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USS Guadalcanal (AVG-60/ACV-60/CVE-60/CVU-60)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Guadalcanal (AVG-60/ACV-60/CVE-60/CVU-60)

USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60) was converted from Maritime Commission hull MC-1097 by Kaiser Shipbuilding Co., Inc., of Vancouver, Wash. The ship was authorized as an aircraft escort vessel (AVG-60); reclassified to an auxiliary aircraft carrier (ACV-60) on 20 August 1942; laid down on 5 January 1943; named Astrolabe Bay (ACV-60) on 22 January 1943; and renamed Guadalcanal (ACV-60) on 3 April 1943. Guadalcanal was launched on 5 June 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Carol M. Malstrom, wife of Capt. Alvin I. Malstrom; reclassified to an escort aircraft carrier (CVE-60) on 15 July 1943; assigned to Air Force, Atlantic Fleet, on 29 July 1943; and commissioned at Naval Air Station (NAS) Astoria at Tongue Point, Ore., on 25 September 1943, Capt. Daniel V. Gallery Jr., in command.

USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60) completed fitting out, along with a series of drills and loading provisions, on 15 October 1943, and five days later reported to the Pacific Fleet for temporary duty. USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60) passed through the Panama Canal on 26 November, and was damaged entering a lock when one of her 40 millimeter gun tubs fouled it, so she stopped briefly at Colón to repair the gun and surrounding hull. USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60) set out on her maiden operational voyage with USS Alden (DD-211), USS John D. Edwards (DD-216), USS John D. Ford (DD-228), and USS Whipple (DD-217) from Norfolk on 5 January 1944 in search of enemy submarines in the North Atlantic along the U.S. to Gibraltar convoy route. 

Nine FM-2s and six each TBM-3s and TBM-3Ds of VC-19 were hoisted on board USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60) and she set sail with TG 22.7 on 1 December 1944 for training in the waters off Bermuda. The exercises included refresher landings for pilots of her new squadron, gunnery practice, and antisubmarine drills with submarine R-9 (SS-86). USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60) anchored in Port Royal Bay at Bermuda on 11 December 1944, and in company with USS Chatelain, USS Neunzer, and USS Pillsbury arrived at NAAS Mayport, Fla., on 15 December. USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60)’s arrival marked the first time that a carrier used Mayport’s basin. 

After the short training cruise to the Caribbean, USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60) steamed into Mayport for a tour of duty as a carrier qualification ship (15 March–22 August 1945). Naval Academy ensigns took a familiarization tour of her during this period, and after qualifying 1,467 pilots, USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60) steamed to Lynnhaven Roads, Va. (26–28 August). USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60) next completed an overhaul in Norfolk Navy Yard (29 August–10 October), where, on 4 September, she was assigned to the Atlantic Inactive Fleet.

On 9 February 1946, USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60) reported to the Sixteenth Fleet, and was placed out of commission in reserve. The ship logged her final flight operations at 1017 that day when she launched five Vought F4U Corsairs for a flight to NAS Norfolk, having qualified the carrier’s final 11 pilots in 64 landings.

USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60) was decommissioned at 1015 on 15 July 1946, and assigned to the Norfolk Group, Atlantic Reserve Fleet. The carrier shifted to the New York Group on 30 November 1949. She was reclassified to a utility aircraft carrier (CVU-60) on 12 June 1955, while still in reserve at New York. USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60) was stricken from the Naval Register on 27 May 1958.

For a complete history of USS Guadalcanal (AVG-60/ACV-60/CVE-60/CVU-60) please see its DANFS page.