USS Kadashan Bay (CVE-76) was an Casablanca-class aircraft carrier built and active during World War II, for which she received two battle stars. She was part of the Pacific Fleet and participated in the all-important Battle off Samar, part of the Battle for Leyte Gulf and a catalyst for US victory against the Japanese. She was awarded two battle stars for her brave performance.
The carrier left the naval base in San Diego on March 6, 1944, and headed for the South Pacific, where she would engage in the assault on the Palau Islands. This operation was successful, and was a necessary step in US strategy to dominate the Philippine Islands.
In October, 1944, she headed for Leyte Gulf, where her planes flew missions in support of US troops on the land. On October 25, one of Kadashan Bay’s pilots spotted the Japanese Central Force sneaking up on a group of American ships, “Taffy 3,” off the coast of Samar, and with his attack on them, the famous Battle off Samar began. Kadashan Bay launched planes and torpedoes in support of Taffy 3 against the Japanese Central Force, which greatly outnumbered the American ships. Despite being heavily outnumbered, the Americans were decidedly victorious in the Battle off Samar, one of the biggest upsets in naval history. The Japanese did not fully recover from this defeat.
But the action in the Philippines was not yet over, and Kadashan Bay’s work was far from complete. In January of 1945, she met up with the rest of the American force near Luzon, Philippines, where her planes attacked Japanese troops on land. She was singled out for a kamikaze attack which hit its target, resulting in fires and flooding; Kadashan Bay did not sink.
In her final days in operation, the carrier transported veterans home from the Pacific. She was sold for scrap in 1959.
CVE-76 General Specifications
Class: Casablanca-class escort carrier
Named for: Kadashan Bay
Complement: 860 Officers and Enlisted
Displacement: 7800 tons
Length: 512 feet 3 inches
Beam: 65 feet
Flank Speed: 19 knots
Final Disposition: Scrapped 13 August 1959