An Independence-class light aircraft carrier, USS San Jacinto (CVL-30) was launched and commissioned in 1943.
World War II Service
After she was commissioned, San Jacinto sailed to the Pacific to join the war effort, arriving in the Marshall Islands. There she conducted search patrols in an effort to protect her sister carriers, who were attacking the islands of Marcus and Wake. She also participated in air strikes to prepare for the U.S. invasion of Saipan, playing a key role in ensuring that the seizure occurred.
Next, she conducted strikes against Rota and Guam, while providing submarines and air patrol. She participated in strikes against the Palau Islands, targeting Chichi, Haha, and Iwo Jima, as well as strikes against Okinawa. San Jacinto continued to support and provide protection for important missions to attack the Philippines and Japan.
Later in WWII, her planes flew air missions over Allied POW camps to drop off necessary food and medicine rations to the captured soldiers. For her service, she was awarded five battle starts and a Presidential Unit Citation.
Famous Crew Members
San Jacinto’s most famous crew member was George H.W. Bush, who was shot down in the fall during an attack on the Paulaus. His acts of heroism earned him the Flying Cross.
In 1947, she was decommissioned. She was reclassified in 1959 and sold for scrap in 1970.