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NavSource Online: Escort Carrier Photo Archive


Contributed by Adam Lewis

USS GILBERT ISLANDS   (CVE-107)
(later AKV-39; renamed Annapolis (AGMR-1))


Unit Awards, Campaign and Service Medals and Ribbons

   

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation [AGMR]
2nd Row: American Campaign Medal / Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (3 stars) / World War II Victory Medal
3rd Row: Navy Occupation Service Medal ("Asia" and "Europe" clasps) / National Defense Service Medal (2) [CVE & AGMR] / Korean Service Medal
4th Row: Vietnam Service Medal (8 stars) [AGMR] / Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry Cross Medal with Palm) [AGMR] / Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal [AGMR]


Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign: November - Kilo - Alpha - Tango

CLASS - COMMENCEMENT BAY
Displacement 11,3730 Tons, Dimensions, 557' 7" (oa) x 75' x 30' 8" (Max)
Armament 2 x 5"/38AA 36 x 40mm, 20 x 20mm, 33 Aircraft.
Machinery, 16,000 SHP; Allis-Chambers, Geared Turbines, 2 screw
Speed, 19 Knots, Crew 1066.

Operational and Building Data

Built by Todd-Pacific Shipyards Inc., Tacoma, Wash. Initially named St. Andrews Bay. Keel laid 29 Nov 1943, launched 20 Jul 1944, commissioned 5 Feb 1945. Decommissioned 21 Feb 1947, at Norfolk.

Recommissioned 7 Sep 1951. Decommissioned 15 Jan 1955. While in reserve, she was reclassified as a "Cargo Ship and Aircraft Ferry" (AKV-39), 7 May 1959. Stricken from the Navy list 1 Jun 1961.

Reinstated in the Naval Vessel Register. Converted to a "Major Communications Relay Ship". Redesignated AGMR-1, 1 Jun 1963. Renamed Annapolis, 22 Jun 1963.


Click On Image
For Full Size Image
Size Image Description Contributed
By And/Or Copyright
Name
St. Andrews Bay/Sound
NS0310719
182k

CVE-107 was initially named St. Andrews Bay, for a bay on the gulf coast of Florida and a sound on the southern coast of Georgia. (Earlier gazetteers listed both bodies of water as "St. Andrew's," but modern sources give "St. Andrew."). NS0310719.)

Renamed Gilbert Islands, 26 April 1944, to commemorate an amphibious assault on Makin and Tarawa Islands, in the Gilberts—an island group containing 16 atolls in the western Pacific Ocean on the equator, southeast of the Marshalls and northeast of the Solomons (NS0310719a.) On 20 November 1943 Marines made an amphibious assault, seizing Makin Island without difficulty, but winning Tarawa only after a 100-hour battle in which over 3,500 Americans were killed or wounded.

NS0310719b: "Marines storm Tarawa. Gilbert Islands," photo by WO Obie Newcomb, Jr., November 1943. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), photo # 127-N-63458. 1st LT Alexander Bonnyman, Jr., USMCR, is the 4th man on the right at the top of the bunker (denoted with a faint arrow)—he was posthumously awarded a Medal of Honor.

(Maps courtesy of Google Maps.)

NavSource.
Gilbert Islands
NS0310719a
42k
Gilbert Islands
NS0310719b
167k
World War II
CVE-107 Gilbert Islands
NS0310715
5.39M

Gilbert Islands LoG Items, Commissioning Issue, Vol. 1, No. 1, 5 February 1945.

Adam Lewis.
CVE-107 Gilbert Islands
NS0310702
38k Overhead as completed. USN
CVE-107 Gilbert Islands
NS0310713
42k

USS Gilbert Islands (CVE-107) underway, date and location unknown.

Tommy Trampp
CVE-107 Gilbert Islands
NS0310712
274k

USS Gilbert Islands (CVE-107) in rough seas, sometime in 1945. TBM-3 Avengers with Marine Torpedo Bomber Squadron (VMTB) 143 and FG-1D Corsairs of Marine Fighter Squadron (VMF) 512 are spotted on her deck. (See Adam Lewis's Plane Fun for more information.)

US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, photo # 1996.488.253.1578.

Mike Green.
CVE-107 Gilbert Islands
NS0310714
265k

Catapult launch of a VMF-512 Corsair.

See Adam Lewis's Plane Fun for more information.

Adam Lewis, via Ron Reeves.
CVE-107 Gilbert Islands
NS0310720
41k

A crashed United States Marine Corps F4U-1D Corsair aircraft assigned to Marine Fighter Squadron (VMF) 512 being loaded on the flight deck of USS Gilbert Islands (CVE-107) at NAS San Diego, California, 11 March 1945. Official photo.

Tommy Trampp
CVE-107 Gilbert Islands
NS0310707
65k

Some crew members sitting on the flight deck in front of a Goodyear FG-1D Corsair, during World War II. Aircraft Mechanic Robert L. Bede is in the photo front row, third from the right; he was on the commissioning crew.

From the collection of Robert L. Bede. Contributed by his son, Ronald L. Bede.
CVE-107 Gilbert Islands
NS0310701
87k

As built, transporting aircraft, 18 July 1945.

USN
CVE-107 Gilbert Islands
NS0310716
157k

Carrier Division 27 successfully weathering China Sea Typhoon. Photographed from USS Salerno Bay (CVE-110) in October 1945. Ships shown are: USS Block Island (CVE-106), USS Siboney (CVE-112) and USS Gilbert Islands (CVE-107).

U.S. Navy photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), # 80-G-354605.

NARA
CVE-107 Gilbert Islands
NS0310723
950k

Adam explains:

[This is] "a map of the 1945 cruise of the USS Gilbert Islands from a contemporary ESSO map. A few VMF-512 pilots kept these. Mine are from Harry Williams and Jack Moss, F4U-1D pilots in the squadron."

"The carrier entered the map from the right edge 'From Pearl Harbor,' and left the map 'To Pearl Harbor.' In between they travelled from Borneo to the South China Sea. They attacked Japanese forces on Okinawa, Sakishima Gunto and Balikpapan, Borneo. They crossed the equator."

"The original 1945 map [NS0310723] has a lot more lines on it. In the interest of clarity they were removed [NS0310723a.]"

Adam Lewis
CVE-107 Gilbert Islands
NS0310723a
1.06M
CVE-107 Gilbert Islands
NS0310721
39k

US Navy and US Marine Corps personnel who served aboard USS Gilbert Islands (CVE-107).

Adam Lewis
CVE-107 Gilbert Islands
NS0310722
55k

Remembering Those Who Made the Ultimate Sacrifice. The Seven US Marines Who Didn't Come Home.

Adam Lewis
Post-World War II
CVE-107 Gilbert Islands
NS0310711
165k

USS Gilbert Islands (CVE-107) underway in the early 1950s, with AF Guardian aircraft from VS-24 squadron on deck.

Ron Doherty, by permission from his family.
CVE-107 Gilbert Islands
NS0310717
64k

USS Gilbert Islands (CVE-107). Radar antennae. Bow view. Boston Naval Shipyard photo (# NY2-1229-7-52), July 1952.

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), photo # rg19nn-b1584-006-001.

NARA.
CVE-107 Gilbert Islands
NS0310717a
81k

USS Gilbert Islands (CVE-107). Radar antennae. 45° starboard. Boston Naval Shipyard photo (# NY2-1230-7-52), July 1952.

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), photo # rg19nn-b1584-006-002.

CVE-107 Gilbert Islands
NS0310717b
71k

USS Gilbert Islands (CVE-107). Radar antennae. Broadside. Boston Naval Shipyard photo (# NY2-1231-7-52), July 1952.

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), photo # rg19nn-b1584-006-003.

CVE-107 Gilbert Islands
NS0310717c
53k

USS Gilbert Islands (CVE-107). Radar antennae. 225° port. Boston Naval Shipyard photo (# NY2-1232-7-52), July 1952.

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), photo # rg19nn-b1584-006-004.

CVE-107 Gilbert Islands
NS0310717d
56k

USS Gilbert Islands (CVE-107). Radar antennae. Stern view. Boston Naval Shipyard photo (# NY2-1233-7-52), July 1952.

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), photo # rg19nn-b1584-006-005.

CVE-107 Gilbert Islands
NS0310717e
76k

USS Gilbert Islands (CVE-107). Radar antennae. 45° port. Boston Naval Shipyard photo (# NY2-1234-7-52), July 1952.

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), photo # rg19nn-b1584-006-006.

CVE-107 Gilbert Islands
NS0310709
58k

USS Gilbert Islands (CVE-107) moored off New York City, 10 November 1953.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph (#NH 106714). Courtesy of the Mariners Museum, Ted Stone Collection.

Naval History & Heritage Command, via Robert Hurst.
CVE-107 Gilbert Islands
NS0310710
122k

Crew of USS Gilbert Islands (CVE-107), circa 1954–55, CAPT Harry P. Badger, Commanding.

Ron Doherty, by permission from his family.
Ex-USS Gilbert Islands
CVE-110 Salerno Bay
NS0311005
49k

South Boston Naval Annex, circa 30 May 1958. Easily identifiable are Salerno Bay (CVE-110), Gilbert Islands (CVE-107), Marcus Island (CVHE-77), Manila Bay (CVU-61), Kasaan Bay (CVHE-69), and Sargent Bay (CVU-83); also in this line were Shipley Bay (CVHE-85), Natoma Bay (CVU-62), and Savo Island (CVHE-78), and maybe a tenth, unidentified former "bird farm."

The skyline is the Customs House Tower, which these days you can't find from the clutter of the new high rises.

©Richard Leonhardt
CVE-107 Gilbert Islands
NS0310705
120k In reserve, South Boston Naval Annex. August 1960. © Richard Leonhardt
CVE-107 Gilbert Islands
NS0310706
34k In reserve, South Boston Naval Annex. April 1961. © Richard Leonhardt
CVE-107 Gilbert Islands
NS0310703
64k In reserve, South Boston Naval Annex. July 1961. © Richard Leonhardt
CVE-107 Gilbert Islands
NS0310704
67k In reserve, South Boston Naval Annex. July 1961. © Richard Leonhardt
Miscellanea
CVE-107 Gilbert Islands
NS0310718
217k

USS Gilbert Islands (CVE-107), US Navy collection set, Silver Creek Collectables.

Tommy Trampp

For more photos and information about this ship, see:

Read the USS GILBERT ISLANDS (CVE-107 / AKV-39) / USS ANNAPOLIS (AGMR-1) DANFS History
Crew Contact and Reunion Information
Date:  
Place:  
Contact: Nick Ippolito
Address: 7364 Eastgate Circle, Liverpool, NY 13090
Phone: 315-451-0269
Cell: 315-885-2921
E-mail: nicipp@verizon.net
Web site:  
Remarks:  

Additional Resources
Hazegray & Underway World Aircraft Carrier Pages By Andrew Toppan.
Official U.S. Navy Carrier Website
Escort Carrier Sailors & Airmen Association
USS Annapolis (AGMR-1) Page
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Last update: 23 June 2018