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Rabaul

 

A port on the northeast coast of New Britain which was used by the Japanese as a naval and air base during World War II. Frequently bombed by Allied air forces, its military value was neutralized by Allied landings at Arawe, Cape Gloucester, and Talasea, December 1943 to March 1944.

 

(CVE 121: displacement 11,373; length 5571; beam 75; extreme width 1052; draft 32; speed 19 knots; complement 1,066; armament 2 5, 36 40mm.; class Commencement Bay)

 

Rabaul (CVE-121) was laid down 2 January 1945 by Todd Pacific Shipyards, Inc., Tacoma, Wash.; launched 14 June 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Alice H. Schade, wife of Captain Henry A. Schade, officer in charge of CVE design at the Bureau of Ships; completed by the Commercial Iron Works, Portland, Oreg.; and delivered to the Navy, 30 August 1946.

 

Accepted by Commander, 19th Fleet (Pacific Reserve Fleet), Rabaul was berthed at Tacoma without seeing any active service. The warship was "mothballed" there during the early years of the Cold War and served as a mobilization reserve in case of war with the Soviet Union. Reclassified a helicopter escort carrier (CVHE) in June 1955, she was transferred to the San Diego Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet in June 1958. Reclassified again to an aircraft ferry (AKV) in May 1959, she remained in reserve at San Diego until 1 September 1971 when she was struck from the Navy list. Rabaul was sold to the Nicholai Joffe Corp. of Beverly Hills, Calif., for scrapping on 25 August 1972.


07 September 2004


07 September 2004