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Mission Bay (CVE-59)

(CVE‑59: dp. 7,800; l. 512'3"; b. 65'2"; ew. 108'1"; dr. 22'6"; s. 19 k.; cpl. 860; a. 1 5", 16 40mm.; cl. Casablanca; T. S4‑S2‑BB3)

A bay on the southern coast of California, near San Diego.

Originally scheduled to be built as AVG‑59, Mission Bay (CVE‑59) was redesignated ACV‑59 on 20 August 1942 and laid down by Kaiser Co., Inc., Vancouver, Wash., 28 December 1943; launched 26 May 1943; sponsored by Mrs. James McDonald; redesignated CVF‑59 on 15 July 1943; acquired by the Navy from the Maritime Commission 13 September 1943; and commissioned at Astoria, Oreg., the same day, Capt. William L. Rees in command.

After shakedown off California, Mission Bay departed San Diego 15 November for the east coast via the Panama Canal, arriving Portsmouth, Va., 5 December. Assigned to convoy and antisubmarine duty, she got underway for Europe the 26th, arriving Casablanca, French Morocco (now Morocco), 14 January 1944. Two days later the escort aircraft carrier sailed for the east coast, reaching Portsmouth 8 February.

On 20 February Mission Bay steamed from New York with a load of Army planes and personnel for India, stopping at Recife, Brazil, and Capetown, Union of South Africa (now Republic of South Africa), before arriving at Karachi 29 March. By 12 May she was back at Portsmouth.

The 28th the carrier departed New York again on another trip to North Africa. Mission Bay arrived Casablanca 6 June to steam for home 2 days later, entering the New York channel the 17th. That same day she collided with a dredge and had to continue on to Portsmouth for repairs, mooring 22 June.

On 8 September Mission Bay steamed from Portsmouth for the south Atlantic. After refueling at Dakar, French West Africa (now Senegal), 20 September, she conducted antisubmarine operations into November ending at Portsmouth the 25th.

Her next cruise from Portsmouth 21 December took her to the Caribbean for exercises between Mayport, Fla., and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, into March 1945. In February Mission Bay was ordered to sail in the direction of Gibraltar to meet Quincy (CA‑71) the 23d and escort the heavy cruiser returning in convoy from the Yalta Conference, 4 to 11 February, with President Franklin D. Roosevelt and party embarked. Mission Bay left the convoy en route to Newport News, Va., mooring at Bermuda, British West Indies, the 27th before continuing on to Portsmouth to arrive 9 March.

After antisubmarine duty in the North Atlantic from 29 March to 14 May when she anchored off New York, Mission Bay cruised off the east coast, training pilots, until she sailed for Guantanamo Bay 19 July. The escort carrier returned to Quonset Point, R.I., 2 August to continue training operations off the east coast through the Japanese surrender 15 August into December.

On 19 December Mission Bay was assigned to the 16th Fleet, with Norfolk as her home yard, to serve in an incommission, in reserve status the next year. Placed in service in reserve 21 February 1947, she entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet at Norfolk to remain there until she joined the New York Group 30 November 1949. On 12 June 1955 she was redesignated CVU‑59. The utility aircraft carrier was struck from the Navy list 1 September 1958 and sold to Hugo Neu Corp, New York, N.Y., 30 April 1959.

Published: Wed Apr 27 02:26:01 EDT 2016