Seeadler Harbor, also known as Port Seeadler, is located on Manus Island, Admiralty Islands, Papua New Guinea and played an important role in World War II. In German, "Seeadler" means sea eagle, pointing to German colonial activity between 1884 and 1919 in that area. The bay was named in 1900 after the German cruiser SMS Seeadler.
On 29 February 1944, General Douglas MacArthur led Operation Brewer to take the islands from the Japanese who had occupied them beginning in 1942. The islands were secured by the Americans on 19 March 1944, who then built a large base at Seeadler Harbor including wharves and an airbase. This base served as a staging area for further World War II operations in New Guinea and the Philippines.
USS Mount Hood exploded accidentally while moored in Seeadler Harbor on 10 November 1944. The ship was carrying ammunition and the tremendous explosion caused 432 fatalities, 371 wounded, damage to surrounding ships and base from debris and sinking or severely damaging 22 smaller craft.
A Japanese Mitsubishi A6M reconnaissance aircraft reported "two large aircraft carriers" at Seeadler Harbor on 22 April 1945, which were actually the U.S. Navy's Large Auxiliary Floating Dry Docks ASDB-2 and ASDB-4. Two Nakajima B5N torpedo bombers attacked the floating drydocks five nights later. Both were hit but received only moderate damage to a single pontoon each.
Accidents and incidents involving transport or storage of ammunition include:
1634 Valletta explosion, Malta
An Ottoman ammunition dump inside the Parthenon was ignited by Venetian bombardment in 1687
1806 Birgu polverista explosion, Malta
Siege of Almeida (1810), a chance shell ignited a line of black powder which set off a chain reaction in the magazine
City Point, Virginia, Union army supply depot sabotaged in 1864 by Confederate Secret Service
Black Tom explosion, 1916 act of sabotage on American ammunition supplies by German agents during World War I
Kingsland explosion, American munitions factory in 1917
Halifax Explosion, 1917 ammunition ship explosion that killed over 2,000 people
Morgan Depot Explosion, American munitions factory in 1918
Lake Denmark explosion, July 10 1926 detonation of millions of pounds of stored explosives at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey
Joliet Army Ammunition Plant explosion, a 1942 explosion that was felt 100 miles away
Air raid on Bari, a port disaster in Italy in 1943
SS El Estero, ammunition ship that caught fire in New York Harbor in 1943 during World War II
Naval Station Norfolk, September 17, 1943 accidental truckload explosion of 24 aerial depth charges -killing 40 and injuring 386
Naval Weapons Station Yorktown VA November 1943 explosion-6 killed
USS Turner (DD-648), 1943 naval explosion in Lower New York Bay
Bombay Explosion (1944), explosion on a ship in Bombay Harbour
SS Paul Hamilton, 20 April 1944, liberty ship carrying cargo of high explosives and bombs-sunk by Luftwaffe
Soham rail disaster, 2 June 1944, fire and subsequent explosion of a freight wagon carrying high explosives.
West Loch disaster, ammunition explosion in Pearl Harbor, two months before Port Chicago
Port Chicago disaster, a deadly munitions explosion that occurred in 1944, at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine in California
Naval Ammunition Depot, 27 September 1944 munitions explosions causing nine deaths and extensive damage.
USS Mount Hood (AE-11), 10 November 1944 explosion of an ammunition ship at Seeadler Harbor, 432 killed
RAF Fauld explosion, UK underground munitions storage depot in 1944, one of largest non-nuclear explosions in history
SS John Burke, a Liberty Ship carrying ammunition was hit by a kamikaze pilot and disintegrated in an enormous explosion on December 28, 1944.
SS Charles Henderson, unloading accident in Bari, Italy, 9 April 1945
SS Canada Victory, SS Logan Victory and SS Hobbs Victory each with 6,000 pounds of ammunition sank after kamikaze attacks caused an explosion near Okinawa in 1945.
SS Greenhill Park, 1945 incident in Vancouver similar to El Estero
Cádiz Explosion, 18 August 1947, in mines and torpedoes depot, ca. 150 killed and large part of the city destroyed
Prüm, Germany, 15 July 1949, a French Army depot with 500 tons of ammunition explodes, 12 killed
South Amboy powder pier explosion, New Jersey, 1950
Explosion of the RFA Bedenham, 27 April 1951 explosion of an ammunition ship in the Port of Gibraltar
Cali explosion, 1956 explosion of seven army ammunition trucks loaded with 1053 boxes of dynamite, which were parked overnight in Cali, Colombia.
SS Richard Montgomery, explosive-filled liberty ship wreck, off the UK's Kent coast
1973 Roseville Yard Disaster, high-explosive aircraft ammunition and ordnance in military boxcars in a Southern Pacific train consist in its Roseville, California railyard.
Severomorsk Disaster, 13-17 May 1984, munitions fire at the Soviet naval base, 200-300 killed
2008 Gërdec explosions, Albania
Evangelos Florakis Naval Base explosion, Cyprus, 2011Los Negros Island
Los Negros Island is the third largest of the Admiralty Islands. It is significant because it contains the main airport of Manus Province on its eastern coastline, at Momote. It is connected to Lorengau, the capital of the province, on Manus Island via a highway and bridge across the Lonui Passage, which separates Los Negros from the larger Manus Island.
One of Australia's regional centres for asylum seekers caught in Australian waters, the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre, was situated on the island until it closed in November 2017. Remaining asylum seekers were as of February 2019 housed in accommodation in Lorengau.USS ABSD-4
USS ABSD-4, later redesignated as AFDB-4, was a nine-section, non-self-propelled, large auxiliary floating drydock of the US Navy. Advance Base Sectional Dock-4 (Auxiliary Floating Dock Big-4) was constructed in sections during 1942 and 1943 by the Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, California for World War 2. With all ten sections joined, she was 927 feet long, 28 feet tall (keel to welldeck), and with an inside clear width of 133 feet 7 inches. ABSD-4 had a traveling 15-ton capacity crane with a 85-foot radius and two or more support barges. The two side walls were folded down under tow to reduce wind resistance and lower the center of gravity. ABSD-4 had 6 capstans for pulling, each rated at 24,000 lbf (110,000 N) at 30 ft/min (0.15 m/s), 4 of the capstans were reversible. There were also 4 ballast compartments in each section.USS AFDB-2
USS ABSD-2, later redesignated as AFDB-2, was a ten-section, non-self-propelled, large auxiliary floating drydock of the US Navy. Advance Base Sectional Dock-2 (Auxiliary Floating Dock Big-2) was constructed in sections during 1942 and 1943 by the Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, California for World War 2. Her official commissioning ceremony took place on 14 August 1943 with CDR. Joseph J. Rochefort in command. With all ten sections joined, she was 927 feet long, 28 feet tall (keel to welldeck), and with an inside clear width of 133 feet 7 inches. ABSD-2 had a traveling 15-ton capacity crane with a 85-foot radius and two or more support barges. The two side walls were folded down under tow to reduce wind resistance and lower the center of gravity. ABSD-2 had 6 capstans for pulling, each rated at 24,000 lbf (110,000 N) at 30 ft/min (0.15 m/s), 4 of the capstans were reversible. There were also 4 ballast compartments in each section.USS Arayat (IX-134)
The USS Arayat (IX-134) was a petroleum tanker built in 1918 at Glasgow, Scotland, by Fairfield Shipbuilding, as SS Faireno. She was acquired by the United States Navy from the War Shipping Administration on 13 April 1944 at Brisbane, Australia, and commissioned there on 18 April 1944 with Lieutenant M. Himelfarb in command.
On 28 April, she was put to sea bound for the coast of New Guinea. She arrived at Milne Bay on 5 May where she began service as a station tanker dispensing fuel oil to units of the 7th Fleet. She remained at that port until early March 1945. On the 5th of that month, the tanker got underway for Hollandia, New Guinea, arrived in Humboldt Bay on the 13th, and began duty as station tanker there. While at Hollandia, she made periodic runs to Tanahmerah Bay to replenish her oil supply, but spent most of her time at her base refueling American warships through the end of the war and into the autumn.
Late in October 1945, she moved to Seeadler Harbor at Manus Island in the Admiralties for repairs. On 6 November, she got underway for Pearl Harbor. Arayat stopped over at Pearl Harbor from 27 November to 4 December before continuing her voyage to the United States. She transited the Panama Canal on 3 January 1946 and arrived at Mobile, Alabama, on the 14th. Arayat was decommissioned on 15 February 1946 and was delivered to the War Shipping Administration that same day for disposal. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 12 March 1946.USS Bootes (AK-99)
USS Bootes (AK-99) was a Crater-class cargo ship commissioned by the US Navy for service in World War II. She was named after the constellation Boötes. She was responsible for delivering troops, goods and equipment to locations in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater.USS Daly (DD-519)
USS Daly (DD-519), a Fletcher-class destroyer, was a ship of the United States Navy named for Marine Sergeant Major Daniel Daly, (1873–1937), one of the very few people to be twice awarded the Medal of Honor.
Daly was launched 24 October 1942 by Bethlehem Steel Co., Staten Island, N.Y., sponsored by Mrs. A. Ransweiler, niece of Sergeant Major Daly; and commissioned 10 March 1943, Commander R. G. Visser in command.USS Indus (AKN-1)
USS Indus (AKN-1) was the lead ship of the Indus-class of converted liberty ship net cargo ships in the service of the United States Navy in World War II. Named after the constellation Indus, it was the only ship of the Navy to bear this name.
Indus was laid down 4 October 1943 as liberty ship SS Theodore Roosevelt (MCE hull 1814) by Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard, Baltimore, Maryland, under a Maritime Commission contract; launched 29 October 1943; sponsored by Mrs. William MacMillan, granddaughter of President Theodore Roosevelt; acquired by the Navy 5 November 1943; converted at the Maryland Drydock Company; and renamed Indus. She commissioned 15 February 1944, Commander. A. S. Einmo in command.
After the installation of additional equipment at Norfolk, the net cargo ship conducted shakedown in Chesapeake Bay until 14 March 1944. She sailed from Norfolk 1 April for the Pacific theater, via the Canal Zone, and arrived Espiritu Santo 12 May 1944. Her first assignment was the installation of nets in Seeadler Harbor, and she arrived there 1 June 1944 to direct and support the work of net-laying ships. With these important anti-torpedo nets completed, the ship departed 29 July to load gear at Milne Bay, New Guinea, arriving Mios Woendi to install nets 30 August. Indus then returned to Milne Bay 27 September, and soon afterward became flagship for Commander 7th Fleet Service Forces during the Leyte operation. She sailed 12 October for Hollandia and arrived Leyte Gulf 24 October to support that vital operation. The versatile ship issued stores and did repair work during this period, and during the numerous air raids shot down at least two Japanese aircraft. She departed 6 December for Hollandia where she loaded additional gear and provisions.
As the next major assault in the Philippines, the Lingayen Gulf operation, began to take shape at staging bases, Indus joined the service group and departed 28 December for the landing. Although the Japanese made desperate air attacks on the convoy, sinking some ships but suffering heavy losses themselves, the fleet resolutely drove through to its objective. Indus arrived safely at the assault area 9 January 1945 and performed service duties during the initial landing stages. Departing 23 February, the ship sailed to the recaptured base at Subic Bay and on 28 February began to establish net defenses. She continued this vital work until departing 11 May for Hollandia, where she arrived two days later.
Indus returned to the Manila Bay area 24 May to unload supplies, then sailed 1 June for Pearl Harbor. She remained there until 30 June, when she sailed with net gear for Eniwetok Atoll, for work on the net defenses there. The veteran ship returned to Pearl Harbor in August, and was in port when the surrender of Japan was announced. She subsequently carried cargo and did net work at Eniwetok, Saipan, and Kwajalein until the end of 1945. She returned to Norfolk 14 March 1946, via the Panama Canal, decommissioned at Norfolk 20 May 1946, and was returned to the Maritime Commission 3 days later. Placed in the National Defense Reserve Fleet under her old name, she was berthed at Wilmington, North Carolina until she was scrapped in 1967.
Indus received one battle star for World War II service.USS Leopard (IX-122)
USS Leopard (IX-122), an Armadillo-class tanker designated an unclassified miscellaneous vessel, was a United States Navy ship named for the leopard, a large and ferocious spotted cat of southern Asia and Africa. Her keel was laid down as William B. Bankhead on 5 October 1943 by Delta Shipbuilding Company, in New Orleans, Louisiana, under a Maritime Commission contract (T. Z-ET1-S-C3). She was renamed Leopard on 27 October 1943, launched on 15 November 1943 sponsored by Mrs. William B. Bankhead, acquired by the Navy 24 December 1943, and commissioned on 26 December 1943 with Lieutenant G. C. Foltz in command.
Originally designed to carry dry cargo, Leopard was converted to a tanker, and departed Key West, Florida, on 18 January 1944 for the southwest Pacific. Arriving Bora Bora, Society Islands, on 27 February, she performed harbor fueling operations out of Australia and New Guinea until mid-April when she sailed for the Admiralty Islands. For the rest of the war, Leopard continued harbor fueling duties in the vicinity of New Guinea.
Following V-J Day, the tanker departed Seeadler Harbor on 30 August 1945 and arrived Manila Bay on 9 September where she performed similar services. Leopard remained in the Philippines until she sailed for the United States on 19 March 1946 arriving Norfolk, Virginia, on 11 May. She decommissioned there 21 June 1946 and was delivered to the War Shipping Administration the same day for disposal. Her name was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 3 July 1946.USS Mink (IX-123)
USS Mink (IX-123), an Armadillo-class tanker designated an unclassified miscellaneous vessel, was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for the mink, a mammal found in the cooler latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, valued for its lustrous fur. Her keel was laid down as Judah Touro 20 October 1943 under a Maritime Commission contract (T. Z.ET1.S.C3) by Delta S. B. Shipbuilding Company, New Orleans, Louisiana. She was launched on 4 December 1943 sponsored by Mrs. E. S. Lazarus, renamed Mink 27 October 1943, acquired by the Navy 8 January 1944, and commissioned on 9 January 1944 with Lieutenant W. J. Meagher in command.
After shakedown off Texas, Mink arrived Balboa, Panama Canal Zone, on 2 February 1944. She then sailed to Milne Bay, New Guinea, with a cargo of diesel oil and motor gasoline, arriving 12 March to strengthen the service force of the Seventh Fleet. After unloading cargo and fuel along the coast of New Guinea, she joined a convoy which anchored in Seeadler Harbor, Admiralty Islands, on 30 May. Mink spent the next two months discharging cargoes, of aviation gasoline, diesel, and lubricating oil to many ships and craft during the buildup for the invasion of the Philippines.
She arrived in Leyte Gulf, Philippines, on 24 October from Hollandia, New Guinea. Mink’s gunners shot down two Japanese planes during the Battle for Leyte Gulf.
Mink steamed with a convoy to Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, reaching her destination 13 January 1945. There Vice Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid and the Seventh Fleet landed United States Army troops in an amphibious operation which contributed greatly to the success of the Luzon campaign. For the next four months, Mink steamed off Morotai, refueling ships, and during the final month of the war, she ranged from Luzon to Mindanao, refueling craft.
Following the Japanese surrender, she sailed under the command of Lt. Harold C. "Brownie" Brown to Newport News, Virginia, arriving 16 May 1946. Mink decommissioned on 26 June and was delivered to the War Shipping Administration on 27 June. On 19 July she was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register. Renamed Judah Touro, she was subsequently sold into merchant service, and later carried the names Seavalor, Apukia, and Eleni V.
Mink received three battle stars for World War II service.
A black and white photograph of the ship during its launching exists. It is in a historical display on the first floor
of Touro Infirmary in New Orleans, Louisiana.USS Morrison (DD-560)
USS Morrison (DD-560), a Fletcher-class destroyer, was a ship of the United States Navy, named for Coxswain John G. Morrison (1838–1897), who received the Medal of Honor for exceptional bravery during the Civil War.
Morrison was laid down by Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corp., Seattle, Wash., 30 June 1942; launched 4 July 1943, sponsored by Miss Margaret M. Morrison, daughter of Coxswain Morrison; and commissioned 18 December 1943, Commander Walter H. Price in command.
After shakedown off San Diego, California, Morrison departed Seattle 25 February 1944 for the South Pacific, via Pearl Harbor and the Marshalls. In mid-April the destroyer joined TG 50.17 for screening operations off Seeadler Harbor, Manus, Admiralties, during the fueling of carriers then striking Japanese installations in the Carolines.USS Mount Hood (AE-11)
USS Mount Hood (AE-11) was the lead ship of her class of ammunition ships for the United States Navy in World War II. She was the first ship named after Mount Hood, a volcano in the Cascade Range in Oregon. On 10 November 1944, shortly after 18 men had departed for shore leave, the rest of the crew were killed when the ship exploded in Seeadler Harbor at Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. The ship was obliterated while also sinking or severely damaging 22 smaller craft nearby.USS Oyster Bay (AGP-6)
USS Oyster Bay (AGP-6), originally and later AVP-28, was a United States Navy motor torpedo boat tender in commission from 1943 to 1946. She saw service in World War II.
From 1957 to 1993, the former Oyster Bay served in the Italian Navy as the special forces tender Pietro Cavezzale (A 5301).USS Porcupine (IX-126)
USS Porcupine (IX-126), an Armadillo-class tanker (aka Z-ET1-S-C3 class Liberty Ship Tanker) designated an unclassified miscellaneous vessel, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the porcupine.
A station tanker, her keel was laid down 11 October 1943 as SS Leif Ericson (MCE Hull 1930) by the Delta Shipbuilding Corporation in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was named Porcupine on 23 October, launched on 24 November, accepted by the Navy 29 December; and commissioned the next day with Lieutenant Daniel M. Paul in command. After shakedown in the Gulf of Mexico, the new Liberty ship was assigned mobile oil storage duties with the Service Force, Pacific Fleet. Transiting the Panama Canal, she arrived Noumea, New Caledonia on 28 March and commenced fuel storage and transportation operations in the area of Nouméa, Langemak Bay, and Milne Bay, New Guinea; and Seeadler Harbor, Manus, Admiralty Islands. By the end of November she was at Hollandia, New Guinea, and during the last days of 1944 she was a unit of resupply convoy "Uncle plus 15," which formed off Dulag, the Philippines, on 27 December and steamed up Leyte Gulf for Mindoro. The one hundred vessels of the convoy, under the command of Captain J. B. McLean, were screened by nine destroyers.
From 0330, 28 December, when the convoy entered Surigao Strait, until it returned to Leyte, it was either under air attack, or hostile aircraft were held on its radars. With sunrise came the report that weather at Leyte was so foul that no Combat Air Patrol (CAP) could come out. Thus no air cover was available until after noon. But the weather was altogether too fair in the waters plowed by the convoy. At 1012 two groups of three planes each from Cebu attacked. One aircraft was immediately splashed, and another, which attempted to crash into aviation-gasoline laden Porcupine, overshot its target, and splashed into the sea. Liberty ships William Sharon and John Burke were less fortunate. Both were hit, and Burke went down with a mighty explosion. Sharon’s superstructure was a mass of flame. Firefighters from USS Wilson (DD-408) finally extinguished the fires, and salvage tug USS Grapple (ARS-7) towed Sharon back to Leyte. Thus Mindoro never received Sharon's cargo of TNT, fuel, trucks, rations, and beer.
An evening air raid resulted in the loss of LST-750. The next day saw Leyte still blacked in, but Mindoro responded to Captain McLean's requests for air cover, and the convoy suffered no damage 29 December. The ships arrived Mangarin Bay on 30 December at 0710. Captain McLean was eager to offload his ships and head back to Leyte before dark. Until 1540 events ran smoothly, but then five Vals broke through and made a suicide attack. Within two minutes destroyers USS Gansevoort (DD-608) and USS Pringle (DD-477), tender USS Orestes (AGP-10), and Porcupine were hit. Porcupine was hit off White Beach by a low flyer which came in off her port bow. She opened fire with all guns, but was unable to divert the attacking Val from its course. The kamikaze released a bomb over Porcupine’s main deck and crashed in after it. Seven Porcupine sailors died and eight were wounded. Fuel tanks ruptured; the engine room flooded, and the plane's engine passed through the ship's hull, tearing a large hole beneath her water line. Gansevoort, surviving her hit, was towed toward the PT base at Caminavit Point and anchored in 15 fathoms of water. She was soon ordered to blow off Porcupine’s stern in order to prevent flames from reaching the aviation gasoline. One of the destroyer's torpedoes slammed into Porcupine but the flames were not stemmed. The aviation gasoline ignited, and Porcupine burned to the water line. She was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 19 January 1945.USS Robinson (DD-562)
USS Robinson (DD-562), a Fletcher-class destroyer, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for Captain Isaiah Robinson (died c. 1781), who served in the Continental Navy.USS Sonoma (ATA-175)
USS Sonoma (ATA-175) was a tugboat of the United States Navy, which served during World War II. She was the third Navy ship to bear the name "Sonoma", which is of American-Indian origin, in accordance with the Navy's naming convention for tugs.
The tug was laid down on 9 December 1943 by the Levingston Shipbuilding Co., Orange, Texas, as the rescue tug, ATR-102; launched on 29 January 1944; reclassified an auxiliary ocean tug, ATA-175, on 13 April 1944; and commissioned on 3 August 1944.
Following shakedown training in August, USS ATA-175 joined the Service Force, Atlantic Fleet in September. However, by 1 October, she was in the South Pacific at Bora Bora in the Society Islands. After almost a month of in-port operations, the tug departed Bora Bora on 29 October; stopped at Guadalcanal from 16 to 20 November; and arrived in Seeadler Harbor, Manus, on the 26th. For the remainder of 1944, ATA-175 operated in the vicinity of New Guinea and the Admiralty Islands, making two visits to Milne Bay, New Guinea, and one to Cairns, Australia.
On 31 December, she stood out of Milne Bay for Hollandia, New Guinea, where she arrived on 7 January 1945. For the next seven months, she operated from Hollandia towing barges and other craft to various American bases in the western and southern Pacific. She made four voyages to Leyte in the Philippines and one each to Mackay, Australia, and Manus Island. On her first voyage to Leyte in late January and early February, the tug also visited Lingayen Gulf and Subic Bay. In June and July, she participated in post-landing operations at Morotai by towing three LSTs clear of the beach. She returned to Hollandia on 16 July and commenced 10 days overhaul at the Destroyer Repair Base. On the 29th, she set out on the fourth voyage from Hollandia to Leyte.
For the rest of 1945, ATA-175 conducted operations in the Philippines. From 24 to 28 August, she assisted SS Alice N. Rice in clearing Kinabakagan Reef and damaged her rudder in the process. After repairs at Subic Bay, she resumed towing operations between the islands of the Philippine Archipelago. On 25 and 26 October, the tug participated in the salvage of SS Ralph W. Emerson which had run aground on a mud shoal in Davao Gulf off Mindanao. During her assignment in the Philippines, she also visited Samar Island and the city of Manila.
In January 1946, ATA-175 returned to the United States for inactivation. On 7 June, she joined the 19th Fleet at Columbia River, Washington; and, on 8 November, she was placed out of commission. On 16 July 1948, ATA-175 was named Sonoma. In August 1960, custody of Sonoma was transferred to the Maritime Administration. She was laid up at Olympia, Washington, and her name was struck from the Navy list on 1 September 1962. On 18 June 1971, she was briefly reacquired by the Navy for tow to Suisun Bay, California, where she was returned to the custody of the Maritime Administration.
On 13 April 1976, Sonoma was sold to Erato Shipping & Trading Corp., and renamed Deka Epta. The ship was sold for scrapping in 1989.USS Steamer Bay
USS Steamer Bay (CVE-87) was a Casablanca class escort carrier of the United States Navy. She was laid down on 4 December 1943 at 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 trials in Puget Sound and sailed for San Diego on 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 Santo on the 30th, unloaded, and began her return voyage to San Diego on 2 June. The carrier was on the west coast from 20 June to 19 July when she again steamed west, with 298 marines and 72 aircraft, bound for the Marshall Islands.
Steamer Bay arrived at Majuro on 1 August to discharge her cargo and passengers. She was routed back to Pearl Harbor and attached to the 3d Fleet as 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 Palau and Philippine Islands. She spent the period from 15 November to 5 December at Pearl Harbor undergoing repairs and training. The ship returned to Seeadler Harbor on 17 December 1944 and 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, Ommaney Bay (CVE-79) was sunk on 4 January by a kamikaze plane; and Manila Bay (CVE-61) and Savo Island (CVE-78) 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 Islands with the 7th Fleet until she got underway on 31 January for Ulithi.
Steamer Bay anchored there from 5 February to 10 February, when she departed with units of the 5th Fleet for 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 Islands until 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 March and arrived at San Pedro Bay, Leyte, on the 12th. She sailed for the Ryukyus on 27 March and arrived in the operating area south of Okinawa on the morning of 1 April. She remained off Okinawa until 26 May when she sailed to Apra Harbor, Guam, for repairs. On 10 June, the carrier was ordered to join the 3d Fleet east of Miyako Jima and assist in neutralizing Japanese airfields in Sakishima Gunto. She conducted air strikes against the fields from 14 June to 22 June, when 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 Japan ended, 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 Fleet on 4 February 1946 and 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 1959 and sold to Hyman-Michaels Co., Chicago, Illinois, on 29 August 1959 for scrap.
Steamer Bay received six battle stars for World War II service.USS Tinsman (DE-589)
USS Tinsman (DE-589) was a Rudderow-class destroyer escort in the United States Navy during World War II.
Tinsman was laid down by the Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyard, Hingham, Massachusetts, on 21 December 1943; launched on 26 June 1944; sponsored by Mrs. James Corley, sister of Seaman Tinsman; and commissioned on 26 June 1944, Lt. William G. Grote, USNR, in command.
Following fitting out and trials, the destroyer got underway on 21 July 1944, proceeded to Bermuda on shakedown, and returned to Boston on 19 August. On 11 October, she departed Boston harbor and, the next day, joined a convoy bound, via the Panama Canal, for the South Pacific. She arrived at Seeadler Harbor in the Admiralty Islands late in November and, after training exercises, headed for New Guinea. On 2 December, she reached Hollandia, and was soon at sea again escorting a convoy to Leyte.
On 14 December, while Tinsman was in San Pedro Bay, a kamikaze plane grazed the bridge of a nearby tanker. A week later, the destroyer escort was back in New Guinea waters, anchoring in Humboldt Bay. The day after Christmas, she was on the move again, this time for waters off the Vogelkop Peninsula of New Guinea for antisubmarine patrol.
In the first days of the new year, she escorted a convoy to San Pedro Bay; then, on 6 January 1945, she departed Leyte to screen a convoy bound for Lingayen Gulf, Luzon. On 12 January—as Tinsman escorted a slow-moving group consisting of an oiler, tugs, and tows—kamikaze planes attacked her convoy. During the day, the American ships fought off four Japanese attackers, downing two of the planes. On the 13th, Tinsman's guns downed another Japanese aircraft. On the 14th, Tinsman anchored in Lingayen Gulf and retired the next day toward Leyte, arr:ving in San Pedro Bay on the 18th to prepare for the Bandings at Nasugbu, Luzon.
Tinsman departed Leyte Gulf on 27 January 1945 with Amphibious Group 8 and, on the 31st, arrived at Nasugbu Bay where troops of the 11th Airborne Division landed without serious opposition. That night a large number of Japanese Shinyo boats attacked the American ships. Armed with impact bombs, these small craft swarmed out of the darkness and attacked USS Lough (DE-586) as she patrolled not far from Tinsman. Tinsman provided illumination to assist Lough in defending herself, sinking at least six of the vessels. Tinsman departed Luzon on 2 February in a convoy bound for Mindoro. Throughout February, she shuttled between Mangarin Bay and Nasugbu Bay on escort duty.
Early in March, she left Leyte Gulf, bound for New Guinea. After taking on stores at Hollandia, Tinsman returned to the Philippines and resumed escort duty. In mid-April, she made a voyage to Palau; and, in July, she varied her routine of convoy duty with visits to Ulithi and Hollandia before returning to the Philippines.
Although the war ended in August, Tinsman remained in the Far East, operating mainly in the Philippines. She also made voyages to Hollandia and Tientsin before setting course for home on 29 November. Steaming via Eniwetok and Pearl Harbor, she arrived at San Pedro, California, on 18 December 1945.
She was later berthed at San Diego, where she was placed out of commission on 11 May 1946. On 15 May 1972, her name was struck from the Navy List; and, on 14 September 1973, her hulk was sold to Levin Metals Corporation, San Jose, California, for scrapping.
Tinsman received two battle stars for World War II service.USS Wesson
USS Wesson (DE-184) was a Cannon-class destroyer escort built for the United States Navy during World War II. She served in the Pacific Ocean and provided escort service against submarine and air attack for Navy vessels and convoys. She returned home at war's end with a very respectable seven battle stars to her credit.
She was laid down on 29 July 1943 at Newark, New Jersey, by the Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Co.; launched on 17 October 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Eleanor Wesson; and commissioned on 11 November 1943, Comdr. H. Reich in command.