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NavSource Online: Escort Carrier Photo Archive

USS GAMBIER BAY   (CVE-73)



Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign: November - Kilo - Whiskey - Uniform

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.

Casablanca Class Escort Carrier
Awarded Laid down Launched Commissioned Decommissioned Stricken
18 Jun 1942 10 Jul 1943 22 Nov 1943 28 Dec 1943   27 Nov 1944
Builder: Kaiser Shipbuilding Co., Vancouver, Wash.

Fate: Sunk by gunfire of Japanese surface warships off Samar, Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 25, 1944.

USS Gambier Bay and the other ships and aircraft of "Taffy 3," aided by planes of "Taffy 2," gallantly fought and stopped the powerful Japanese Center Force, and inflicted significant losses on the enemy. However, Gambier Bay was heavily damaged in this action; she capsized at 0907 and sank four minutes later. Nearly 800 survivors were rescued by Task Group 78.12.

More than 130 of her crew were lost with the ship and remain on active duty.


Click On Image 
For Full Size Image
Size Image Description Contributed
By And/Or Copyright
CVE-73 Gambier Bay
NS0307301
15k (Poor quality) Undated, as completed. USN
CVE-73 Gambier Bay
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76k Underway, good image showing AA armament. USN
CVE-73 Gambier Bay
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106k

USS Gambier Bay (CVE-73) in port, April 1944. The ship is painted in Camouflage Measure 32, Design 15A.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph (#NH 79408).

Naval History & Heritage Command, via Robert Hurst
CVE-63 Midway
NS0307311
36k Bridge of USS Gambier Bay (CVE-73), 23 July 1944, showing CAPT Hugh H. Goodwin pointing to Jap flags designating enemy aircraft shot down in a recent [17–18 June] air attack in central Pacific area. Photo # CVE 73-359. National Archives photo # 80-G-243853 (thanks to Tracy White, Researcher @ Large, for the identification). USS Saint Lo Association
CVE-73 Gambier Bay
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94k

Ensign Darrell C. Bennett, A-V(N), USNR, stands beside his plane, a General Motors FM-2 Wildcat fighter, on board USS Gambier Bay (CVE-73), 1 August 1944. Note pinup art and nickname "Smokey's Lucky Witch" adorning the engine cowling; what appears to be a Composite Squadron Ten (VC-10) insignia below the cockpit windshield; plane numbers ("27") in white on the wing leading edge and in black under the lip of the cowling; and Ensign's Bennett's flight gear and .45 caliber M1911A1 pistol carried in a shoulder holster.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (# 80-G-243864).

Doug Bennett comments: "Ensign Darrell C. Bennett had an older brother stationed on the St. Lo. Both were stationed on their ships when they sank AND both are still alive [as of May 2009]! They are my uncles."

NHC
Battle off Samar, October 25, 1944
CVE-73 Gambier Bay
NS0307305
20k Straddled by gunfire. Haze Gray & Underway
CVE-73 Gambier Bay
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74k Gambier Bay burning and shells from Japanese surface forces splashing down beside her. (Circled ship is a Japanese heavy cruiser. This is one of the few photos showing both American and Japanese ships in the same image.) USN
CVE-73 Gambier Bay
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109k - Courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com
CVE-73 Gambier Bay
NS0307303b
223k - Courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com
CVE-73 Gambier Bay
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206k - Courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com
CVE-73 Gambier Bay
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199k - Courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com
CVE-73 Gambier Bay
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111k

USS Gambier Bay (CVE-73) is seen on fire after being hit, viewed from on board her sister-ship USS Kitkun Bay (CVE-71). Photo courtesy of Conway Picture Library.

Photo and text from Conway's The War at Sea in Photographs, 1939–1945, by Stuart Robertson and Stephen Dent.

Robert Hurst
CVE-73 Gambier Bay
NS0307304
89k Another photo of Gambier Bay under Japanese fire during the Battle of Samar. The smudge in the upper right corner is another Japanese heavy cruiser. USN
CVE-73 Gambier Bay
NS0307306
33k Obscured by intense fire. Haze Gray & Underway
CVE-73 Gambier Bay
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60k

USS Gambier Bay (CVE-73) bracketed by Japanese gunfire during the Battle of Leyte Gulf (US National Archives photo from Nemesis: The Battle for Japan, 1944–45, by Max Hastings).

Robert Hurst
CVE-73 Gambier Bay
NS0307309
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144k

Letter from Captain Walter V.R. Vieweg, Commanding Officer, USS Gambier Bay (CVE-73), to the Commanding Officer and Crew of LCI(L)-337, thanking them for saving the lives of the survivors of the escort carrier, sunk by enemy gunfire on 25 October 1944.

Marc Levine

For more photos and information about this ship, see:

USS GAMBIER BAY CVE-73 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:  
Address:  
Phone:  
E-mail:  
Web site: USS Gambier Bay / VC-10 Association
Remarks:  

Related Links
Hazegray & Underway World Aircraft Carrier Pages by Andrew Toppan
Official U.S. Navy Carrier Website
Escort Carrier Sailors & Airmen Association
USS Gambier Bay (CVE-73) & Composite Squadron VC-10
USS Gambier Bay / VC-10 Association
Building the Gambier Bay in 1/72 Scale by Bill Waldorf

The Battle Off Samar - Taffy III at Leyte Gulf

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This page was created by Paul Yarnall and is maintained by Fabio Peña
All pages copyright NavSource Naval History

Last update: 23 August 2013