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512’3" x 65’ x 108’1”
1 x 5" 38 cal gun
8 x Twin 40mm AA
30 x 20mm AA
1 x catapult
2 x elevators
Built by Kaiser Shipbuilding Company in Vancouver, Washington. under a contract from the United States Maritime Commission as a Type S4-S2-BB3 hull, MCE hull 1093. Yard Number 302. Laid down December 9, 1942. Originally intended for the Royal Navy under the terms of Lend-Lease as HMS Ameer.
During construction appropriated by the U.S. Navy (USN) and launched April 19, 1943. Named USS Liscome Bay (CVE-56) after Liscome Bay in Alaska on June 28, 1943. Commissioned on August 7, 1943 with Captain Irving D. Wiltsie in command and underwent training off the West Coast.
On October 21, 1943 departed San Diego and arrived a ssat Pearl Harbor a week later. Part of CarDiv 24, Liscome Bay departed Pearl Harbor 10 November attached to TF 52, Northern Attack Force, under Rear Adm. Richard K. Turner, bound for the invasion of the Gilbert Islands. Aircraft from Liscome Bay participated in the operations against both Tarawa and Makin.
On November 23, 1943 Japanese submarine I-175 arrived off Makin and began shadowing a task group of three escort carriers including USS Liscome under the command of Rear Adm. H. M. Mullinnix that were steaming at 15 knots roughly 20 miles southwest of Makin.
On November 24, 1943 at 0430, the ship went to routine general quarters at 5:05am as flight crews prepared their planes for dawn launchings. There was no warning, Japanese Submarine I-175 was shadowing the carrier, and fired a torpedo at the carrier. At about 5:10am when a lookout shouted: "... here comes a torpedo!" It struck abaft the after engine room an instant later with a shattering roar. A second major detonation closely followed the first, the entire interior burst into flames. At 5:33am Liscome Bay listed to starboard and sank claiming 642 sailors.
A total of 272 of her crew were rescued.
NavSouce - USS Liscome Bay CVE-56
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