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NavSource Online: Escort Carrier Photo Archive

USS OMMANEY BAY   (CVE-79)



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

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

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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Size Image Description Contributed
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Construction
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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A view of the escort carrier USS Ommaney Bay (CVE-79) taken from the battleship USS West Virginia (BB-48) not long after the hit. Ommaney Bay is already burning fiercely along much of her length. Within a half-hour, all power was lost and the ship drifted to a stop.

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

A destroyer, perhaps USS Patterson (DD-392) or USS Maury (DD-401), closes to assist. The carrier sank later in the day.

Robert Hurst
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[USS Ommaney Bay (CVE-79)] burns in the background while a sister ship, Natoma Bay (CVE-62), passes in front, able only to look on at the disaster.

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

Robert Hurst
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[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
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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
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USS OMMANEY BAY CVE-79 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 Web Sites
U.S.Navy Memorial Foundation
Fleet Reserve Association
Contact Information
Date:  
Place:  
Contact: John Kirkland
Address: 16910 SW Monterey Lane
Portland, OR 97224
Phone: 503 684-6480
E-mail: hkirkland8@aol.com
Web site:  
Remarks:  

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: 7 April 2013