Weighing in at 10,900 tons, the USS Palau was a Commencement Bay-class escort carrier that was named for a group of islands in the Carolines (which is approximately 850 mi. east of the Philippines). Constructed in Tacoma, Washington, the USS Palau was first launched in August 1945 and, at the time, was sponsored by Mrs. J. Whitney.
More than five months later, in January 1946, the Navy commissioned the USS Palau and assigned her to operate under the command Captain W. E. Cleaves. The USS Palau would have a remarkably shorter career than many of her fellow escort carriers, as she would be struck from the Naval Vessel Registrar a little more than 14 years later in July 1960.
Service & Operations
Given that the USS Palau was commissioned during the Navy's period of post-war demobilization, the USS Palau was assigned to participate in a series of shakedowns that took her from California to Boston (via the Panama Canal). Although she was immobilized for the a few weeks following these missions, in May 1947, the USS Palau headed to Cuba to freshen up its training skills.
Subsequently, she powered up the eastern seaboard, making stops in Norfolk and New York. After this short U.S. tour, the USS Palau made her way to Recife, Brazil and then across the globe to West Africa. This was a whirlwind tour because, by August 1947, the USS Palau was back in Boston.
After a short immobilization in Norfolk (from December 1947 to March 1948), the USS Palau got back to performing operations on the east coast until she was ordered to deliver planes (as stipulated in the Turkish Aid Program) to the Mediterranean region. The USS Palau would return one more time to the Mediterranean in April 1952 where she joined the 6th Fleet for 3 months.
In her final operations, following this short stint, the USS Palau was assigned to the 2nd Fleet, with whom she resumed her east coast operations.
In June 1954, the USS Palau was decommissioned and assigned to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet in Philadelphia. She would be stationed her, inactive, for more than six years until she would finally be struck from the Naval Register in April 1960. That July, she was sold for scrap to Jacques Pierot, Jr. and Sons.