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THE GALLOPPING GHOST
OF THE KOREAN COAST
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Initially laid down in 1944 as Sandy Bay, this Commencement Bay-class escort carrier was dubbed the USS Sicily in June 1945 in honor of the island of Sicily, which had been the location of a critical WWII invasion. The USS Sicily was first commissioned in 1946 and weighed in at 10,900 tons. For much of her time in the years before the Korean War, the USS Sicily was charged with transporting supplies and training troops with both the U.S. Atlantic Fleet (based in Norfolk, Virginia) and the Pacific Fleet (based in San Diego, California).
With the outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950, however, the USS Sicily was ordered to head to the Far East where she became the flagship for Carrier Division 15. In her first wartime missions, the USS Sicily would playing a part in the first air strikes in Korea that supported Allied ground troops. Subsequently, the USS Sicily would perform operations at Pohang, the Inchon Landing, Seoul and the Choin Reservoir.
In total, the USS Sicily would complete three tours in the Korean War, the last of which lasted nearly seven months (from May to December 1952). Following the armistice signed in July 1953, the USS Sicily would make one more trip to the Far East to bring troops home.
Decommission & Recognition
In the following era of peace, the USS Sicily was decommissioned and placed in reserve with the Pacific Reserve Fleet, where it was maintained for nearly 7 years in the event it would be needed in the upcoming years.
In 1960, however, the Navy struck the USS Sicily from its Naval Registrar and sold the vessel (in October that same year) to Nicolai Joffee Corporation for scrap metal. For her reliable, admirable service throughout her stints in the Korean War, the USS Sicily was awarded five battle stars.
AKV-18 Deployments - Major Events
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