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NavSource Online: Escort Carrier Photo Archive

USS SICILY   (CVE-118)
(later AKV-18)


Patches contributed by Mike Smolinski (left) and Gerd Matthes (center, right)
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

Originally named Sandy Bay. Built by Todd-Pacific Shipyards Inc., Tacoma, Wash. Laid down 23 Oct 1944. Renamed Sicily 5 Jun 1944. Launched 14 Apr 1945 and commissioned 27 Feb 1946.

Decommissioned to reserve 4 Oct 1954. Reclassified as an aircraft transport and redesignated AKV-18, 7 May 1959, while in reserve.

FATE: Stricken from the Navy List 1 Jul 1960. Sold for scrap 31 Oct 1960.


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Size Image Description Contributed
By And/Or Copyright
CVE-118 Sicily
NS0311814
2.23Mb

Preliminary Acceptance Trial pamphlet (PDF format).

Joe Dietrich, Lt Col, USAF (Ret)
CVE-118 Sicily
NS0311801
51k

Nice overhead, undated.

USN
CVE-118 Sicily
NS0311804
50k

USS Sicily (CVE-118) photographed while moored in Hampton Roads, Virginia, 6 June 1948.

Courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1969.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph (# NH 67896).

NHC
CVE-118 Sicily
NS0311810
59k

USS Sicily (CVE-118) dockside, date and location unknown.

Charles E. Mac Kay comments: "The image was taken in July 1948. The carrier has just collected F-80's from Panama. The picture is in the Canal Zone. A few days later she arrived here in Glasgow. The air group was commanded by Colonel Spicer."

Robert Hurst
CVE-118 Sicily
NS0311820
149k

"My father flew air reconnaissance A-26's with the 45th Recon. Squadron out of Furstenfeldbruk, Germany in 1947–48. [...] [These photos] were taken 9 August 1948 at the King George V docks in Glasgow Harbor, Scotland. The ship at the center of the images is USS Sicily (CVE-118). Aircraft (P/F-80s) of the 36th Fighter Group are being offloaded, assembled and towed to the nearby RAF station where they are to be flown to Germany. This Fighter Group was being transferred from Panama to Furstenfeldbruk Airfield to support the Berlin Airlift."

Jack M. Fancher
CVE-118 Sicily
NS0311820a
151k
CVE-118 Sicily
NS0311811
65k

USS Sicily (CVE-118) underway, 12 April 1949, location unknown. The chevron-type deck markings are believed to be associated with airship (blimp) trials and were designed to show a landing pilot the centerline of the flight deck (USN photo, now in the collections of the National Archives, #80-G-438017.)

(See also photos NS0311816 & NS-03-cve118-z03.)

Robert Hurst
CVE-118 Sicily
NS0311816
200k

A K-type blimp lands on USS Sicily (CVE-118), circa April 1949.

US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum,Photo No. 1996.488.035.045. Robert L. Lawson Photograph Collection.

(See also photos NS0311811 & NS-03-cve118-z03.)

Mike Green
CVE-118 Sicily
NS0311812
84k

USS Sicily (CVE-118) on transport duties at the time of the Korean War. (USN photo.)

Robert Hurst
CVE-118 Sicily
NS0311805
74k

USS Sicily (CVE-118) launches a U.S. Marine Corps OY-2 Sentinel spotter plane during operations in the Yellow Sea, off the west coast of Korea, 22 September 1950. Sicily was then supporting the campaign to recapture Seoul.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (# 80-G-420239).

NHC
CVE-118 Sicily
NS0311806
90k

U.S. Marine Corps F4U-4B Corsair fighter-bomber receives final checks to its armament of bombs and 5-inch rockets, just prior to being catapulted from USS Sicily (CVE-118) for a strike on enemy forces in Korea. The original photograph is dated 16 November 1950, but was probably taken in August-October 1950. Note battered paint on this aircraft.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (# 80-G-419929).

NHC
CVE-118 Sicily
NS0311819
190k

Pilots of VMF-323 pose in front of an F4U-4 Corsair aboard USS Sicily (CVE-118), 1951.

Photo courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum (# 1996.488.006.012).

Bill Gonyo
CVE-118 Sicily
NS0311813
170k

The aircraft carrier USS Sicily (CVE 118) enters San Diego Bay on her return from her first deployment to the Korean War zone, February 5, 1951. Her crew spells out the ship's name on the flight deck.

Official US Navy photo.

Contributed by Robert M. Cieri
CVE-118 Sicily
NS0311813a
100k From "All Hands" magazine, April 1951 issue.

Contributed by Stanley Svec
CVE-118 Sicily
NS0311809
194k

The helicopter carrier USS Sicily underway as she cruises off Inchon harbour, circa 1952.

Robert Hurst
CVE-118 Sicily
NS0311821
206k

AF-2W Guardian, #17, of Antisubmarine Squadron (VS) 931—later VS-20—that landed on the USS Sicily (CVE-118) at night with the tail hook up, circa 1952. The plane was piloted by LCDR Arthur Hoorshead.

NS0311821: US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, photo # 1996.253.6139.

NS0311821a: US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, photo # 1996.253.6138.

Mike Green
CVE-118 Sicily
NS0311821a
336k
CVE-118 Sicily
NS0311802
69k

USS Sicily (CVE-118), launches U.S. Marine Corps HRS-1 helicopters during Operation Marlex-5 off the west coast of Korea in the Inchon area. This was the first time that Marine Corps landing forces had moved from ship to shore by helicopter. Photo is dated 1 September 1952. Nearest HRS-1 is Bureau # 127798. It wears the markings of squadron HMR-161.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-477573).

Scott Dyben
CVE-118 Sicily
NS0311817
103k

U.S. Marine Sikorsky HRS-2 helicopters operating from the escort carrier USS Sicily (CVE-118) underway, location unknown, circa 1950s. U.S. Navy photo.

Photo and text from Aircraft Carriers, by Norman Polmar.

Robert Hurst
CVE-118 Sicily
NS0311818
106k

U.S. Marine Sikorsky HRS-2 helicopters lined-up ready on the flight deck of the escort carrier USS Sicily (CVE-118). Note U.S. Marines on the Sicily's elevator. U.S. Navy photo.

Photo and text from Aircraft Carriers, by Norman Polmar.

Robert Hurst
CVE-118 Sicily
NS0311815
138k

USS Sicily (CVE-118) underway, with the AF-2S and AF-2W Guardians of VS-931.

These photos were probably taken in October 1952, en route to Hawaii, during Sicily's Korean War deployment, 19 October–4 December.

VS-931 (tail code "SV") was a Reserve Antisubmarine Squadron called to active duty on 1 March 1951.

The Grumman AF Guardian was the first purpose-built antisubmarine carrier-based aircraft to enter service with the U.S. Navy. It operated in two-plane ("Hunter/Killer") teams, one plane carrying the sensors and the other the weapons. The AF-2S was the "killer" production variant, the AF-2W the "hunter," with a search radar in a ventral radome.

LT(JG) Philip Nelson (hometown of Tulsa, OK) was a Communications Officer aboard USS McNair (DD-679).

LT(JG) Philip Nelson.
Submitted by his son, Steve Nelson
CVE-118 Sicily
NS0311815a
128k
CVE-118 Sicily
NS0311815b
152k
CVE-118 Sicily
NS0311815c
137k
CVE-118 Sicily
NS0311815c
180k
CVE-118 Sicily
NS0311815e
100k
CVE-118 Sicily
NS0311807
103k

USS Sicily (CVE-118) photographed at the Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, circa February 1954, with USS Yorktown (CVA-10) at right and eleven LCM landing craft in the foreground. Grumman AF Guardian anti-submarine aircraft are parked on Sicily's flight deck. Douglas AD Skyraider attack planes are parked aft on Yorktown's flight deck.

The original caption, released by Commander Naval Forces Far East on 18 February 1954, reads: "Twins, Almost — The Essex-class carrier USS Yorktown (CVA-10) and her smaller counterpart, the escort carrier USS Sicily (CVE-118), rest side by side during a recent in-port maintenance period at the Yokosuka, Japan, Naval Base".

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center (# NH 97318).

NHC
CVE-118 Sicily
NS0311808
102k

USS Sicily (CVE-118) underway with F4U aircraft parked aft, April 1954.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center (# NH 97317).

NHC
In "Mothballs"
CVE-86 Sitkoh Bay
NS0308607
113k

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

For more photos and information about this ship, see:

USS SICILY CVE-118 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
Date:  
Place:  
Contact: Ed Smith
Address: P.O. Box 369
Centreville, MD 21617
Phone: 410-758-1659
E-mail: edsmith@dmv.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
Korean Combat Action Reports located on the Naval Historical Center Web Site

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Last update: 6 December 2013