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NavSource Online: Escort Carrier Photo Archive

(later CVU-60)


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign: November - X-ray - Victor - Lima

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.

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: American Campaign Medal / European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal (3 stars) / World War II Victory Medal

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Astrolabe Bay

AVG-60 (later ACV-60, CVE-60 and CVU-60) was initially named Astrolabe Bay for a bay (NS0306022) between Astrolabe Peninsula and Boussole Head, in Glacier Bay, Alaska. It was named in 1883 by George Davidson, U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey (USC&GS), for L'Astrolabe (under Paul-Antoine Fleuriot, Vicomte de Langle), one of the two ships of the French scientific expedition under Jean-François de Galaup, comte de La Pérouse, which explored the region in 1786. Interestingly, the Geographic Dictionary of Alaska (1906) lists an Astrolabe Point but not an Astrolabe Bay. Anyway, the name Astrolabe Bay was assigned to ACV-60 on 22 January 1943.

Renamed Guadalcanal, 3 April 1943, to commemorate the recent successful conclusion of the arduous six-month campaign to wrest the island by that name from Japanese hands.

The Japanese invaded Tulagi in the Solomon Islands (3–4 May 1942), and subsequently occupied some of the neighboring islands including Guadalcanal, a volcanic island approximately 90 miles long and 25 miles wide (NS0306022a). When Allied planners learned in early July that the Japanese began building an airfield at Lunga Point on Guadalcanal, they grew concerned that enemy planes flying from the field could savage Allied ships supplying eastern Australia, and support further Japanese landings on the chain of islands stretching across the South Pacific. The Americans consequently resolved to deny the area to the enemy before they could turn it into a bastion and landed on Japanese-held Guadalcanal, Florida, Gavutu, Tanambogo, and Tulagi on 7 August 1942 during Operation Watchtower—the first U.S. land offensive of WWII.

The Americans cleared the other islands of the Japanese during fierce fighting, but the Japanese bitterly contested the landings on Guadalcanal. The fighting raged for months as the enemy poured reinforcements into the island to drive the Americans into the sea. However, despite horrific casualties, the Americans gradually won the battle of attrition and drove the enemy across Guadalcanal. The Japanese reluctantly decided to evacuate Guadalcanal, and their organized resistance on the island ended on 9 February 1943, following the final evacuation of their main forces. The Allied victory proved a costly one but rolled the Japanese back from threatening the maritime lifeline to Australia and thrusting at the South Pacific islands.

NS100302004: US Marine Corps LVT(1) amphibian tractors move toward the beach on Guadalcanal Island. This view was probably taken during the 7–9 August 1942 initial landings on Guadalcanal. USS President Hayes (AP-39) is in the background. Naval History & Heritage Command (NHHC) photo, # NH 97749.

(Maps courtesy of Google Maps.)

World War II
CVE-60 Guadalcanal

Guadalcanal was built by Kaiser Shipbuilding Co., Vancouver, Washington, and launched on Saturday, 5 June 1943. She was sponsored by Mrs. Alvin I. Malstrom.

Courtesy of the USS Guadalcanal Task Group 22.3 Association,
via Mike Green
CVE-60 Guadalcanal
CVE-60 Guadalcanal

Undated (but probably 1943) photo of a TBM-1C Avenger, part of Composite Squadron Forty-Two (VC-42), in flight over USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60) in the Pacific War Zone.

US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Photo No.1996.253.1429.

Mike Green
CVE-60 Guadalcanal

Composite Squadron (VC) 63 patch, Walt Disney design, Big Bad Wolf. VC-63 was aboard USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60), September–October 1943.

Tommy Trampp
CVE-60 Guadalcanal
212k USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60). EMC(SW) Brian Kroenung
CVE-60 Guadalcanal

USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60) passing through Panama Canal, canal lock Pacific side, 26 November 1943.

National Archives photo.

Courtesy of the
USS Guadalcanal - Task Group 22.3 - Association, via Mike Green
CVE-60 Guadalcanal

USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60) entering the Main Cut, Panama Canal, 26 November 1943, on her way to the Atlantic Ocean.

National Archives photo.

CVE-60 Guadalcanal

USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60) in Casablanca, French Morocco, for refueling, 28–30 March 1944.

National Archives photo.

Courtesy of the
USS Guadalcanal - Task Group 22.3 - Association, via Mike Green
CVE-60 Guadalcanal

USS Guadalcanal leaves Norfolk on her third ASW cruise, 15 May 1944.

"The Guadalcanal (CVE-60) operated in the Atlantic and, like other ships of the class assigned to antisubmarine escort duties, was equipped with a high-frequency direction-finding antenna on a pole mast forward of the island. She carried the standard class armament of a single 5-inch/38-caliber dual-purpose gun at the stern, eight twin 40-mm Bofors antiaircraft mounts paired on the gallery deck at the four corners of the flight deck, and 20 single 20-mm Oerlikons spaced along the gallery deck. Six Avengers and eight Wildcats are on deck in this May 1944 view."

(Quoted text from the April 2007 issue of Naval History Magazine, US Naval Institute, via Joe Radigan.)

CVE-60 Guadalcanal

Gale and hurricane weather, 17 October 1944. Seas were exceedingly high in the morning and increased to mountainous in the afternoon. The winds averaged 48 knots, but as high as 70 knots were recorded. Barometer lowest reading was 28.61. The Guadalcanal rolled and pitched constantly, steering was difficult, engines were used to help steer the course.

Source: National Archive Photo; Courtesy of Task Group 22.3 Association.

Courtesy of the
USS Guadalcanal - Task Group 22.3 - Association, via Mike Green
Capture of U-505, June 4, 1944
CVE-60 Guadalcanal
37k Small image of USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60) with captured German submarine U-505 alongside, off the coast of Africa, June 4, 1944. USN
CVE-60 Guadalcanal

"Gallery's hunters bring one back alive."

Reprint of an original painting from the Librascope collection depicting the boarding of U-505.

Robert Hurst
CVE-60 Guadalcanal

"Part III, The Capture" and "Conclusion" as reported by CAPT D. V. Gallery.

Naval History & Heritage Command
CVE-60 Guadalcanal

USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60) conducting flight operations while towing U-505 on 4 June 1944. The captured submarine was being towed toward Bermuda until the fleet tug USS Abnaki (ATF-96) rendezvoused with the task group and took over towing duties. The group arrived in Bermuda 19 June 1944.

Source: United States National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), photo No. unknown.

Mike Green
CVE-60 Guadalcanal

A TBM Avenger recovering aboard USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60), while she was towing U-505 on 4 June 1944. The escort carrier kept up flight operations for days while the captured submarine was being towed toward Bermuda until the fleet tug USS Abnaki (ATF-96) rendezvoused with the task group and took over towing duties. The group arrived in Bermuda 19 June 1944.

Source: United States National Archives and Records Administration, photo No. 80-G-49174.

Mike Green
CVE-60 Guadalcanal

Photo taken just prior to taking the captured U-505 in tow. Note ship's boat alongside U-505.

National Archives photo # 80-G-49170.

CVE-60 Guadalcanal

Captain Daniel V. Gallery, Jr., USN (left) and Lieutenant Junior Grade Albert L. David, USN photographed aboard USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60) in June 1944. On 4 June 1944 LT(JG) David led the boarding party that took control of the German submarine U-505 after it was forced to surface by Guadalcanal's task force. This capture of an enemy warship on the high seas was the first by the U.S. Navy since 1815. Albert David, who died on 17 September 1945, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his leadership and bravery during this action.

USS Gallery (FFG-26) was named after RADM Daniel Vincent Gallery and his brothers, RADM William Onahan Gallery and RADM Philip Daly Gallery. USS Albert David (DE-1050, later FF-1050) was named after LT Albert Leroy David.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (# 80-G-49177).

Naval History & Heritage Command
CVE-60 Guadalcanal

Halftone reproduction of a photograph taken soon after U-505's capture (4 June 1944), copied from the "USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60) Memory Log, " page 28.

U.S. Naval Officers shown on the submarine's conning tower are, from left to right: Commander Earl Trosino, USNR; Captain Daniel V. Gallery, Jr., USN, Commanding Officer, USS Guadalcanal; and Lieutenant Junior Grade Albert L. David, USN, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for leading the boarding party that captured the submarine and carried out initial salvage operations.

Note the United States flag flying above the German Navy ensign. U-505 was the first enemy warship captured on the high seas by the U.S. Navy since 1815.

Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation, Washington, DC.

Naval History & Heritage Command photo (# NH 105857).

Naval History & Heritage Command
CVE-60 Guadalcanal

USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60) photographed from a ZP-24 blimp while steaming off Hampton Roads, Virginia on 28 September 1944. Her reported position was 36-56N, 74-50W, course 095. Planes parked on her flight deck include twelve TBM/TBF Avenger torpedo bombers and nine FM/F4F Wildcat fighters. Guadalcanal is painted in what appears to be a modified version of Camouflage Measure 32, Design 4A.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command (# NH 106567).

Naval History & Heritage Command
CVE-60 Guadalcanal
165k Another nice aerial view of USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60) underway, circa 1944. EMC(SW) Brian Kroenung
CVE-60 Guadalcanal

USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60) photo # 846, 11 October 1944, 2,600th landing, Composite Squadron 69 (VC-69).

Harold Ryan
CVE-60 Guadalcanal

Composite Squadron (VC) 69 officers, USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60), November 1, 1944.

(Larger images available on request.)

Harold Ryan
CVE-60 Guadalcanal
CVE-60 Guadalcanal

Image from the USS Guadalcanal Memory Log (Cruise Book.) Taken at Mayport, Fla., 20 April 1945.

EMC(SW) Brian Kroenung
CVE-60 Guadalcanal

Clearer copy of photo above. Guadalcanal is painted in Measure 32 Design 4A camouflage scheme.

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) photo, # 80-G-383899.

Courtesy of C. Lee Johnson,,
via Mike Green
CVE-60 Guadalcanal

Commander Joy Bright Hancock, USNR, is met by Captain B.C. McCaffree, USN, Commanding Officer, USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60), as she comes aboard his ship, 19 July 1945.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (# 80-G-383994).

Joy Bright was born in Wildwood, New Jersey, on 4 May 1898. During World War I, after attending business school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she enlisted in the Navy as a Yeoman (F), serving at Camden, New Jersey and at the Naval Air Station, Cape May. Following the war, she married Lieutenant Charles Gray Little, who was killed in the crash of the airship ZR-2 in 1921. A year later, she obtained employment with the Bureau of Aeronautics, where her duties included editing the Bureau's "News Letter," which later evolved into the magazine "Naval Aviation News." In 1924, she left the Bureau to marry Lieutenant Commander Lewis Hancock, Jr., who lost his life when USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) crashed in September 1925—subsequently, she sponsored USS Lewis Hancock (DD-675), named after her late husband.

Joy Bright Hancock returned to the Bureau after attending Foreign Service School and obtaining a private pilot's license. For more than a decade before World War II and into the first year of that conflict, she was responsible for the Bureau's public affairs activities. In October 1942, she was commissioned a Lieutenant in the new Women's Reserve (WAVES). She initially served as WAVES representative in the Bureau of Aeronautics and later in a similar position for the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Air), rising to the rank of Commander by the end of the War.

In February 1946, Commander Hancock became the Assistant Director (Plans) of the Women's Reserve and was promoted to WAVES' Director, with the rank of Captain, in July of that year. She guided the WAVES through the difficult years of Naval contraction in the later 1940s and the expansion of the early 1950s, a period that also saw the Navy's women achieve status as part of the Regular Navy. Captain Hancock retired from active duty in June 1953. The next year, she married Vice Admiral Ralph A. Ofstie and accompanied him on his 1955–56 tour as Commander, Sixth Fleet. Following her husband's death in late 1956, she lived in the Washington, D.C., area and in the Virgin Islands. She died on 20 August 1986.

CVE-60 Guadalcanal

This 8-foot (2.44 meters) model of USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60) was donated to the Intrepid Museum in NYC and will go on display in 2008.

Tom Dunham
Ex-USS Guadalcanal
CVE-60 Guadalcanal

Stern view of ex-USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60) in mothballs, February 1950. The ship was part of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet and was moored at Bayonne, New Jersey.

LIFE Magazine Archives, Herbert Gehr photographer, shared by Peter DeForest (for educational and non-commercial use only).

Mike Green
CVE-60 Guadalcanal

"Ex-Navy Carriers [Guadalcanal and Mission Bay] May Go To Japan for Breaking Up."

Ron Reeves
CVE-59 Mission Bay

Stripped and powerless, the veteran WWII escort carriers Guadalcanal and Mission Bay take a last voyage to a Japanese scrapyard under the charge of the Dutch tug Elbe.

EMC(SW) Brian Kroenung

For more photos and information about this ship, see:

Read the
USS GUADALCANAL (CVE-60 / CVU-60) DANFS History entry

Crew Contact and Reunion Information
Web site:

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: 13 October 2018