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NavSource Online: Escort Carrier Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski


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

Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign: November - Kilo - Zulu - India

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. Initially named Alikula Bay. Keel laid 31 Jan 1944, launched 17 Apr 1944. Renamed Bismarck Sea 16 May 1944. Commissioned 20 May 1944.

Fate: Sunk by kamikazes off Iwo Jima, 21 Feb 1945.
318 of her crew were lost with the ship and remain on duty.

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Bismarck Sea

CVE-95 was named after a body of water located northeast of New Guinea, scene of an Allied naval victory during World War II.

On 28 February 1943, in an attempt to augment their forces on Papua, a Japanese convoy consisting of eight transports and eight destroyers departed Rabaul. Foul weather could not hide the convoy for long; and, on 1 March, one of Lt.Gen. George C. Kenney's planes sighted it and began tracking it. By noon of 2 March, the Allies had attacked, sinking one transport and damaging two others. On 3 March, Allied bombers and PT boats demolished most of the remaining ships. From the entire convoy, only four destroyers escaped.

(Image: Google Maps)

CVE-95 Bismarck Sea

This is identified as Bismarck Sea (CVE-95) under construction in 1944. However, this might be incorrect, as this ship is painted in camouflage Design 16A, while Bismarck Sea was reportedly painted in Design 18A.

Gerd Matthes, Germany
CVE-95 Bismarck Sea

USS Bismarck Sea (CVE-95) loading Douglas SBD Dauntless scout bombers from a barge, circa 1944.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph (#NH 78142), courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1973.

Naval History & Heritage Command, via Robert Hurst
CVE-95 Bismarck Sea
18k Anchored in bay formed by Majuro Atoll. Joe Litkenhaus,
grandson of Harold G. Kirchhoff EM/2C, still serving aboard the USS Bismarck Sea
CVE-95 Bismarck Sea
51k "Royal Parade" on flight deck as viewed from the open bridge.
CVE-95 Bismarck Sea

USS Bismarck Sea (CVE-95) underway, 24 June 1944, taking it green, seen from an altitude of 500' (152 m). Location unknown. USN photo now in the collections of the National Archives (NARA), # 80-G-240135.

Robert Hurst
Larger copy submitted by Gerhard Mueller-Debus
Still larger copy obtained from NARA
CVE-95 Bismarck Sea

USS Bismarck Sea (CVE-95) flight deck photo taken on 19 December 1944. An FM-2 Wildcat aircraft (N-27), coming in for a landing, either missed or broke an arresting hook and crashed into planes parked on the bow. Here N-27 has crashed into N-33 pushing it over the bow. N-27 also went over the bow. Ensign Woods, pilot of N-33, is seen lying on the deck amid flying wreckage of planes.

Naval History & Heritage Command (NHHC) photo NH 69351.

Mike Green
CVE-95 Bismarck Sea

Large explosion on board USS Bismarck Sea (CVE-95) during the night of February 21, 1945. She was struck by two Kamikazes within two minutes of each other, while she was taking part in the Iwo Jima operation. She sank as a result of her damage. Photographed from USS Saginaw Bay (CVE‑82).

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (NARA), # 80-G-335103.


Read the USS BISMARCK SEA (CVE-95) DANFS History entry

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Name: Mr. Jaco LaBlanc
Address:PO Box 3166 Lafayette, LA, 70502-3166
Phone: 318-984-2221
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
USS Bismarck Sea (CVE-95), by Joe Litkenhaus

Photo Index
Escort Carrier
Photo Index Page

Comments, Suggestions or Image submissions, E-mail Carrier Information
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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: 4 February 2018