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USS ANZIO CORAL SEA CVE-57

specifications & documentation

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This page will have the specifications and documentation regarding the USS ANZIO / CORAL SEA CVE-57

Below is excerpts taken from logs and from books about the   
USS ANZIO / CORAL SEA CVE-57
 

February 12th 1944

 Japanese planes were seen in the distance, the bombing had subdued Roi at the northwestern extremity of the lagoon. It was also on this day that one of  squadron Three’s pilots developed engine trouble and was forced to make a emergency landing at the not yet even fully completed Kwajalein airstrip. That plane was the first American landing on Japanese soil since the war had started.

 

March 11th 1944

While en route to Espiritu Santo the CORAL SEA sustained her first loss. And a tragic loss it was. A TBM Avenger that hadn’t unloaded all of it’s depth charges from it’s last anti-submarine mission had been circling the ship trying to get “in the mark” but when it finally tried to land the plane overshot the flight deck and careened off the port bow. In a instant we felt a tremendous shudder as one of the depth charges aboard the plane had let go with it’s charge. And seconds later there followed a secondary explosion. This one was underwater when it went off and didn’t do nearly as much damage as if it had gone off on the deck like the first one did, but we lost three men and the aircraft.

 

March 18th 1944

As the CORAL SEA began to get closer to the Solomon Islands we began to notice the weather changing considerably. The heat was bad enough, but we were getting the full effect of the tropical heat. That night we went through a awesome electrical storm. The lightning was so frequent that the night sky looked like it was aflame. Not only did our SK radar go down, but the electricity from the lightning had taken out our radios reception.

 

March 21st 1944

We made it to Malaita Island.

 

March 22nd 1944

 We made it to Tulagi Island and after refueling and some minor repairs we shoved off emerged between Santa Ysabel, Florida Islands.

 

April 2nd 1944

 passed the Green Islands while skirting New Ireland to reach St. Mathias.

 

April 6th 1944

A wildcat airplane from our carrier shot down a twin-engine Japanese bomber. That was the first enemy plane that the USS ANZIO CORAL SEA

had been credited for taking down. Though we heard quite a few Japanese aircraft flying way above us, they were out of our range we presumed they were evacuation planes whisking away the garrisons of Rabaul and Kavieng.

 

April 16th 1944

There were still over 60,000 Japanese hanging on to the Northern end of New Guinea’s coast. From Madang to Moluccas. But now General MacArthur was in position and ready to crush them

 

April 22nd 1944

Almost unopposed, the U.S. 41st Division secured footholds and then aided in destroying over one hundred enemy aircraft, as well as they’re airfields

 

May 4th 1944

During our stint at Aitape-Hollandia the younger CVE’s from the CORAL SEA, saw for the first time the full capabilities of the CASABLANCA Class of carrier. Whenever we had a chance to talk to the men from that vessel, they reminded us of their polo pony characteristic of being able to turn on a dime.

 

June 2nd 1944

By this time with our forces and initiative we had been able to penetrate Japan’s inner defense perimeter. In advance U.S. bases were sharpening their salient swords

 

June 8th 1944

Entering waters which the CORAL SEA had helped to win in earlier battles, the CORAL SEA reached Kwajalein. Over her shortwave radio, came word of the landings at Normandy. The next couple of days the crews were supercharged you could sense the air of excitement all around you. As reports of allied progress in France was received and it was good news

 

June 17th 1944

At 1750 on the 17th the CORAL SEAS radar screen had more bogies on it then anyone had ever seen before. After a meeting in the Generals Quarters

At 1803 our fighters were vectored to meet the closing Japanese aircraft. They ran into each other 27 miles from the CVE formation. The planes clashed as the Americans tried to stave off their Japanese counterparts. However at 1848 the precise moment of the sun setting, enemy dive-bombers droned over the CORAL SEA and her CVE cohorts. The night sky was alive, with the cackling of gunfire. There were wispy vapor trails criss crossing everywhere as we were firing our anti aircraft guns.

The first ship to be attacked was the GAMIER Bay. A twin engine bomber pounced on her port bow, also gave her a sound strafing. From the CORAL SEA came a volley of 40 mm showering which ripped into the Japanese plane, sending the plane into the water whereupon it burst into flames.

 

Not more then three minutes later a enemy plane took a pass at the CORAL SEA. It let go with a bomb not more then 100 feet off the carriers starboard quarter. So intent on avoiding the barrage coming from the ANZIO that by the time the pilot had avoided our fire, there wasn’t enough time for him to pull out of his dive. The plane turned into a huge ball of flame about 300 yards off the starboard quarter.

 

Coming in low across the water a Japanese snarled in on the port bow running smack dab into the flank, cartwheeled and disintegrated 400 feet astern.

 

A fourth plane was taken down about 200 yards off the port quarter, after it had skimmed across the carriers bow.

 

Afterwards during a damage inspection there were several planes on the ANZIO that had been punctured by bomb fragments, the stern searchlight was splintered, and only two sailors had been injured.

June 18th 1944

It had been fairly quiet all day, but as the sun was setting six Japanese planes dove down on the CORAL SEA. The carriers dodged and darted, leaving weltering whitewater all around them. A torpedo was launched at the GAMBIER BAY, as well as at the CORAL SEA, both of which were awry missing there marks. Thirty yards off the CORAL SEAS starboard beam a bomb had exploded but did no damage. Several planes dropped around the CORAL SEA though, victims of our crack shooting.

 

But it didn’t stop them from trying. Our starboard batteries shot up a plane that splashed about 800 yards off the port bow. Another in flames, attempted to crash on deck, but was stopped by our fire a good 300 yards short of the starboard bow. Another buzzard was taken under fire, trailed smoke as it missed a swipe at the CORREGIDOR, getting no higher then 300 feet before pitching into the sea. Port batteries took down a plane that flew 50 feet above the CORAL SEAS flight deck, catching fire and crashing 1500 yards off the port quarter. But it did manage to drop a bomb off the starboard beam, though it did no damage. Scattered bogies appeared on the radar from time to time but the escort carrier found it safe to General Quarters at 1947 hours.

 

Commencing June 21st 1944 the CORAL SEA and the CORREGIDOR provided air cover for transports east of Saipan, then retired with the task group to Eniwetok, where the CORAL SEA remained from June 28th – July 1st.

 

Accompanied by the CORREGIDOR and escorts we returned to the Marianas for air strikes against Guam July 9th – 12th, with us returning to Eniwetok on the 15th.

 

On July 23rd 1944, due to  a much needed yard availability opening, the CORAL SEA would be headed for the United States. Upon reaching San Diego’s North Island on August 9th, the escort discharged her veteran squadron thirty-three. After shifting her berth to the USN Repair Base the next day, over half the ships company shoved off for a 15 day leave. The remaining crews liberty during the 5 weeks was very minimal, and more then once was cancelled due to the urgency and amount of work that needed to be done. On the 12th and 13th of September, with her hull scraped and cleaned and a fresh camouflage coat of paint, the CORAL SEA was put through the post-repair trials off of San Diego. Being deemed battle ready the CORAL SEA headed for Hawaii the 16th of September. Aboard her flight and hangar decks were 71 aircraft, and approximately 200 Hawaii bound passengers. It was a uneventful journey, that brought us to Hawaii on September 22nd.

 

In Hawaii final alterations and material additions including special night landing lights were done over the next two weeks. Many of the personnel went ashore for formal training in the use of newly developed instruments and weapons. The squadron operated in and out of Pearl Harbor, familiarizing themselves with their new task. Which included coordinating her escorts and planes to make a permanent team until October 8th 1944.

 

On October 25th the CORAL SEA left for Ulithi Atoll in the Western Carolines, where they were to proceed on an anti-submarine mission. The CORAL SEA sustained several crashes on the way to Ulithi, which included the loss of several aircraft, as well as death and injuries to squadron eighty-two’s personnel. The CORAL SEA made it’s destination on November 1st 1944. But before they left for the anti-submarine mission, they were reassigned to aid the torpedoed light cruiser RENO in the Philippine Sea. The CORAL SEA rendezvoused with the stricken carrier RENO in the afternoon of November 5th. When the tug EXTRACTOR arrived to tow the USS RENO, the CORAL SEA gave her a suggested course to avoid a approaching typhoon. Over the next few days the CORAL SEA provided her with aircover. And several flight operations had to be cancelled due to the progressively worsening storm.

 

November 18th 1944

Lt. Commander C. Holt made surface contact on his planes radar and dropped flares, sending an enemy submarine clawing for the depths. Two destroyers stood off while the CORAL SEAS planes dropped depth bombs. Two depth charge runs by Melvin R. Nawman, were followed up by a hedgehog attack by Lawrence C. Taylor. They were rewarded by a huge explosion. The only thing left of the 1,950 ton Japanese submarine  was papers, deck planking debris, and a oil slick

 

December 4th 1944

Captain George Cannon Montgomery took over the reins from Captain Watson, and with the change of personnel went the anti-submarine task group. With Captain Montgomery now at the helm, the USS ANZIO CORAL SEA CVE-57 steamed out of Ulithi with her destroyer escorts. After spending a few days in support of the landings on Mindiro Island in the Philippines, the task group sped northwest with the THIRD Fleet.

 

December 16th 1944

Nature goes on the rampage. Aboard the CORAL SEA, all hands pitched in to rig the escort for the oncoming typhoon. Lashing all aircraft and movable objects to the decks, and Ballasted the ship. With the destroyer escorts stationed astern, the CORAL SEA took maximum distance on other groups to minimize the danger of collision.

 

December 18th 1944

The barometer dropped to a startling 28.88 inches and a 90-knot wind force was clocked before the CORAL SEAS anemometer vanes were whisked away.

Since the CORAL SEAS great weakness lay in bogging and sagging stresses, wind and sea were kept as near the quarter as possible. Bucking a gale of titanic fury (estimated at 120 knots) the threatened little carrier swayed and rolled among mountainous crests. For an hour the ship dipped 38 and 39 degrees. Weight of the island reduced the list to port compensating in part for the wind on the starboard hand. The steering control was so limited during the worst of the typhoon, that with 30 degrees left rudder, starboard engine ahead 15 knots, and port engine 5 knots, it was impossible to hold the storm more than 10 degrees abaft the starboard beam. The heavy seas pounding relentlessly took its toll though, pulverizing one of her motor whaleboats, bent stanchions on her fantail, twisted catwalks, forward lookout stations, swept overboard two airplanes, several life rafts and a radio antennae. Miraculously there was only injury to the CORAL SEAS personnel. This was a broken arm that he received trying to secure a plane that had come adrift and was smashing into the bulkhead. Finally by that afternoon the typhoon had abated, with a storm battered CORAL SEA resuming their flight operations. Only the destroyer escort TAYLOR remained with the CORAL SEA, although by evening both the KELLER and MITCHELL had rejoined us.

 

December 21st 1944

We picked up 4 HULL men in a life raft, they survived for three days in that raft. From the typhoon that hit on the 18th.

 

February 21st 1945

Just before the sunset, we were attacked by enemy aircraft. Macabre and effective, sparked by a powerful propaganda campaign, the Imperial Air Forces newly-organized Special Attack Corps (Kamikaze Corps) constituted the last play of a nation facing suicide. At the time the suiciders closed on the ANZIO, she was cruising in formation just prior to separating for the night to stalk submarines. Bogies first appeared at 1707 hours, at which time General Quarters and a air defense disposition was ordered. At 1825 hours, they were reported again. Twenty Four minutes later, the group was attacked by five Japanese planes which zoomed in low over the water on the ANZIOS starboard hand.

 

On the horizon could be seen the glow from the carrier SARATOGA, who had sustained several kamikaze crash-dives. Bearing the brunt of the attack on the CVE’s were the LUNGA POINT and BISMARCK SEA. One of the Japanese careened into the sea near the LUNGA POINT; another hit her flight deck, set fire to couchant planes and ricocheted into the sea off port. Two kamikazes picked the BISMARCK SEA, and though one missed its mark, the other slashed into the escort carriers after parts. Explosion after explosion followed until, gutted and blistered, the USS BISMARCK SEA heeled over on her side and sank. A fifth plane moved in on the ANZIO about sixty feet above the water, but it was turned away by the barrage of anti-aircraft we were slinging at it. And was seen shot down by a destroyer escort.

 

After a short breather, more bogies appeared on the radar screen and between 1918 and 1948 the disposition opened fire on unidentified planes. But there were no further attacks by the Japanese for that day.

February 23rd 1945

Four groups of unidentified planes approached the same formation. While the disposition twisted evasively in emergency turns, the bogies wheeled around in the sky looking for an opening. At 1936 hours, a single-engine fighter apparently found one and flew in astern toward the ANZIO, aftermost carrier in the formation. But once again our barrage of anti-aircraft fire paid off turning him back at least 2,000 yards before our carrier.

 

February 26th 1945

At 0200 hours Lieutenant JG W. J. Wilson, USNR, investigating a radar contact and closed a diving submarine. He pressed home a depth bomb attack about 150 yards ahead of the swirl and was rewarded by a great roar of an underwater explosion. And the roar was a hit and sinking of a 965-ton Japanese submarine RO-43

 

February 27th 1945

At 0304 hours Lieutenant JG F. M. Fay made radar contact and closed to recognize an “I” type submarine on the surface. The enemy dove as he broke through the clouds to drop flares and remained over the contact. Four minutes later he sighted periscope and conning tower rising near a float light. This time he came from astern, but the enemy dove on him again. He maneuvered for one more run, and dropped a depth charge about 100 yards ahead of the swirl. Within a minute a 30 foot geyser shot up from the resulting explosion and sinking of the 1,470-ton Japanese submarine I-368    

 

From February 19thMarch 4th 1945 the USS ANZIO stuck to her schedule of launching her first flight just before sunset, and landing her last just before dawn. During this timeframe she completed 106 sorties, with 657.5 hours of night flight without a single launching or landing accident. The ANZIOS aircraft inflicted severe damage on Iwo Jimas command posts, trenches, block houses, and gun positions. We did lose a Wildcat fighter plane and pilot in combat, and one Avenger lost operationally.

 

April 6th 1945

As the tempo of Japanese suicide counter-attacks rose, the lot of the U. S. Navy at Okinawa grew progressively worse. A group of ANZIO fighter planes were sent out to help the COLHOUN, who was caught in the thick of it. Returning later with a tally of seven downed Japanese planes.

 

 

April 9th 1945

After replenishing at Kerama Retto we got out just before the enemy executed a fierce aerial jab at the anchorage.

 

April 16th 1945

A section of ANZIO fighters intercepted enemy planes closing on their ship, but the Japs had a speed advantage over the hellcats and were able to escape to safety.

 

The ANZIO had her share of heroes. As leading chief of the escort carrier’s ordinance crew, Roy D. Gibson had the responsibility of seeing that the dangerous task of loading Avengers with ammunition was carried off without mishap. Once the planes were armed and ready for takeoff his work was over, but he still liked watching the planes soar safely away on their mission. This particular day Gibson was standing on the catwalk next to the catapult, watching Squadron Thirteen’s Grumman aircraft being dispatched. They were taking off like clock-work, each thrown after the other, skidding a little, then banking and climbing to the right, chasing the one ahead to the rendezvous point. Into position went the last plane. It’s pilot gunned the motor to maximum turn-over, braced his head firmly against the cockpit’s headrest to absorb the shock of the initial impetus. At a signal from the catapult Officer the plane shot off the flight deck, took a sickening dip towards the water and slowly pulled itself aloft. But the force of the catapult had yanked off its gasoline-filled fire bomb, which lay alive on deck. Without hesitation Gibson darted into action, making a bee-line for the bomb he fumbled with it, ignoring the burns he was receiving from the phosphorus external igniter, he successfully removed the internal fuse. Gibson then tossed the detonator overboard like a hot potato, then assisted in the removal of the bomb from the flight deck. Later, Gibson would be awarded the Navy and Marine Corps medal, accompanied by a citation which concluded with: “By his quick-witted and courageous act in the face of great danger to himself, he saved many persons from the possibility of death or serious injury, and the ship from the possibility of serious damage. His conduct was in keeping with the highest tradition of the United States Naval Service.

 

April 30th 1945

Repairs to the ANZIO’s rudder bearing was a must, so she returned to Ulithi. There necessary repairs were effected, fuel and provisions taken aboard and her dazzle paint covered over with Navy gray.

May 18th 1945

The ANZIO departs for the Trukyus, three days later resuming anti-submarine warfare operations in the Okinawa area with her five destroyer escorts.

 

May 27th 1945

With her part in the Okinawa campaign ending today, this is the toll the ANZIO had taken on Japanese surface craft.

29 suicide boats

20 landing craft

1 500 tonner

also had bombed and rocketed well-camouflaged enemy strong-points on Okinawa, and had had incurred the loss of only two of their number.

 

May 28th 1945

With her task group’s designation changed to 30.7, the ANZIO went under Admiral Halsey’s direct control, began a series of anti-submarine warfare sweeps southeast of Okinawa.

 

May 31st 1945

Lieutenant (JG) S. L. Stovall USNR got things off to a propitious start with a submarine kill. At 00436 hour he Picked up a radar pip on the last leg of a 5-1/2 hour search. Alerting the task group, he maneuvered into position, attacked an “I” class Nip pig-boat as it hurriedly submerged. Relief planes spotted an oil slick a half hour later, as well as deck planking, cork, and Nip light bulbs spotted in the water. This confirmed kill was on the 1,470-ton Japanese submarine I-361.

 

May 23rdJune 15th 1945 the ANZIO was doing non stop flight schedules. She had planes in the air every minute of the day, round-the-clock, minus three momentary breaks. Once for bad weather, and twice for fueling. It was while she was proceeding with these routine movements southeast of Okinawa that the ANZIO was selected to carry out some Halsey trickery, formally called deception radio traffic. Essentially the plan involved the transmission of messages skillfully designed to give the appearance of those sent from Halsey’s own flagship. From the third fleet Commander’s flag complement, the ANZIO was given a radioman (monitors readily recognize one operator’s style from another). And on June 11th 1945 the ANZIO’s radio began sending out the fake messages. As far as they were concerned Admiral Halsey was still at large off the Empire’s southernmost home island. Thus was Captain Montgomery’s escort carrier left as a bait from Kyushu-based aircraft, inviting attack either if her deception was successful or if it was discovered. USS ANZIO had relieved the whole U.S. Task Force 38. Then the ANZIO ruptured her aviation gasoline tanks. The rest of the day they worked to fix the leaks, but it became apparent that it was more serious then they had at first thought. This promptly brought to a close her false broadcasting, and she set course with her task group for Leyte.

 

July 6th 1945

Put in first class condition by the San Pedro repairman, the ANZIO left accompanied by the destroyer escorts, headed for rendezvous about 600 miles due east of Tokyo. This sub-fighting group was to fight the remainder of the Pacific war under the designation Task Group 30.6. Arriving at the prescribed location, the ANZIO went to work scouring the sea off Honahu to obviate any underwater attempt on Halsey’s vulnerable logistic fleet.

 

July 10th 1945

There ensued the spectacular “Month of Fire” raids on Japanese home islands with Halsey beginning his skyward siege of Honshu , and then thundering north to plaster Hokkaido.

 

July 16th 1945

At 0737 hour Avenger pilot Lieutenant (JG) William M. McLane, USNR, honed in on a radar contact and sighted the silhouette of a fully surfaced submarine. His gun and rockets blasted a hole below the conning tower at the water line of the enemy who commenced a shallow dive. As the plane overshot for a second attack causing him to miss the submarine by some 70 and 100 feet respectively. He pressed home a third attack and now an oil slick trailed from the submerged enemy. Then Lieutenant Rex W. Nelson brought in his ANZIO plane into the fray pressing home a depth bomb attack which caused the oil slick to stop moving, and started bringing debris to the surface. Thus killing the 2400-ton Japanese submarine I-13. It was during this time that the ANZIO made the closest approach of any combat CVE to Tokyo prior to the surrender, at one time streaming within 241 miles of Honchu. Generally everyone kept clear of Honshu by some 500 miles.

 

August 10th 1945

Rumors had been trickling in to the ANZIO that Japan was ready to give up the ghost. For five long nerve-wracking days a nervous watch was kept waiting for developments in the radio shack.

August 15th 1945

At two minutes past 0800 in the morning ANZIO sailors were hustling topside for muster at General Quarters and physical drill. They were met with an announcement from the bridge: “President Truman has announced that the Japanese have accepted Allied counter proposal on the surrender terms without qualifications!” With the dam of mixed hope and anxiety thus broken, a deluge of joy was heard across the ANZIO flight deck. Amid the Mardi Gras like atmosphere, one of the crewman masqueraded as a Japanese militarist, the rest of the crew hanging him from the bridge in mock gravity. The masquerader with a sign hung around his neck which read “WE REMEMBER PEARL HARBOR”

 

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Below is the course of the USS CORAL SEA/USS ANZIO CVE 57 1943-1946

 

Launched as U.S.S. Coral Sea   -  May, 1943

 

Vancouver to Astoria  -  Aug. 14th, 1943

 

Placed in commission  - Aug. 27th, 1943

 

Astoria to Seattle  -  Sept. 24th, 1943

 

Seattle to San Francisco  - Oct. 2ndOct. 5th, 1943

 

San Francisco to San Diego  -  Oct. 6thOct. 8th , 1943

 

Take off and landing rehearsal till Oct. 15th, 1943

 

San Diego to Pearl Harbor  - Oct. 25th  -  Oct. 31st, 1943

 

Pearl Harbor to Makin Atoll  - Nov. 10thNov. 20th, 1943

 

Gilbert Island to Pearl Harbor - Nov. 28thDec. 5th, 1943

 

Pearl Harbor to San Francisco  - Dec. 8thDec. 14th, 1943

 

San Francisco to Pearl Harbor  -Dec. 22ndDec. 28th, 1943

 

Pearl Harbor to Kwajalein  - Jan. 22ndJan. 31st, 1944

 

Marshall Islands to Pearl Harbor -Feb. 24thMar. 3rd, 1944

 

Pearl Harbor to Tulagis Bay-Mar. 11thMar. 21st, 1944

 

Tulagi to Hollandia – Apr. 16th – May 7th, 1944

 

Hollandia to New Hebrides – May 7th – May 12th, 1944

 

Espiritu Santo to Kwajalein – Jun. 2ndJun. 8th, 1944

 

Kwajalein to Marianas – Jun. 10thJun. 14th, 1944

 

Marianas to Pearl Harbor – Jul.23rdAug. 2nd, 1944

 

Pearl Harbor to San Diego – Aug. 2ndAug. 9th, 1944

 

San Diego to Pearl Harbor – Sep.16thSep. 22nd, 1944

 

Name changed to U.S.S. ANZIO – Oct. 10th, 1944

 

Pearl Harbor to Eniwetok Atoll – Oct. 16thOct. 25th, 1944

 

Typhoon Dec. 18th, 1944 arrived Ulithi – Dec. 25th, 1944

Operations off LuzonDec. 25th 1944Jan. 28th, 1945

 

Back to Ulithi – Jan. 28th, 1945

 

Ulithi to Eniwetok – Feb. 2ndFeb. 6th, 1945

 

Operations (Iwo Jima area) Feb. 19thMar. 7th, 1945

 

Iwo Jima area to San Pedro Bay–Mar. 7thMar. 12th, 1945

 

Operations 4–6 hundred miles off Japan till Aug. 19th, 1945

 

Entered GuamAug. 22nd, 1945

 

Guam to Okinawa – Aug.29thSep. 3rd, 1945

 

Okinawa to Korea – Sep. 3rdSep. 10th, 1945

 

Korea to Okinawa – Sep. 10thSep. 15th, 1945

 

Okinawa to San Francisco – Sep. 19thSep. 30th, 1945

 

S.F. to P.H. and back then shanghai on Dec. 1st, 1945

 

Shanghai to Seattle arriving Dec. 23rd, 1945

 

Seattle to Norfolk VA via the Panama Canal Jan. 18th, 1946

 

Decommissioned Aug. 5th, 1946

 

Redesignated CVHE-57  June 15th, 1955

Struck from Navy List – Mar. 1st, 1959

 

Sold to the Master Metals Co. – Nov. 24th, 1959

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And below is the ships specifications

 

STANDARD DISPLACEMENT:

        Tons: 7020

        Draft: 20 feet

 

LENGTH OVERALL:  512 feet

 

BEAM:  65 feet 2 inches

 

SPEED:   19.3 knots new

 

COMPLEMENT:  860 officers and men

 

ARMAMENT:  one  – 5  inch      .38 caliber gun, sixteen 40 mm, twenty 20 mm, plus smaller AA guns.

 

DECOMMISSIONED: Aug., 1946

 

RESTENCILLED: Apr. 3rd, 1950  - for helicopter pad in Korean War (Jun. 12th, 1955)

 

TOTAL DISTANCE STEAMED:  090,052 nautical miles

 

 

Below is some of the awards and miscellaneous other items

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