Role the USS Casablanca (CVE 55) Played in World War II in the Pacific

Author: Jones, Barbara
Year:2009
Pages:590
ISBN:0-7734-3850-5
978-0-7734-3850-7
Price:319.95
This book traces the history of the USS Casablanca (CVE-55) from her conception to her sale for scrap after the end of World War II. Her existence is placed in contexts of place and time as she served as a platform for training precommissioning crews of future sister ships and for pilots as they qualified for carrier duty, and then as she carried men, aircraft, and supplies into the Pacific and brought troops and damaged aircraft back to the West Coast. Casablanca’s history is told as seen through the eyes of the men who served aboard her; their stories were obtained mainly through personal interviews and memoirs.

Reviews

“Dr. Jones succeeds here in giving us a narrative rich in detail and also places this story within the larger context of the Pacific war. This book is an important contribution to our collective memory and a tribute to the men who served on this ship . . .” – Prof. William Dibrell, Alfred University

“By blending in the personal accounts of former crew members who served on the Casablanca, the author brings to life the objective facts as they were described in the ship’s log. The events, both amusing and tragic, bring a different perspective to the war as seen through the eyes of the crew members who actually experienced them. . . . ”– Prof. Robert D. Hall, Niagara University

"The author shows unusual strength in the use of written primary source material, such as ships’ logs, rosters, general and specific orders, oral interviews with former crew members of the USS Casablanca, along with significant secondary resources, such as books and articles to weave a great story about a relatively small ship, its undaunted crew, and its contributions to victory in the Pacific during the Second World War, as a training and supply vessel, and later as a redeployment ship. . . . Not enough has been written about the significance of the 'Jeep' carriers in winning World War II; the author, however, has gone a long way in rectifying that with her well-written book." - Dr.Herbert P. LePore

Table of Contents

Foreword by William Dibrell, Ph.D.
Preface
Acknowledgements
Introduction

PART ONE

1. SETTING THE STAGE
Growing Tensions in the Pacific
Washington Treaty for Limitation of Naval Armaments, 1922
Growing Significance of the Carrier
Further Japanese Aggression
Focus on China
Carrier and Battleship Buildup
Close to War
2. PEARL HARBOR TO BIRTH OF CASABLANCA
Pearl Harbor, the Experience
Japanese Drive to Control the Pacific
Creation of the Task Force and Changing Use of the Carrier
The Casablanca Class Carriers are Needed

PART TWO

3. BIRTH OF USS CASABLANCA (CVE-55)
“Hurry Up Harry”
The Casablanca Class
USS Casablanca (CVE-55)
Training Begins
Pre-Commissioning Trainee Schedule
4. 8 JULY 1943 – 16 AUGUST 1943
ASTORIA TO BREMERTON
Beginning Days
Inspections
Shore Leave
Disciplinary Action
Appendicitis
Pre-commissioning Training, USS Liscome Bay
Astoria to Tacoma
Activities in Bremerton
Bremerton to Tacoma
5. 17 AUGUST 1943 – 30 JANUARY 1944
CREW TRAINING IN THE STRAIT
In the Strait of Juan de Fuca
Tacoma
Coping
Accidents and Ailments
Training in the Strait of Juan de Fuca
The Future Executive Officer
Flight Operations
Sinking of Liscome Bay
Thanksgiving, 1943
Training Continues
Christmas Week, 1943 to New Year, 1944
A Ship of Heroes
Flight Operations Fatality, Ensign Vernon Wilbur Spalding
6. 1 FEBRUARY – 22 AUGUST 1944
END OF TRAINING
Training Continues
Activity in the Pacific
Activity in Puget Sound
Heavy Losses Inflicted on Japan
From Bremerton Dry Dock to Astoria
Getting Ready to End the War
New Personnel
Preparations for the Next Mission
7. 28 AUGUST - 8 OCTOBER 1944
MANUS AND RETURN
San Francisco to Manus
The War
Manus
Return Home
Further Plans to End the War
Alameda
PBYs to Seattle
8. 8 OCTOBER 1944 – 13 MARCH 1945
COMMENCEMENT BAY TRAINING
Activity in Bremerton
The Battle for Leyte Gulf
Back in Puget Sound
January, 1945
The Storm
Change of Command
San Diego
Off to the Pacific
9. : 13 MARCH – 12 MAY 1945
GUAM, KOSSOL PASSAGE, SAMAR
Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor to Guam
Guam to Manus, Strange Sightings
Manus to Palau to Samar, Round Trip #1
Death of the President
First Stop at Manus, Drowning of Frank Wortner
Manus to Palau to Samar, Round Trip #2
Manus Island to Samar, Round Trip #3
Homeward Bound

PART THREE

10. : 2 MAY – 31 AUGUST 1945
JAPANESE SURRENDER
Repair Dock, San Diego
Round Trip to Pearl Harbor
San Francisco to Guam
Guam to Pearl Harbor, Round Trip, War’s End
Guam
Flight Operations off Saipan
Japanese Surrender
11. 2 SEPTEMBER – 17 NOVEMBER 1945
REDEPLOYMENT
Operation Magic Carpet, Guam to Pearl Harbor
San Francisco
Maui, Picking up the Fourth Marines
San Diego, “Navy Day”
Pearl Harbor, Plane Crash Rescue
Espiritu Santo
12. 18 NOVEMBER 1945 – 16 JANUARY 1946
NOUMEA TO SAN FRANCISCO
Noumea to Pearl Harbor Pearl Harbor to San Francisco, Man Overboard
Alameda
Progress of the Magic Carpet
The Final Cruise, Japan
Yokahama
Return to San Francisco
13. 19 JANUARY – 10 JUNE, 1946
THE FINAL JOURNEY
Changes Affecting Casablanca Class Carriers
San Francisco to Norfolk
Preparations for Decommissioning
Commander Dibrell Takes Command
Decommissioning
AFTERWORD
Tribute to USS CASABLANCA (CVE-55)
Tribute to the Men who served aboard CasaB
Tribute to Commander Dibrell
APPENDIX
Officers and Crew Members
July 8, 1943 to June 10, 1946
Researched and created by Milton Rowe
(included by permission) BIBLIOGRAPHY
INDEX