Please report any broken links or trouble you might come across to the Webmaster. Please take a moment to let us know so that we can correct any problems and make your visit as enjoyable and as informative as possible.

NavSource Online: Escort Carrier Photo Archive

USS SANGAMON   (ACV-26)

(formerly AO-28 and AVG-26; later CVE-26)



Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign: November - Whiskey - Quebec - Delta

Unit Awards, Campaign and Service Medals and Ribbons




Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Presidential Unit Citation / American Defense Service Medal ("A" device) [AO]
2nd Row: American Campaign Medal / European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal (1 star) / Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (7 stars)
3rd Row: World War II Victory Medal / Philippine Presidential Unit Citation / Philippine Liberation Medal (1 star)
(More info)

Sangamon Class Escort Carrier
Ordered Laid down Launched Commissioned Decommissioned Stricken
3 Jan 1938 13 Mar 1939 4 Nov 1939 23 Oct 1940
25 Aug 1942
25 Feb 1942
24 Oct 1945

1 Nov 1945
Builder: Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Kearny, N.J.

Specifications
(1942, as Converted)
Displacement (design): 11,400 tons standard; 24,275 tons full load
Dimensions (wl): 525' x 75' x 30' 7.5" (full load)  /  160 x 22.9 x 9.3 meters
Dimensions (max.): 553' x 114' 3"  /  168.6 x 34.8 meters
Armor: None
Power plant: 4 boilers (450 psi); 2 steam turbines; 2 shafts; 13,500 shp (design)
Speed: 18+ knots
Endurance: 23,920 nm @ 15 knots (with 4,780 tons of oil fuel)
Armament: 2 single 5"/51 gun mounts; 4 twin 40-mm/56-cal gun mounts; 12 single 20-mm/70-cal gun mounts
Aircraft: 25
Aviation facilities: 2 elevators; 1 hydraulic catapult
Crew: 830 (ship's company + air wing)
(1945)
Same as above, except:
Armament: 2 single 5"/38 gun mounts; 2 quad and 7 twin 40-mm/56-cal gun mounts; 21 single 20-mm/70-cal gun mounts
Aircraft: 32
Aviation facilities: 2 elevators; 2 hydraulic catapults
Crew: 1,080 (ship's company + air wing)

Click on Thumbnail
for Full Size Image
Size Image Description Source
The Ship
Esso Trenton
NS0302614
64k

As SS Esso Trenton.

Gerhard Mueller-Debus
Esso Trenton
NS0302605
22k

One of twelve National Defense Tankers ordered on 3 January 1938, SS Esso Trenton was built to a joint Navy-Maritime Commission design. She was acquired by the Navy in October 1940 and renamed Sangamon. As a fleet oiler (AO) she would be eventually armed with four 5"/38 guns in single mounts.

Don Schroeder
CVE-26 Sangamon
NS0302603
22k USS Sangamon (ACV-26, later CVE-26), August 1942-October 1945. Don Schroeder
ACV-26 Sangamon
NS0302601
166k

USS Sangamon (ACV-26), September 1942, as converted.

Robert Hurst
ACV-26 Sangamon
NS0302623
40k

Port broadside view of USS Sangamon (CVE-26), 11 September 1942, in Measure 14 camouflage scheme. This photo shows the flight deck loaded with TBF torpedo bombers and SBD dive bombers. One month later the ship joined Task Force 34 to provide air cover for Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa. Photo from the 1943–45 Naval Recognition Manual files.

Mike Green
Sangamon class
NS0302623a
343k

Sangamon Class. From U.S. Naval Ships & Aircraft (ONI 54-R), condensed and printed for FM 30-50, NAVAER 00-80V-57 (Recognition Pictorial Manual of Naval Vessels). Supplement 4 - 4 August 1943.

Gerd Matthes, Germany
Sangamon class
NS0302623b
289k

As above. Bottom photo shows USS Santee (ACV/CVE-29).

ACV-26 Sangamon
NS0302613
56k USS Sangamon underway, circa 1942, location unknown. Robert Hurst
ACV-26 Sangamon
NS0302624
77k

USS Sangamon (ACV-26) steams with her escort, USS Hambleton (DD-455), en route to Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa, during November 1942. USN, courtesy Stan Piet.

From Carrier Air War in Original Color, by Robert Lawson and Barrett Tillman.

Robert Hurst
ACV-26 Sangamon
NS0302625
81k

Douglas SBD-3 Dauntlesses of VGS-26 and Grumman F4F-4 Wildcats of VGF-26 being spotted on USS Sangamon's (ACV-26) flight deck during Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa in November 1942. Distance and other target information for her aircrews is chalked on the deck.

From Carrier Air War in Original Color, by Robert Lawson and Barrett Tillman.

Robert Hurst
CVE-26 Sangamon
NS0302606
46k Fire crews at work after flaming deck crash; February 22, 1943. Don Schroeder
CVE-26 Sangamon
NS0302609
170k Plane on fire after bad landing. Brian Bartlett
(caption by Don Schroeder)
CVE-26 Sangamon
NS0302610
393k Forward plan view of USS Sangamon (CVE-26) at Mare Island Navy Yard on 5 Oct 1943. She was in overhaul at the yard from 5 Sep until 6 Oct 1943. Official photo, MINY # 6937-43. Darryl Baker
CVE-26 Sangamon
NS0302611
248k Amidships plan view of USS Sangamon (CVE-26) at Mare Island Navy Yard on 5 Oct 1943. She was in overhaul at the yard from 5 Sep until 6 Oct 1943. Official photo, MINY # 6938-43. Darryl Baker
CVE-26 Sangamon
NS0302612
683k Stern view of USS Sangamon (CVE-26) at Mare Island Navy Yard on 5 Oct 1943. She was in overhaul at the yard from 5 Sep until 6 Oct 1943. Official photo, MINY # 6940-43. Darryl Baker
CVE-26 Sangamon
NS0302620
61k

USS Sangamon (CVE-26), 135° off centerline view, 6 October 1943. Official photo, Mare Island Navy Yard # 6941-43, now in the Mare Island Naval Shipyard Ship Files, San Francisco National Archives.

Tracy White, Researcher @ Large
CVE-26 Sangamon
NS0302604
40k F6F handling crew trying to pull plane out of catwalk after crash landing; March 20, 1944. Don Schroeder
CVE-26 Sangamon
NS0302608
29k

LT Wilfred B. Tatro, USNR Commanding Officer of PT-489, being transferred from USS Richard M. Rowell (DE-403) for medical treatment after being injured while rescuing a downed pilot from Jap held Wasile Bay, Halmahera Island, September 17, 1944.

Note: caption typed below photo identifies the DE as USS Raymond (DE-341). Sangamon's log, however, clearly states she was actually Richard M. Rowell.

Don Schroeder recalls: "When they brought LT Tatro aboard he had a small wrench partially imbedded in his forehead. The story was that the wrench was laying on the upper deck and when they accelerated the PT boat it flew into his forehead. We had a surgeon aboard so they brought him to us."

Don Schroeder
Kamikaze attack, Okinawa, May 4, 1945
CVE-26 Sangamon
NS0302602
111k Damage to the flight deck of Sangamon after a kamikaze attack, May 1945. Joe Radigan

Click here for more photos and documents

The Crew
CVE-26 Sangamon
NS0302616
156k

"This photo was on the USS Sangamon (CVE-26) with the crew that went to Africa in 1942. When they returned they refitted and went through the Panama Canal to join the Pacific Fleet."

Morris Jerome, AMM2/C, V-2.

Submitted by his daughter, via Don Schroeder.

Morris Jerome was with the first squadron to serve on the Sangamon, Squadron 26, October 1942 to September 1943.
CVE-26 Sangamon
NS0302617
346k

"This photo was taken in Efate, New Hebrides in 1942. It is a photo of Torpedo 26 (Air Group 26)."

CVE-26 Sangamon
NS0302618
355k

"The engineering crew on an airstrip in Efate, New Hebrides, 1942."

CVE-26 Sangamon
NS0302619
231k

"Guadalcanal, 1942. During the period from March 12 to April 25, 1943 this area was under attack by the enemy."

CVE-26 Sangamon
NS0302607
52k Initiation ceremonies; April 3, 1944. Don Schroeder
CVE-26 Sangamon
NS0302621
144k

"Admiral V.H. Ragsdale shaking hands with Captain M.E. Browder upon departure from ship after being relieved as Com Car Div 22." (See "Flag Admirals & Commanding Officers").

Brian Bartlett, via Don Schroeder
CVE-26 Sangamon
NS0302626
147k

Rear Admiral William D. Sample (left), Commander of Task Unit 52.1.3, is greeted by Captain Alvin I. Malstrom as he comes aboard USS Sangamon (CVE-26). (See "Flag Admirals & Commanding Officers").

Diane Lytle Barkhimer, daughter of CDR Howard William Lytle, MD, Flight Surgeon, Fighter Squadron 33, aboard USS Sangamon
CVE-26 Sangamon
RADM Fillmore B. Gilkeson
81k

LCDR Fillmore Bolling Gilkeson (later Rear Admiral) was the commanding officer of Torpedo Squadron 33 aboard USS Sangamon (CVE-26) from February 1945 to June 1945.

He was awarded the Silver Star in May 1945 during the Ryukyu Islands Campaign. Citation: "The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Lieutenant Commander Fillmore Bolling Gilkeson, United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy on 4 May 1945, while in Command of an Air Group aboard an Escort Carrier during the Ryukyu Islands campaign. Lieutenant Commander Gilkeson displayed aggressive leadership and great personal courage when his ship was seriously damaged and set afire by enemy action. At the time of the initial explosion he was present on the forward end of the flight deck where he gathered and organized air group and ship's personnel in an efficient fire-fighting team, which attacked the flames in spite of intense heat, smothering smoke and exploding ammunition. Later, on the hangar deck, he assisted actively in a very dangerous area, again exposed to peril from heat, smoke and exploding ammunition. He, in particular, incited men to more vigorous action by his complete disregard for his own safety. His efforts contributed materially to the saving of the ship. His courageous actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

Bill Gonyo
CVE-26 Sangamon
NS0302628
49k

"[Lieutenant] Commander Fillmore B. Gilkeson, Commanding Officer, Air Group and Torpedo Squadron Thirty-Tree."

Diane Lytle Barkhimer, daughter of CDR Howard William Lytle, MD, Flight Surgeon, Fighter Squadron 33, aboard USS Sangamon
CVE-26 Sangamon
NS0302628a
81k

"Commander Fillmore Bolling Gilkeson, USN, whose home is in Orange, Virginia, was graduated from the Naval Academy with the class of 1937. His first duty aboard the USS Ranger lasted until February, 1940, at which time he started flight training at Pensacola, Florida. After winning his wings, in January, 1941, Mr. Gilkeson served for over a year as Senior Aviator aboard the USS Mississippi. He then became Commanding Officer of Scouting Forty-Three, based at Guantanamo, Cuba, at the time when the submarine menace in the Caribbean was at its height. He was sent next to Naval Air Station Norfolk, Virginia as Commanding Officer of the Scouting Observation Unit there, before he underwent operational training in torpedo-bombers at Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Then followed his assignment as Commanding Officer of Air Group Thirty-Three in May, 1944, at Alameda, California."

"A Lieutenant Commander at the time he took over the Air Group, Commander Gilkeson received his promotion shortly before the Group returned to the States."

CVE-26 Sangamon
NS0302629
87k

"Lieutenant Commander Paul C. Rooney, Commanding Officer, Fighting Squadron 33."

Diane Lytle Barkhimer, daughter of CDR Howard William Lytle, MD, Flight Surgeon, Fighter Squadron 33, aboard USS Sangamon
CVE-26 Sangamon
NS0302629a
97k

"Lieutenant Commander Paul Chester Rooney, USN, is a native of Haddam, Kansas. He attended Kansas State College for two years before attending the United States Naval Academy from which he was graduated in 1939. Before attending flight school at Pensacola, he served on the old Lexington for eight months, and on destroyers for two years."

"After being designated a naval aviator he took part in the invasion of Attu as a member of Composite Squadron Twenty-One. For leading the fighter support in the Battle of Attu, Mr. Rooney was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Upon the completion of the Attu operation, Mr. Rooney joined Fighting Squadron Six for a ten-months' tour. While serving with Fighting Squadron Six he took part in the raids upon Makin Island, Marcus Island, Wake Island, Kwajalein and Truk. He received the Air Medal for meritorious achievement in shooting down an enemy aircraft in the battle over Truk."

"In April, 1944 he took command of Fighting Squadron Thirty-Three."

CVE-26 Sangamon
NS0302627
354k

Gunnery Division, USS Sangamon, World War II.

Front row, center: LCDR G.F. "Frank" Kershner.

William E. Kershner, Jr.
[SSgt USAF 1954–1959 Korea and Germany]
Nephew of LCDR Kershner
Memorabilia
CVE-26 Sangamon
NS0302615
170k

A 20 x 20" bronze plaque is to be dedicated on May 4, 2008 (63rd anniversary of the kamikaze attack) in the Admiral Nimitz Museum in Fredericksburg, Texas.

Don Schroeder

Click here for more photos and documents

Commercial Service
Sangamon
NS0302622
126k

"Steaming again as a tanker, as if nothing had happened in between..."

Gerhard Mueller-Debus

For more photos and information about this ship, see:

View the USS Sangamon (ACV-26 / CVE-26)
DANFS History entry located on the Hazegray & Underway Web Site.

Crew Contact and Reunion Information
Date:  
Place:  
Contact: Don Schroeder
Address: 3703 Dale St. — Manitowoc, WI 54220
Phone: 920-682-2013
E-mail: Don Schroeder
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

Main
Photo Index
Escort Carrier
Photo Index Page
Fleet Oiler (AO)
Index Page

Comments, Suggestions or Image submissions, E-mail Carrier Information
Problems and site related matters, E-mail Webmaster

This page was created by Paul Yarnall and is maintained by Fabio Peña
All pages copyright NavSource Naval History

Last update: 3 November 2013