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NavSource Online: Escort Carrier Photo Archive

USS SUWANNEE   (ACV-27)

(formerly AO-33 and AVG-27; later CVE-27 and CVHE-27)



Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign: November - Whiskey - Romeo - Lima

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 (?? stars) / Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (?? stars)
3rd Row: World War II Victory Medal / Philippine Presidential Unit Citation / Philippine Liberation Medal (1 star)

Sangamon Class Escort Carrier
Ordered Laid down Launched Commissioned Decommissioned Stricken
3 Jan 1938 3 Jun 1938 4 Mar 1939 16 Jul 1941
24 Sep 1942
21 Feb 1942
8 Jan 1947

1 Mar 1959
Builder: Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Kearney, 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)

Click on Thumbnail
for Full Size Image
Size Image Description Source
World War II
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302726
32k

USS Suwannee underway, date and location unknown.

Robert Hurst
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302729
140k

USS Suwannee (CVE-27) tied to a mooring buoy in the New Hebrides. In this view Suwannee's two elevators are lowered to her hangar deck. Note the 40mm Bofors and 20mm Oerlikon gun "tubs" sited around the flight deck. U.S. Navy.

Robert Hurst
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302727
50k

A Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat (nicknamed "Rosenblatt's Reply") on board USS Suwannee (ACV-27), circa late 1942 or early 1943. The plane bears traces of the yellow Operation Torch marking around its national insignia. Photographed by Ensign Barrett Gallagher, USNR. Official U.S. Navy photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-K-15634).

Robert Hurst
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302723
162k

Amidships looking aft plan view of USS Suwannee at Mare Island Navy Yard on 11 Oct 1943. Circled areas indicated additions or modifications at the shipyard between 11 Sep to 12 Oct 1943. U.S. Navy photo, Mare Island Navy Yard # 7045-43.

Darryl Baker
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302724
161k

Amidships looking forward plan view of USS Suwannee at Mare Island Navy Yard on 11 Oct 1943. Circled areas indicated additions or modifications at the shipyard between 11 Sep to 12 Oct 1943. U.S. Navy photo, Mare Island Navy Yard # 7047-43.

Darryl Baker
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302725a
59k

USS Suwannee (CVE-27), 135° off centerline view, 12 October 1943. Official photo, Mare Island Navy Yard # 7054-43, now in the Mare Island Naval Shipyard Ship Files, San Francisco National Archives.

Tracy White, Researcher @ Large
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302725
71k

Broadside view of USS Suwannee off Mare Island Navy Yard on 12 Oct 1943. U.S. Navy photo, Mare Island Navy Yard # 7055-43.

Darryl Baker
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302702
67k

Port side underway, 1943-1944.

USN
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302704
86k

USS Suwannee (CVE-27) at anchor in Kwajalein Harbor, Marshall Islands on 7 February 1944 with F6F Hellcat fighters, SBD Dauntless dive bombers, and TBM Avenger torpedo bombers on her flight deck. Longer than most other World War II CVEs, these carriers of the Sangamon class could launch and recover F6Fs.

Photographed from USS Baltimore (CA-68).

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command (# NH 106578).

NH&HC
Kamikaze attacks, October 25-26, 1944
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302710
145k

Seven-photo sequence of the kamikaze attack on USS Suwannee off Leyte, 26 October 1944.

(1) As a returning American torpedo bomber (lower plane) approaches deck for landing, a Japanese suicide plane streaks out of clouds in an 80-degree dive.

Photo taken from USS Sangamon (CVE-26).

Don Schroeder, USS Sangamon (CVE-26)
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302710c
83k

Photo of the Mitsusbishi A6M5 Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighter Model 52 piloted by PO1c Tamisaku Katsumata. Had Katsumata's Zeke maintained its dive as shown in photo [NS0302710], it would certainly have missed aft of Suwannee, so he corrected its aim point by reducing the dive angle. This is caught in this image taken aft on the carrier's flight deck, showing the underside of the fighter with the trails of tracer rounds passing underneath. Even more rare is the fact that it is known that this particular aircraft had previously been flown by the Japanese ace WO Hiroyoshi Nishizawa, but had been turned over to Katsumata because Nishizawa was scheduled to fly to Manila to pick up new aircraft. Photo NARA (National Archives and Records Administration) facility College Park, MD.

Photo and text from Fire From The Sky, by Robert C. Stern.

Robert Hurst
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302710a
58k

(1a) As a returning American torpedo bomber (lower plane) approaches deck for landing, a Japanese suicide plane streaks out of clouds in an 80-degree dive.

Photo taken from USS Sangamon (CVE-26).

Gerd Matthes, Germany
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302710b
50k

(1b) As a returning American torpedo bomber (left) approaches deck for landing, a Japanese suicide plane streaks out of clouds in an 80-degree dive.

Photo taken from USS Sangamon (CVE-26).

Gerd Matthes, Germany
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302711
185k

(2) The Zeke crashes Suwannee's flight deck and careens into a torpedo bomber which has just been recovered. The two planes erupt upon contact as do nine other planes on her flight deck.

Photo taken from USS Sangamon (CVE-26).

Don Schroeder, USS Sangamon (CVE-26)
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302711a
58k

(2a) The Zeke crashes Suwannee's flight deck and careens into a torpedo bomber which has just been recovered. The two planes erupt upon contact as do nine other planes on her flight deck.

Photo taken from USS Sangamon (CVE-26).

Gerd Matthes, Germany
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302711b
142k

(2b) The Zeke crashes Suwannee's flight deck and careens into a torpedo bomber which has just been recovered. The two planes erupt upon contact as do nine other planes on her flight deck.

Photo taken from USS Sangamon (CVE-26).

U.S. Navy photo from the collection of Micheal Strout, via Jonathan Eno
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302712
86k

(3) Columns of smoke rise from the carrier, dead in water. Fires would burn for several hours, but were finally brought under control. Note survivors in water.

Photo taken from USS Sangamon (CVE-26).

Don Schroeder, USS Sangamon (CVE-26)
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302705
44k

Damage in action of 25 October 1944. Flight Deck as viewed from Bridge taken at time of explosion in hangar.

Seattle Branch of the National Archives photo.

Tracy White, Researcher @ Large
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302706
54k

Damage in action of 25 October 1944. Hole in Flight Deck Frame 64 stbd. about 10 minutes after bomb hit.

Seattle Branch of the National Archives photo.

Tracy White, Researcher @ Large
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302707
63k

Damage in action of 25 October 1944. Flight Deck as seen from Bridge 1½ hours after bomb hit at Frame 64 stbd.

Seattle Branch of the National Archives photo.

Tracy White, Researcher @ Large
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302707a
174k

USS Suwannee (CVE-27) after the fires were put out. The shambles that remained of Suwannee's forward flight deck included the forward elevator platform collapsed in its well and several holes punched in the deck. The flight decks of US carriers of this era are often described as being made of wood, but as can be seen here, the wooden planks were applied over a steel deck to provide traction for men and aircraft. Photo NARA (National Archives and Records Administration) facility College Park, MD.

Photo and text from Fire From The Sky, by Robert C. Stern

Robert Hurst
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302708
53k

Damage in action of 25 October 1944. Hole in Hangar Deck between Frames 63 & 64 port (looking aft.) (Photo taken after shredded plating was cut away.) Note extent of dished area.

Seattle Branch of the National Archives photo.

Tracy White, Researcher @ Large
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302709
50k

Damage in action of 25 October 1944. Motor from Jap Zeke found in vicinity of hit at Frame 64 stbd.

Seattle Branch of the National Archives photo.

Tracy White, Researcher @ Large
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302701
42k

October 26, 1944, flight deck in flames from Kamikaze hit.

USN
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302701a
127k

Hit by two enemy kamikazes in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, 25–26 October 1944, Suwannee steamed back to a West Coast shipyard under her own power. She arrived at Puget Sound Navy Yard on 26 November and her repairs were completed by 31 January 1945.

Ron Reeves
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302713
54k

Damage in action of 26 October 1944. Forward elevator as seen from Hangar Deck looking fwd. & to port.

Seattle Branch of the National Archives photo.

Tracy White, Researcher @ Large
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302714
82k

Damage in action of 26 October 1944. Forward elevator as seen from Hangar Deck looking fwd. & to stbd.

Seattle Branch of the National Archives photo.

Tracy White, Researcher @ Large
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302715
55k

Damage in action of 26 October 1944. View of Island Structure looking outboard. Note damage to Flying Bridge.

Seattle Branch of the National Archives photo.

Tracy White, Researcher @ Large
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302716
68k

Puget Sound Navy Yard, 27 November 1944. Damage in action of 25 October 1944. Shrapnel holes in stbd. Hangar side plating, between Frames 63-65. Note: Roller curtains were blown out.

Seattle Branch of the National Archives photo.

Tracy White, Researcher @ Large
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302720
32k

Puget Sound Navy Yard, 26 January 1945. USS Suwannee after repairs from the Kamikaze attacks of October 1944.

Seattle Branch of the National Archives photo.

Tracy White, Researcher @ Large
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302721
39k

Puget Sound Navy Yard, 26 January 1945. USS Suwannee after repairs from the Kamikaze attacks of October 1944.

Seattle Branch of the National Archives photo.

Tracy White, Researcher @ Large
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302722
37k

Puget Sound Navy Yard, 26 January 1945. USS Suwannee after repairs from the Kamikaze attacks of October 1944.

Seattle Branch of the National Archives photo.

Tracy White, Researcher @ Large
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302720a
72k

The escort carrier USS Suwannee (CVE-27) at Puget Sound Navy Yard on 26 January 1945, after a refit. She appears to have a fighter-director radar on her mast; at this time many escort carriers were fitted as fighter-director ships to support amphibious operations, and one escort carrier commander maintained that his ships were actually facing more combat hazards than were the larger fleet carriers, since the former were tied to the beachhead and could not enjoy the advantage of tactical surprise. USN photo.

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

Robert Hurst
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302717
26k

Puget Sound, Washington, 31 January 1945. Dead ahead view of USS Suwannee (CVE-27) underway at 17 knots, after repairs from the Kamikaze attacks of October 1944.

Seattle Branch of the National Archives photo.

Tracy White, Researcher @ Large
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302718
29k

Puget Sound, Washington, 31 January 1945. Broad on port bow view of USS Suwannee (CVE-27) underway at 17 knots, after repairs from the Kamikaze attacks of October 1944.

Seattle Branch of the National Archives photo.

Tracy White, Researcher @ Large
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302719
32k

Puget Sound, Washington, 31 January 1945. Dead astern view of USS Suwannee (CVE-27) underway at 17 knots, after repairs from the Kamikaze attacks of October 1944.

Seattle Branch of the National Archives photo.

Tracy White, Researcher @ Large
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302728
114k

"At 1042, Thursday 24 May 1945 TBM-3 [Avenger] Bureau Number 68368 exploded on flight deck immediately after coming to a stop following normal landing on board. The accident apparently was caused by the explosion of a 100# bomb in the bomb bay." (Quoted from the "Report of Damage Incurred from Explosion of a 100 Bomb in the Bomb Bay on an Aircraft which Had Completed Landing Procedure," USS Suwannee CVE-27, Serial 065, 29 May 1945.)

The pilot, LT(JG) Obed F. Slingerland, was killed instantly. ARM1c James Joseph Joyce was critically wounded and died from injuries during transfer. Other 14 officers and men were also injured.

Photos from the National Archives, College Park.

Dave Kerr
(His uncle, Joe, was a sailor aboard Suwannee during the war)
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302728a
110k
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302728b
129k
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302728c
125k
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302728d
133k
Ex-USS Suwannee
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302703
107k

In reserve "Mothballs" at South Boston Naval Annex, (Center) in this 1959 photo.

©Richard Leonhardt
Memorabilia
CVE-27 Suwannee
NS0302730
71k

Shellback Certificate for ENS Hubert R. Cornwell, USNR, 21 March 1944.

Tommy Trampp

For more photos and information about this ship, see:

View the USS Suwannee (ACV-27 / CVE-27 / CVHE-27)
DANFS History entry located on the Hazegray & Underway Web Site.

Crew Contact and Reunion Information
Date:  
Place:  
Contact:  
Address:  
Phone:  
E-mail: webmaster@usssuwannee.org
Web site: U.S.S. Suwannee (CVE 27)
Remarks:  

Related Links
Hazegray & Underway World Aircraft Carrier Pages By Andrew Toppan.
Official U.S. Navy Carrier Website
U.S.S. Suwannee (CVE 27)
Escort Carrier Sailors & Airmen Association

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Last update: 24 September 2014