USS Casablanca

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USS Casablanca (CVE-55) underway at sea on 2 March 1945 (80-G-320296).jpg
USS Casablanca (CVE-55), first of her class and the first escort carrier designed and built as such, was placed in commission at Astoria, Oregon, 8 July 1943.
History
United States
Name:
  • Ameer
  • Alazon Bay
  • Casablanca
Namesake:
Builder: Kaiser Shipbuilding Company, Vancouver, Washington
Yard number: 301[1]
Laid down: 3 November 1942
Launched: 5 April 1943
Sponsored by: Eleanor Roosevelt
Commissioned: 8 July 1943
Decommissioned: 10 June 1946
Renamed:
  • Alazon Bay, 23 Jan 1943
  • Casablanca, 3 April 1943
Identification:
Fate: Sold for scrap, 1947
General characteristics [2]
Class and type: Casablanca-class escort carrier
Displacement:
  • 7,800 long tons (7,900 t) (standard)
  • 10,902 long tons (11,077 t) (full load)
Length:
  • 498 feet (152 m) oa
  • 490 feet (150 m) wl
Beam:
  • 65 ft 2 in (19.86 m)
  • 108 ft (33 m) (extreme width)
Draft: 22 ft 4 in (6.81 m) (max)
Installed power:
Propulsion:
Speed: 19 kn (35 km/h; 22 mph)
Range: 10,240 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 carried: 27 aircraft
Service record
Part of: United States Pacific Fleet (1943–1946)

USS Casablanca (AVG/ACV/CVE-55) was an escort aircraft carrier intended for transfer to the Royal Navy and named Ameer. She would be commissioned into the United States Navy as the lead ship of her class, named after the naval battle, at the city of the same name, that had taken place in 1942.

Construction[edit]

Assigned the name Ameer and the designator AVG-55, she became ACV-55 on 20 August 1942.[3] She was laid down 3 November 1942, under a Maritime Commission (MARCOM) contract, MC hull 1092, by Kaiser Shipbuilding Company, Vancouver, Washington; renamed Alazon Bay on 22 January 1943; renamed Casablanca on 3 April 1943;[4] launched on 5 April 1943; sponsored by Eleanor Roosevelt; acquired by the Navy on 8 July 1943, and commissioned the same day, Commander W. W. Gallaway in command. She then reported to the Pacific Fleet. She was redesignated CVE-55 on 15 July 1943.[3]

Service history[edit]

Casablanca operated in the Strait of Juan de Fuca as a training ship for escort carrier crews from the time of her commissioning until August 1944. On 24 August, she cleared San Francisco, carrying men, airplanes, and aviation gasoline to Manus Island, a major base for western Pacific operations. Returning to Seattle, on 8 October, she resumed her training operations in Puget Sound until 22 January 1945, when she began a repair period at San Diego.[3]

Putting to sea on 13 March, Casablanca called at Pearl Harbor, then delivered passengers and aircraft brought from the West Coast to the island of Guam. Acting as a transport ship for passengers, aircraft, and aviation gasoline, she operated between Samar, Manus, and Palau, until 12 May, when she put back for a West Coast overhaul. She returned with passengers to Pearl Harbor, on 24 June, and through the summer transported sailors and aviators from the West Coast to Pearl Harbor and Guam.[3]

After brief employment in carrier qualification training off Saipan in August, she carried homeward-bound US servicemen to San Francisco, arriving on 24 September. Continuing to aid in the homecoming of soldiers, sailors, and Marines from the Pacific Theater, Casablanca carried passengers on a voyage from the West Coast to Pearl Harbor in September and October, and then in November, she made a voyage from Pearl Harbor, to Espiritu Santo and Nouméa to recover more passengers. Her last voyage on this duty in Operation Magic Carpet, from 8 December 1945 to 16 January 1946, was from San Francisco to Yokohama. Casablanca cleared San Francisco, on 23 January, for Norfolk, Virginia, arriving on 10 February. There she was decommissioned on 10 June 1946, and sold on 23 April 1947.[3]

Awards[edit]

Notes[edit]

Citations

Bibliography[edit]

Online resources

External links[edit]

  • Photo gallery of USS Casablanca (CVE-55) at NavSource Naval History