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NavSource Online: Escort Carrier Photo Archive

(later CVU-61)


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign: November - Kilo - Victor - Kilo

Unit Awards, Campaign and Service Medals and Ribbons


Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Navy Unit Commendation
2nd Row: American Campaign Medal / Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (8 stars) / World War II Victory Medal
3rd Row: Navy Occupation Service Medal ("Asia" clasp) / Philippine Presidential Unit Citation / Philippine Liberation Medal (2 stars)

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.

Operational and Building Data

 Laid down as BUCARELI BAY (ACV-61) under Maritime Commission contract by Kaiser Co., Inc., Vancouver, Wash., 15 January 1943; renamed MANILA BAY 3 April 1943; launched 10 July 1943 reclassified CVE-61 on 15 July 1943 acquired by the Navy 5 October 1943; and commissioned the same day at Astoria, Oreg.

decommissioned there 31 July 1946, and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.  She was reclassified CVU-61 on 12 June 1955; her name was struck from the Navy list 27 May 1958; and she was sold for scrap to Hugo New Corp., 2 September 1959.

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Bucareli Bay

ACV-61 was initially named Bucareli Bay for a water passage between Baker and Suemez Islands, Alexander Archipelago, Alaska (NS0306115a). The name has had several variants: Buccarelli Bay, Buccarelli Gulf, Bukarel Bay, Gavan Bukareli, Port Bukarelli, Puerto del Baylio Bucareli, Puerto y Entrada de Bucareli. The latter (meaning "Port and Entrance of Bucareli") was the original name given on 24 August 1775 by Lieutenant Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra, of the Spanish schooner Sonora (officially, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe), in honor of Don Antonio María Bucareli y Ursúa, Viceroy of Nueva España (Mexico).

Renamed Manila Bay for a large inlet of the South China Sea along the western coast of Luzon, Philippine Islands (NS0306115). The bay was the scene of an American naval victory during the Spanish-American War, on 1 May 1898.

(Maps courtesy of Google Maps.)

CVE-61 Manila Bay
CVE-61 Manila Bay

"The Battle of Manila." Contemporary halftone print after an artwork by W.G. Wood, originally reproduced by courtesy of F.A. Munsey. It depicts the Spanish ships at left (l-r): Isla de Cuba, Isla de Luzón and Reina Cristina. The Cavite batteries are in the center distance. At right are (l-r): USS Boston, USS Baltimore, USS Raleigh, USS Olympia and USS Concord.

Naval History & Heritage Command photo, # NH 1256.

Robert Hurst
World War II
CVE-61 Manila Bay

Manila Bay (CVE-61) sliding down the ways at the Kaiser Vancouver, WA, yard, Saturday, 10 July 1943.

National Archives photo # 80-G-372761.

Courtesy of the National Museum of the U.S. Navy, via Michael Mohl
CVE-61 Manila Bay
90k Good detail image. -
CVE-61 Manila Bay

USS Manila Bay (CVE-61) underway whilst operating as an attack carrier in the Pacific, circa 1944.

Robert Hurst
CVE-61 Manila Bay

Uncropped copy of photo above.

Patrick Long, STG1, USN, RET
grandson of Robert Palmer (USS Manila Bay)
CVE-61 Manila Bay

Escort carriers practicing division formation and maneuver exercises, in Hawaiian waters, 13 January 1944. As seen from USS Manila Bay (CVE-61), ships astern are: Coral Sea (CVE-57), Corregidor (CVE-58), Natoma Bay (CVE-62), and Nassau (CVE-16). These carriers all served in the Marshalls Operation a few weeks later.

Source: United States National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), photo No. 80-G-214849.

Mike Green
CVE-61 Manila Bay

Task Force 31.6 off New Ireland to Emirau Island in Bismark Arch. Photographed by a plane from USS Manila Bay (CVE-61), on 29 March 1944.

Official US Navy photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), photo No. 80-G-227943.

CVE-61 Manila Bay

Part of Task Force 77 enroute to Aitape, New Guinea, for invasion. Photographed by a plane from USS Manila Bay (CVE-61), 21 April 1944.

Official US Navy photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), photo No. 80-G-227952.

CVE-61 Manila Bay

USS Manila Bay (CVE-61) came under enemy air attack on June 23, 1944 east of Saipan. Two fighter-bombers attacked her from dead ahead, dropping four bombs which missed their target — note bombs splashing wide to port. Manila Bay was transporting 37 Army P-47 Thunderbolts from 73rd Fighter Squadron, 318th Fighter Group and, as a precautionary and rather unusual move which Admiral Spruance later characterized as "commendable initiative," four of them were launched to fly protective CAP until radar screens were clear of contacts. The Army fighters then flew to Saipan, their intended destination.

National Archives
CVE-61 Manila Bay

USS Manila Bay (CVE-61) en route from San Diego to Pearl Harbor, 24–31 August 1944, with 14 PBJ-1D Mitchells from Marine Bombing Squadron (VMB) 611 and three JM-1 Marauders. Manila Bay is camouflaged in Measure 32, Design 12A.

Patrick Long, STG1, USN, RET
grandson of Robert Palmer (USS Manila Bay)
CVE-61 Manila Bay

This is a copy of the photo used for the Christmas card, below. Robert Palmer noted that the photo was taken in Pearl Harbor; if this is correct, then it would have been taken sometime in the first half of September 1944.

Inset photo shows Captain, later Vice Admiral, Fitzghugh Lee, the ship's second commanding officer.

(Digitally cleaned by Wolfgang Hechler.)

Patrick Long, STG1, USN, RET
grandson of Robert Palmer (USS Manila Bay)
CVE-61 Manila Bay

Ensign Ray Crandell, TBM Pilot of VC-80, and his air crewman who were brought back on board USS Manila Bay (CVE-61) by U.S. Navy PT Boat PT-523 after they were shot down over Leyte Island beachhead, Philippines, 22 October 1944.

National Archives & Records Administration (NARA) photo (# 80-G-372893).

CVE-61 Manila Bay

One of two oncoming Mitsubishi A6M5 Navy Type 0 Fighter Model 52, Zekes, that dove on Manila Bay (CVE-61) on 5 January [1945]. The second aircraft missed, but the first, seen here as caught by a very brave photographer, appears to be bearing down right on his location, which was most likely at the after end of the escort carrier's small island.

NS0306102b: National Archives and Records Administration photo (# 80-G-273176).

NS0306102c: National Archives and Records Administration photo (# 80-G-273177).

Text from Fire From The Sky, by Robert C. Stern.

Robert Hurst
CVE-61 Manila Bay
CVE-61 Manila Bay

Image of Manila Bay, taken just moments after she was crashed by a Kamikaze at the base of her island, 5 January 1945.

Patrick Long, STG1, USN, RET
grandson of Robert Palmer (USS Manila Bay)
CVE-61 Manila Bay

USS Manila Bay (CVE-61) burns after being hit by a Kamikaze on 5 January 1945.

Gerd Matthes, Germany
CVE-61 Manila Bay

Crew combating fire after Japanese kamikaze crashed into the ship's flight deck at Luzon, South China Sea, during operations in support of the invasion of Luzon. Photograph by USS Manila Bay (CVE-61), released 5 January 1945.

Official U.S. Navy photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), # 80-G-273184.

CVE-61 Manila Bay

As seen from USS West Virginia (BB-48), Manila Bay is shown burning after Kamikaze hit on January 5, 1945.

Gene Chapman recalls:

The kamikaze "came in low like a bucking bronco on the starboard side and just before hitting us pulled up and it appeared to me he was afraid to hit the ship; he pulled straight up and flipped back and hit our catapult and destroyed it completely. After we got hit there were electrical fires and the ship was listing. I knew there was a pilots life raft hanging on a rope on the fantail. I took my knife [and] cut the rope. The men were in panic. I pulled the CO2 and blew up the life raft and was placing it over the side. An officer pulled a gun on me and threatened to shoot me. If the ship had started to sink he would just have had to shoot. I think he wanted the raft for the officers. [] One man was charred from the hit and blown over the side. Our men were about to shoot him thinking he was a Jap. The last thing he could remember was he raised his hand and screamed "God/dmn it. I'm an American." He was brought aboard and was badly burned."

"The ship's crew worked all night installing new planking. Our very BRAVE pilots took off with NO catapult carrying a FULL BOMB LOAD. When the plane left the flight deck the plane tails dropped to the water throwing a rooster tail for quite some distance. By the time the plane got to the horizon (approximately 10 miles) they were no much more than the height of a home off the water. I was on the flight deck as these things took place. I was a plane captain and had my own plane to care for."

From Fire From The Sky, by Robert C. Stern, submitted by Robert Hurst:

"The Zeke exploded in the hangar, but the fire mains remained intact and the crew was able to contain the resulting fire to two aircraft parked there. That was fortunate, as [this photo] shows, her greatest luck was that the Zeke did not hit further aft, where a deck park of fueled and armed Avengers and Wildcats were waiting to be launched."

Robert Hurst
The Crew
CVE-61 Manila Bay

Crew of USS Manila Bay (CVE-61).

Dan Wharton, son of Carroll C. Wharton, USS Manila Bay
CVE-61 Manila Bay

Patrick Long explains: "[These] are also from Grandpa's scrap book. Both files were scanned at high resolution to be able to make out faces. Because I can identify my grandfather in both pictures, and he was a Water Tender (WT), my guess is that these are pictures of Engineering Personnel (a decent guess considering the rating badges, too)."

NS0306107: "Robert Palmer is located front row, center."

NS0306107a: "Robert Palmer is located front row, #7 from left."

Patrick Long, STG1, USN, RET
grandson of Robert Palmer (USS Manila Bay)
CVE-61 Manila Bay
CVE-61 Manila Bay

Photos from the collection of Fred Macneil. He was aboard USS Manila Bay (CVE-61) during the 5 January 1945 kamikaze attack.

Poppy Meadows Miller,
granddaughter of Fred Macneil (USS Manila Bay)
CVE-61 Manila Bay
CVE-61 Manila Bay
CVE-61 Manila Bay
CVE-61 Manila Bay
CVE-61 Manila Bay

USS Manila Bay (CVE-61). Apparently, this photo was taken on the same date as photo NS0306111a, above.

Dan Wharton, son of Carroll C. Wharton, USS Manila Bay
CVE-61 Manila Bay

USS Manila Bay (CVE-61), crossing the Equator, date unknown.

Dan Wharton, son of Carroll C. Wharton, USS Manila Bay
CVE-61 Manila Bay

Written on the back of the photo: "KenBLewis Givin IA Leo Williams Los Ang CA."

Dan Wharton, son of Carroll C. Wharton, USS Manila Bay
CVE-61 Manila Bay

Men in the photo identified as:

(1) Madden C. MM1/c
(2) Lowe RT3/c
(3) Hochoday CSK
(4) Cattier RA GM2/c
(5) Sherman GM3/c.
In memory of Charles Howard Sherman, USS Manila Bay (CVE‑61)

136k Post card from a relative. Manila Bay is shown in Measure 32, Design 12A camouflage. © Jon Stacy
CVE-61 Manila Bay

USS Manila Bay (CVE-61). Although "personalized" for each ship, this is in fact a generic image of the Casablanca-class CVEs.

Patrick Long, STG1, USN, RET
grandson of Robert Palmer (USS Manila Bay)

For more photos and information about this ship, see:

Read the
USS MANILA BAY (CVE-61 / CVU-61) DANFS History entry

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Name: Mr. Elwood S McClintic
Address:4837 Frostburg Ln Virginia Beach, VA, 23455-5305
Phone: 757-497-2792
E-mail: None

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

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Last update: 10 June 2019