Shamrock Bay remained on the west coast into June qualifying pilots
in carrier landings. Then transferred to transport duty in the
Atlantic, she carried Army fighter planes and Army and Navy
personnel to Casablanca and brought back damaged P-40s for use in
training and for salvage and aircraft engines for overhaul and
salvage. Passengers on the return voyages were, for the most part,
Army Air Corps personnel from the China-Burma-India theater.
On 27 October, Shamrock Bay completed her second transport run at
Norfolk and prepared for antisubmarine operations in the South
Atlantic. However, the loss of escort carriers in the Philippine
area brought a change of orders; and, on 11 November, with Composite
Squadron 42 (VC-42) embarked, she sailed for the Pacific.
Transiting the Panama Canal on 18 November, she arrived at San Diego
on the 27th; embarked VC-93 for transportation to Hawaii on 2
December; and reached Pearl Harbor on the 9th. There, VC-42 and −93
were disembarked and VC-94 reported for duty. On the 11th, Shamrock
Bay continued west, and, delivering planes to Johnston Island en
route, arrived at Seeadler Harbor, on Manus in the Admiralty
Islands, on the 22nd to join the 7th Fleet.
With an increase in aircraft from her normal ASW complement of 9 TBM
Avengers and 12 FM-2 Wildcats to 12 Avengers and 20 Wildcats,
Shamrock Bay covered Task Groups 79.1 and 79.2 from 31 December 1944
through 8 January 1945, as those groups departed the Admiralties and
moved into the Philippines for the Lingayen Gulf invasion of Luzon.
Enemy aerial resistance increased as the force closed its objective.
On the 8th, dogfights peppered the sky. Kadashan Bay was hit by a
kamikaze and was unable to accommodate all of her planes. Two were
landed on Shamrock Bay. Shortly afterwards, another kamikaze, a
Nakajima Ki-43 "Oscar", headed for Shamrock Bay, but was driven off
only to crash into Kitkun Bay. Shamrock Bay then landed that CVE's
planes, as escort ships went to the aid of the stricken carrier.
From 9 to 17 January, Shamrock Bay remained in the assault area
conducting flight operations in support of the invasion. Five
hundred and seventy-one sorties were flown, 180 of which were over
Luzon. On the 17th, she joined TG 77.14 and sailed for Ulithi.
At Ulithi, the escort carrier joined TU 50.8.25; and, on 16 February,
departed that atoll to act as carrier escort of group Baker of the
Logistics Support Group for the Iwo Jima landings. She continued
that support into March. On the 5th, she returned to Ulithi to
prepare for Operation Iceberg, the assault on Okinawa; and, on the
13th, she got underway for the Ryukyus, again supplying cover for
the Logistics Support Group. Detached on 7 April, a week after the
main landings on the Hagushi beaches, she joined TU 52.1.1 and
commenced strikes over Okinawa.
On 15 April 1945, four of the Shamrock Bay's FM-2 Wildcat fighters
were scrambled to help save the USS Laffey (DD-724). The Laffey was
under attack from kamikazes in Picket Station 1, 50 miles north of
Okinawa. The four fighters shot down six enemy kamikazes but were
forced to return to the Shamrock Bay due to being low on fuel and
ammunition. The Laffey is later saved by a flight of 12 Marine
Vought F4U Corsair fighter-bombers.
With only a few, brief interruptions to take on supplies and
ammunition at Kerama Retto, Shamrock Bay remained at sea conducting
flight operations in support of the Okinawa campaign until 11 May.
She then sailed for Guam to take on aircraft and aviation spares as
well as ammunition and supplies. On the 20th, Captain J.E. Leeper
relieved Captain Ward, and VC-96 replaced VC-94. On the 28th, the
ship departed Apra Harbor to return to the Ryukyus; and, at the end
of the month, she resumed her support activities as a unit of TU
32.1.1. In early June, flight operations were interrupted as the
force rode out a typhoon, then continued until the ships headed for
the Philippines after mid-month.
Shamrock Bay, having launched over 1,200 sorties in support of the
Okinawa campaign, arrived in San Pedro Bay on 27 June. In early July,
she transferred her planes to Guiuan airfield. On the 5th, she
sailed for Guam to take on aircraft engines to be returned to the
United States for overhaul; and, on the 27th, she arrived at San
Diego. VC-96 then disembarked, and Shamrock Bay commenced an
availability period which ended just before the cessation of
hostilities in the Pacific.
After the end of the war, Shamrock Bay made a transport run to Guam,
carrying Army and Navy planes out and vehicles back. Then assigned
to "Magic Carpet" duty, she offloaded her aviation stores and
detached her aviation personnel at Alameda; and, on 20 October,
headed for Pearl Harbor to embark her first contingent of returning
veterans, members of the 4th Marine Division. She completed that run
at San Diego on 2 November 1945, then made two transpacific runs,
one to Okinawa and one to Honshū. She completed the second run at
Seattle on 26 January 1946. On 2 February, she sailed for Alameda;
and, on the 7th, she got underway to return to the east coast for
Shamrock Bay arrived at Boston on 1 March; underwent overhaul; and
was decommissioned on 6 July 1946. Reclassified CVU-84 on 12 June
1955, she remained in the Reserve Fleet until struck from the Navy
List on 27 June 1958. In May 1958, she was sold for scrapping to the
Hyman-Michaels Co., of Chicago.