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NavSource Online: Escort Carrier Photo Archive


Unit Awards, Campaign and Service Medals and Ribbons

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

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.

Fate: Torpedoed and sunk by Japanese submarine I-175, 24 November 1943, off Makin Island, in the Gilberts.

Six hundred and forty-six men were lost with the ship and remain on active duty.

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Liscome Bay

ACV-56 (later CVE-56) was named Liscome Bay for an estuary on the south coast of Dall Island, Alexander Archipelago, Alaska (NS0305610). The bay was named in 1792 by Joseph Ingraham, master of the brig Hope, of Boston.

(Map courtesy of

The Ship
CVE-56 Liscome Bay

USS Liscome Bay (CVE-56) moored at Naval Station Astoria, Oregon, in September 1943, one month after being commissioned.

Source: Naval History and Heritage Command, Photo No. unknown.

Mike Green
CVE-56 Liscome Bay

Underway, 20 September 1943, with a load of SBD Dauntlesses, TBF Avengers and F4F Wildcats.

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) photo, # 80-G-82901.

Robert Hurst
Larger copy courtesy of NARA
CVE-56 Liscome Bay

USS Liscome Bay (CVE-56) damage diagram and survivor exit paths from torpedo explosion on 24 November 1943 off the Gilbert Islands.

Source: Navy Department Library, USS Liscome Bay (CVE-56) Loss in Action War Damage Report No. 45.

Mike Green
CVE-56 Liscome Bay
CVE-56 Liscome Bay
The Crew
CVE-56 Liscome Bay

Rear Admiral Henry Maston Mullinnix was born on 4 July 1892 in Spencer, Ind., and graduated first in his Naval Academy Class of 1916. He served in Balch (Destroyer #50), engaged in patrol and escort duty off Ireland during World War I. Following service in Gridley (DD-92) and Brooks (DD-232), he completed work in aeronautical engineering at Annapolis and MIT, receiving an M.S. degree in 1923.

After flight training at Pensacola, Fla., he was designated naval aviator on 11 January 1924. He was one of those mainly responsible for developing the air-cooled engine for naval aircraft. Between 1924 and 1941, besides various shore duties, he served in Saratoga (CV-3, as assembly & repair officer; assistant air officer; and commanding officer of her bombing squadron, VB-2B), Wright (AV-1), and was the first commanding officer of Albemarle (AV-5). Mullinnix commanded Saratoga from 7 April 1943, until 22 August, when he was transferred to duty with a carrier division, with the rank of rear admiral. Rear Admiral Mullinnix was ComCarDiv 24, on board Liscome Bay, when she was torpedoed and sunk off Makin Island, in the Gilberts, 24 November 1943. He was reported as "Missing In Action" and declared dead one year later. Henry M. Mullinnix was posthumously awarded the Legion of Merit in recognition of his "outstanding initiative and superior executive ability."

Destroyer USS Mullinnix (DD-944) was named after him.

CAPT Wiltsie

Captain Irving D. Wiltsie, CO, USS Liscome Bay (CVE-56), MIA.

Navy Cross citation: "The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Irving D. Wiltsie, Captain, U.S. Navy, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the Escort Carrier U.S.S. LISCOME BAY (CVE-56), during operations at Makin Island in the Gilbert Islands on 24 November 1943. Captain Wiltsie's ship was struck by a Japanese torpedo in the predawn darkness, igniting fires among bombs and ammunition. Fed by aviation gasoline, the flames spread rapidly, and the carrier rocked with explosions. Captain Wiltsie immediately left the bridge and proceeded along the starboard gallery deck level to ascertain the damage to his ship, as communications had been severed early-on. Despite the tremendous structural damage and raging fires, the captain bravely headed aft to determine the full extent of the damage. Damage control efforts failed, however, and the carrier sank soon thereafter. The conduct of Captain Wiltsie throughout this action reflects great credit upon himself, and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country."

Destroyer USS Wiltsie (DD-716) was named after him.

Ed Zajkowski
CVE-56 Liscome Bay

Cook Third Class Doris ("Dorie") Miller, USN, was born in Waco, Texas, on 12 October 1919. He enlisted in the Navy in September 1939 as a Mess Attendant Third Class. On 7 December 1941, while serving aboard USS West Virginia (BB-48), he distinguished himself by courageous conduct and devotion to duty during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions on this occasion. (This Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives, #80-G-408456, shows Mess Attendant Second Class Miller just after being presented with the Navy Cross by Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, on board USS Enterprise (CV-6) at Pearl Harbor, 27 May 1942.)

Doris Miller served aboard USS Indianapolis (CA-35) from December 1941 to May 1943. He was then assigned to the new escort carrier Liscome Bay (CVE-56). Cook Third Class Miller was lost with that ship when she was torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-175 on 24 November 1943, during the invasion of the Gilbert Islands.

Destroyer escort, later frigate, USS Miller (DE-1091, later FF-1091) was named after him.

CVE-56 Liscome Bay

Two enlisted men of the ill-fated USS Liscome Bay (CVE-56), torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in the Gilbert Islands, are buried at sea from the deck of a Coast Guard-manned assault transport.

Tommy Trampp
CVE-56 Liscome Bay

Seaman Second Class Russell Gauthier, USNR, 18, who served aboard USS Liscome Bay (CVE-56), was reported missing in action on 24 November 1943, and declared dead twelve months later.

Brian C. Hirvela
CVE-56 Liscome Bay

"Overnight Guest," Colliers magazine, 2 September 1944. An article by Frank D. Morris about five Wildcat pilots from USS Liscome Bay (CVE-56) that got lost and had to recover aboard two Fast Carriers, just hours before Liscome Bay was sunk. LT Maurice E. Wells recovered aboard USS Lexington (CV-16) and his fellow pilots aboard USS Yorktown (CV-10).

David Bier
CVE-56 Liscome Bay

"SAN FRANCISCO.—SURVIVORS OF THE LISCOME BAYThis group of aviators who survived the sinking of the Liscome Bay are shown on their arrival here. They are (left to right, standing): Lt. Commodore [sic] A. Perry, Ensign D.B. Barrett, Baltimore; Ensign W.H. Davis, Denver, Colo.; Lt. G. Smith, Cazenovia, N.Y.; Ensign W.H. Youtz, Bierno, Wyo.; Lt. E.C. Gillen, Pomona, Calif., and Lt. Comdr. J.B. Rowe, Milford, Mich. Seated: Lt. J.G. Piegari, New York, and Ensigns Daniel Mack of Reynolds, Ill., and F. Sistrunk, New Orleans. — A.P. Wirephoto."

(Washington Evening [?] Star, Washington, D.C., Monday, 13 December 1943.)

Ron Reeves
CVE-56 Liscome Bay

Boatswain's Mate First Class A.F. Wigle, survivor from USS Liscome Bay (CVE-56), 24 November 1943. Photographed 5 January 1944. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), # 80-G-207669.


For more photos and information about this ship, see:

Read the
USS LISCOME BAY (CVE-56) DANFS History entry

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

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Related Links
Hazegray & Underway World Aircraft Carrier Pages By Andrew Toppan.
Official U.S. Navy Carrier Website
U.S.S. Liscome Bay (CVE56) Loss in Action, War Damage Report No. 45
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: 30 September 2018