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USS Altamaha was built in Tacoma, Washington and commissioned Sept. 15, 1942. Named for a river and sound in Georgia, the ship was designed as an escort and replenishment carrier. Throughout 1943, the ship was sent on many voyages to replenish men and aircraft to the carrier fleet throughout the Pacific. She also made one delivery voyage of American planes to India. After a brief overhaul in October, the carrier was back in action ferrying cargo and supplies. In March 1944, however, her mission changed for a short time.

USS Altamaha was assigned to be part of a hunter killer operation. They were to hunt for submarines harassing supply ships between Pearl Harbor and the Marshall Islands. This lasted through mid-April. For the rest of the war, the ship was used for replenishment and ferrying runs from the west coast to points all around the Pacific Theater.

She visited the Marshall Islands, Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, New Guinea, Langemak and Seeadler Harbor among many other ports. After the war ceased, the ship was assigned to operation “Magic Carpet”. This was the fine duty to move troops and equipment back home. The ship was taken out of commission on Sept. 27, 1946.

CVE-18 Deployments - Major Events

Add a CVE-18 Shellback Initiation Add a CVE-18 Deployment - Major Event
Month Year to Month Year Deployment / Event
DEC1941-Keel Date: 19 DEC 1941
MAY1942-Launch Date: 22 MAY 1942
SEP1942-Commissioned: 15 SEP 1942
NOV1943- Shellback Initiation - 20 NOV 1943 - Pacific Ocean
SEP1944-Shellback Initiation - 17 SEP 1944 - Atlantic Ocean
SEP1944- Shellback Initiation - 17 SEP 1944 - Pacific Ocean
SEP1944-NOV1945West Pac-Indian Ocean-Persian Gulf
SEP1946-Decommissioned: 27 SEP 1946

CVE-18 General Specifications

Complement: 970 Officers and Enlisted

Displacement: 7886 tons

Length: 492 feet

Beam: 69.5 feet

Draft: 25.5 feet

Flank Speed: 16 knots