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Casablanca Class, U.S. Escort Carriers


Photograph of U.S.S. Anzio, a Casablanca-class escort carrier

U.S. Navy. Via NavSource.org

Schematic diagram of Casablanca class escort carrier

ONI 222


Specifications:


Tonnage 7800 tons standard displacement
Dimensions 512'3" by 65' by 22'4"
156.13m by 19.81m by 6.81m
Maximum speed       20.8 knots
Complement 764
Aircraft 474' (144.48m) flight deck
2 elevators
1 catapult
27 aircraft
Armament 1 5"/38 dual-purpose gun
4x2 40mm Bofors AA guns
12x1 20mm Oerlikon AA guns
Machinery
2-shaft Skinner Uniflow vertical quadruple expansion reciprocating (9000 shp)
4 Babcock & Wilcox boilers
Bunkerage 2228 tons fuel oil
120,000 gallons (454,000 liters) aviation gasoline
Range 10,240 nautical miles (18,960 km) at 15 knots
Sensors
SC air search radar
SG surface search radar
Modifications
By 1945 most units had 8x2 40mm guns and 30 20mm guns. Some units had their radar upgraded to SC-2 or SK.

The Casablancas were completed in 1943-44 and were designed as escort carriers from the keel up. The arrangement of the flight deck and island closely resembled the Bogues, but their machinery was quite different, consisting of triple-expansion reciprocating engines driving two screws. Curiously, as mass-produced ships, they were assigned a Maritime Commission standard type number, S4-S2-BB3. They were much superior to the conversions, with improved machinery dispersal and somewhat higher speed. Remarkably, they took only about three months to complete, due to the innovative use of mass production methods in the Kaiser yards where they were laid down.

The air group normally consisted of nine fighters and either eighteen torpedo bombers or nine torpedo bombers and nine dive bombers.

Protection was limited to some splinter plating around control stations and the hangar torpedo stowage area, with no underwater protection whatsoever. The lack of splinter protection around the bomb magazine was blamed for the catastrophic loss of Liscombe Bay on 24 November 1943. Thereafter, some effort was made to provide a liquid protection system around the magazines by converting outboard compartments to oil and water storage. This came at a considerable cost in magazine capacity.

The U.S. Navy had originally planned to transfer a number of these ships to Britain as Lend-Lease, but decided to send the Royal Navy late-construction Bogues instead.


Units in the Pacific:

Kasaan Bay completed 1943-4-25
withdrawn 1944-1-12
returned 1944-12-25
Liscombe Bay completed 1943-8-7 Torpedoed 1943-11-23 off Makin by I-175
Coral Sea completed 1943-8-27 Renamed Anzio 1944-9-15 to free the name for a large carrier
Corregidor completed 1943-8-31
Manila Bay completed 1943-10-5
Natoma Bay completed 1943-10-14
Midway completed 1943-10-23       Renamed St.Lo 1943-9-15 to free the name for a large carrier
White Plains completed 1943-11-15
Solomons completed 1943-11-21
Kalinin Bay completed 1943-11-27
Fanshaw Bay completed 1943-12-9
Kitkun Bay completed 1943-12-15
Tulagi completed 1943-12-21
Gambier Bay completed 1943-12-28
Nehenta Bay completed 1944-1-3
Hoggatt Bay completed 1944-1-11
Kadashan Bay completed 1944-1-18
Marcus Island completed 1944-1-26
Savo Island completed 1944-2-3
Ommaney Bay completed 1944-2-11 Crippled by kamikazes on 4 January 1945 and scuttled
Petroff Bay completed 1944-2-18
Rudyerd Bay completed 1944-2-25
Saginaw Bay completed 1944-3-2
Sargent Bay completed 1944-3-9
Shipley Bay completed 1944-3-21
Sitkoh Bay completed 1944-3-28
Steamer Bay completed 1944-4-4
Cape Esperance completed 1944-4-9
Takanis Bay
completed 1944-4-15
Thetis Bay completed 1944-4-21
Makassar Strait completed 1944-4-27
Makin Island completed 1944-5-9
Windham Bay completed 1944-5-3
Lunga Point completed 1944-5-14
Bismarck Sea completed 1944-5-20 Sunk by kamikaze 1945-2-21 off Iwo Jima
Salamaua completed 1944-5-26
Hollandia completed 1944-6-1
Kwajalein
completed 1944-6-7
Admiralty Islands       completed 1944-6-13
Bougainville completed 1944-6-18
Matanikau completed 1944-6-24
Attu completed 1944-6-30
Roi completed 1944-7-6
Munda completed 1944-7-8
Casablanca completed 1944-8-16
Shamrock Bay arrived 1944-11-18
Wake Island arrived 1944-11-20
Tripoli arrived 1945-1-1

All units completed at Vancouver, Oregon.


References

Chesneau (1992)

DANFS

Friedman (1983)

Gogin (2010; accessed 2013-1-31)

Morison (1951)

Navsource.Org (accessed 2007-5-14)



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