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Hollandia (CVE-97)


(CVE-97: displacement 7,800; length 512'3" ; beam 65'; extreme width 108'1" ; draft 22'6" ; speed 19 knots; complement 860; armament 1 5-inch, 16 40-millimeter.; class Casablanca; Type S4-S2-BB3)

A town on the northern coast of New Guinea on Humboldt Bay. During World War II Hollandia was a major Japanese air base, and was taken by a brilliantly executed American amphibious operation 22 April 1944. The success of the operation had much to do with securing New Guinea and was a major step toward the eventual invasion of the Philippines.

Hollandia (CVE-97), formerly AVG-97 and ACV-97, was launched under Maritime Commission contract as Astrolabe Bay (CVE-97) by Kaiser Co., Inc., Vancouver, Wash., 28 April 1944; sponsored by Mrs. William H. Wheat; renamed Hollandia 30 May 1944; and commissioned 1 June 1944, Captain C. L. Lee in command.

Following training off the West Coast, Hollandia sailed 10 July 1944 from San Diego for a shakedown cruise to Espiritu Santo. She also transported replacement aircraft on this cruise, and on the return voyage stopped at Manus and Guadalcanal, arriving Port Hueneme, Calif., 27 August. During the next few months the escort carrier made similar cruises between the United States and the Navy's bases in the far Pacific, Manus, Ulithi, and Guam, bringing vitally-needed supplies and passengers.

Hollandia was anchored at Ulithi 1 April 1945 when the Navy's massive amphibious assult of Okinawa began. She got underway next day and operated off the Okinawan coast, sending fighters to support the advancing troops. The ship then returned to San Diego, arriving 1 May 1945. Following a cargo and passenger voyage to Pearl Harbor and return, Hollandia departed 7 June to take part in the climactic events of the Pacific war. Loading replacement aircraft at Pearl Harbor, the ship sailed 18 June to operate with 3d Fleet's logistic supply unit, and for the final 2 months of the war she brought valuable replacements to the carriers of the fast task forces pounding Japan.

Following the surrender of Japan, Hollandia underwent conversion at Guam for use as a passenger ship and joined Operation "Magic Carpet", charged with the gigantic task of returning the thousands of American servicemen in the Pacific. After four such voyages, the ship returned to San Pedro. Departing 4 February 1946, she arrived Puget Sound 15 February and decommissioned 17 January 1947. She was reclassified while in reserve to CVU-97, 12 June 1955 and to AKV-33, 7 May 1959. Hollandia was sold to Eisenberg & Co., New York in July 1960, and later scrapped.

Hollandia received two battle stars for World War II service.

Published: Tue Jun 20 14:18:41 EDT 2023