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Named for a bay in the Alexander Archipelago in southeastern Alaska, USS Kalinin Bay was commissioned on Nov. 27, 1943. Her primary duty on her first voyage was as a replenishment ship for Pacific operations. She was next sent to provide support for the invasion of the Marshall Islands. In May 1944, the ship was sent to provide air operations during the Marianas operations. In June she sent air strikes against entrenched enemy forces in Saipan. July saw her doing the same thing during the invasion of Guam.

Kalinin Bay was an integral part of the Taffy 3 group sent to the Philippine Islands. As part of this group, the ship took part in the Battle off Samar. This naval legend pitted a smaller American force against a larger Japanese enemy. The ship took several direct hits from enemy shells. She avoided torpedo strikes. One kamikaze strike did land on the port side of her deck. The ship lost five souls during the attack.

After extensive repairs, the ship commenced replenishment operations throughout the Pacific Theater. She provides support to Guam, Pearl Harbor, and Eniwetok. After the war ended, the ship was part of the “Magic Carpet” effort to take men home. She was decommissioned on May 15, 1946.

CVE-68 Deployments - Major Events

Add a CVE-68 Shellback Initiation Add a CVE-68 Deployment - Major Event
Month Year to Month Year Deployment / Event
APR1943-Keel Date: 26 APR 1943
at Kaiser Shipyards
OCT1943-Launch Date: 15 OCT 1943
NOV1943-Commissioned: 27 NOV 1943
JAN1944-FEB1944Battle of Tarawa
OCT1944-JAN1945Battle of the Phillipines
MAY1946-Decommissioned: 15 MAY 1946

CVE-68 General Specifications

Class: Casablanca-class escort carrier

Complement: 860 Officers and Enlisted

Displacement: 7800 tons

Length: 512 feet 3 inches

Beam: 65 feet 2 inches

Draft: 22 feet 6 in

Range: 10 240 Nautical Miles

Final Disposition: Sold for scrap 8 December 1946