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NavSource Online: Escort Carrier Photo Archive

USS CASABLANCA   (ACV-55)
(later CVE-55)

(Ex-ALAZON BAY; Ex-AMEER)


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign: November - X-ray - Mike - Oscar

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 / World War II Victory Medal / Navy Occupation Service Medal ("Asia" clasp)

CLASS - CASABLANCA
Displacement 7,800 Tons, Dimensions, 512' 3" (oa) x 65' 2" x 22' 4" (Max)
Armament 1 x 5"/38AA 8 x 40mm, 12 x 20mm, 27 Aircraft.
Machinery, 9,000 IHP; 2 Skinner, Uniflow engines, 2 screws
Speed, 19 Knots, Crew 860.

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Size Image Description Contributed
By And/Or Copyright
Name
Alazon Bay
NS0309415
45k

Initially assigned for transfer to the Royal Navy, AVG-55 (later ACV-55 and CVE-55) was named Ameer, a transliteration of amir, the title given an Afghan ruler.

Retained by the U.S. Navy, she was renamed Alazon Bay, 22 or 23 January 1943, for the northeastern arm of Baffin Bay, which in turn is an estuary emptying into Laguna Madre, a sound paralleling the coast of Texas in the vicinity of Corpus Christi (NS0309415).

Renamed Casablanca, 3 April 1943, to commemorate the recent Allied landings in North Africa. A port of French Morocco (NS0305515), Casablanca was the major base for the American campaigns in North Africa during World War II.

NS015918: USS Massachusetts (BB-59). View looking forward from the battleship's after deck, during a lull in the Battle of Casablanca, 8 November 1942. Note 16"/45 guns of her after turret; 20mm gun at left with "Lead, Dammit, Lead" stenciled on its shield; FC & FD radar antennas atop her gun directors; two large National Ensigns flying from her masts. (Naval History & Heritage Command photo # NH 84534.)

(Maps courtesy of Google Maps).

NavSource
Casablanca
NS0305515
98k
Casablanca
NS015918
84k
Construction
ACV-55 Casablanca
NS0305507
367k

"VANCOUVER, WASH.—KAISER'S FIRST CARRIER—Shipbuilder Henry J. Kaiser's first aircraft carrier, the Alazon Bay, which will be christened by Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt at the launching of the ship here April 5."

A.P. Wirephoto, from The Evening Star, Washington, 31 March 1943.

Ron Reeves
CVE-55 Casablanca
NS0305504
8k

Alazon Bay, formerly Ameer, later Casablanca, was sponsored by Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt.

(From "Bo's'n's Whistle," Vol. 4, No. 9; April 7, 1944; page 4.)

Courtesy of Ron Gough,
Bea Dee, Ltd.,
Kaiser Vancouver / Swan Island & Oregon Shipyards website
CVE-55 Casablanca
NS0305504d
140k

Alazon Bay, renamed Casablanca just two days prior to launching, at right, about to be launched at Henry J. Kaiser's shipyard, Vancouver, Washington, on 5 April 1943. Two unidentified ships of her 49 sisters are under construction at left.

Courtesy of Mr. James Russell, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1972.

Naval History & Heritage Command photo (# NH 75634).

Mike Green
CVE-55 Casablanca
NS0305504a
109k

Alazon Bay, formerly Ameer, later Casablanca, was launched on Monday, 5 April 1943.

Photo from Navy Yearbook, ed. by Phillip Andrews and Leonard Engel; Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1944.

Derick S. Hartshorn
CVE-55 Casablanca
NS0305504b
14.9M

"Launching of the—U.S.S. Alazon Bay [later Casablanca]—April 5, 1943—Kaiser Company, Inc. Vancouver, Washington"

Ron Reeves
CVE-55 Casablanca
NS0305504c
83k

"USS Casablanca. Built by Kaiser Co. Inc., Vancouver"

Ron Reeves
USS Casablanca (ACV-55 / CVE-55)
CVE-55 Casablanca
NS0305502
140k

USS Casablanca (ACV-55) in the Puget Sound, Washington area circa July 1943, at about the time she was commissioned. Note that radar antennas have been deleted from this photo due to wartime censorship. The photo was released for publication on 30 November 1943.

Also known as the "Kaiser" carriers for their builder, (Henry J.) Kaiser Shipbuilding Co., the Casablanca-class formed the bulk of the wartime CVE force.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command (# NH 106580).

Naval History & Heritage Command, via Robert Hurst.

Larger copy submitted by Steve Benoist, grandson of Emile Charles Benoist.
CVE-55 Casablanca
NS0305503
58k

USS Casablanca underway circa 1943, location unknown.

Robert Hurst
CVE-55 Casablanca
NS0305510
28k

A Navy blimp escorts USS Casablanca (CVE-55), 8 August 1943.

Photo by CPhoM C.W. Overhulser.

Tommy Trampp
Larger copy submitted by Ron Reeves
CVE-55 Casablanca
NS0305505
84k

USS Casablanca (CVE-55) camouflaged in Measure 32, Design 12A, circa 1944, location unknown. US Navy photo.

David Buell
CVE-55 Casablanca
NS0305516
741k

Starboard side view of the escort carrier USS Casablanca (CVE-55), 15 August 1944, taken by Naval Air Station, Astoria. The camouflage pattern is Measure 32 Design 12A. The colors are dull black, ocean gray and light gray.

United States National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Photo No. 80-G-245595.

Courtesy of C. Lee Johnson, usndazzle.com,
via Mike Green
CVE-55 Casablanca
NS0305516a
752k

Port side view of USS Casablanca (CVE-55), 15 August 1944, in camouflage 32/12A.

United States National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Photo No. 80-G-245596.

CVE-55 Casablanca
NS0305516b
518k

Bow view of USS Casablanca (CVE-55), 15 August 1944, Astoria, Oregon, in camouflage 32/12A.

United States National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Photo No. 80-G-245593.

CVE-55 Casablanca
NS0305516c
543k

Stern view of USS Casablanca (CVE-55), 15 August 1944, Astoria, Oregon, in camouflage 32/12A.

United States National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Photo No. 80-G-245594.

CVE-55 Casablanca
NS0305514
119k

Not an everyday sight: an F4U Corsair aboard USS Casablanca (CVE-55), date (1944–45?) and location unknown. Photo from the collection of Arthur Kotter, who served aboard Casablanca.

John Burton, grandson of Arthur Kotter
CVE-55 Casablanca
NS0305508
918k

USS Casablanca (CVE-55), first of her class and the first escort carrier designed and built as such, at sea on 2 March 1945, in Measure 32 Design 12A camouflage. Photo taken by squadron ZP-33. The ship was placed in commission at Astoria, Ore., 8 July 1943, CAPT S.W. Callaway commanding, and was sold for scrap 23 April 1947. National Archives and Records Administration photo, # 80-G-320296.

Courtesy of C. Lee Johnson, via Mike Green
CVE-55 Casablanca
NS0305509
143k

Liberty party returns to USS Casablanca (CVE-55) from Rara Islet (aka Rara Island), Manus, Papua, New Guinea, 19 April 1945. Photo by PhoM1/c R.W. Mowday.

Gerd Matthes, Germany
Sharper image submitted by Richard Miller, BMCS, USNR (Ret.)
CVE-55 Casablanca
NS0305513
198k

A deckload of U.S. Army Air Force Republic P-47N Thunderbolt fighters on the flight deck of USS Casablanca (CVE-55), 16 July 1945. The planes were loaded at Naval Air Station Alameda, California (USA) and were bound for Guam.

Photo by PhoM3c. D.C. Diers, USN. NARA photo (# 80-CASA-706).

National Archives
CVE-55 Casablanca
NS0305512
152k

Some crew members holding up a paper with the headlines "Japs Quit!".

Pamela Gray, daughter of John F. O'Neill, USS Casablanca
CVE-55 Casablanca
NS0305506
52k

USS Casablanca (CVE-55) underway in October 1945, location unknown. Note that she is fitted with SC-2 radar (USN).

Robert Hurst
CVE-55 Casablanca
NS0305501
136k

Believed to have been taken circa 1946-1947.

Ivor Jefferys
Memorabilia
CVE-55 Casablanca
NS0305511
166k

Shellback Certificate for ENS A.R. Marschall, USN. September 2, 1944.

Signed by the ship's commanding officer, CAPT Steven W. Callaway.

CDR Michael Cosgrove (Ret.),
nephew of RADM Albert R. Marschall
CVE-55 Casablanca
NS0305511a
256k

For more photos and information about this ship, see:

Read the
USS CASABLANCA (ACV-55 / CVE-55) DANFS History entry

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Name: Mr. Milton H Rowe
Address:214 Deerfield Rd Camp Hill, PA, 17011-8435
Phone: 717-761-8526
E-mail: None

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

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This page was created by Paul Yarnall and is maintained by Fabio Peña
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Last update: 15 December 2018