Gambier Bay CVE-73

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This Month in Naval History
Gambier Bay CVE-73

Hoggatt Bay

A bay on the southeastern coast of Baranof Island, Alaska.

(CVE~75: dP. 7,800; 1. 512'3", b. 65'; ew. 108'1", dr. 22'6"; s. 19 k.; cpl. 860; a. 1 5", 16 40mm., cl. Casablanca)

Hoggatt Bay (CVE 75) was launched under Maritime Commission contract by Kaiser Co., Inc., Vancouver Wash., 4 Decemeber 1943. Originally classifled AVG-75 she had been reclassifled ACV-75, 20 August 1942. Sponsored by Mrs. Victor Sundrik, she was reclassifled again to CVE~75, 15 July 1943 and commissioned at Astoria,Oreg., 11 January 1944, Captain W. V. Haunders in command.

After intensive training off the Galifornia coast, Hoggatt Bay transported aircraft and crews to Pearl Harbor 10 25 March 1944. Upon her return and further training in antisubmarine work, she sailed 1 May for Pearl Harbor and MaJuro. The combination of escort carrier~ and destroyers had proven itself effective against submarines in the Battle of the Atlantic, and was now to be used in the Pacific against the Japanese. Hoggatt Bay and a group of destroyers and de~stroyer escorts patrolled in the southwest Pacific 26 May-19 June with notable suceess. Intrepid England scored A kill on Ro 105 31 May and Taylor sank Ro-lll 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 Mafianas.

Returning to the patrol area a bfief stay at Eniwetok Hoggatt Bay's group provided air support and cover for the Mafianas operation 5 July-9 August, after which the ships returned to Manus. Next on the timetable of Pacific conquest was Peleliu, a valuable air base for further advances, and Hoggatt Bag sortied 1 September to furnish antisubmafine protection and search planes for the invasion For nearly 2 months the escort carrier cruised these seas south and west of the Mafianas in support of American operations. Samuel S. Miles, a member of her group, sank I-177 3 October, and later in the month planes from Hoggatt Bay helped provide air cover for crippled Houston as she struggled toward Ulithi.

The ship arrived Ullthi 28 October, and sailed 10 November to provide air support for the developing campaign in the Philippines. This was followed by amphibious exercises in IIuon Gulf, New Guinea, in preparation for the
Lingayen Gulf operations. Arriving Manus 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 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 8 May-24 June.

Hoggatt Bay arrived Leyte Gulf 27 June 1945 and after a month of training sailed 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 18 August, Hoggatt Bay sailed for Ominato. She arrived September and supported the occupation of Hokkaido and northern Honshu. During this period aircraft from the ship discovered many Japanese prison camps, and the ship had the pleasure of evacuating Lieutenant Colonel 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 27 September.

The escort carrier departed Tokyo 30 September and after brief service with the "Magic Carpet" fleet returned to Boston and decommissioned 20 July 1946. Placed in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Boston, the ship was reclassified CVHW75, 12 June 1955 and 1kBV-25, 7 May 1959. She was sold for scrap 31 March 1960.

Hoggatt Bay received five battle stars for World War II service.

 

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