic Carpet" fleet, returned to Boston and was decommissioned on 20 July 1946. Placed in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Boston, the ship was re-classified CVHE-75 on 12 June 1955, and AKV-25 on 7 May 1959. She was sold for scrap on 31 March 1960.
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