USS CAPE ESPERANCE (CVU-88)
Reclassified as CVU-88 on June 12, 1955, Cape Esperance went on her first transatlantic crossing mission in 1956 to and from Italy, France and Portugal. Later that year she would carry aircraft to Pakistan.
Her History Before her Reclassification
USS Cape Esperance (CVE-88) was an Casablanca-class aircraft carrier built and active during World War II and the Korean War. Though she received only two battle stars (for her service in World War II), her history was comparatively longer than those of her sister carriers, and she was part of both the Pacific and Atlantic Fleets. Below are her highlights:
World War II
From the time she was commissioned in the spring of 1944 until the war’s end, Cape Esperance transported new, combat-ready aircraft as well as personnel to strategic locations in the Pacific, including the Philippines, Ulithi, Guam, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and the larger islands of Japan. The planes she transported were crucial in securing Philippine and Japanese territories.
Post-World War II and the Korean War
During the early 1950s, she continued performing similar duties to support the Korean War, ferrying aircraft and personnel from the US to bases in Japan. She also picked up Chinese Nationalist aircraft to avoid seizure by Mao Zedong’s Communist forces.
Cape Esperance also traversed the Panama Canal to ferry aircraft to Italy, France, and Portugal in 1955. She then maintained a rigorous schedule of nearly constant transpacific voyages until she was sold for scrap in 1959.