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USS Half Moon (AVP-26)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Half Moon (AVP-26)

USS Half Moon (AVP-26), a small seaplane tender, was originally designed as a motor torpedo boat tender and designated AGP-6. She was launched by Lake Washington Shipyards, Houghton, Wash., 12 July 1942; sponsored by Mrs. T. A. Gray; redesignated AVP-26 on 1 May 1943; and commissioned 15 June 1943, Comdr. W. O. Gallery in command.

USS Half Moon (AVP-26) spent her first months in shakedown training off California, and was then assigned to the Pacific Fleet. Departing San Diego 25 August 1943, she embarked a Marine air group at Pearl Harbor and steamed into Vila Harbor, New Hebrides, 14 September. USS Half Moon (AVP-26) departed for Brisbane 21 December 1943, remained until 10 February 1944, and then steamed into a succession of New Guinea ports on the way to her new operating base, Finshafen. There the tender resumed her support of seaplane operations in the New Guinea theater.

Anchoring in Hinamangan Bay, USS Half Moon (AVP-26) came under air attack 23 October, and soon realized that her anchorage was a rendezvous point for Japanese planes attacking Leyte. Late 24 October USS Half Moon (AVP-26)'s radar began to pick up two large surface units converging and it was soon clear that she was to be a witness to the last engagement between batte lines of surface ships-the Battle of Suri-gao Strait. Following the victorious Philippine invasion, USS Half Moon (AVP-26) sailed to Manus and Humboldt Bay. On 30 May, she got underway for the Philippines again, arriving Tawi Tawi, Sulu Archipelago, 11 June. She supported seaplane antisubmarine searchers from Tawi Tawi Bay until early August, and then carried out the same mission from Mangarin Bay, Mindoro.

Following Japan's surrender, USS Half Moon (AVP-26) proceeded to Subic Bay, Philippines, and from there got underway for Okinawa 30 August. The afternoon of the next day signs of a storm were evident and by 1 September USS Half Moon (AVP-26) was engulfed in a raging typhoon, with winds up to 120 knots and barometer readings of 27.32. Smart seamanship allowed her to weather the storm, and she arrived safely at Okinawa 4 September.

USS Half Moon (AVP-26) departed Okinawa for Manila 1 October, operated in that area for about a month, and departed 7 November for deactivation. She arrived Seattle 1 December 1945 steamed to San Diego 12 April 1946, and decommissioned there 4 September 1946. Placed in reserve, she was taken out, refitted, and loaned to the Coast Guard in September 1948. USS Half Moon (AVP-26) continues in the 1960's to serve as a weather ship under the Coast Guard. Based at Staten Island, N.Y., she collects weather data in the Atlantic Ocean, and acts as an emergency air rescue ship. 

For a complete history of USS Half Moon (AVP-26) please see its DANFS page.