History Podcasts

15 February 1943

15 February 1943

15 February 1943

War in the Air

Eighth Air Force Heavy Bomber Mission No. 35: 23 aircraft sent to bomb German raider at Dunkirk. Two aircraft lost.

War at Sea

German submarine U-225 sunk with all hands in the North Atlantic

French warships reach the United States to undergo refits before entering combat

France

Vichy government issues compulsory labour laws



Now Is the Time to Form a Labor Party!

From Labor Action, Vol. 7 No. 7, 15 February 1943, pp.ف &ك.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The CIO, AFL and railroad brotherhoods, together with the National Farmers Union, representing 13,000,000 organized workers and working farmers, have formed, a “common legislative front” to fight anti-labor legislation such as the Hobbs so-called “anti-racketeering” bill.

Such united action is, undoubtedly, a forward step. But it is hardly enough in the circumstances. In fact, in going so far and no farther, the leaders of these millions of working people act like frightened swimmers who, when they can grab a log, nervously, catch onto a straw.

The leaders of these organizations realize fully that we are on the eve of the most reactionary attack on labor that capitalist politicians have ever launched. CIO President Murray, in announcing the “common legislative front,” declared that “the unholy alliance of poll-tax Democrats with the most reactionary wings of the Republican Party . have served notice of their intention to attack labor and reduce labor standards without regard to health or productive efficiency of war workers.”

In face of such an attack, the “common legislative front” is altogether inadequate because it still places laborers and working farmers at the mercy of Democrats and Republicans, i.e., capitalist class politicians. To be sure it is the “good” Democrats and Republicans that Murray, Green & Go. will rely upon to “protect” labor.

But isn’t that exactly what labor has been doing up till now? And hasn’t this policy of “rewarding labor’s friends” landed the workers in such a vulnerable position that today their basic standards can be taken away from them?

Why should 13,000,000 organized working people – with their families and friends and the mass of unorganized workers behind them – be beholden to “good” capitalist politicians for political “protection.”

In these organized workers lies the broad base for independent working class action. In them lies the strong base for an Independent Labor Party. That is the log labor must firmly grasp – or it will sink in the maelstrom of reaction.
 

A Well Planned Thrust

In the light of the above, let us consider the Hobbs so-called “anti-racketeering” bill. It is a shrewd, well planned thrust at labor’s heart – dressed up in the garb of innocence. It simply calls for “equal treatment” of all racketeers guilty of “robbery and extortion.” That is all.

When it is pointed out that there already is an anti-racketeering law – passed in 1934 – which includes protective clauses for labor organizations and legitimate union practices, and that the Hobbs bill carefully omits these protective clauses, the supporters of the Hobbs bill retort that there are no protective clauses for other organizations, either. Then why for labor? they “innocently” ask.

You see what “absolute equality” this bourbon Democrat from poll-tax Alabama aims at. Even “good” Dem’ocrats and Republicans can fall for such an abstraction – especially if they have pressure put on them “by their generous campaign contributors from the boss class.

But rank and file workers on an Independent Labor Party ticket would know better. Their class experience has taught workers that even protective clauses in the laws do not prevent pro-capitalist injustices. Their class instinct tells them that when these protective clauses are not in the laws, anti-labor judges and juries take it as an invitation to go the limit against labor,

Let there be ho mistake about it, an Independent Labor Party will mot cure all the ills that beset labor. For that a workers’ government is needed. But, sitting in Congress as representatives of the working people, workers and working class farmers elected on an Independent Labor Party ticket could use the tribunal afforded them as congressmen to blast to hell such anti-labor frauds as the Hobbs bill. THE PEOPLE OF THE COUNTRY WOULD SOON KNOW THAT IT IS NOT RACKETEERING THE POLL-TAX CONGRESSMEN ARE CONCERNED ABOUT.

For what is the poll-tax, if not a colossal racket depriving millions of citizens of the right to vote? What are the cost-plus war contracts of big business but a form of racketeering? What are the farm bloc antics in Congress, if not racketeering by big business farmers to get bigger pickings, while squeezing out the little fellow?
 

Half-Way Measures Inadequate

Independent Labor Party candidates elected to Congress would give out with the real McCoy. (We are speaking of a genuine Independent Labor Party which has no connections with the boss class.) They would be accountable only to the working people. They would be successful only to the extent that they furthered the class interests of the working people.

Nor could an Independent Labor Party merely fight a defensive battle to maintain the status quo. In reality there is no status quo – but only progress or reaction. We would have to give an Independent Labor Party a program of militant working class demands covering the gamut of questions that press for solution. And, once we have realized our political and economic strength, we would then proceed beyond the tasks of the Labor Party to the next step: vanquishing the fundamental iniquity of class exploitation at the point of production by wresting from the capitalists the factories and the mills which properly belong to labor.

The CIO has revealed that it has a legislative program, to be followed by each of its locals. It consists in organizing local committees “for purposes of basic contact with our representatives in Congress.” These CIO committees are furthermore to “operate jointly with AFL and railroad brotherhood locals, farm organizations, church and community organizations.” And “the views of these groups must be brought to Congress by joint committees of these various organizations, by joint rallies or demonstrations and delegations to congressmen.”

All these plans are excellent. Such pressure on capitalist politicians has always been and still is a necessary supplement to militant working class action. But it is only a supplement to the main line of independent political action – FOR WHICH THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE.

For the representatives in Congress are NOT OUR representatives, They are candidates of the Democratic and Republican Parties which are boss parties, and they are therefore boss politicians.

Everything considered, the decision of the CIO, AFL and railroad brotherhoods to form a “common legislative front” along the lines more fully explained in the CIO statement quoted above, is only a half-measure. The intensity of the reactionary forces today demands all-out progressive action from labor. Labor’s political interests can be defended and furthered in and out of Congress only by a political instrument wielding the solid economic strength of the unions – an Independent Labor Party, free of all boss ties, and with its own working class program.

Let the unions use pressure on capitalist politicians, yes. Let them gain the support of communities in rallies and demonstrations, yes. But the basic political perspective of the working people must be a nationally organized Independent Labor Party!


Birthday numerology calculation for people born on 15th February 1943

  • If your birth date was Feb 15 1943 then your life path number is 7
  • Meaning of this life path number: Highly intelligent, sometimes philosophical and also imaginative! You have psychical talent and may enjoy your own solitude. Let's call this a loner quality. Since you find it hard to take anything at face value, your path will lead you to study, test, and analyze a great many things. Sometimes it would be beneficial to you to have more faith. Without faith you tend to become very cynical. You are a born searcher and seeker of truth. Attracted to all things spiritual and mystical. Loving natural beauty: ocean, green grass, plants, flowers. Always leaving an air of mystery of yourself to others.


George Martin Spierings

  • James Dolan, 73, Kaukauna, passed away unexpectedly Saturday, November 19, 2016. The son of the late Jack & Evelyn (DeGroot) Dolan, he was born in Kaukauna on February 15, 1943. Jim married Donna (Spierings) Van De Hey on February 25, 2006.

After spending his youth working on the family farm, Jim held a variety of positions ranging from millworker, assembler, apprentice electrician, cabinetmaker, truck driver, and in his "retirement" a retail building materials consultant and fertilizer specialist. But Jim's real passions were tinkering, remodeling and woodworking. He spent countless hours in his well-equipped shops making cabinets, bird houses, benches, and decorations for everyone--usually at his own cost. He transformed every house he owned into a showcase. His "spare" time was often spent camping, hunting & fishing.

Jim is survived by Donna her children: Travis (Heidi) and Cory (Danielle) grandchildren: Taylor, Kaitlyn, Ethan and Lauren sister, Colleen Granger brothers: Dennis (Trudy), Tom (Patti) and Tim (Wanda) mother-in-law, Rose Zita Spierings in-laws: Carla Dolan, Dick (Holly) Spierings, Dave Spierings and Deb (Scott) Elm nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents sister, Mary Skop brother, Mike: father-in-law, George Spierings and brother-in-law, Ron Granger.


The Aftermath of the Third Battle of Kharkov

Dubbed the Donets Campaign by the Germans, the Third Battle of Kharkov saw them shatter fifty-two Soviet divisions while inflicting approximately 45,300 killed/missing and 41,200 wounded. Pushing out from the Kharkov, von Manstein's forces drove northeast and secured Belgorod on March 18. With his men exhausted and the weather turning against him, von Manstein was compelled to call a halt to offensive operations. As a result, he was unable to press on to Kursk as he had originally intended. The German victory at the Third Battle of Kharkov set the stage for the massive Battle of Kursk that summer.


Contents

Early in 1945, the German offensive known as the Battle of the Bulge had been exhausted, as was the Luftwaffe's disastrous New Year's Day attack involving elements of 11 combat wings of its day fighter force. The Red Army had launched its Silesian Offensives into pre-war German territory. The German army was retreating on all fronts, but still resisting strongly. On 8 February 1945, the Red Army crossed the Oder River, with positions just 70 km (43 mi) from Berlin. [20] A special British Joint Intelligence Subcommittee report, German Strategy and Capacity to Resist, prepared for Winston Churchill's eyes only, predicted that Germany might collapse as early as mid-April if the Soviets overran its eastern defences. Alternatively, the report warned that the Germans might hold out until November if they could prevent the Soviets from taking Silesia. Hence any assistance to the Soviets on the Eastern Front could shorten the war. [21]

A large scale aerial attack on Berlin and other eastern cities was examined under the code name Operation Thunderclap in mid-1944, but were shelved on 16 August. [22] These were later reexamined, and the decision made for a more limited operation. [23] The Soviet Army continued its push towards the Reich despite severe losses, which they sought to minimize in the final phase of the war. On 5 January 1945, two North American B-25 Mitchell bombers dropped 300,000 leaflets over Dresden with the "Appeal of 50 German generals to the German army and people". [ citation needed ]

On 22 January 1945, the RAF director of bomber operations, Air Commodore Sydney Bufton, sent Deputy Chief of the Air Staff Air Marshal Sir Norman Bottomley a memorandum suggesting that what appeared to be a coordinated RAF air attack to aid the current Soviet offensive would have a detrimental effect on German morale. [24] On 25 January, the Joint Intelligence Committee supported the idea, as it tied in with the Ultra-based intelligence that dozens of German divisions deployed in the west were moving to reinforce the Eastern Front, and that interdiction of these troop movements should be a "high priority." [25] Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Harris, AOCinC Bomber Command, nicknamed "Bomber" Harris in the British press, and known as an ardent supporter of area bombing, [26] was asked for his view, and proposed a simultaneous attack on Chemnitz, Leipzig and Dresden. [23] That evening Churchill asked the Secretary of State for Air, Sir Archibald Sinclair, what plans had been drawn up to carry out these proposals. He passed on the request to Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Charles Portal, the Chief of the Air Staff, who answered, "We should use available effort in one big attack on Berlin and attacks on Dresden, Leipzig, and Chemnitz, or any other cities where a severe blitz will not only cause confusion in the evacuation from the East, but will also hamper the movement of troops from the West." [23] He mentioned that aircraft diverted to such raids should not be taken away from the current primary tasks of destroying oil production facilities, jet aircraft factories, and submarine yards. [23] [27]

Churchill was not satisfied with this answer and on 26 January pressed Sinclair for a plan of operations: "I asked [last night] whether Berlin, and no doubt other large cities in east Germany, should not now be considered especially attractive targets . Pray report to me tomorrow what is going to be done". [28]

In response to Churchill's inquiry, Sinclair approached Bottomley, who asked Harris to undertake attacks on Berlin, Dresden, Leipzig, and Chemnitz as soon as moonlight and weather permitted, "with the particular object of exploiting the confused conditions which are likely to exist in the above mentioned cities during the successful Russian advance". [28] This allowed Sinclair to inform Churchill on 27 January of the Air Staff's agreement that, "subject to the overriding claims" on other targets under the Pointblank Directive, strikes against communications in these cities to disrupt civilian evacuation from the east and troop movement from the west would be made. [29] [30]

On 31 January, Bottomley sent Portal a message saying a heavy attack on Dresden and other cities "will cause great confusion in civilian evacuation from the east and hamper movement of reinforcements from other fronts". [31] British historian Frederick Taylor mentions a further memo sent to the Chiefs of Staff Committee by Air Marshal Sir Douglas Evill on 1 February, in which Evill states interfering with mass civilian movements was a major, even key, factor in the decision to bomb the city centre. Attacks there, where main railway junctions, telephone systems, city administration and utilities were, would result in "chaos". Ostensibly, Britain had learned this after the Coventry Blitz, when loss of this crucial infrastructure had supposedly longer-lasting effects than attacks on war plants. [32]

During the Yalta Conference on 4 February, the Deputy Chief of the Soviet General Staff, General Aleksei Antonov, raised the issue of hampering the reinforcement of German troops from the western front by paralyzing the junctions of Berlin and Leipzig with aerial bombardment. In response, Portal, who was in Yalta, asked Bottomley to send him a list of objectives to discuss with the Soviets. Bottomley's list included oil plants, tank and aircraft factories and the cities of Berlin and Dresden. [33] [34] However according to Richard Overy, the discussion with the Soviet Chief of Staff, Aleksei Antonov, recorded in the minutes, only mentions the bombing of Berlin and Leipzig. [35] The bombing of Dresden was a Western plan, but the Soviets were told in advance about the operation. [35]

Military and industrial profile Edit

According to the RAF at the time, Dresden was Germany's seventh-largest city and the largest remaining unbombed built-up area. [36] Taylor writes that an official 1942 guide to the city described it as "one of the foremost industrial locations of the Reich" and in 1944 the German Army High Command's Weapons Office listed 127 medium-to-large factories and workshops that were supplying the army with materiel. [37] Nonetheless, according to some historians, the contribution of Dresden to the German war effort may not have been as significant as the planners thought. [38]

The US Air Force Historical Division wrote a report in response to the international concern about the bombing that remained classified until December 1978. [39] It said that there were 110 factories and 50,000 workers in the city supporting the German war effort at the time of the raid. [40] According to the report, there were aircraft components factories a poison gas factory (Chemische Fabrik Goye and Company) an anti-aircraft and field gun factory (Lehman) an optical goods factory (Zeiss Ikon AG) and factories producing electrical and X-ray apparatus (Koch & Sterzel [de] AG) gears and differentials (Saxoniswerke) and electric gauges (Gebrüder Bassler). It also said there were barracks, hutted camps, and a munitions storage depot. [41]

The USAF report also states that two of Dresden's traffic routes were of military importance: north-south from Germany to Czechoslovakia, and east–west along the central European uplands. [42] The city was at the junction of the Berlin-Prague-Vienna railway line, as well as the Munich-Breslau, and Hamburg-Leipzig lines. [42] Colonel Harold E. Cook, a US POW held in the Friedrichstadt marshaling yard the night before the attacks, later said that "I saw with my own eyes that Dresden was an armed camp: thousands of German troops, tanks and artillery and miles of freight cars loaded with supplies supporting and transporting German logistics towards the east to meet the Russians". [43]

An RAF memo issued to airmen on the night of the attack gave some reasoning for the raid:

Dresden, the seventh largest city in Germany and not much smaller than Manchester is also the largest unbombed builtup area the enemy has got. In the midst of winter with refugees pouring westward and troops to be rested, roofs are at a premium, not only to give shelter to workers, refugees, and troops alike, but to house the administrative services displaced from other areas. At one time well known for its china, Dresden has developed into an industrial city of first-class importance . The intentions of the attack are to hit the enemy where he will feel it most, behind an already partially collapsed front, to prevent the use of the city in the way of further advance, and incidentally to show the Russians when they arrive what Bomber Command can do. [36] [44]

In the raid, major industrial areas in the suburbs, which stretched for miles, were not targeted. [8] According to historian Donald Miller, "the economic disruption would have been far greater had Bomber Command targeted the suburban areas where most of Dresden's manufacturing might was concentrated". [45]

Night of 13/14 February Edit

The Dresden attack was to have begun with a USAAF Eighth Air Force bombing raid on 13 February 1945. The Eighth Air Force had already bombed the railway yards near the centre of the city twice in daytime raids: once on 7 October 1944 with 70 tons of high-explosive bombs killing more than 400, [46] then again with 133 bombers on 16 January 1945, dropping 279 tons of high-explosives and 41 tons of incendiaries. [7]

On 13 February 1945, bad weather over Europe prevented any USAAF operations, and it was left to RAF Bomber Command to carry out the first raid. It had been decided that the raid would be a double strike, in which a second wave of bombers would attack three hours after the first, just as the rescue teams were trying to put out the fires. [47] Other raids were carried out that night to confuse German air defences. Three hundred and sixty heavy bombers (Lancasters and Halifaxes) bombed a synthetic oil plant in Böhlen, 60 mi (97 km) from Dresden, while de Havilland Mosquito medium bombers attacked Magdeburg, Bonn, Misburg near Hanover and Nuremberg. [48]

When Polish crews of the designated squadrons were preparing for the mission, the terms of the Yalta agreement were made known to them. There was a huge uproar, since the Yalta agreement handed parts of Poland over to the Soviet Union. There was talk of mutiny among the Polish pilots, and their British officers removed their side arms. The Polish Government ordered the pilots to follow their orders and fly their missions over Dresden, which they did. [49]

The first of the British aircraft took off at around 17:20 hours CET for the 700-mile (1,100 km) journey. [b] This was a group of Lancasters from Bomber Command's 83 Squadron, No. 5 Group, acting as the Pathfinders, or flare force, whose job it was to find Dresden and drop magnesium parachute flares, known to the Germans as "Christmas trees", to light up the area for the bombers. The next set of aircraft to leave England were twin-engined Mosquito marker planes, which would identify target areas and drop 1,000-pound (450 kg) target indicators (TIs)" [50] that created a red glow for the bombers to aim at. [51] The attack was to centre on the Ostragehege sports stadium, next to the city's medieval Altstadt (old town), with its congested and highly combustible timbered buildings. [52]

The main bomber force, called Plate Rack, took off shortly after the Pathfinders. This group of 254 Lancasters carried 500 tons of high explosives and 375 tons of incendiaries ("fire bombs"). There were 200,000 incendiaries in all, with the high-explosive bombs ranging in weight from 500 to 4,000 lb (230 to 1,810 kg) —the two-ton cookies, [52] also known as "blockbusters", because they could destroy an entire large building or street. The high explosives were intended to rupture water mains and blow off roofs, doors, and windows to create an air flow to feed the fires caused by the incendiaries that followed. [53] [54]

The Lancasters crossed into French airspace near the Somme, then into Germany just north of Cologne. At 22:00 hours, the force heading for Böhlen split away from Plate Rack, which turned south east toward the Elbe. By this time, ten of the Lancasters were out of service, leaving 244 to continue to Dresden. [55]

The sirens started sounding in Dresden at 21:51 (CET). [c] [56] Wing Commander Maurice Smith, flying in a Mosquito, gave the order to the Lancasters: "Controller to Plate Rack Force: Come in and bomb glow of red target indicators as planned. Bomb the glow of red TIs as planned". [57] The first bombs were released at 22:13, the last at 22:28, the Lancasters delivering 881.1 tons of bombs, 57% high explosive, 43% incendiaries. The fan-shaped area that was bombed was 1.25 mi (2.01 km) long, and at its extreme about 1.75 mi (2.82 km) wide. The shape and total devastation of the area was created by the bombers of No. 5 Group flying over the head of the fan (Ostragehege stadium) on prearranged compass bearings and releasing their bombs at different prearranged times. [58] [59]

The second attack, three hours later, was by Lancaster aircraft of 1, 3, 6 and 8 Groups, 8 Group being the Pathfinders. By now, the thousands of fires from the burning city could be seen more than 60 mi (97 km) away on the ground, and 500 mi (800 km) away in the air, with smoke rising to 15,000 ft (4,600 m). [60] The Pathfinders therefore decided to expand the target, dropping flares on either side of the firestorm, including the Hauptbahnhof, the main train station, and the Großer Garten, a large park, both of which had escaped damage during the first raid. [61] The German sirens sounded again at 01:05, but as there was practically no electricity, these were small hand-held sirens that were heard within only a block. [55] Between 01:21 and 01:45, 529 Lancasters dropped more than 1,800 tons of bombs.

14–15 February Edit

On the morning of 14 February 431 United States Army Air Force bombers of the Eighth Air Force's 1st Bombardment Division were scheduled to bomb Dresden near midday, and the 3rd Bombardment Division were to follow to bomb Chemnitz, while the 2nd Bombardment Division would bomb a synthetic oil plant in Magdeburg. The bomber groups were protected by 784 North American P-51 Mustangs of the Eighth Air Force's VIII Fighter Command, for a total almost 2,100 Eighth Army Air Force aircraft over Saxony during 14 February. [62]

Primary sources disagree as to whether the aiming point was the marshalling yards near the centre of the city or the centre of the built-up urban area. The report by the 1st Bombardment Division's commander to his commander states that the targeting sequence was the centre of the built-up area in Dresden if the weather was clear. If clouds obscured Dresden but Chemnitz was clear, Chemnitz was the target. If both were obscured, they would bomb the centre of Dresden using H2X radar. [63] The mix of bombs for the Dresden raid was about 40% incendiaries—much closer to the RAF city-busting mix than the USAAF usually used in precision bombardment. [64] Taylor compares this 40% mix with the raid on Berlin on 3 February, where the ratio was 10% incendiaries. This was a common mix when the USAAF anticipated cloudy conditions over the target. [65]

316 B-17 Flying Fortresses bombed Dresden, dropping 771 tons of bombs. [66] [67] The remaining 115 bombers from the stream of 431 misidentified their targets. Sixty bombed Prague, dropping 153 tons of bombs, while others bombed Brux and Pilsen. [67] The 379th bombardment group started to bomb Dresden at 12:17, aiming at marshalling yards in the Friedrichstadt district west of the city centre, as the area was not obscured by smoke and cloud. The 303rd group arrived over Dresden two minutes after the 379th and found their view obscured by clouds, so they bombed Dresden using H2X radar. The groups that followed the 303rd (92nd, 306th, 379th, 384th and 457th) also found Dresden obscured by clouds, and they too used H2X. H2X aiming caused the groups to bomb with a wide dispersal over the Dresden area. The last group to attack Dresden was the 306th, and they finished by 12:30. [68]

Strafing of civilians has become a traditional part of the oral history of the raids, since a March 1945 article in the Nazi-run weekly newspaper Das Reich claimed this had occurred. [d] Historian Götz Bergander, an eyewitness to the raids, found no reports on strafing for 13–15 February by any pilots or the German military and police. He asserted in Dresden im Luftkrieg (1977) that only a few tales of civilians being strafed were reliable in detail, and all were related to the daylight attack on 14 February. He concluded that some memory of eyewitnesses was real, but that it had misinterpreted the firing in a dogfight as deliberately aimed at people on the ground. [70] In 2000, historian Helmut Schnatz found an explicit order to RAF pilots not to strafe civilians on the way back from Dresden. He also reconstructed timelines with the result that strafing would have been almost impossible due to lack of time and fuel. [71] Frederick Taylor in Dresden (2004), basing most of his analysis on the work of Bergander and Schnatz, concludes that no strafing took place, although some stray bullets from aerial dogfights may have hit the ground and been mistaken for strafing by those in the vicinity. [72] The official historical commission collected 103 detailed eyewitness accounts and let the local bomb disposal services search according to their assertions. They found no bullets or fragments that would have been used by planes of the Dresden raids. [73]

On 15 February, the 1st Bombardment Division's primary target—the Böhlen synthetic oil plant near Leipzig—was obscured by clouds, so its groups diverted to their secondary target, Dresden. Dresden was also obscured by clouds, so the groups targeted the city using H2X. The first group to arrive over the target was the 401st, but it missed the city centre and bombed Dresden's southeastern suburbs, with bombs also landing on the nearby towns of Meissen and Pirna. The other groups all bombed Dresden between 12:00 and 12:10. They failed to hit the marshalling yards in the Friedrichstadt district and, as in the previous raid, their ordnance was scattered over a wide area. [74]

German defensive action Edit

Dresden's air defences had been depleted by the need for more weaponry to fight the Red Army, and the city lost its last massive flak battery in January 1945. By this point in the war, the Luftwaffe was severely hampered by a shortage of both pilots and aircraft fuel the German radar system was also degraded, lowering the warning time to prepare for air attacks. The RAF also had an advantage over the Germans in the field of electronic radar countermeasures. [75]

Of 796 British bombers that participated in the raid, six were lost, three of those hit by bombs dropped by aircraft flying over them. On the following day, only a single US bomber was shot down, as the large escort force was able to prevent Luftwaffe day fighters from disrupting the attack. [76]

On the ground Edit

It is not possible to describe! Explosion after explosion. It was beyond belief, worse than the blackest nightmare. So many people were horribly burnt and injured. It became more and more difficult to breathe. It was dark and all of us tried to leave this cellar with inconceivable panic. Dead and dying people were trampled upon, luggage was left or snatched up out of our hands by rescuers. The basket with our twins covered with wet cloths was snatched up out of my mother's hands and we were pushed upstairs by the people behind us. We saw the burning street, the falling ruins and the terrible firestorm. My mother covered us with wet blankets and coats she found in a water tub.

We saw terrible things: cremated adults shrunk to the size of small children, pieces of arms and legs, dead people, whole families burnt to death, burning people ran to and fro, burnt coaches filled with civilian refugees, dead rescuers and soldiers, many were calling and looking for their children and families, and fire everywhere, everywhere fire, and all the time the hot wind of the firestorm threw people back into the burning houses they were trying to escape from.

I cannot forget these terrible details. I can never forget them.

The sirens started sounding in Dresden at 21:51 (CET). [56] Frederick Taylor writes that the Germans could see that a large enemy bomber formation—or what they called "ein dicker Hund" (lit: a fat dog, a "major thing")—was approaching somewhere in the east. At 21:39 the Reich Air Defence Leadership issued an enemy aircraft warning for Dresden, although at that point it was thought Leipzig might be the target. At 21:59 the Local Air Raid Leadership confirmed that the bombers were in the area of Dresden-Pirna. [78] Taylor writes the city was largely undefended a night fighter force of ten Messerschmitt Bf 110Gs at Klotzsche airfield was scrambled, but it took them half an hour to get into an attack position. At 22:03 the Local Air Raid Leadership issued the first definitive warning: "Warning! Warning! Warning! The lead aircraft of the major enemy bomber forces have changed course and are now approaching the city area". [79] Some 10,000 fled to the great open space of the Grosse Garten, the magnificent royal park of Dresden, nearly one and a half square miles in all. Here they were caught by the second raid, which started without an air-raid warning, at 1:22 a.m. [80] At 11:30 a.m., the third wave of bombers, the two hundred eleven American Flying Fortresses, began their attack.

To my left I suddenly see a woman. I can see her to this day and shall never forget it. She carries a bundle in her arms. It is a baby. She runs, she falls, and the child flies in an arc into the fire.

Suddenly, I saw people again, right in front of me. They scream and gesticulate with their hands, and then—to my utter horror and amazement—I see how one after the other they simply seem to let themselves drop to the ground. (Today I know that these unfortunate people were the victims of lack of oxygen.) They fainted and then burnt to cinders.

Insane fear grips me and from then on I repeat one simple sentence to myself continuously: "I don't want to burn to death". I do not know how many people I fell over. I know only one thing: that I must not burn.

Suddenly, the sirens stopped. Then flares filled the night sky with blinding light, dripping burning phosphorus onto the streets and buildings. It was then that we realized we were trapped in a locked cage that stood every chance of becoming a mass grave.

There were few public air raid shelters. The largest, beneath the main railway station, housed 6,000 refugees. [82] As a result, most people took shelter in cellars, but one of the air raid precautions the city had taken was to remove thick cellar walls between rows of buildings and replace them with thin partitions that could be knocked through in an emergency. The idea was that, as one building collapsed or filled with smoke, those sheltering in the basements could knock walls down and move into adjoining buildings. With the city on fire everywhere, those fleeing from one burning cellar simply ran into another, with the result that thousands of bodies were found piled up in houses at the ends of city blocks. [83] A Dresden police report written shortly after the attacks reported that the old town and the inner eastern suburbs had been engulfed in a single fire that had destroyed almost 12,000 dwellings. [84] The same report said that the raids had destroyed the Wehrmacht's main command post in the Taschenbergpalais, 63 administration buildings, the railways, 19 military hospitals, 19 ships and barges, and a number of less significant military facilities. Six hundred and forty shops, 64 warehouses, 39 schools, 31 stores, 31 large hotels, 26 public houses/bars, 26 insurance buildings, 24 banks, 19 postal facilities, 19 hospitals and private clinics including auxiliary, overflow hospitals, 18 cinemas, 11 churches and 6 chapels, 5 consulates, 4 tram facilities, 3 theatres, 2 market halls, the zoo, the waterworks, and 5 other cultural buildings were also destroyed. [84] Almost 200 factories were damaged, 136 seriously (including several of the Zeiss Ikon precision optical engineering works), 28 with medium to serious damage, and 35 with light damage. [85]

An RAF assessment showed that 23% of the industrial buildings and 56% of the non-industrial buildings, not counting residential buildings, had been seriously damaged. Around 78,000 dwellings had been completely destroyed 27,700 were uninhabitable, and 64,500 damaged but readily repairable. [7]

During his post-war interrogation, Albert Speer, Minister of Armaments and War Production for the Third Reich, said that Dresden's industrial recovery from the bombings was rapid. [86]

Fatalities Edit

According to the official German report Tagesbefehl (Order of the Day) no. 47 ("TB47") issued on 22 March, the number of dead recovered by that date was 20,204, including 6,865 who were cremated on the Altmarkt square, and they expected the total number of deaths to be about 25,000. [87] [88] Another report on 3 April put the number of corpses recovered at 22,096. [89] Three municipal and 17 rural cemeteries outside Dresden recorded up to 30 April 1945 a total of at least 21,895 buried bodies from the Dresden raids, including those cremated on the Altmarkt. [90]

Between 100,000 and 200,000 refugees [91] fleeing westward from advancing Soviet forces were in the city at the time of the bombing. Exact figures are unknown, but reliable estimates were calculated based on train arrivals, foot traffic, and the extent to which emergency accommodation had to be organised. [92] The city authorities did not distinguish between residents and refugees when establishing casualty numbers and "took great pains to count all the dead, identified and unidentified". [92] This was largely achievable because most of the dead succumbed to suffocation in only four places were recovered remains so badly burned that it was impossible to ascertain the number of victims. The uncertainty this introduced is thought to amount to no more than 100 people. [92] 35,000 people were registered with the authorities as missing after the raids, around 10,000 of whom were later found alive. [92]

A further 1,858 bodies were discovered during the reconstruction of Dresden between the end of the war and 1966. [93] Since 1989, despite extensive excavation for new buildings, no new war-related bodies have been found. [94] Seeking to establish a definitive casualty figure, in part to address propagandisation of the bombing by far-right groups, the Dresden city council in 2005 authorised an independent Historians' Commission (Historikerkommission) to conduct a new, thorough investigation, collecting and evaluating available sources. The results were published in 2010 and stated that between 22,700 [3] and 25,000 people [4] had been killed.

German Edit

Development of a German political response to the raid took several turns. Initially, some of the leadership, especially Robert Ley and Joseph Goebbels, wanted to use it as a pretext for abandonment of the Geneva Conventions on the Western Front. In the end, the only political action the German government took was to exploit it for propaganda purposes. [95] Goebbels is reported to have wept with rage for twenty minutes after he heard the news of the catastrophe, before launching into a bitter attack on Hermann Göring, the commander of the Luftwaffe: "If I had the power I would drag this cowardly good-for-nothing, this Reich marshal, before a court. . How much guilt does this parasite not bear for all this, which we owe to his indolence and love of his own comforts. . ". [96]

On 16 February, the Propaganda Ministry issued a press release that claimed that Dresden had no war industries it was a city of culture. [97]

On 25 February, a new leaflet with photographs of two burned children was released under the title "Dresden—Massacre of Refugees", stating that 200,000 had died. Since no official estimate had been developed, the numbers were speculative, but newspapers such as the Stockholm Svenska Morgonbladet used phrases such as "privately from Berlin," to explain where they had obtained the figures. [98] Frederick Taylor states that "there is good reason to believe that later in March copies of—or extracts from—[an official police report] were leaked to the neutral press by Goebbels's Propaganda Ministry . doctored with an extra zero to increase [the total dead from the raid] to 202,040". [16] On 4 March, Das Reich, a weekly newspaper founded by Goebbels, published a lengthy article emphasising the suffering and destruction of a cultural icon, without mentioning damage to the German war effort. [99] [100]

Taylor writes that this propaganda was effective, as it not only influenced attitudes in neutral countries at the time, but also reached the House of Commons, when Richard Stokes, a Labour Member of Parliament, and a long term opponent of area-bombing, [101] quoted information from the German Press Agency (controlled by the Propaganda Ministry). It was Stokes's questions in the House of Commons that were in large part responsible for the shift in British opinion against this type of raid. Taylor suggests that, although the destruction of Dresden would have affected people's support for the Allies regardless of German propaganda, at least some of the outrage did depend on Goebbels' falsification of the casualty figures. [102]

British Edit

The destruction of the city provoked unease in intellectual circles in Britain. According to historian Max Hastings, by February 1945, attacks upon German cities had become largely irrelevant to the outcome of the war and the name of Dresden resonated with cultured people all over Europe—"the home of so much charm and beauty, a refuge for Trollope's heroines, a landmark of the Grand Tour." He writes that the bombing was the first time the public in Allied countries seriously questioned the military actions used to defeat the Germans. [103]

The unease was made worse by an Associated Press story that the Allies had resorted to terror bombing. At a press briefing held by the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force two days after the raids, British Air Commodore Colin McKay Grierson told journalists:

First of all they (Dresden and similar towns) are the centres to which evacuees are being moved. They are centres of communications through which traffic is moving across to the Russian Front, and from the Western Front to the East, and they are sufficiently close to the Russian Front for the Russians to continue the successful prosecution of their battle. I think these three reasons probably cover the bombing. [104]

One of the journalists asked whether the principal aim of bombing Dresden would be to cause confusion among the refugees or to blast communications carrying military supplies. Grierson answered that the primary aim was to attack communications to prevent the Germans from moving military supplies, and to stop movement in all directions if possible. He then added in an offhand remark that the raid also helped destroy "what is left of German morale." Howard Cowan, an Associated Press war correspondent, subsequently filed a story claiming that the Allies had resorted to terror bombing. There were follow-up newspaper editorials on the issue and a longtime opponent of strategic bombing, Richard Stokes MP, asked questions in the House of Commons on 6 March. [105] [106]

Churchill subsequently re-evaluated the goals of the bombing campaigns, to focus less on strategic targets, and more toward targets of tactical significance. [107] [108] [109] On 28 March, in a memo sent by telegram to General Ismay for the British Chiefs of Staff and the Chief of the Air Staff, he wrote:

It seems to me that the moment has come when the question of bombing of German cities simply for the sake of increasing the terror, though under other pretexts, should be reviewed. Otherwise we shall come into control of an utterly ruined land . The destruction of Dresden remains a serious query against the conduct of Allied bombing. I am of the opinion that military objectives must henceforward be more strictly studied in our own interests than that of the enemy.

The Foreign Secretary has spoken to me on this subject, and I feel the need for more precise concentration upon military objectives such as oil and communications behind the immediate battle-zone, rather than on mere acts of terror and wanton destruction, however impressive. [110] [111]

Having been given a paraphrased version of Churchill's memo by Bottomley, on 29 March, Air Chief Marshal Arthur Harris wrote to the Air Ministry: [112]

. in the past we were justified in attacking German cities. But to do so was always repugnant and now that the Germans are beaten anyway we can properly abstain from proceeding with these attacks. This is a doctrine to which I could never subscribe. Attacks on cities like any other act of war are intolerable unless they are strategically justified. But they are strategically justified in so far as they tend to shorten the war and preserve the lives of Allied soldiers. To my mind we have absolutely no right to give them up unless it is certain that they will not have this effect. I do not personally regard the whole of the remaining cities of Germany as worth the bones of one British Grenadier.

The feeling, such as there is, over Dresden, could be easily explained by any psychiatrist. It is connected with German bands and Dresden shepherdesses. Actually Dresden was a mass of munitions works, an intact government centre, and a key transportation point to the East. It is now none of these things. [113]

The phrase "worth the bones of one British grenadier" echoed Otto von Bismarck's: "The whole of the Balkans is not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier". [112] Under pressure from the Chiefs of Staff and in response to the views expressed by Portal and Harris among others, Churchill withdrew his memo and issued a new one. [113] [114] [115] This was completed on 1 April 1945:

. the moment has come when the question of the so called 'area-bombing' of German cities should be reviewed from the point of view of our own interests. If we come into control of an entirely ruined land, there will be a great shortage of accommodation for ourselves and our allies. . We must see to it that our attacks do no more harm to ourselves in the long run than they do to the enemy's war effort. [116] [117]

American Edit

John Kenneth Galbraith was among those in the Roosevelt administration who had qualms about the bombing. As one of the directors of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey, formed late in the war by the American Office of Strategic Services to assess the results of the aerial bombardments of Nazi Germany, he wrote: "The incredible cruelty of the attack on Dresden when the war had already been won—and the death of children, women, and civilians—that was extremely weighty and of no avail". [118] The Survey's majority view on the Allies' bombing of German cities, however, concluded: "The city area raids have left their mark on the German people as well as on their cities. Far more than any other military action that preceded the actual occupation of Germany itself, these attacks left the German people with a solid lesson in the disadvantages of war. It was a terrible lesson conceivably that lesson, both in Germany and abroad, could be the most lasting single effect of the air war". [119]


Prisoners in Treblinka rose up against the SS. They attacked guards and set buildings on fire. Around 300 prisoners manage to escape, but only 100 were not recaptured. All remaining prisoners were murdered.

The Battle of Monte Cassino took place from the 17 January 1944 to the 18 May 1944. It was a series of four offensives carried out by Allied troops in central Italy (who was a key ally of Germany) in an attempt to breakthrough the Winter Line and occupy Rome. On the 18 May, Polish troops captured the Abbey at the top of Monte Cassino. The Battle for Monte Cassino was over.


15 February 1943 - History

Casablanca class escort aircraft carriers
Displacement: 10,902 tons full load
Dimensions: 490 x 65 x 19.75 feet/149.4 x 19.8 x 6 meters
Extreme Dimensions: 498 x 108 x 19.75 feet/151.7 x 32.9 x 6 meters
Propulsion: Reciprocating (VTE) engines, 4 285 psi boilers, 2 shafts, 9,000 hp, 19 knots
Crew: 764
Armor: none
Armament: 1 single 5/38 DP, 4 dual 40 mm AA, 12 20 mm AA
Aircraft: 27

Concept/Program: Construction of this class was proposed by the industrialist Henry J. Kaiser, owner of the Kaiser shipyards. He proposed that 50 ships be built in his yard using the S4 Special merchant hull, already in production at the Kaiser yard. All 50 ships would be completed in an amazing one year timeframe. The Navy immediately accepted the proposal. Initially it was intended that approximately half these ships would be transferred to RN, but the second batch of Bogue s went to RN instead.

Design: These ships were slightly smaller than the Bogues , and therefore were more cramped. They had very little sheer, improving hangar deck conditions greatly compared to the C3 conversions. This class featured VTE reciprocating machinery driving two shafts. This obsolete machinery was acceptable in view of production limitations in the gear-cutting industry, which limited the number of steam-turbine propulsion plants that could be put into service. Postwar the VTE engines severely limited the usefulness of these ships.

Variations: All essentially identical at completion due to mass-production nature of this class.

Modifications: By the end of the war AA armament had been increased to 8 twin 40 mm and 30 single 20 mm.

Modernization: No class-wide modernizations. One ship was reactivated and extensively converted as an assault ship others remained in essentially their WWII configurations.

Classification: Early ships classed AVG and/or ACV initially, but most commissioned (and many laid down) after being reclassified CVE. During the 1950's ships were reclassified CVU, CVHE and AKV depending on their role, or the role the would have assumed if returned to service.

Ships of this class were assigned a Maritime Commission (MC) hull number during construction, in addition to the normal designations.

Operational: Most ships served in the Pacific. Some served exclusively as transports, bringing replacement aircraft to the front and transporting land-based aircraft to forward bases. Others served in a wide variety of roles -- ASW carriers, strike/CAP carriers to support invasions, or as light fleet units in the absence of other ships. Ships often switched from one role to another as dictated by operational requirements at any given time. It would not be uncommon for a transport carrier to bring a load of aircraft to the front, serve as a strike/CAP carrier during a major offensive, and then return to transport duties. Ships not designated for use as transports commonly carried large deckloads of aircraft when deploying from the US to forward areas, then disembarked the cargo and operated as combat vessels. During major offensives ships of all types were commonly attached to offensive forces and operated in front-line combat areas.

Departure from Service/Disposal: All decommissioned immediately after WWII. Some ships were disposed of soon after the war, generally because they needed repairs or overhauls. The others were retained in reserve postwar for possible use as helicopter ships. Survivors discarded in 1959.

Other Notes: Several were reactivated for use as aircraft transports they did not undergo major modifications but their armament remained in mothballs. They had civilian crews and operated under the Military Sea Transport Service (MSTS), not under naval control they were "in service" rather than "in commission" and their designations were preceded by "T-".

Casablanca
ex Alazon Bay , ex HMS Ameer
MC Hull 301
AVG 55 - ACV 55 - CVE 55
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Originally intended for transfer to RN. Designation changed from AVG to ACV 20 August 1942. Laid down 3 Nov 1942, transferred to USN and renamed Alazon Bay 23 Jan 1943, renamed Casablanca 3 April 1943, launched 5 April 1943, commissioned 8 July 1943.

Designation changed from ACV to CVE 15 July 1943. Served as a transport and training carrier in the Pacific.

Decommissioned 10 June 1946, stricken for disposal 3 July 1946. Sold and scrapped at Chester at PA 1947.

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Liscombe Bay
MC Hull 302
ACV 56 - CVE 56
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 9 Dec 1942, launched 19 April 1943, commissioned 7 Aug 1943. Designation changed from ACV to CVE 15 July 1943 prior to commissioning.

Torpedoed and sunk by I-175 off the Gilbert Islands 24 November 1943.

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Coral Sea
later Anzio
ex Alikula Bay
MC Hull 303
ACV 57 - CVE 57 - CVHE 57
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 12 Dec 1942, renamed 3 April 1943, launched 1 May 1943, commissioned 27 Aug 1943. Designation changed from ACV to CVE 15 July 1943 prior to commissioning.

Renamed Anzio 9/1944. Served as ASW carrier in the Pacific.

Decommissioned to reserve 5 Aug 1946. Redesignated as a helicopter escort carrier (CVHE 57) 12 June 1955 while in reserve. Stricken for disposal 1 March 1959, sold 24 Nov 1959 and scrapped at Hamburg in 1960.

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Corregidor
ex Anguilla Bay
MC Hull 304
ACV 58 - CVE 58 - T-CVE 58 - T-CVHE 58
Photos: [During WWII], [As aircraft transport].

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 17 Dec 1942, renamed 3 April 1943, launched 12 May 1943, commissioned 31 Aug 1943. Had been allocated for transfer to RN, but was retained by the USN. Designation changed from ACV to CVE 15 July 1943 prior to commissioning.

Served in transport, training, ASW and attack duties. Decommissioned to reserve 20 July 1946.

Reactivated as an aircraft transport 19 May 1951 and operated with civilian crew under MSTS control as T-CVE 58. Redesignated as a helicopter escort carrier (CVHE 58) 12 June 1955 and operated as T-CVHE 58.

Placed out of service 4 Sept 1958, stricken for disposal 1 Oct 1958. Sold and scrapped at New Orleans in 1960.

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Mission Bay
ex HMS Atheling
MC Hull 305
ACV 59 - CVE 59 - CVU 59
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 28 Dec 1942, renamed 3 April 1943, launched 26 May 1943, commissioned 13 Sept 1943. Designation changed from ACV to CVE 15 July 1943 prior to commissioning.

Served as an ASW carrier in the Atlantic and made one transport run to India.

Decommissioned to reserve 21 Feb 1947. Redesignated as a utility carrier (CVU 59) 12 June 1955 while in reserve. Stricken for disposal 1 Sept 1958. Sold and scrapped in Japan starting 1/60.

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Guadalcanal
ex Astrolabe Bay
MC Hull 306
ACV 60 - CVE 60 - CVU 60
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 5 Jan 1943, renamed 3 April 1943, launched 5 June 1943, commissioned 25 Sept 1943. Designation changed from ACV to CVE 15 July 1943 prior to commissioning.

Served as ASW carrier in the Atlantic. Captured U-505 4 June 1944.

Decommissioned to reserve 15 July 1946. Redesignated as a utility carrier (CVU 60) 12 June 1955 while in reserve. Stricken for disposal 27 May 1958. Sold 30 April 1959 and scrapped in Japan starting 1/60.

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Manila Bay
ex Bucareli Bay
MC Hull 307
ACV 61 - CVE 61 - CVU 61
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 15 Jan 1943, renamed 3 April 1943, launched 10 July 1943, commissioned 5 Oct 1943. Designation changed from ACV to CVE 15 July 1943 prior to commissioning.

Served in as transport and attack carrier in the Pacific. Kamikaze 5 Jan 1945.

Decommissioned to reserve 31 July 1946. Redesignated as a utility carrier (CVU 61) 1 July 1958 while in reserve. Stricken for disposal 27 May 1958. Sold 9/1959 and scrapped in Japan starting 2/60.

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Natoma Bay
ex HMS Begum
MC Hull 308
ACV 62 - CVE 62 - CVU 62
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 17 Jan 1943, launched 20 July 1943, transferred to USN and renamed 22 Jan 1943, commissioned 14 Oct 1943. Had been allocated for transfer to RN, but as retained by the USN. Designation changed from ACV to CVE 15 July 1943 prior to commissioning.

Served as transport carrier, then training carrier, and finally as a combat carrier. Kamikaze 7 June 1945.

Decommissioned to reserve 20 May 1946. Redesignated as a utility carrier (CVU 62) 12 June 1955 while in reserve. Stricken for disposal 1 Sept 1958. Sold and scrapped in Japan starting 2/60.

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Midway
later St. Lo
ex Chapin Bay
MC Hull 309
ACV 63 - CVE 63
Photos: [As Midway ], [ St. Lo explodes].

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 23 Jan 1943, renamed 3 April 1943, launched 17 Aug 1943, commissioned 23 Oct 1943. Designation changed from ACV to CVE 15 July 1943 prior to commissioning.

Served as transport and support carrier in the Pacific. Renamed St. Lo 15 Sept 1944. Hit by Kamikaze 25 October 1944 at Leyte, massive explosions resulted, and the ship sank within 30 minutes.

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Didrickson Bay
later Tripoli
MC Hull 310
ACV 64 - CVE 64 - T-CVE 64 - T-CVU 64
Photos: [During WWII], [As an aircraft transport].

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 1 Feb 1943, renamed 3 April 1943, launched 2 Sept 1943, commissioned 31 Oct 1943. Designation changed from ACV to CVE 15 July 1943 prior to commissioning.

Renamed Tripoli 11/1943. Served as an ASW carrier in the Atlantic, then as a transport and training carrier in the Pacific. Decommissioned to reserve 22 May 1946.

Reactivated as an aircraft transport 5 January 1952 and operated with civilian crew under MSTS control as T-CVE 64. Redesignated as a utility carrier (CVU 64 12 June 1955 and operated as T-CVU 64.

Placed out of service 22 Nov 1958. Stricken for disposal 1 Feb 1959. Sold and scrapped in Japan starting 1/60.

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Wake Island
ex Dolomi Bay
MC Hull 311
ACV 65 - CVE 65
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 6 Feb 1943, renamed 3 April 1943, launched 11 Sept 1943, commissioned 7 Nov 1943. Designation changed from ACV to CVE 15 July 1943 prior to commissioning.

Served as an ASW carrier in the Atlantic, then as a combat, transport and training carrier in the Pacific. Hit by a kamikaze 3 April 1945.

Decommissioned 5 April 1946, stricken for disposal 17 April 1946. Sold and scrapped at Baltimore in 1947.

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White Plains
ex Elbour Bay
MC Hull 312
ACV 66 - CVE 66 - CVU 66
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 11 Feb 1943, renamed 3 April 1943, launched 27 Sept 1943, commissioned 15 Nov 1943. Designation changed from ACV to CVE 15 July 1943 prior to commissioning.

Served as a transport, training and combat carrier in the Pacific. Severely damaged by kamikaze and gunfire 25 Oct 1944 at Leyte.

Decommissioned to reserve 10 July 1946. Redesignated as a utility carrier (CVU 66) 12 June 1955 while in reserve. Stricken for disposal 6/1958. Sold and scrapped at Baltimore 8/59.

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Solomons
ex Nassuk Bay , ex HMS Emperor
MC Hull 313
ACV 67 - CVE 67
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 19 March 1943, launched 6 Oct 1943, transferred to USN and renamed Nassuk Bay 6 Nov 1943, then renamed Solomons , commissioned 21 Nov 1943. Originally allocated for transfer to RN but retained by USN. Designation changed from ACV to CVE 15 July 1943 prior to commissioning.

Served as a transport carrier in the Pacific, then as an ASW and transport carrier in the Atlantic.

Decommissioned 15 May 1946, stricken for disposal 5 June 1946. Sold and scrapped in 1947.

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Kalinin Bay
MC Hull 314
ACV 68 - CVE 68
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 26 April 1943, launched 15 Oct 1943, commissioned 27 Nov 1943. Designation changed from ACV to CVE 15 July 1943 prior to commissioning. Served as transport and combat carrier in the Pacific. Damaged by kamikaze and gunfire 25 Oct 1944 at Leyte.

Decommissioned 15 May 1946, stricken for disposal 5 June 1946. Sold 8 Dec 1946 and scrapped in 1947.

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Kasaan Bay
MC Hull 314
ACV 69 - CVE 69 - CVHE 69
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 11 May 1943, launched 24 Oct 1943, commissioned 4 Dec 1943. Designation changed from ACV to CVE 15 July 1943 prior to commissioning.

Briefly served as a transport carrier in the Pacific, then as a combat carrier in the Mediterranean, then returned to the Pacific.

Decommissioned to reserve 6 July 1946. Redesignated as a helicopter escort carrier (CVHE 69) 12 June 1955 while in reserve. Stricken for disposal 1 March 1959. Sold 2 Feb 1960 and scrapped at Hamburg 3/60.

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Fanshaw Bay
MC Hull 316
ACV 70 - CVE 70 - CVHE 70
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 18 May 1943, launched 1 Nov 1943, commissioned 9 Dec 1943. Designation changed from ACV to CVE 15 July 1943 prior to commissioning.

Served in combat roles in the Pacific. Damaged by gunfire 25 Oct 1944 at Leyte.

Decommissioned to reserve 14 Aug 1946. Redesignated as a helicopter escort carrier (CVHE 70) 12 June 1955 while in reserve. Stricken for disposal 1 Mar 1959. Sold and scrapped at Portland OR in 1959.

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Kitkun Bay
MC Hull 317
ACV 71 - CVE 71
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 31 May 1943, launched 8 Nov 1943, commissioned 15 Dec 1943. Designation changed from ACV to CVE 15 July 1943 prior to commissioning.

Served as transport and training carrier in the Pacific, then as a combat carrier. Kamikazes 25 Oct 1944 at Leyte and 8 Jan 1945.

Decommissioned 19 April 1946, stricken for disposal 8 May 1946. Sold 18 Nov 1946 and scrapped early 1947.

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Tulagi
ex Fortezela Bay
MC Hull 318
ACV 72 - CVE 72
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 7 June 1943, renamed 3 Nov 1943, launched 15 Nov 1943, commissioned 21 Dec 1943. Designation changed from ACV to CVE 15 July 1943 prior to commissioning.

Served as ASW, transport and combat carrier in the Atlantic and the Pacific.

Decommissioned 30 April 1946, stricken for disposal 8 May 1946. Sold and scrapped in 1947.

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 10 July 1943, launched 22 Nov 1943, commissioned 28 Dec 1943. Designation changed from ACV to CVE 15 July 1943 prior to commissioning. Sunk by gunfire off Samar 25 Oct 1944.

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Nehenta Bay
ex HMS Khedive
MC Hull 320
CVE 74 - CVU 74 - AKV 24
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 20 July 1943, launched 28 Nov 1943, commissioned 3 Jan 1944. Had been allocated for transfer to RN but was retained by USN.

Served in the Pacific. Damaged by typhoon 18 Dec 1944 and 17 Jan 1945.

Decommissioned to reserve 15 April 1946. Redesignated as a utility carrier (CVU 74) 12 June 1955 redesignated as an aviation transport (AKV 24) 7 May 1959, both while in reserve. Stricken for disposal 1 Aug 1959. Sold and scrapped at Hong Kong 6/60.

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Hoggatt Bay
MC Hull 321
CVE 75 - CVHE 75 - AKV 25
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 17 Aug 1943, launched 4 Dec 1943, commissioned 11 Jan 1944.

Served in the Pacific supported Okinawa assault. Damaged by accidental explosion of an aircraft bomb on deck 15 Jan 1945.

Decommissioned to reserve 20 July 1946. Redesignated as a helicopter escort carrier (CVHE 75) 12 June 1955 redesignated as an aviation transport (AKV 25) 7 May 1959, both while in reserve. Stricken for disposal 1 Sept 1959. Sold 31 March 1960 and scrapped at Bilbao 5/60.

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Kadashan Bay
MC Hull 322
CVE 76 - CVU 76 - AKV 26
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 2 Sept 1943, launched 11 Dec 1943, commissioned 18 Jan 1944.

Served in the Pacific in transport, support and attack roles. Kamikaze 8 Jan 1945.

Decommissioned to reserve 14 June 1946. Redesignated as a utility carrier (CVU 76) 12 June 1955 redesignated as an aviation transport (AKV 26) 7 May 1959, both while in reserve. Stricken for disposal 1 Aug 1959. Sold and scrapped at Hong Kong 6/60.

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Marcus Island
ex Kanalku Bay
MC Hull 323
CVE 77 - CVHE 77 - AKV 27
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 15 Sept 1943, renamed 3 Nov 1943, launched 16 Dec 1943, commissioned 26 Jan 1944.

Served in the Pacific, mostly as a transport carrier but saw combat at Samar. Damaged by typhoon 18 Dec 1944.

Decommissioned to reserve 12 Dec 1946. Redesignated as a helicopter escort carrier (CVHE 77) 12 June 1955 redesignated as an aviation transport (AKV 27) 7 May 1959, both while in reserve. stricken for disposal 1 Sept 1959. Sold and scrapped in Japan 6/60.

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Savo Island
ex Kaita Bay
MC Hull 324
CVE 78 - CVHE 78 - AKV 28
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 27 Sept 1943, renamed 3 Nov 1943, launched 22 Dec 1943, commissioned 3 Feb 1944.

Served in the Pacific, mostly as a transport carrier but saw combat at Samar. Kamikaze 5 Jan 1945.

Decommissioned to reserve 12 Dec 1946. Redesignated as a helicopter escort carrier (CVHE 78) 12 June 1955 Redesignated as an aviation transport (AKV 28) 7 May 1959, both while in reserve. Stricken for disposal 1 Sept 1959. Sold and scrapped at Hong Kong 6/60.

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Ommaney Bay
MC Hull 325
CVE 79
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 6 Oct 1943, launched 29 Dec 1943, commissioned 11 Feb 1944.

Served mostly as a transport in the Pacific but saw combat off Samar. Hit by kamikaze 4 January 1945 off the Philippines and scuttled due to crippling damage.

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Petrof Bay
MC Hull 326
CVE 80 - CVU 80
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 15 Oct 1943, launched 5 Jan 1944, commissioned 18 Feb 1944.

Served as a transport and combat carrier in the Pacific.

Decommissioned to reserve 31 July 1946. Redesignated as a utility carrier (CVU 80) 12 June 1955 while in reserve. Stricken for disposal 27 June 1958. Sold and scrapped at Antwerp 9/59.

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Rudyerd Bay
MC Hull 327
CVE 81 - CVU 81 - AKV 29
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 24 Oct 1943, launched 12 Jan 1944, commissioned 25 Feb 1944.

Served mostly as a transport, saw limited combat.

Decommissioned to reserve 11 June 1946. Redesignated as a utility carrier (CVU 81) 12 June 1955 redesignated as an aviation transport (AKV 29) 7 May 1959, both while in reserve. Stricken for disposal 1 Aug 1959. Sold and scrapped at Genoa in 1960.

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Saginaw Bay
MC Hull 328
CVE 82 - CVHE 82
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 1 Nov 1943, launched 19 Jan 1944, commissioned 2 March 1944.

Served in transport and support roles.

Decommissioned to reserve 19 June 1946. Redesignated as a helicopter escort carrier (CVHE 82) 12 June 1955 while in reserve. Stricken for disposal 1 Aug 1959. Sold and scrapped at Rotterdam 4/60.

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Sargent Bay
MC Hull 329
CVE 83 - CVU 83
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 8 Nov 1943, launched 31 Jan 1944, commissioned 9 March 1944.

Served in the Pacific as a support/transport carrier. Damaged by collision 3 Jan 1945.

Decommissioned to reserve 23 July 1946. Redesignated as a utility carrier (CVU 83) 12 June 1955 while in reserve. Stricken for disposal 27 June 1958. Sold and scrapped at Antwerp 9/59.

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Shamrock Bay
MC Hull 330
CVE 84 - CVU 84
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 15 Nov 1943, launched 4 Feb 1944, commissioned 15 March 1944.

First served as a transport carrier in the Atlantic, then as a combat carrier in the Pacific.

Decommissioned to reserve 6 July 1946. Redesignated as a utility carrier (CVU 84) 12 June 1955 while in reserve. Stricken for disposal 27 June 1958. Sold and scrapped at Hong Kong 11/59.

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Shipley Bay
MC Hull 331
CVE 85 - CVU 85
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 22 Nov 1943, launched 12 Feb 1944, commissioned 21 March 1944.

Employed mainly as a transport and training carrier. Damaged by collision 16 May 1945.

Decommissioned to reserve 28 June 1946. Redesignated as a utility carrier (CVU 85) 12 June 1955 while in reserve. Stricken for disposal 1 March 1959. Sold and scrapped in Japan 1/61.

[Back To Top]
Sitkoh Bay
ex Tananek Bay
MC Hull 332
CVE 86 - T-CVE 86 - CVU 86 - AKV 30
Photos: [During WWII], [As an aircraft transport].

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 23 Nov 1943, launched 19 Feb 1944, commissioned 28 March 1944.

Served primarily as a transport carrier.

Decommissioned to reserve 30 Nov 1946. Reactivated as aircraft transport 29 July 1950 and operated with civilian crew under MSTS control as T-CVE 86.

Placed out of service in reserve 27 July 1954. Redesignated as a utility carrier (CVU 86) 12 June 1955 redesignated as an aviation transport (AKV 30) 7 May 1959. Stricken for disposal 1 April 1960. Sold and scrapped in Japan 1/61.

[Back To Top]
Steamer Bay
MC Hull 333
CVE 87 - CVHE 87
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 4 Dec 1943, launched 26 Feb 1944, commissioned 4 April 1944.

Served as transport carrier, then as combat carrier Damaged by collision 25 April 1945, aircraft accident 16 June 1945.

Decommissioned to reserve 1 July 1946. Redesignated as a helicopter escort carrier (CVHE 87) 12 June 1955 while in reserve. Stricken for disposal 1 March 1959. Sold and scrapped at Portland OR 1959.

[Back To Top]
Cape Esperance
ex Tananek Bay
MC Hull 334
CVE 88 - T-CVE 88 - T-CVU 88
Photos: [WWII Photo unavailable], [As aircraft transport].

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 11 Dec 1943, launched 3 March 1944, commissioned 8 April 1944.

Operated as a transport carrier in the Pacific. Damaged by typhoon 18 Dec 1944

Decommissioned to reserve 22 Aug 1946. Reactivated as aircraft transport 5 August 1950 and operated with civilian crew under MSTS control as T-CVE 88. Redesignated as a utility carrier (CVU 88) 12 June 1955 and operated as T-CVU 88.

Placed out of service 15 Jan 1959. Stricken for disposal 1 March 1959. Sold and scrapped in Japan 1/61.

[Back To Top]
Takanis Bay
MC Hull 335
CVE 89 - CVU 89 - AKV 31
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 16 Dec 1943, launched 10 March 1944, commissioned 15 April 1944.

Served as transport and training carrier during WWII.

Decommissioned to reserve 1 May 1946. Redesignated as a utility carrier (CVU 89) 12 June 1955 redesignated as an aviation transport (AKV 31) 7 May 1959, both while in reserve. Stricken for disposal 1 Aug 1959. Sold and scrapped in Japan 11/60.

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 22 Dec 1943, launched 16 March 1944, commissioned 21 April 1944.

Served mostly as a transport in the Pacific.

Decommissioned to reserve 7 Aug 1946. Redesignated as a helicopter assault carrier (CVHA 1) 1 July 1955, converted and recommissioned 20 July 1956. Following conversion specs were as follows: approx. 11,000 tons displacement, 900 crew and 938 troops, 4 dual 40 mm AA, 20 helicopters. Extensivley modified and aft section of flight deck cut away.

Redesignated as an amphibious assault ship (LPH 6) 28 May 1959. Decommissioned and stricken for disposal 1 March 1964. Proposed for transfer to Spain but CVL 28 transferred instead. Sold and scrapped in 1966.

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 29 Dec 1943, launched 22 March 1944, commissioned 27 April 1944.

Served mostly as a transport carrier in the Pacific but participated in the assault on Okinawa.

Decommissioned to reserve 9 Aug 1946. Redesignated as a utility carrier (CVU 91) 12 June 1955 while in reserve. Stricken for disposal 1 Sept 1958. Employed as a target ship for Tartar/Terrier tests. Ran aground on San Nicholas Island 4/1961 ship's back was broken and she became a total loss. Eventually broke up.

[Back To Top]
Windham Bay
MC Hull 338
CVE 92 - T-CVE 92 - T-CVU 92
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 5 Jan 1944, launched 29 Mar 1944, commissioned 3 May 1944.

Served as transport and training carrier. Damaged by typhoon 5 June 1945.

Decommissioned to reserve 17 Jan 1947. Reactivated as an aircraft transport 31 October 1951 and operated with civilian crew under MSTS control as T-CVE 92. Redesignated as a utility carrier (CVU 92) 12 June 1955 and operated as T-CVU 92.

Placed out of service early 1959. Stricken for disposal 1 Feb 1959. Sold and scrapped in Japan 2/61.

[Back To Top]
Makin Island
ex Woodcliffe Bay
MC Hull 339
CVE 93
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 12 Jan 1944, launched 5 April 1944, commissioned 9 May 1944.

Served in multiple roles in the Pacific.

Decommissioned 19 April 1946. Stricken for disposal 1 July 1947. Sold and scrapped in 1947.

[Back To Top]
Lunga Point
ex Alazon Bay
MC Hull 340
CVE 94 - CVU 94 - AKV 32
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 19 Jan 1944, launched 11 April 1944, commissioned 14 May 1944. Operated in the Paicifc kamikaze 21 Feb 1945 with minor damage.

Decommissioned to reserve 24 Oct 1946. Redesignated as a utility carrier (CVU 94) 12 June 1955 redesignated as an aviation transport (AKV 32) 7 May 1959, both while in reserve. Stricken for disposal 1 April 1960. Sold and scrapped in Japan 11/60.

[Back To Top]
Bismark Sea
ex Alikula Bay
MC Hull 341
CVE 95
Photos: [Unloading cargo], [In heavy seas].

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 31 Jan 1944, launched 17 April 1944, renamed 16 May 1944, commissioned 20 May 1944.

Hit and sunk by two kamikazes off Iwo Jima 21 Feb 1945.

[Back To Top]
Salamaua
ex Anguilla Bay
MC Hull 342
CVE 96
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 4 Feb 1944, launched 22 April 1944, commissioned 26 May 1944.

Served as transport, ASW and strike carrier in the Pacific. Kamikaze 13 Jan 1945, damaged by typhoon 5 June 1945.

Decommissioned 9 May 1946. Stricken for disposal 1 Sept 1946. Sold and scrapped in 1947.

[Back To Top]
Hollandia
ex Astrolabe Bay
MC Hull 343
CVE 97 - CVU 97 - AKV 33
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 12 Feb 1944, launched 28 April 1944, renamed 30 May 1944, commissioned 1 June 1944.

Served only as a transport and training carrier.

Decommissioned to reserve 17 Jan 1947. Redesignated as a utility carrier (CVU 97) 12 June 1955 redesignated as an aviation transport (AKV 33) 7 May 1959, both while in reserve. Stricken for disposal 1 April 1960. Sold and scrapped in Japan 11/60.

[Back To Top]
Kwajalein
ex Bucareli Bay
MC Hull 344
CVE 98 - CVU 98 - AKV 34
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 19 Feb 1944, renamed 6 April 1944, launched 4 May 1944, commissioned 7 June 1944.

Served as a transport carrier in the Pacific. Damaged by typhoon 18 Dec 1944.

Decommissioned to reserve 16 Aug 1946. Redesignated as a utility carrier (CVU 98) 12 June 1955 redesignated as an aviation transport (AKV 34) 7 May 1959, both while in reserve. Stricken for disposal 1 April 1960. Sold and scrapped in Japan in 1961.

[Back To Top]
Admiralty Islands
ex Bucareli Bay
MC Hull 345
CVE 99
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 26 Feb 1944, renamed 26 April 1944, launched 10 May 1944, commissioned 13 June 1944.

Served as a transport in the Pacific, then as a combat carrier for Okinawa and Iwo Jima.

Decommissioned 26 April 1946. Stricken for disposal 8 May 1946. Sold and scrapped in 1947.

[Back To Top]
Bougainville
ex Didrickson Bay
MC Hull 346
CVE 100 - CVU 100 - AKV 35
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 26 Feb 1944, renamed 26 April 1944, launched 16 May 1944, commissioned 18 June 1944.

Served as a transport in the Pacific, then as a combat carrier for Okinawa and Iwo Jima. Damaged by typhoon 5 June 1944.

Decommissioned to reserve 3 Nov 1946. Redesignated as a utility carrier (CVU 100) 12 June 1955 redesignated as an aviation transport (AKV 35) 7 May 1959, both while in reserve. Stricken for disposal 1 June 1960. Sold and scrapped in 1960.

[Back To Top]
Mantanikau
ex Dolomi Bay
MC Hull 347
CVE 101 - CVHE 101 - AKV 36
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 10 March 1944, renamed 26 April 1944, launched 22 May 1944, commissioned 24 June 1944.

Served mostly as a transport in the Pacific.

Decommissioned to reserve 11 Oct 1946. Redesignated as a utility carrier (CVU 101) 12 June 1955 redesignated as an aviation transport (AKV 36) 7 May 1959. Stricken for disposal 1 April 1960. Sold and scrapped in Japan in 1960.

[Back To Top]
Attu
ex Elbour Bay
MC Hull 348
CVE 102
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 16 March 1944, launched 27 May 1944, commissioned 30 June 1944.

Served only as a transport carrier in the Pacific. Damaged by typhoon 5 June 1945.

Decommissioned 8 June 1946. Stricken for disposal 3 July 1946. Sold 1947 for possible merchant use, renamed Gay , then Flying W in 1948. An attempt to convert the ship for use as a blockade runner to smuggle military equipment into Isreal failed scrapped 1948-49 at Baltimore. [Back To Top]
Roi
ex Alava Bay
MC Hull 349
CVE 103
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 22 March 1944, renamed 26 April 1944, launched commissioned 6 July 1944.

Served only as a transport carrier.

Decommissioned 9 May 1946, stricken for disposal 21 May 1946. Sold and scrapped in 1947.

[Back To Top]
Munda
ex Tonowek Bay
MC Hull 350
CVE 104 - CVU 104
Photos: [During WWII]

DANFS History

Built by Kaiser. Laid down 29 March 1944, launched 8 June 1944, commissioned 8 July 1944.

Served only as a support/transport carrier.

Decommissioned to reserve 13 Sept 1946. Redesignated as a utility carrier (CVU 104) 12 June 1955 while in reserve. Stricken for disposal 1 Sept 1958. Sold and scrapped in Japan 10/60.


15 February 1943 - History

This Day In History: February 15, 1946

On this day in history, 1946, the first ever general purpose digital electronic computer was dedicated at the University of Pennsylvania. The machine was called the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer). It cost over $500,000 (around $6 million today), weighed around 57,000 pounds and took up 1800 square feet. Further, it featured 17,468 vacuum tubes, 70,000 resistors, 7,200 diodes, 10,000 capacitors, and most impressively of all there were around 5 million joints that needed to be hand-soldered. In order to power all this, it took a whopping 150 kW of electricity. This is enough to power about 114 homes in the U.S.

ENIAC was the brainchild of several different people, most notably John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert. Four years before ENIAC’s auspicious debut, Mauchly wrote a memo outlining the incredible speed boost one would be able to get if, rather than relying on mechanical, moving parts, a computer was designed to use only digital electronics. This memo came to the attention of Lieutenant Herman Goldstine of the U.S. Army, who then asked Mauchly to create a formal proposal for Goldstine to give to the army. Mauchly did so and the army contracted with him and J. Presper Eckert on June 5, 1943 to create the machine, under the code-name “Project PX”.

There was already at this time several different other computers available, but they either weren’t built to be “general purpose” or relied on electromechanical parts, which drastically reduced the speed in which they could perform calculations. The ENIAC was both general purpose and was a fully digital electronic computer. One of its more impressive attributes was its ability to perform around 5,000 additions per second, or 357 multiplications per second, which was around 1000 times faster than other machines of the day. On top of the basic mathematics calculations (add/subtract/divide/multiple/square root), it also was capable of doing conditional branches, loops, and Input/Output. Most importantly, it was a Turing complete machine, which just means it was capable of doing anything a theoretical single-taped Turing machine can do. For those not familiar, why this is important, in layman’s terms, is that it means that it can basically be used to solve any computational problem that is solvable (in theory, though not in practice because of the real world limits on system resources).

Its first task was to perform calculations aiding in the development of the hydrogen bomb. More than one million I/O cards were produced for this one task, which ultimately proved to be a successful trial run. This task was run at the behest of mathematician John von Neumann, who was working on the Manhattan project and who later accidentally lent his name to the “Von Neumann Architecture” of computers that is still commonly used today.

The ENIAC ran for about 9 months straight before being shut down for upgrades to the memory system. It was then moved and put back together and powered back up seven months later and stayed on for the next 8 years, being used continuously, performing a variety of tasks, such as calculating artillery tables for the military and doing various calculations for aeronautics, meteorology, etc.

It should be noted that von Neumann had that particular computer architecture incorrectly named after himself due to a memo he wrote First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC on June 30, 1945 (EDVAC being the successor to the ENIAC, designed at the same school where the ENIAC was in the final stages of being completed and with many of the same people working on the project as were working on the ENIAC, including Eckert and Mauchly). The paper was basically a synopsis, written using formal logic, outlining the ideas the group had been discussing on creating a general purpose stored program computer. As it was meant to be more of a memo, rather than a published paper, he never mentioned the names of all the people who’d helped developed the architecture and indeed, already had done the majority of the design before von Neumann became a consultant on the project (particularly Eckert and Mauchly).

When he sent his hand written notes back to Philadelphia, Lieutenant Herman Goldstine had them typed up and distributed to the 24 people involved in the EDVAC project, listing von Neumann as the sole author, as it wasn’t intended to be distributed beyond those working on the project. However, due to widespread interest in the report, he had it copied and sent to various other educational and government institutions, where it was further copied and spread all over the world, with von Neumann ending up getting most of the credit, though he wasn’t a major part of that project. As such, we now call it the “Von Neumann Architecture,” even though it wasn’t really his design and would probably be more accurately called the Eckert-Mauchly Architecture.

This is to take nothing away from von Neumann who was truly an amazing individual who had a significant impact on a variety of fields including quantum mechanics, computer science, economics, geometry, and many more. (The full list is amazingly long.) He was one of the brightest people in the world, accomplishing an amazing amount in the 53 years he lived. He died of cancer, possibly due to his exposure to radiation while working on the Manhattan project. Isreal Halperin, a mathematician who worked with him said, “Keeping up with him was impossible. The feeling was you were on a tricycle chasing a racing car.” One of Von Neumann’s professors, George Pólya, who himself had a pretty impressive resume also stated: “Johnny was the only student I was ever afraid of. If in the course of a lecture, I stated an unsolved problem. He’d come to me at the end of the lecture with the complete solution scribbled on a slip of paper.”

Von Neumann also had a true photographic memory. As Goldstine noted:

“One of his remarkable abilities was his power of absolute recall. As far as I could tell, von Neumann was able on once reading a book or article to quote it back verbatim moreover, he could do it years later without hesitation. He could also translate it at no diminution in speed from its original language into English. On one occasion, I tested his ability by asking him to tell me how The Tale of Two Cities started. Whereupon, without any pause, he immediately began to recite the first chapter and continued until asked to stop after about ten or fifteen minutes.”

When he was dying in the hospital, von Neumann also reportedly whiled away the hours with his brother by playing a game of reciting from memory the first few lines of each page of the play, Faust.

If you’re interested in more on von Neumann, I’d recommend picking up his biography: John Von Neumann: The Scientific Genius Who Pioneered the Modern Computer, Game Theory, Nuclear Deterrence, and Much More, by Norman MacRae. It’s not the best biography in the world, in terms of how the author wrote it, but a fascinating read nonetheless and arguably the most complete single book on von Neumann.


Ashe died in New York City on February 6, 1993, from AIDS-related pneumonia. Four days later, he was laid to rest in his hometown of Richmond, Virginia. Some 6,000 people attended the service.

In addition to his pioneering tennis career, Ashe is remembered as an inspirational figure. He once said: "True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost." He also offered words about achieving success: "One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation."


Watch the video: 1943. Серия 13 2013 @ Русские сериалы (January 2022).