Built by Kaiser Shipbuilding Company in Vancouver, Washington. Originally designated AVG. On August 20, 1942 classified as ACV-68.Laid down on April 26, 1943 under a Maritime Commission contract. On July 15, 1943 reclassified as CVE-68. Launched October 15, 1943 sponsored by Mrs. Anna Mary Updegraff. Named USS Kalinin Bay after the feature of the same name bordering Kruzof Island in the Alexander Archipelago of southeastern Alaska. Commissioned November 27, 1943 as in Astoria, Oregon with Captain C. R. Brown in command.
Kalinin Bay completed a shakedown cruise on the west coast of the United States. On January 3, 1944 departed San Diego bound for Pearl Harbor. On January 16, 1944 loaded twenty-four F4U Corsairs from Marine Fighting Squadron 422 "Flying Buccaneers" VMF-422 from Ford Island departed the next day bound for Tarawa. On January 24, 1944 off Tarawa the Corsairs took off and landed at Tarawa Airfield (Hawkins Field). For the next two months, provided support to the 5th Fleet at Tarawa and Majuro during the Marshall Islands campaign then departed back to the west coast arriving at Alameda on February 24, 1944.
NARA "Marine Fighting Squadron Four Twenty Two - 1 January 1943 to 31 December 1944" page 33
"Twenty-four (24) Corsairs were ferried to Ford Island from MCAS, Ewa, on 16 January  and put aboard CVE USS Kalinin Bay. It was planned to fly them from the CVE to Tarawa, Gilbert Islands on approaching within fifty miles of that base and from there to a newly won airstrip in the Marshalls. On 17 January twenty seven pilots and three enlisted men boarded the Kalinin Bay, sailing the following day. On the morning of 24 January the aircraft were catapulted as planned almost within sight of Tarawa and landed shortly after on Hawkins Field."
NavSource - USS Kalinin Bay CVE-68
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January 25, 2019