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NavSource Online: Escort Carrier Photo Archive

USS MANILA BAY   (CVE-61)
(later CVU-61)

(Ex-BUCARELI BAY)


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


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.

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.

FATE
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.


Click On Image 
For Full Size Image
Size Image Description Contributed
By And/Or Copyright
CVE-61 Manila Bay
NS0306101
90k Good detail image. -
CVE-61 Manila Bay
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USS Manila Bay (CVE-61) underway whilst operating as an attack carrier in the Pacific, circa 1944.

Robert Hurst
CVE-61 Manila Bay
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Uncropped copy of photo above.

Patrick Long, STG1, USN, RET
grandson of Robert Palmer (USS Manila Bay)
CVE-61 Manila Bay
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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
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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
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112k

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
NS0306102b
113k

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. Photos National Archives and Records Administration.

Photos and text from Fire From The Sky, by Robert C. Stern.

Robert Hurst
CVE-61 Manila Bay
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CVE-61 Manila Bay
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January 5, 1945. Image of Manila Bay, taken just moments after she was crashed by a Kamikaze at the base of her island.

Patrick Long, STG1, USN, RET
grandson of Robert Palmer (USS Manila Bay)
CVE-61 Manila Bay
NS0306102a
75k

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

Gerd Matthes, Germany
CVE-61 Manila Bay
NS0306103
118k

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
CVE-61 Manila Bay
NS0306107
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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
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2.22M
CVE-61 Manila Bay
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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
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CVE-61 Manila Bay
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CVE-61 Manila Bay
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NS0306104
136k Post card from a relative. Manila Bay is shown in Measure 32, Design 12A camouflage. © Jon Stacy
CVE-61 Manila Bay
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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)

USS MANILA BAY CVE-61 History
View This Vessels DANFS History Entry
(Located On The Hazegray & Underway Web Site, This Is The Main Archive For The DANFS Online Project.)

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: 23 February 2013