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USS Humboldt (AVP-21)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Humboldt (AVP-21)

USS Humboldt (AVP-21) was launched by Boston Navy Yard 17 March 1941; sponsored by Mrs. William T. Tarrant; and commissioned 7 October 1941, Comdr. W. G. Tomkinson in command.

Following rigorous shakedown training off the Atlantic coast, USS Humboldt (AVP-21) sailed from Norfolk 13 May 1942 to join Rear Admiral Ingrain's South Atlantic Force on the Brazilian coast. After stops at San Juan and Trinidad USS Humboldt (AVP-21) arrived Recife 5 August and began tending the aircraft of VP-83. During the months that followed, these patrol aircraft, operating with ships of the Brazilian and U.S. Navies, patrolled the vital South Atlantic sea lanes and hunted down Axis submarines. USS Humboldt (AVP-21) supplied and repaired seaplanes and, in addition, carried aviation gasoline to outlying air bases on the coast while engaging in antisubmarine patrol herself.

While at Natal, Brazil, 28 January 1943, USS Humboldt (AVP-21) was the site of a conference between President Roosevelt, returning from the Casablanca Conference, and President Vargas of Brazil. Following this meeting, which helped to achieve even closer cooperation between the naval units of the two countries, the seaplane tender continued to visit isolated ports on the Brazilian coast with supplies, establishing a new seaplane base at Aratu in May 1943.

USS Humboldt (AVP-21) was at Casablanca in late May 1944 and upon hearing of the torpedoing of escort carrier USS Block Island and destroyer Barr steamed out to help with survivors and to escort USS Barr to safety. USS Humboldt (AVP-21) was soon underway again, this time to bring an experienced submarine officer to rendezvous with USS Guadalcanal's hunter-killer group, which had just captured U-505 in an epic encounter 4 June. The seaplane tender continued to bring supplies to squadrons in the Azores and North Africa until 22 March 1945 when she sailed from Norfolk for Brazil.

Returning to her original tending duties in the South Atlantic, USS Humboldt (AVP-21) arrived Recife 5 April and remained on duty until the surrender of Germany, after which she sailed for Norfolk 10 June. She moved to Philadelphia Navy Yard 16 July for conversion to a Press Ship. Re-classified AG-121 30 July 1945, USS Humboldt (AVP-21) was to serve as a broadcast and teletype center for correspondents during the final phases of the war against Japan; but the war ended before her conversion was completed. Arriving Orange, Texas, 22 November 1945, the ship decommissioned 19 March .

For a complete history of USS Humboldt (AVP-21) please see its DANFS page.