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NavSource Online: Escort Carrier Photo Archive


USS Ommaney Bay (CVE-79)
Contributed by Tommy Trampp

Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign: November - Kilo - X-Ray - Mike

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 (3 stars)
2nd Row: World War II Victory Medal / Philippine Presidential Unit Citation / Philippine Liberation Medal (1 star)

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

Built by Kaiser Co., Inc., Vancouver, Wash. Keel laid 6 Oct 1943, launched 29 Dec 1943, commissioned 11 Feb 1944.

Fate: Hit by a kamikaze in the Sulu Sea, 4 Jan 1945, and finally torpedoed by USS Burns (DD-588).
93 of her crew, and 2 men on an assisting destroyer, were lost with the ship and remain on duty.

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CVE-79 Ommaney Bay

CVE-79 was named Ommaney Bay for a bay at the south tip of Baranof Island, at the southwest point of entrance to Chatham Strait, Alexander Archipelago, Alaska (NS0307910). The name is derived from Cape Ommaney, and was given by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey (USC&GS) in 1925.

(Map courtesy of Google Maps.)

CVE-79 Ommaney Bay

Ommaney Bay was sponsored by Mrs. P. K. Robottom, wife of Captain Robottom, USN, Commanding Officer of the Receiving Station, Puget Sound Naval Yard, Bremerton, Washington.

(From "Bo's'n's Whistle," Vol. 4, No. 2; January 28, 1944; pages 4 & 5.)

Courtesy of Ron Gough,
Bea Dee, Ltd.,
Kaiser Vancouver / Swan Island & Oregon Shipyards website
World War II
CVE-79 Ommaney Bay

USS Ommaney Bay (CVE-79) underway off Hawaii with lifts lowered, July 1944. Note additional width of after lift, enabling non-folding aircraft as the older F4F Wildcats to be brought up from and taken down to the hangar deck. She was camouflaged in Measure 33, Design 15A (USN photo.)

Original photo submitted by Robert Hurst.

Larger copy submitted by Elva Bumb, via her sister Dell Fortune
CVE-79 Ommaney Bay

USS Ommaney Bay (CVE-79) at Manus, Admiralty Islands, prior to entering floating drydock ABSD-2, 22 November 1944.

Official U.S. Navy photograph, from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command (#NH 106820-A). This image is cropped from the original print for photo #NH 106820.

Submitted by Russ Moody
Larger copy submitted by Robert Hurst
CVE-79 Ommaney Bay

Failed Kamikaze strike by a Yokosuka P1Y Frances on USS Ommaney Bay (CVE-79), at 0945 on 15 December 1944.

NS0307909: National Archives photo (# 80-G-270983).

NS0307909a: National Archives photo (# 80-G-270985).

NS0307909b: National Archives photo (# 80-G-270989).

Tracy White, Researcher @ Large
CVE-79 Ommaney Bay
CVE-79 Ommaney Bay
Loss of USS Ommaney Bay, 4 January 1945
CVE-79 Ommaney Bay
38k USS Ommaney Bay (CVE-79), right, is under attack as the trailing destroyer fires streams of shells in a battle in the Pacific on Jan 4, 1945. One enemy plane has been hit and is trailing smoke while others, unseen, dive on the carrier. Ommaney Bay was sunk. [300-065]. USN
CVE-79 Ommaney Bay

USS Ommaney Bay (CVE-79) about four minutes after being hit by suicide plane in Sulu Sea on 4 January 1945. She sank about an hour later. USS West Virginia (BB-48) in foreground.

Source: Antiaircraft Action Summary, Suicide Attacks, April 1945, United States Fleet, Headquarters of the Commander in Chief, COMINCH P-009

Mike Green
CVE-79 Ommaney Bay

The "Big O" was hit by a twin-engined Frances at 1712, January 4, 1945. With the fire main ruptured, fires quickly spread out of control. At 1750 the order to abandon ship was given.

The Fletcher-class destroyer in the foreground is possibly USS Twiggs (DD-591).

Photo taken from USS Natoma Bay (CVE-62).

Bruce Leininger
CVE-79 Ommaney Bay

USS Ommaney Bay (CVE-79) was hit by a Kamikaze on 4 January 1945. Within a half-hour, all power was lost and the ship drifted to a stop. This photo appears to have been taken before she lost power. The ship sank later in the day.

National Archives photo (# 80-G-270965).

Tracy White, Researcher @ Large
CVE-79 Ommaney Bay

USS Ommaney Bay (CVE-79) burning in Sulu Sea after Japanese kamikaze dive on her flight deck. Note USS Patterson (DD-392) is coming alongside to help. Photographed by USS West Virginia (BB-48), 4 January 1945. Official U.S. Navy photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), # 80-G-273153.

NARA, via Robert Hurst
CVE-79 Ommaney Bay

USS Ommaney Bay (CVE-79), showing explosion on board after the ship was attacked by a kamikaze in the Sulu Sea, 4 January 1945. Destroyers are standing by.

Courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1978.

Naval History and Heritage Command, photo # NH 86336.

Mike Green
CVE-79 Ommaney Bay

USS Ommaney Bay (CVE-79) exploding after being hit by a kamikaze attack, in the Sulu Sea off Luzon, during the Lingayen Operation, 4 January 1945. Two destroyers are standing by.

Naval History and Heritage Command, photo # NH 43063.

Mike Green
CVE-79 Ommaney Bay

USS Ommaney Bay (CVE-79) on fire in the Mindoro Strait, Philippine Islands on 4 January 1945 after a kamikaze came in at dusk undetected. USS Natoma Bay (CVE-62) is in the foreground.

USN photo.

Mike Green
CVE-79 Ommaney Bay

[T]he explosion that doomed the carrier, the detonation of torpedo warheads stored aft, can be seen to the left of the mass of smoke that obscures all but her bow. Fortunately, the last of her crew had been taken off just minutes before. Photo National Archives and Records Administration.

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

Robert Hurst
CVE-79 Ommaney Bay

USS Ommaney Bay (CVE-79) burning after being hit by a kamikaze in the Sulu Sea, 4 January 1945. U.S. Navy photo from the USS Columbia (CL-56) World War II cruise book.

Robert Hurst
CVE-79 Ommaney Bay

USS Ommaney Bay (CVE-79) after being attacked by a Japanese Zero or Judy during the Luzon campaign. The progress of the explosion is shown. Photograph by USS New Mexico (BB-40), released 4 January 1945. Official U.S. Navy photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), # 80-G-273087-B.

CVE-79 Ommaney Bay

USS Ommaney Bay (CVE-79) burning after being hit by a Japanese suicide plane. Note the explosion that blew out the fantail. Photograph by USS Steamer Bay (CVE-87), released 4 January 1945. Official U.S. Navy photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), # 80-G-273110.

The Crew
CVE-79 Ommaney Bay

Frank Bumb entered the Navy on 26 August 1943. He was assigned to the escort aircraft carrier USS Ommaney Bay (CVE-79).

Frank E. Bumb, Storekeeper 1c, USNR, was wounded in action while in the service of his country.

Elva Bumb, via her sister Dell Fortune
CVE-79 Ommaney Bay
CVE-79 Ommaney Bay
CVE-79 Ommaney Bay
CVE-79 Ommaney Bay
CVE-79 Ommaney Bay

For more photos and information about this ship, see:

Read the USS OMMANEY BAY (CVE-79) DANFS History
Crew Contact and Reunion Information Web Sites
U.S.Navy Memorial Foundation
Fleet Reserve Association
Contact Information
Contact: John Kirkland
Address: 16910 SW Monterey Lane
Portland, OR 97224
Phone: 503 684-6480
Web site:  

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: 12 November 2018