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NavSource Online: Escort Carrier Photo Archive

USS ALTAMAHA   (ACV-18)
(later CVE-18 and CVHE-18)



Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign: November - Uniform - Victor - Charlie

Unit Awards, Campaign and Service Medals and Ribbons



Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: American Campaign Medal
2nd Row: Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (1 star) / World War II Victory Medal / Philippine Liberation Medal

Bogue Class Escort Carrier
Ordered Laid down Launched Commissioned Decommissioned Stricken
(see below) 19 Dec 1941 22 May 1942 15 Sep 1942 27 Sep 1946 1 Mar 1959
Builder: Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corp., Seattle, Wash.

Specifications
(As converted, 1942)
Displacement: 7,800 tons standard; 15,700 tons full load (design)
Dimensions (wl): 465' x 69.5' x 23.25'  /  141.7 x 21.2 x 7.1 meters
Dimensions (max.): 495' 8" x 111.5'  /  151.1 x 34 meters
Armor: None
Power plant: 2 boilers (285 psi); 1 steam turbine; 1 shaft; 8,500 shp
Speed: 16.5 knots
Endurance:
Armament: 2 single 5"/51 (later 5"/38) gun mounts; (1943) 8 twin 40-mm/56-cal gun mounts; (1943) 27 single 20-mm/70-cal gun mounts
Aircraft: 24
Aviation facilities: 2 elevators; 1 hydraulic catapult
Crew: 890

Click on Thumbnail
for Full Size Image
Size Image Description Source
CVE-18 Altamaha
NS0301813
148k

USS Altamaha, Bremerton Naval Shipyard, 1943.

Photo in the National Archives, Seattle, WA.

Ric Hedman,
Webmaster, PigBoats.com
CVE-18 Altamaha
NS0301801
196k

The Bogue-class were used extensively as aircraft ferries in the later stages of the war. Here USS Altamaha (CVE-18) is seen with a deck load of Army P-51 Mustang fighters off San Francisco, California, on 16 July 1943.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command (# NH 106575).

Robert Hurst
CVE-18 Altamaha
NS0301802
110k USS Altamaha leaves San Francisco, 16 July 1943, with her decks crammed with P-51 Mustangs and a lone SOC Seagull. USN
CVE-18 Altamaha
NS0301803
66k

USS Altamaha (CVE-18) underway 16 July 1943. The ship was commissioned 15 September 1942. National Archives photo (# 80-G-74432).

Note the deck cargo of P-51 Mustang fighters and the carrier's windbreak erected at the forward edge of the flight deck. (Thanks to Robert Hurst.)

Courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com
CVE-18 Altamaha
NS0301806
144k Forward plan view of USS Altamaha (CVE-18) at Mare Island Navy Yard on 8 Nov 1943. Areas modified by the yard are indicated by circles and she was at the yard from 8 Oct until 9 Nov 1943. Navy Yard Mare Island, Calif., photo # 7515-43. Darryl Baker
CVE-18 Altamaha
NS0301807
84k Stern plan view of USS Altamaha (CVE-18) at Mare Island Navy Yard on 8 Nov 1943. Areas modified by the yard are indicated by circles and she was at the yard from 8 Oct until 9 Nov 1943. Navy Yard Mare Island, Calif., photo # 7516-43. Darryl Baker
CVE-18 Altamaha
NS0301808
46k Stern view of USS Altamaha (CVE-18) departing Mare Island Navy Yard on 9 Nov 1943. Navy Yard Mare Island, Calif., # 7540-43. Darryl Baker
CVE-18 Altamaha
NS0301809
70k Broadside view of USS Altamaha (CVE-18) off Mare Island Navy Yard on 9 Nov 1943. Navy Yard Mare Island, Calif., # 7542-43. Darryl Baker
CVE-18 Altamaha
NS0301809a
48k

45° off centerline view of USS Altamaha (CVE-18) departing Mare Island Navy Yard on 9 Nov 1943. Navy Yard Mare Island, Calif., photo # 7543-43.

Source: Mare Island Naval Shipyard Ship Files, San Francisco NARA.

Tracy White, Researcher @ Large
CVE-18 Altamaha
NS0301810
64k Bow on view of USS Altamaha (CVE-18) departing Mare Island Navy Yard on 9 Nov 1943. Navy Yard Mare Island, Calif., photo # 7544-43. Darryl Baker
CVE-18 Altamaha
NS0301804
148k USS Altamaha (CVE-18). Drawing by L. Hecking, 1943. Carl Duncan
CVE-18 Altamaha
NS0301811
65k

Wartime picture of USS Altamaha (CVE-18) circa 1944, location unknown. Official U.S. Navy photo from Jane's Fighting Ships 1954–1955.

Robert Hurst
CVE-18 Altamaha
NS0301812a
55k

An F4U Corsair conducts a RATO (Rocket-Assisted Take Off) aboard USS Altamaha (CVE-18), 1 March 1944.

Photo NS0301812, below, is one of the last in the same batch—that explains why the deck is so white.

National Archives photo (80-G-215654), College Park.

Tracy White, Researcher @ Large
CVE-18 Altamaha
NS0301812
285k

An F6F-3 Hellcat getting ready for a jet-assisted take-off from USS Altamaha (CVE-18), on 1 March 1944.

US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Photo No. 1996.253.7193.009.

Mike Green
CVE-18 Altamaha
NS0301814
169k

[The escort carrier USS Altamaha (CVE-18)] was unusual in having a raised uptake on the starboard side aft, as shown in these February 1945 refit photos taken at San Francisco Navy Yard. The circles indicate changes, which appear to have been minor. Note that, to save weight, all her 20mm guns were unshielded; the ultimate 20mm weight saver, the replacement of single mounts by twin mounts, had not yet been carried out.

Photos and text from U.S. Aircraft Carriers: An Illustrated Design History, by Norman Friedman.

Robert Hurst
CVE-18 Altamaha
NS0301814a
122k
CVE-18 Altamaha
NS0301805
106k San Francisco Bay, probably in the morning of January 10, 1946. (Thanks to Dave Hoy, RM3/c who provided this info). Chris Albright

For more information and photos of this ship, see:

View the USS Altamaha (ACV-18 / CVE-18 / CVHE-18)
DANFS History entry located on the Hazegray & Underway Web Site.

Crew Contact Information
Date:  
Place:  
Contact: Gordon McBride
Address: 18426 Watters Drive
Castro Valley, CA 94546
Phone: (510) 582-8048
E-mail: FlossyCM@AOL.com
Web site:  
Remarks:  

Related Links
Hazegray & Underway World Aircraft Carrier Pages By Andrew Toppan.
Official U.S. Navy Carrier Website
Escort Carrier Sailors & Airmen Association

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Last update: 25 August 2013