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CVE-56 USS Liscombe Bay .
CVE-56 USS Liscombe Bay

Class

Casablanca Class

Builder

Kaiser Shipbuilding Company

Vancouver, Washington

Laid down

9 December 1942

Launched

19 April 1943

Commissioned

7. August 1943

Flag Hoist / Radio Call Sign

N

Camouflage

Sep. 1943 - Nov. 1943   Measures 14

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NS Bremmerton WA
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21 October 1943  - 28 October 1943
Trip To Pearl Harbor
VC-39 F4F-4, TBF-1C -
last update 3. November 2010
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NS Pearl Harbor HI
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10 November 1943  - 24. November 1943
West Pacific
VC-39 F4F-4, TBF-1C -

 

   
last update 3. November 2010
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Decommissioned

24. November 1943 (Sunk by I-175)

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History (short)

After training operations along the West Coast, the Liscome Bay departed San Diego, California, on 21 October 1943, arriving at Pearl Harbor one week later. Once additional drills and operational exercises were completed, the escort carrier set off on what was to be her first and last battle mission. As a member of Carrier Division 24 (CarDiv 24), she departed Pearl Harbor on 10 November attached to TF 52, Northern Attack Force, under Rear Admiral Richmond K. Turner, bound for the invasion of the Gilbert Islands.
The invasion bombardment announcing the United States's first major thrust into the central Pacific began on 20 November at 05:00. Just 76 hours later, Tarawa Atoll and Makin A were both captured. Liscome Bay's aircraft took part in the 2,278 action sorties by carrier-based planes, which neutralized enemy airbases, supported U.S. Army landings and ground operations in bombing-strafing missions, and intercepted enemy raids. With the islands secured, U.S. naval forces began retiring.
On 23 November, the Japanese submarine I-175 arrived off Makin. A temporary task group, built around Rear Admiral Henry M. Mullinnix three escort carriers - Liscome Bay, Coral Sea and Corregidor - was steaming 20 miles southwest of Butaritari Island at 15 knots. At 04:30 on 24 November, reveille was sounded in Liscome Bay. The crew went to routine general quarters at 05:05, when flight crews prepared their planes for dawn launchings.
At about 05:10, a lookout shouted, "Here comes a torpedo!" The torpedo struck abaft the after engine room and detonated the aircraft bomb stockpile, causing a major explosion which engulfed the ship and sent shrapnel flying as far as 5,000 yards. "It didn't look like a ship at all", wrote Lieutenant John C. W. Dix, communications officer on Hoel, "We thought it was an ammunition dump... She just went whoom an orange ball of flame."
Burial at sea aboard the Leonard Wood of two Liscome Bay sailors, victims of the submarine attack by I-175. Foreground facing ceremony are survivors of Liscome Bay. Ship in background is Neville carrying remainder of the survivors.
At 05:33, Liscome Bay listed to starboard and then sank, carrying 53 officers and 591 enlisted men including Admiral Mullinix, Captain Wiltsie, and famous Pearl Harbor hero Ship's Cook Third Class Doris Miller - down with her. Of the 916 crewmen, only 272 were rescued by Morris, Hughes and Hull. The survivors had reached the deck soon after the initial torpedo impact. The bombs in storage exploded minutes later, possibly due to a second torpedo.
Including the sailors lost on the Lisome Bay, American casualties in the assault on Makin Island exceeded the strength of the entire Japanese garrison. Future legal scholar Robert Keeton, then a Navy lieutenant, survived the attack.


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