Casablanca-class escort carriers of the United States Navy (USN) emerged during the fighting of World War 2 (1939-1945). The escort carrier proved its worth, able to haul modest collections of aircraft, supplies, and vehicles to wherever they were needed. Slower and smaller than their larger and faster counterparts, escort carriers had the advantage of be produced in short order and relatively cheaply under wartime conditions. USS Kalinin Bay (CVE-68) was just one of the 50-strong Casablanca-class, the warship built by Kaiser Shipyards and laid down on April 26th, 1943. She was launched on October 15th of that year and commissioned as soon as November 27th to take part in the fighting.
Displacement reached 7,800 tons and the vessel managed a running length of 512.2 feet with a beam of 65.1 feet and a draught of 22.5 feet. Power was from 4 x Boilers feeding 2 x Skinner Uniflow 5-cylinder reciprocating engines developing 9,000 horsepower to drive 2 x Shafts under stern. Maximum speed in ideal conditions reached 19 knots and range was out to 10,240 nautical miles.
Aboard was a crew of 860 and an additional 56 men made up the air arm. Armament was modest and strictly for self-defense, comprised of 1 x 5" /38 caliber Dual-Purpose (DP) gun, 16 x 40mm Bofors Anti-Aircraft (AA) guns set across eight twin-gunned mountings, and 20 x 20mm Oerlikon AA guns in single-gunned mountings.
The escort carrier carried a full complement of twenty-seven warplanes of various makes and models.
Her design was to the Casablanca-class standard: the island superstructure was offset to starboard and slightly forward of midships. The flat top flight deck was of a straight-through design with no obstructions present save for the island. The deck held a pair of elevators for moving aircraft above and below deck while a single catapult was used for launching. AA weapons were set in "tubs" along the edges of the flight deck, providing a web of defense against enemy aircaft.
USS Kalinin Bay completed its "shakedown" cruiser along the American Pacific Coast in December of 1943 and reached Tarawa later that month by way of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. From there she took part in major campaigns that included the Gilbert and Marshall Islands, Mariana and Palau, the Philippines, and the famous "Battle off Samar" - an American victory. At home for repairs in January of 1945, Kalinin Bay brought more men and machines to Guam via Pearl and served as a replenishment carrier during the final months of the War in the Pacific - 600 warplanes were transferred before the end of the war arrived in August 1945. After the war, she took part in bringing American soldiers home under "Operation Magic Carpet".
USS Kalinin Bay was decommissioned on May 15th, 1946 and sold for scrapping on December 8th of that year.
For her service in the Grand War, Kalinin bay was awarded five Battle Stars as well as the Presidential Unit Citation - such was her contribution to the Allied war effort during the period.
USS Casablanca (CVE-55); USS Liscome Bay (CVE-56); USS Anzio (CVE-57); USS Corregidor (CVE-58); USS Mission Bay (CVE-59); USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60); USS Manila Bay (CVE-61); USS Natoma Bay (CVE-62); USS St. Lo (CVE-63); USS Tripoli (CVE-64); USS Wake Island (CVE-65); USS White Plains (CVE-66); USS Solomons (CVE-67); USS Kalinin Bay (CVE-68); USS Kasaan Bay (CVE-69); USS Fanshaw Bay (CVE-70); USS Kitkun Bay (CVE-71); USS Tulagi (CVE-72); USS Gambier Bay (CVE-73); USS Nehenta Bay (CVE-74); USS Hoggatt Bay (CVE-75); USS Kadashan Bay (CVE-76); USS Marcus Island (CVE-77); USS Savo Island (CVE-78); USS Ommaney Bay (CVE-79); USS Petrof Bay (CVE-80); USS Rudyerd Bay (CVE-81); USS Saginaw Bay (CVE-82); USS Sargent Bay (CVE-83); USS Shamrock Bay (CVE-84); USS Shipley Bay (CVE-85); USS Sitkoh Bay (CVE-86); USS Steamer Bay (CVE-87); USS Cape Esperance (CVE-88); USS Takanis Bay (CVE-89); USS Thetis Bay (CVE-90); USS Makassar Strait (CVE-91); USS Windham Bay (CVE-92); USS Makin Island (CVE-93); USS Lunga Point (CVE-94); USS Bismarck Sea (CVE-95); USS Salamaua (CVE-96); USS Hollandia (CVE-97); Kwajalein (CVE-98); Admiralty Islands (CVE-99); USS Bougainville (CVE-100); USS Matanikau (CVE-101); USS Attu (CVE-102); USS Roi (CVE-103); USS Munda (CVE-104)
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Flag Ship / Capital Ship
Serving in the fleet Flag Ship role or Capital Ship in older warship designs / terminology.
512.2 ft 156.12 m
108.0 ft 32.92 m
22.5 ft 6.86 m
4 x Boilers with 2 x Skinner UnaFlow engines developing 9,000 shaft horsepower to 2 x shafts.
19.0 kts (21.9 mph)
10,241 nm (11,785 mi | 18,966 km)
1 x 5" /38 caliber Dual-Purpose (DP) gun
16 x 40mm Bofors Anti-Aircraft (AA) cannons (8 x twin-gun mounts).
20 x 20mm Oerlikon Anti-Aircraft (AA) cannons (single mounts).
(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
Up to 27 aircraft of various makes and models.
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective naval campaigns / operations / periods.
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