- USS Steamer Bay (CVE-87)
USS "Steamer Bay" (CVE-87) was a "Casablanca" class
escort carrierof the United States Navy. She was laid down on 4 December 1943at Vancouver, Washington, by the Kaiser Shipbuilding Company; launched on 26 February 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Henry S. Kendall; and commissioned on 4 April 1944, Captain Steadman Teller in command.
"Steamer Bay" held
sea trialsin Puget Soundand sailed for San Diegoon 2 May. On the 14th, she headed for the New Hebrides, carrying the men and aircraft of Marine Air Group (MAG) 61. She arrived at Espiritu Santoon the 30th, unloaded, and began her return voyage to San Diego on 2 June. The carrier was on the west coast from 20 Juneto 19 Julywhen she again steamed west, with 298 marines and 72 aircraft, bound for the Marshall Islands.
"Steamer Bay" arrived at
Majuroon 1 Augustto discharge her cargo and passengers. She was routed back to Pearl Harborand attached to the 3d Fleetas a carrier of replacement aircraft. Seventy-two planes were loaded on board; and the ship steamed for Seeadler Harbor, Manus Island, on 21 August. During the next two and one-half months, the carrier supplied replacement aircraft and pilots to Task Force (TF) 38 which was supporting the operations in the Palauand Philippine Islands. She spent the period from 15 Novemberto 5 Decemberat Pearl Harbor undergoing repairs and training. The ship returned to Seeadler Harbor on 17 December 1944and was assigned to Task Group (TG) 77.4, the San Fabian Carrier Group, which sortied on 1 January 1945.
The group (
Taffy 2), consisting of six escort carriers under the command of Rear Admiral Felix Stump, supported the Lingayen landings. While steaming through the Sulu and South China seas toward the Lingayen beaches, during the first week of January 1945, the group was the target of numerous enemy air attacks. Of the six carriers, USS|Ommaney Bay|CVE-79|3 was sunk on 4 Januaryby a kamikazeplane; and USS|Manila Bay|CVE-61|3 and USS|Savo Island|CVE-78|3 were damaged the next day. During the landings, the CVE's launched over 1,400 aircraft sorties in support of ground forces. "Steamer Bay" remained in the Philippine Islandswith the 7th Fleetuntil she got underway on 31 Januaryfor Ulithi.
"Steamer Bay" anchored there from
5 Februaryto 10 Februarywhen she departed with units of the 5th Fleetfor the invasion of Iwo Jima. She was with four other escort carriers which arrived at their assigned area of operations, 50 miles west of Iwo Jima, on 16 February. Their mission was to neutralize Japanese bases in the Nanpō Islandsuntil 19 February(D-Day) and then provide air cover and direct support for the marines during the landings and the struggle for the strategic island.
"Steamer Bay" was relieved on
7 Marchand arrived at San Pedro Bay, Leyte, on the 12th. She sailed for the Ryukyuson 27 Marchand arrived in the operating area south of Okinawaon the morning of 1 April. She remained off Okinawauntil 26 Maywhen she sailed to Apra Harbor, Guam, for repairs. On 10 June, the carrier was ordered to join the 3d Fleeteast of Miyako Jimaand assist in neutralizing Japanese airfields in Sakishima Gunto. She conducted air strikes against the fields from 14 Juneto 22 Junewhen she sailed for Ulithi.
"Steamer Bay" stood out of Ulithi, on
3 July, with the Logistics Support Group resupplying the fast carrier forces during operations against the Japanese mainland. On the 20th, she was detached and sailed, via Guam and Pearl Harbor, for the west coast, arriving at San Diego on 10 August.
"Steamer Bay" was in drydock when hostilities with
Japanended, and she was given additional bunks to accommodate veterans returning from overseas. She sailed for Pearl Harbor, on 28 September, on her first “Magic Carpet” assignment.
"Steamer Bay" was assigned to the
Pacific Reserve Fleeton 4 February 1946and berthed at Tacoma, Washington. In January 1947, she was placed in reserve, out of commission. Her designation was changed from CVE-87 to CVHE-87 on 12 June 1955. The carrier was struck from the Navy list on 1 March 1959and sold to Hyman-Michaels Co., Chicago, Illinois, on 29 August 1959for scrap.
"Steamer Bay" received six
battle stars for World War IIservice.
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