USS Attu (CVE-102)

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USS Attu after weathering a typhoon. Several aircraft are in disarray on deck.
USS Attu after weathering a typhoon. Several aircraft are in disarray on deck.
History
United States
Name: USS Attu
Builder: Kaiser Shipyards
Laid down: 16 March 1944
Launched: 27 May 1944
Commissioned: 30 June 1944
Decommissioned: 8 June 1946
Struck: 3 July 1946
Fate: Sold for scrap 3 January 1947
General characteristics
Class and type: Casablanca-class escort carrier
Displacement: 7,800 tons
Length: 512 ft (156 m) overall
Beam: 65.2 ft (19.9 m)
Draft: 20 ft (6.1 m)
Speed: 19.3 knots (35.7 km/h)
Complement: 860 officers and men
Armament: 1 × 5 inch (127 mm)/38 cal gun, 16 × Bofors 40 mm guns, 20 × Oerlikon 20 mm cannons
Aircraft carried: 28

USS Attu (CVE-102) was a Casablanca-class escort aircraft carrier of the United States Navy, named after Attu in the Aleutian Islands.

Originally Elbour Bay, CVE-102 was renamed Attu 6 November 1943. She was laid down on 16 March 1944 at Vancouver, Washington, by the Kaiser Shipbuilding Company under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 1139), launched on 27 May 1944, sponsored by Mrs. George W. Steele, and commissioned on 30 June 1944, Captain H. F. MacComsey in command.

Service history[edit]

World War II[edit]

Following shakedown along the west coast, Attu got underway from San Diego on 7 August with numerous aircraft and personnel for transportation to Pearl Harbor. After a two-day stop in Hawaii, Attu continued on to Guadalcanal and Espiritu Santo to deliver replacement aircraft and personnel. The escort carrier then got underway on 31 August to return to the United States.

She reached San Diego on 13 September and, shortly thereafter, began post-shakedown availability at Terminal Island, California. This work was completed on 28 September, and Attu sailed for Alameda, California to load fuel, provisions and aircraft.

The escort carrier departed the west coast on 1 October and reached Finschhafen, New Guinea, on the 18th. She later made a stop in Seeadler Harbor at Manus Island before reversing her course and heading back, via Pearl Harbor, to Alameda. Following a two-week availability period, Attu sailed for Pearl Harbor on 23 November. She shuttled supplies and troops between Guam and Pearl Harbor before returning to San Diego on 4 January 1945.

The next day, Attu began an availability and was ready to sail once again on the 20th. The ship reached Pearl Harbor on the 27th and began gunnery exercises and flight operations off Oahu. On 1 February, the vessel sailed for Eniwetok. After pausing there briefly on the 10th, she moved on to Ulithi. The ship departed the atoll on 16 February to rendezvous with ships of Task Force 50 (TF 50). Attu was assigned the role of supplying replacement aircraft and pilots to the fast carrier task forces operating in the forward area. After discharging her cargo to the carriers, Attu sailed to Guam for replenishment. The escort carrier continued her logistics support role for the carrier forces through early July.

At that time, Attu returned to San Diego for repairs. On 24 July, the ship sailed back to the Pacific theater of operations. Attu was steaming in a fueling area south of the Japanese home islands when word of Japan’s capitulation arrived.

Post-War[edit]

The carrier sailed back to the west coast on 11 November and, on the 25th, began her participation in Operation Magic Carpet. In this capacity, Attu made voyages to numerous points in the Pacific. She steamed over 38,000 miles and returned over 4,000 service men to the United States.

In May 1946, Attu was slated for disposal. The escort carrier sailed to Norfolk, Virginia, via the Panama Canal and Jacksonville, Fla. Attu decommissioned at Norfolk on 8 June 1946, and her name was struck from the Navy list on 3 July 1946. She was sold on 3 January 1947.

Awards[edit]

Attu earned two battle stars for her World War II service.

References[edit]

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