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NavSource Online: Escort Carrier Photo Archive

USS SITKOH BAY   (CVE-86)
(later CVU-86 and AKV-30)



Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign: November - Kilo - Yankee - Hotel

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.

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Size Image Description Contributed
By And/Or Copyright
USS Sitkoh Bay, 1944–1946
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Date and place unknown.

Ted Garrett.
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Date and place unknown.

Ted Garrett.
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Lucky Lady (PT-146) alongside USS Sitkoh Bay (CVE-86) trading rides for food.

From the collection of LT(JG) Bill Skade.

Jerry Gilmartin, MMC, USN, Ret.
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Lucky Lady (PT-146) departs from USS Sitkoh Bay (CVE-86).

From the collection of LT(JG) Bill Skade.

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Pearl Harbor, 1945.

Ted Garrett.
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Pearl Harbor, 1945. TBMs on deck.

Ted Garrett.
USNS Sitkoh Bay, 1950–1954
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"On July 29, 1950, the Tacoma Naval Station was the scene of the recommissioning of the escort carrier U.S.S. Sitkoh Bay (CVE-86), twenty days after the orders came through to 'take her out of mothballs'. Captain H.B. Butterfield, representing the Commander Pacific Reserve Fleet, read the directive placing the ship in commission. Captain C.W. Lord accepted command of the ship from Captain Butterfield. The Sitkoh Bay, named for a small bay in southeastern Alaska, was originally commissioned in Astoria, Oregon, on March 28, 1944. The escort carrier participated in many engagements during World War II, including Palau, the Philippines, Okinawa, and Japan. The Sitkoh Bay transported a total of 2032 aircraft, 10,716 passengers and traveled 182,618 miles before being decommissioned at the end of the war."

Photo and text courtesy of the Tacoma Public Library.

Bill Gonyo
CVE-86 Sitkoh Bay
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USNS Sitkoh Bay (T-CVE 86) underway with an assortment of aircraft destined for Korea: TBM Avengers, SNB, R4D Skytrain (aka Skytrooper, Dakota and "Gooney Bird"), JD (the US Navy target-tug version of the USAAF's A-26C Invader) and F4U Corsairs (USN photo.)

US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, photo # 1996.488.034.015. Robert L. Lawson Photograph Collection.

Robert Hurst
Larger copy submitted by Mike Green
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USNS Sitkoh Bay (T-CVE 86) with a deck load of U.S. Air Force Republic F-84E Thunderjet fighters en route to Japan during the Korean war, August 1951. The aircraft were from the 12th Fighter-Escort Wing, its aircraft going to Korea, whereas the personnel was deployed to Europe.

Photo from Strategic Air Command, by Lindsay T. Peacock.

Robert Hurst
San Francisco to Yokosuka, December 1953
CVE-86 Sitkoh Bay
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"In December 1953 I was one of approximately 250 USAF personnel being transported to Japan. We were all on board the USS Sitkoh Bay, landing at Yokosuka Navy Base, Japan."

"The church service pic [NS0308606f] reminded me of an incident that sticks in my mind. The elevator was down to the hangar deck and many troops were sitting there watching a movie. I was further toward the bow (not on elevator) when a large wave came crashing over—and into the open elevator. Lots of laughs, but was not so funny to guys that got soaked! They closed the elevator right after that."

"Also, they did some target practice on way over. Put out a target of barrels with a flag and then circled around somewhere (distance not known) and fired the 5" gun [NS0308606d] a few times. I (and probably none of the other AF troops) had never been around such a thing. Wow! What a noise! Can't even imagine what a 16"er must sound like. They then continued the circle and picked up what was left of the 'target'."

(NS0308606b, NS0308606c)  Cocooned F-86D's on flight deck.

(NS0308606e, NS0308606i, NS0308606j)  Pat enjoying the ride on the flight deck.

Black and white photos were taken while in San Francisco and the early part of the voyage. Color slides were taken later.

Pat Souders (TSgt USAF Ret '72)
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In "Mothballs"
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Ex-USS Sitkoh Bay (CVE-86), with ex-USS Sicily (CVE-118) moored across the pier, at the Hunters Point (San Francisco Group) Inactive Ship Facility in the mid-1950s. Special attention was paid to the wooden decks of the carriers, and they were periodically sprayed with preservatives. Still, the ravages of weather took their toll. In the foreground are the cruisers ex-USS Vincennes (CL-64) and ex-USS Amsterdam (CL-101). Note the metal "igloos" fitted over the ships' light AA mounts.

Robert Hurst
Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com

USS SITKOH BAY CVE-86 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. B. F. Fessenden
Address:4684 Montgomery Rd Oakdale , CA, 95361-9330
Phone: 209-869-3454
E-mail: None

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

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This page was created by Paul Yarnall and is maintained by Fabio Peña
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Last update: 8 June 2014