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USS Curtiss (AV-4)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Curtiss (AV-4)

USS Curtiss (AV-4) was launched 20 April 1940 by New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N.J.; sponsored by Mrs. H. S. Wheeler; and commissioned 15 November 1940, Commander S. P. Ginder in command.

USS Curtiss (AV-4) operated out of Norfolk and in the Caribbean for training and in fleet exercises through the spring of 1941. On 26 May she got underway for Pearl Harbor from which she served on patrol as well as tending two patrol bomber squadrons. Departing Pearl Harbor 2 June 1942 USS Curtiss (AV-4) served as flagship for Commander, Naval Air, South Pacific, at Noumea from 16 June to 4 August, then served as seaplane tender, flagship, repair and supply ship for destroyers and small craft engaged in the Solomons operation from Espiritu Santo until 9 July 1943.

After repairs at San Francisco, USS Curtiss (AV-4) sailed to Okinawa, arriving 22 May 1945 to serve as flagship for Commander, Fleet Air Wing 1. On 21 June a kamikaze and its bomb ripped two holes in her hull and exploded on the third deck, killing 35 and wounding 21 of her crew. Effective damage control kept her afloat and 4 days later she was underway for the west coast and an overhaul at Mare Island Navy Yard. USS Curtiss (AV-4) operated off the California coast on a number of fleet and training exercises until early in 1949 when she served as flagship for Commander First Fleet for 3 weeks of amphibious operations in Alaskan waters to evaluate cold weather equipment.

From 23 February to 13 June 1951 USS Curtiss (AV-4) served as flagship for Operation "Greenhouse" and was the base for civilian and military technicians during the atomic tests at Eniwetok. Fitted with a helicopter deck during November and December 1954, USS Curtiss (AV-4) engaged in a large scale amphibious exercise on the coast of California in March 1955. USS Curtiss (AV-4) departed San Diego 27 December 1956 for Operation "Deep Freeze II," carrying sailors of the wintering-over party, and scientists to take part in the International Geophysical Year program. She carried out ice reconnaissance to Okuma Bay and Sulzberger Bay, then departed McMurdo Sound 10 February. She called at Port Lyttelton and Auckland, New Zealand, and Sydney, Australia, before returning to San Diego 25 March to undergo repairs for ice damage. USS Curtiss (AV-4) continued her local operations until placed out of commission in reserve 24 September 1957.

For a complete history of USS Curtiss (AV-4) please see its DANFS page.