Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS Altamaha (CVE-18)

Please seee below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Altamaha (CVE-18). 

USS Altamaha (CVE-18) was laid down under a Maritime Commission contract (M.C. Hull 235) on 19 December 1941 at Tacoma, Wash., by the Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corp.; launched on 25 May 1942; sponsored by Mrs. Thomas S. Combs, the wife of Comdr. Combs who was the commanding officer of seaplane tender Casco (AVP-12); and commissioned on 15 September 1942, Capt. J. R. Tate in command.

During the remaining months of World War II, USS Altamaha (CVE-18) provided general transportation service from Alameda, San Diego, and Pearl Harbor to various points in the Pacific. Among her stops were Guam, Saipan, Eniwetok, Kossol Roads, and Samar. Following the Japanese capitulation in mid-August, USS Altamaha (CVE-18) returned to the west coast for repairs and an overhaul at the Hunters Point Navy Yard. She began sea trials in mid-October and got underway for Pearl Harbor on the 22d. The vessel was then assigned to the Operation Magic Carpet fleet and transported armed forces personnel and equipment throughout the Pacific back to the United States.

On 15 January 1946, USS Altamaha headed to Tacoma, Wash. Deactivation preparations were begun there, and the carrier was placed out of commission, in reserve, on 27 September 1946. The ship was reclassified to a helicopter escort aircraft carrier (CVHE-18) on 12 June 1955. Her name was stricken from the Navy List on 1 March 1959, and the vessel was sold on 25 April 1961 to Eisenberg & Co., New York City, N.Y., and, later that year, was scrapped in Japan.

For a complete history of USS Altamaha (CVE-18) please see its DANFS page.