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United States' Commencement Bay class escort aircraft carrier

Photos

CVE-107 USS Gilbert Islands escort aircraft carrier on July 18, 1945:
United States' CVE-107 USS Gilbert Islands escort aircraft carrier on July 18, 1945
US Navy Photo

Design

The Commencement Bay class was based on the Sangamon class. These used merchant hulls. There were 35 ships ordered with only 19 completed during World War II and eight afterwards.

The Commencement Bay class escort aircraft carriers could carry a lot more oil.

Flight Deck

The rear elevator was positioned more forward than the other escort aircraft carrier classes. There were two elevators in the flight deck.

There were two catapults.

Cost

The estimated cost to construct a Commencement Bay class escort aircraft carrier was $11 million each.

Ships

CVE-105 USS Commencement Bay

  • Formerly St. Joseph Bay.
  • Manufacturer: Todd-Pacific, Allis-Chalmers
  • September 23, 1943: Laid down.
  • May 9, 1944: Launched.
  • November 27, 1944: Completed.
  • Eastern Pacific: Trainer.

CVE-106 USS Block Island, Block Island II

  • Formerly Sunset Bay.
  • Manufacturer: Todd-Pacific, Allis-Chalmers
  • October 25, 1943: Laid down.
  • June 10, 1944: Launched.
  • December 30, 1944: Completed.
  • Early 1945: Pacific.

CVE-107 USS Gilbert Islands

  • Formerly St. Andrews Bay.
  • Manufacturer: Todd-Pacific, Allis-Chalmers
  • November 29, 1943: Laid down.
  • July 20, 1944: Launched.
  • February 5, 1945: Completed.
  • Used in the Pacific.
  • April 1945: Okinawa.

CVE-108 USS Kula Gulf

  • Formerly Vermillion Bay.
  • Manufacturer: Todd-Pacific, Allis-Chalmers
  • December 16, 1943: Laid down.
  • August 15, 1944: Launched.
  • May 12, 1945: Completed.
  • Used in the Pacific.

CVE-109 USS Cape Gloucester

  • Formerly Willapa Bay.
  • Manufacturer: Todd-Pacific, Allis-Chalmers
  • January 10, 1944: Laid down.
  • September 12, 1944: Launched.
  • March 5, 1945: Completed.
  • July 1945: Pacific. Northwest Pacific.

CVE-110 USS Salerno Bay

  • Formerly Winjah Bay.
  • Manufacturer: Todd-Pacific, Allis-Chalmers
  • February 7, 1944: Laid down.
  • September 26, 1944: Launched.
  • May 19, 1945: Completed.

CVE-111 USS Vella Gulf

  • Formerly Totem Bay.
  • Manufacturer: Todd-Pacific, Allis-Chalmers
  • March 7, 1944: Laid down.
  • October 19, 1944: Launched.
  • April 9, 1945: Completed.
  • Training.

CVE-112 USS Siboney

  • Formerly Frosty Bay.
  • Manufacturer: Todd-Pacific, Allis-Chalmers
  • April 1, 1944: Laid down.
  • November 9, 1944: Launched.
  • May 14, 1945: Completed.
  • Used in Pacific.

CVE-113 USS Puget Sound

  • Formerly Hobart Bay.
  • Manufacturer: Todd-Pacific, Allis-Chalmers
  • May 12, 1944: Laid down.
  • November 30, 1944: Launched
  • June 18, 1945: Completed.

CVE-114 USS Rendova

  • Formerly Mosser Bay.
  • Manufacturer: Todd-Pacific, Allis-Chalmers
  • June 15, 1944: Laid down.
  • December 28, 1944: Launched.
  • October 22, 1945: Completed.

CVE-115 USS Bairoko

  • Formerly Portage Bay.
  • Manufacturer: Todd-Pacific, Allis-Chalmers
  • July 25, 1944: Laid down.
  • January 25, 1945: Launched.
  • July 15, 1945, July 16, 1945: Completed.

CVE-116 USS Badoeng Strait

  • Formerly San Alberto Bay.
  • Manufacturer: Todd-Pacific, Allis-Chalmers
  • August 18, 1944: Laid down.
  • February 15, 1945: Launched.
  • November 14, 1945: Completed.

CVE-117 USS Saidor

  • Formerly Saltery Bay.
  • Manufacturer: Todd-Pacific, Allis-Chalmers
  • September 29, 1944: Laid down.
  • March 17, 1945: Launched.
  • September 4, 1945, November 14, 1945: Completed.

CVE-118 USS Sicily

  • Formerly Sandy Bay
  • Manufacturer: Todd-Pacific, Allis-Chalmers
  • October 23, 1944: Laid down.
  • April 14, 1945: Launched.
  • February 27, 1945, February 27, 1946: Completed.

CVE-119 USS Point Cruz

  • Formerly Trocadero Bay.
  • Manufacturer: Todd-Pacific, Allis-Chalmers
  • December 4, 1944: Laid down.
  • May 18, 1945: Launched.
  • October 16, 1945: Completed.

CVE-120 USS Mindoro

  • Manufacturer: Todd-Pacific, Allis-Chalmers
  • January 2, 1945: Laid down.
  • June 27, 1945: Launched.
  • December 4, 1945: Completed.

CVE-121 USS Rabaul

  • Manufacturer: Todd-Pacific, Allis-Chalmers
  • January 29, 1945: Laid down.
  • July 14, 1945: Launched.
  • August 30, 1945, August 30, 1946: Completed.
  • Never commissioned.

CVE-122 USS Palau

  • Manufacturer: Todd-Pacific, Allis-Chalmers
  • February 19, 1945: Laid down.
  • August 6, 1945: Launched.
  • January 1, 1946, January 15, 1946: Completed.

CVE-123 USS Tinian

  • Manufacturer: Todd-Pacific, Allis-Chalmers
  • March 20, 1945: Laid down.
  • September 5, 1945: Launched.
  • July 30, 1946: Completed.
  • Never commissioned.

CVE-124 USS Bastogne

  • Manufacturer: Todd-Pacific, Allis-Chalmers
  • August 11, 1945, August 1945: Cancelled

CVE-125 USS Eniwetok

  • Manufacturer: Todd-Pacific, Allis-Chalmers
  • August 11, 1945, August 1945: Cancelled.

CVE-126 USS Lingayen

  • Manufacturer: Todd-Pacific, Allis-Chalmers
  • August 11, 1945, August 1945: Cancelled.

CVE-127 USS Okinawa

  • Manufacturer: Todd-Pacific, Allis-Chalmers
  • August 11, 1945, August 1945: Cancelled.

CVE-128

  • Manufacturer: Todd-Pacific, Allis-Chalmers
  • August 11, 1945, August 1945: Cancelled.

CVE-129

  • Manufacturer: Todd-Pacific, Allis-Chalmers
  • August 11, 1945, August 1945: Cancelled.

CVE-130

  • Manufacturer: Todd-Pacific, Allis-Chalmers
  • August 11, 1945, August 1945: Cancelled.

CVE-131

  • Manufacturer: Todd-Pacific, Allis-Chalmers
  • August 11, 1945, August 1945: Cancelled.

CVE-132

  • Manufacturer: Kaiser, Kaiser at Vancouver
  • August 11, 1945, August 1945: Cancelled.

CVE-133

  • Manufacturer: Kaiser, Kaiser at Vancouver
  • August 11, 1945, August 1945: Cancelled.

CVE-134

  • Manufacturer: Kaiser, Kaiser at Vancouver
  • August 11, 1945, August 1945: Cancelled.

CVE-135

  • Manufacturer: Kaiser, Kaiser at Vancouver
  • August 11, 1945, August 1945: Cancelled.

CVE-136

  • Manufacturer: Kaiser, Kaiser at Vancouver
  • August 11, 1945, August 1945: Cancelled.

CVE-137

  • Manufacturer: Kaiser, Kaiser at Vancouver
  • August 11, 1945, August 1945: Cancelled.

CVE-138

  • Manufacturer: Kaiser, Kaiser at Vancouver
  • August 11, 1945, August 1945: Cancelled.

CVE-139

  • Manufacturer: Kaiser, Kaiser at Vancouver
  • August 11, 1945, August 1945: Cancelled.

Usage

Only the Block Island, Gilbert Islands, and Cape Gloucester saw action.

Specifications

  Commencement Bay class
Crew 1,000, 1,066
Displacement 10,900 tons, 12,000 tons, 18,908 tons
Displacement - Loaded 21,397 tons
Physical Characteristics  
Length 553', 557', 557' 1"
169.8 m, 169.9 m
Length - Waterline 525'
160.02 m
Beam 75'
22.86 m
Beam over flight deck 105' 2", 105' 3"
32.05 m
Draft / Height 30' 6"
Draft / Height - Maximum 27' 11"
8.5 m, 8.51 m
Flight Deck 495' x 80'
150.88 m x 24.38 m
Performance  
Speed 19 knots, 20 knots
Armament  
Anti-Aircraft 5", 5" L/38: 2
40 mm: 26, 36
40 mm quad mounts: 3
40 mm twin mounts: 12
20 mm: 20, 30
Aircraft 33, 34
Armor  
Engines  
Boilers Combustion Engineering: 4
Shafts 2
Turbines Allis-Chalmers geared, Geared
HP 16,000
Oil 1,789 tons, 3,134 tons
  USS Commencement Bay
Crew  
Displacement 18,908 tons
Displacement - Loaded 21,397 tons

Sources:

  1. US Warships of World War 2, Paul H. Silverstone, 1965
  2. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946, Robert Gardiner, 1987
  3. Janes' Fighting Ships of World War II, 1989
  4. Allied Escort Carriers of World War Two in Action, Kenneth Poolman, 1988
  5. The World's Aircraft Carriers 1914 - 1945, Roger Chesneau, 1986
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site