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NavSource Online: Escort Carrier Photo Archive

USS SANTEE   (ACV-29)

(formerly AO-29 and AVG-29; later CVE-29 and CVHE-29)



Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign: November - Whiskey - Tango - Papa

Unit Awards, Campaign and Service Medals and Ribbons





Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Presidential Unit Citation
2nd Row: China Service Medal (Extended) / American Defense Service Medal ("Fleet" clasp) [AO] / American Campaign Medal
3rd Row: European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal (2 stars) / Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (7 stars) / World War II Victory Medal
4th Row: Navy Occupation Service Medal ("Asia" clasp) / Philippine Presidential Unit Citation / Philippine Liberation Medal (2 stars)
(More info)

Sangamon Class Escort Carrier
Ordered Laid down Launched Commissioned Decommissioned Stricken
3 Jan 1938 31 May 1938 4 Mar 1939 30 Oct 1940
24 Aug 1942
-- --- 1942
21 Oct 1946

1 Mar 1959
Builder: Sun Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Chester, Pa.

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-29 Santee
NS0302903
49k Port side view. USN
CVE-29 Santee
NS0302940
161k

Douglas SBD-3/5 Dauntless dive bombers of Composite Squadron (VC) 29 lined up for launch from the escort carrier USS Santee (ACV-29) during operations in the Atlantic. Armed with depth charges, the aircraft will fly antisubmarine patrol over the convoy ships visible in the background. As Escort-Scouting Squadron (VGS) 29, the squadron also flew missions in support of the North Africa invasion in November 1942.

U.S. Navy National Museum of Naval Aviation, photo No. 1996.253.703.

Robert Hurst
ACV-29 Santee
NS0302936
110k

A VGS-29 Grumman TBF-1 Avenger being brought to the flight deck on USS Santee's (ACV-29) forward elevator during August 1942, location unknown.

Photo and text from "Carrier Air War in Original WWII Color," by Robert Lawson and Barrett Tillman.

Robert Hurst
ACV-29 Santee
NS0302904
98k

Port bow view of USS Santee (ACV-29) in the rare Measure 17 camouflage pattern. U.S. Navy photo, Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Va., serial # 3706(42), September 11, 1942.

David Buell
ACV-29 Santee
NS0302904a
110k

Port broadside view of USS Santee (ACV-29). U.S. Navy photo, Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Va., serial # 3707(42), September 11, 1942.

ACV-29 Santee
NS0302902
85k

USS Santee (ACV-29) photographed on 24 September 1942, the day the first plane landed on her flight deck (according to some sources, the photo was taken on 27 September). She is wearing the subdued "dazzle" construction of the Measure 17 disruptive system. The pattern was identical on both sides of her hull (US National Archives photo #80-G-11826).

From Naval camouflage 1914-1945: A Complete Visual Reference, by David Williams.

Robert Hurst
ACV-29 Santee
NS0302939
191k

Grumman TBF Avenger being hoisted aboard USS Santee (ACV-29), circa October 1942.

National Archives photo (# 80-G-469839).

Robert Rocker
ACV-29 Santee
NS0302929
53k

USS Santee's port side showing the complete symmetry of the pattern on both sides (compare to NS0302920). US National Archives photo #19-N-34871.

From Naval camouflage 1914-1945: A Complete Visual Reference, by David Williams.

Robert Hurst
ACV-29 Santee
NS0302920
83k

A photo of USS Santee (ACV-29) probably taken on October 16, 1942. Santee was the only one in her class ever camouflaged in Ms.17, a disruptive system with the same geometric patterns on both sides of the ship. In fact, Ms.17 was only applied to three ships: heavy cruiser USS Augusta (CA-31), fleet oiler USS Chicopee (AO-34), and Santee.

Don Schroeder,
USS Sangamon
Larger copy submitted by Robert Hurst
CVE-29 Santee
NS0302901
94k

Another view of USS Santee probably taken in late 1942.

Robert M. Cieri
CVE-29 Santee
NS0302938
100k

USS Santee (ACV-29) at anchor, 16 October 1942. Note the location of the ship's main machinery smoke stacks on the side of the flight deck aft. Santee is painted in Camouflage Measure 17.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command (# NH 43508).

Naval History & Heritage Command, via Robert Hurst
ACV-29 Santee
NS0302930
122k

Port broadside view of USS Santee (ACV-29) in Measure 14 (Ocean Gray) camouflage. U.S. Navy photo, Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Va., serial # 4378(42), December 21, 1942.

David Buell
ACV-29 Santee
NS0302930a
123k

Port quarter view of USS Santee (ACV-29). U.S. Navy photo, Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Va., serial # 4379(42), December 21, 1942.

ACV-29 Santee
NS0302909
60k

USS Santee (ACV-29) silhouetted against the Atlantic while escorting convoy UGS-10 to North Africa, June 1943 (National Archives photo # 80-G-74762).

USN
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. Top photo shows USS Sangamon (ACV/CVE-26).

CVE-29 Santee
NS0302934
187k

USS Santee (CVE-29). Photo believed to have been taken at Casablanca, 13 November 1943.

Gerd Matthes, Germany
CVE-29 Santee
NS0302908
90k

General Motors FM-2 Wildcat fighter on combat air patrol over USS Santee (CVE-29), during the Leyte Invasion, 20 October 1944.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-287594).

Scott Dyben
CVE-29 Santee
NS0302910
131k

At 0740, 25 October 1944, during the Battle of the Leyte Gulf, a Japanese plane made a suicide dive on the Santee, crashing through the flight deck and stopping on the hangar deck. Santee was the first ship to sustain a kamikaze attack: the plane tore a 30-foot gash into the flight deck, killed 16 men, wounded 27 others and started several fires. At 0756, a torpedo from the Japanese submarine I-56 struck the ship, causing flooding of several compartments and a 6-degree starboard list. Emergency repairs were completed by 0935.

Charles Erlandsen
CVE-29 Santee
NS0302910a
124k

USS Santee (CVE-29) is hit by a Japanese kamikaze, at 0740 on 25 October 1944. Bright orange flames fed by burning avgas billow above Santee's flight deck as fragments of the Zeke, probably piloted by PO1c Kato splash to either side. Santee survived, but had to return to the U.S. for permanent repairs to battle damage and general overhaul. The escort carrier was back in the Philippines in March 1945.

Robert Hurst
CVE-29 Santee
NS0302928
114k

Fires rage after the ship was hit by a Kamikaze at 0740 hours on 25 October 1944, during the 2nd Battle of the Philippine Sea (aka the Battle of Leyte Gulf.) Official US Navy photograph.

Robert M. Cieri
CVE-29 Santee
NS0302918
25k

Kamikaze strikes USS Santee (CVE-29), 25 October 1944.

National Archives photo (# 80-G-273453).

Tracy White
CVE-29 Santee
NS0302913
143k

Santee radio shack, Battle of Leyte Gulf: makeshift arrangements needed to monitor all circuits. Note spare parts boxes proping up a typewriter.

Charles Erlandsen
CVE-29 Santee + DD-472
NS0547201
116k

USS Guest (DD-472) comes alongside USS Santee (CVE-29) in April 1945. Both ships were off Okinawa and about to exchange mail. NARA photo (80-G 335565).

Rob Rielly
CVE-29 Santee
NS0302914
30k

Air Groups attached to USS Santee.

Source: "History of USS Santee," by ENS Jaquelin S. Holliday, USNR.

Submitted by ABCS Walter E. Skeldon
CVE-29 Santee
NS0302941
92k

Escort-Scouting Squadron (VGS) 26 was established on 5 May 1942. Equipped with SBD Dauntlesses and TBF Avengers, VGS-26 operated from USS Sangamon (ACV/CVE-26) between October 1942 and September 1943, with a short stint operating from Guadalcanal (March–April). It was redesignated Composite Squadron (VC) 26 on 1 March 1943, and again redesignated Torpedo Squadron (VT) 26 on 15 November 1943. VT-26 embarked aboard USS Santee (CVE-29) in February 1944 and, now equipped solely with TBF or TBM Avengers, operated from the escort carrier until the end of the war. The squadron was disestablished on 13 November 1945.

Disney patch.

Tommy Trampp
The Crew
CVE-29 Santee
NS0302923
216k

Recife, Brazil, February 1943.

Robert Boggess, son of R.C. Boggess
CVE-29 Santee
NS0302921
234k

Image of most of the USS Santee's E Division personnel. This picture was taken during the summer of 1944 somewhere in the South Pacific. There were approximately 30 EM's aboard at the time, but some who were standing watch are not included in the pic. The Division Officer in the center was Walter T. Poole.

Stephen J. Birckhead, Sr.,
Electrician's Mate,
USS Santee, early 1944-early 1945
CVE-29 Santee
NS0302911
217k

Officers and Chief Petty Officers, K Division, October 1944.

Front row, left to right:ENS Walsh (Publications Officer); LT(JG) Parsons (Ship Secretary); LT(JG) Edson; LT(JG) Stevens; LT Edward Joseph Clarke (Communications Officer); LT Roberts (Radio Officer); LT(JG) McCue (Division Officer); LT(JG) Funke (Signal Officer); CRE Clifford (Warrant Officer).

Rear row, left to right: Nichols, Chief Yeoman; Charles Erlandsen, Chief Radioman; Daly, Chief Signalman; Kiawaja, Chief Yeoman.

Charles Erlandsen
CVE-29 Santee
NS0302917
188k

Officers and Enlisted men, K Division (Communications Department), October 1944.

Charles Erlandsen
CVE-29 Santee
NS0302912
198k

Left to right: Henry Menke ACMS; Chief Mallette holding the fish he caught in Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides; S. Waller, CBM; and the chopped hair in the back groud is C. Erlandsen, CRM.

Charles Erlandsen
CVE-29 Santee
NS0302924
129k

V-2 Division, date unknown. Official US Navy photo.

Robert Boggess, son of R.C. Boggess
CVE-29 Santee
NS0302925
174k

V-2 Division, Engineering crew, date unknown. Official US Navy photo.

Robert Boggess, son of R.C. Boggess
CVE-29 Santee
NS0302926
135k

R.C. Boggess and shipmates, date unknown. Official US Navy photo.

Robert Boggess, son of R.C. Boggess
CVE-29 Santee
NS0302915
174k

Top: Flight deck crew catching some well needed rest in the safety nets alongside the deck.

Bottom: Aviation Painter Third Class, Jerrold E. Thomas posting the score of Jap kills. (Thanks to Dianne Goode, daughter of J. E. Thomas).

Charles Erlandsen
CVE-29 Santee
NS0302922
106k

Frank J. Bennett (right) with two friends aboard USS Santee (CVE-29), shortly before the kamikaze attack. Frank was wounded, but his friends were killed...

Carol Hamel, niece of Frank J. Bennett
CVE-29 Santee
NS0302937
164k

Fighting Squadron 26 (VF-26).

This photo belonged to the collection of Ross Belford Jolley (1906–1946), USN (Ret.). [Detail of photo NS0302937.]

Daniel E. Jolley, grandnephew of Ross Belford Jolley
CVE-29 Santee
NS0302937b
228k

Fighting Squadron 26 (VF-26), USS Santee (CVE-29), 3 December 1944.

This photo belonged to the collection of Ross Belford Jolley (1906–1946), USN (Ret.). [Detail of photo NS0302937b.]

CVE-29 Santee
NS0302937d
259k

Fighting Squadron 26 (VF-26) sailors. It is likely, but not certain, that this photo was taken aboard USS Santee (CVE-29).

This photo belonged to the collection of Ross Belford Jolley (1906–1946), USN (Ret.). [Detail of photo NS0302937d.]

CVE-29 Santee
NS0302932
45k

Torpedo Squadron 26 (VT-26), May 1944.

ENS George J. Baldini is on the extreme right, second row.

Ana M. Betancourt, niece of ENS George Joseph Baldini
CVE-29 Santee
NS0302932a
47k
CVE-29 Santee
NS0302933
39k

ENS George J. Baldini (#299269, left), Higginbothan and Iannucci, Torpedo Squadron 26 (VT-26).

ENS Baldini and his crew were killed when their plane, a TBF-1C Avenger (BuNo 48019), crashed on Morotai, Moluccas Islands, 26 September 1944.

Ana M. Betancourt, niece of ENS George Joseph Baldini
CVE-29 Santee
NS0302935a
257k

"Tito" Puente, Sr. (1923–2000), born Ernesto Antonio Puente, Jr. "He went to boot camp in June of 1942 and joined [Santee] in August 1942 for the shake down prior to the Morocco Invasion and remained on the ship throughout the war."

"'Tito' was one of the ship's buglers and also a co-leader of the ships band."

"'Tito' was an acclaimed Latin music percussionist/arranger orchestra leader who formed his first big band following the war. He grew to becoming an icon in the field of Latin jazz with eight Grammy's to his credits, including television specials, movies, compositions and numerous awards."

(Quoted text courtesy of Josephine Powell.)

NS0302935b: USS Santee band ("Tito" kneeling). The officer with a saxo appears to be the famed "Sonny" Burke (Joseph Francis Burke), arranger and composer of Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and a host of luminaries; if you can identify him, please let us know.

Photos courtesy of Josephine Powell
CVE-29 Santee
NS0302935b
133k
CVE-29 Santee
NS0302935
113k Photo © Raul Rodriguez, Jr., licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License
CVE-29 Santee
NS0302916
74k

Shipmates lost due to enemy action.

Source: "History of USS Santee," by ENS Jaquelin S. Holliday, USNR.

Submitted by ABCS Walter E. Skeldon
Memorabilia
CVE-29 Santee
NS0302927
169k

"Solemn Mysteries of the Ancient Order of the Deep."
"Ancient and Sacred Order of the Golden Dragon."
"Royal Order of Purple Porpoises."

R.C. Boggess, USNR, enlisted as a CMM (Chief Machinist's Mate) July 2, 1942 and was honorably discharged as an AM/1c (Aviation Metalsmith 1st class) on October 1, 1945.

Robert Boggess, son of R.C. Boggess
Ex-USS Santee
CVE-29 Santee
NS0302905
71k In reserve, "Mothballs" at South Boston Naval Annex, (Left) 1959. © Richard Leonhardt
CVE-29 Santee
NS0302906
55k In reserve, "Mothballs" at South Boston Naval Annex, 1959. © Richard Leonhardt
CVE-29 Santee
NS0302907
59k In reserve, "Mothballs" at South Boston Naval Annex, 1959. © Richard Leonhardt

For more photos and information about this ship, see:

View the USS Santee (ACV-29 / CVE-29 / CVHE-29)
DANFS History entry located at the US Naval History & Heritage Command.

Crew Contact and Reunion Information
Contact: Mr. Richard H. Wilson
Address: 230 Martins Lane, Media, Pa. 19063
Phone:  
E-mail:  
Web site:  
Remarks:  
—  or  —
Contact: Mr. John Mitchell
Secretary, USS Santee Veterans Association
Address: P.O Box 15148, Anaheim, Calif 92803
Phone:  
E-mail:  
Web site:  
Remarks:  

Related Links
Hazegray & Underway World Aircraft Carrier Pages By Andrew Toppan.
Official U.S. Navy Carrier Website
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Last update: 7 February 2014