USS Gambier Bay (CVE-73)
The Casablanca-class escort carrier, USS Gambier Bay (CVE-73), was commissioned on December 28, 1943, at Kaisier Shipbuilding Company, Vancouver, Washington. Departing for the Pacific, she supported the landings at Saipan, Peleliu and Angaur, and the Philippines in the summer and fall of 1944. Assigned to Rear Admiral Clifton A.F. Sprague's escort carrier task unit, known as "Taffy 3", Gambier Bay participated in the precarious early morning Battle off Samar on October 25, 1944, during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Though the escort carrier fought valiantly against a superior force, she was severely damaged by Japanese enemy cruisers and sank at 09:07 a.m., where her crew of nearly 800 survivors was rescued. Despite her loss, Gambier Bay was part of the other ships from "Taffy 3", joined by aircraft from "Taffy 2" that had turned back a more powerful Japanese Center Force.
Image: NH 79408: USS Gambier Bay (CVE-73), wearing Camouflage Measure 32, Design 15A, April 1944. NHHC Photograph Collection.