USS Lunga Point (CVE-94)
Named for the location of an important WWII naval battle, the USS Lunga Point was a 7,800 ton Casablanca-class escort carrier that was constructed in Vancouver, Washington in January 1944. The USS Lunga Point was first commissioned in May 1944 and, at that time, was placed under the command of Captain G. A. T. Washburn. For heroic service in WWII, the USS Lunga Point was awarded five battle stars and a Presidential Unit Citation. In total, she spent 16 years in service to the Navy.
While her first operation involved training exercises, the USS Lunga Point joined the Carrier Division 29 to provide ferrying and replenishment operations in the Leyte Gulf. After providing air support for ground troops in this region, the USS Lunga Point prepared for the Luzon campaign.
By December 1944, the USS Lunga Point was providing air coverage to army operations in the Lingayen Gulf. The following month, she would come under fierce enemy air attacks, known as kamikazes, and would witness the loss of the USS Ommaney Bay. The USS Lunga Point would survive 14 enemy attacks and, would, subsequently, continue to provide air support to forces in the Lingayen Gulf.
After preparing at Ulithi, the USS Lunga Point supported the invasion of Iwo Jima. In February 1945, 16 planes attacked her and other escort carriers. Although the USS Lunga Point would only sustain minor damage, the USS Bismarck Sea was sunk. Surviving this attack, the USS Lunga Point again stopped at Ulithi to prepare itself for the upcoming Okinawa attack.
Joining the Rear Admiral Clifton Sprague's Task Unit, the USS Lunga Point provided air support for ground troops who successfully took out key enemy strongholds. The Navy then commissioned her to perform a minesweeping mission in Okinawa and along the coast of China. During these operations, the Japanese surrendered in August 1945.
In her post-war missions, the USS Lunga Point helped evacuate prisoners of war and played a role in a search for Rear Admiral W. D. Sample that ended unsuccessfully. By October 1946, the USS Lunga Point would be decommissioned and ordered to join the Pacific Reserve Fleet in Tacoma, Washington. In 1960, she would be struck from the Naval Register and sold to a San Diego company for scrapping.