CVE-68 U.S.S. Corregidor

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This Month in Naval History
CVE-68 U.S.S. Corregidor

Corregidor

This fortress guarding the entrance to Manila Bay was the scene of the last gallant stand of the outnumbered American-Filipino force which surrendered to the overwhelming Japanese invaders 6 May 1942.

(CVE-68 dp, 7,800; 1. 512'3"; b. 66'2"; ew 108'1";
dr. 22'6"; s. 20 k.; cpl. 860; a. 1 5"; cl. Casablanca)

Auguilla Bay (AVG-58) was reclassified ACV-58, 20 August 1942 and launched as Corregidor on 12 May 1943 by Kaiser Co., Inc., Vancouver, Wash., under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Mrs. J. Hallett; reclassified CVE-58 on 15 July 1943 acquired by the Navy 31 August 1943; and commissioned the same day, Captain R. L. Bowman in command.

Clearing San Diego 26 October 1943, Corregidor joined Carrier Division 24 at Pearl Harbor for air strikes in the Gilbert Islands invasion from 10 November to 6 December. She returned to San Diego to undergo repairs and load aircraft and men, then resumed operations out of Pearl Harbor with her division. From 22 January to 3 March l 944 she sailed in the Marshalls operation, providing air cover for the invasion of Kwajalein.

Corregidor put to sea 11 March 1944 for Guadalcanal, arriving 21 March. With the 3d Fleet, she sortied I 30 March to provide air cover for the landings on Emirau Island, returning to Port Purvis 14 April. Two days later she sailed to join the 7th Fleet for air operations at Hollandia between 22 and 26 April, then put in to Manus Island for replenishment and antisubmarine patrols until 4 May. Embarking Commander, Carrier Division 24 for the Marianas operation, Corregidor provided combat air patrols and antiaircraft support for the invasion of Saipan from 15 to 25 June, accounting for at least eight enemy planes. She covered the logistics force off Eniwetok from 1 to 3 July, then aided in the softening up bombardment of Guam and provided air cover for the invasion until 28 July when she returned to San Diego for overhaul.

After qualifying pilots in carrier operations at Pearl Harbor from 12 October until 21 November 1944, Corregidor joined a hunter-killer group patrolling east of the Hawaiian Islands. On 2 January 1945 this group moved to patrol the area between Pearl Harbor and Eniwetok to protect heavy Allied shipping, returning to Pearl Harbor 13 February.

Corregidor sailed from Pearl Harbor 27 February to search for an overdue plane carrying Lieutenant General M. F. Harmon, USA, arriving at Majuro 20 March. From 21 March to 27 April, she conducted an antisubmarine patrol in the vicinity of Japanese-held Wotje and Maloelap in the Marshalls, then off Eniwetok.

Returning to Pearl Harbor 4 May 1945, Corregidor was assigned duty as a training ship in Hawaii, conducting carrier pilot qualifications until the end of the war. From 2 October 1945 to 10 January 1946 she alternated this duty with three voyages from Pearl Harbor to San Diego to return homeward-bound servicemen. Corregidor cleared San Diego 18 January 1946 for Norfolk arriving 4 February. Here she was placed out of commission in reserve 30 July 1946.

Recommissioned 13 May 1951 Corregidor was assigned to operate with the Military Sea Transportation Service. She ferried men, aircraft and aviation cargo to NATO nations under the Mutual Defense Assistance Plan but also made five voyages through the Panama Canal to bring men and cargo to the United Nations forces Korea in 1952, 1953, and 1954. Corregidor was reclassified CVU-58 on 12 June 1955. When the Lebanon crisis broke in the summer of 1958, Corregidor was at Brindisi Italy, and immediately lifted two reconnaissance planes of the 24th Infantry, USA, and 10 helicopters to support the landings in Lebanon. Returning to the United States, Corregidor was decommissioned 4 September 1958 and sold 28 April 1959.

Corregidor received four battle stars for World War It service.

 

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