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NavSource Online: Escort Carrier Photo Archive

RABAUL   (CVE-121)
(later CVHE-121 and AKV-21)

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

Fate: Stricken from the Navy list 1 September 1971. Sold to Nicolai Joffe Corporation, Beverly Hills, CA, 25 August 1972, for $133,261. Scrapped by Marine Salvage Co., Pier 54, Oakland, CA. (Thanks to Ron Reeves for the information.)

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CVE-121 Rabaul

Launching Rabaul. She was sponsored by Mrs. Henry A. Schade.

National Archives photo # 80-G-345308.

Daniel Dunham
CVE-121 Rabaul

Launching Rabaul. Bow-on view of vessel.

National Archives photo # 80-G-345309.

Daniel Dunham
CVE-121 Rabaul

Rabaul (CVE-121) afloat immediately after launching at the Todd Pacific Shipyard, Tacoma, Washington, 14 July 1945. At this time she had been constructed only up to the hangar deck level. Though completed and delivered to the Navy in mid-1946, this ship went directly into the Reserve Fleet and had no commissioned service.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command photograph (#NH 85461), courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1977.

Naval History & Heritage Command, via Robert Hurst
In the Movies
CVE-121 Rabaul

Magnum Force, 1973. Directed by Ted Post. Starring Clint Eastwood, Hal Holbrook, Mitchell Ryan, David Soul.

Near the end of the film Detective "Dirty" Harry Callahan (Eastwood) is chased by the bad guys aboard two former escort carriers that were at Marine Salvage in Oakland, California, to be scrapped. One of the CVEs is almost certainly Rabaul, sold to Nicolai Joffe Corporation, Beverly Hills, California, and scrapped by Marine Salvage Co., Pier 54, Oakland. The second CVE is often identified as ex-USS Badoeng Strait (CVE-116/AKV-16), but she was assigned to the Inactive Ship Facility, Pacific Reserve Fleet, at Bremerton, Washington, and sold for scrapping to American Ship Dismantlers, Inc., Portland, Oregon, 8 May 1972. A more likely candidate is ex-USS Commencement Bay (CVE-105/CVHE-105/AKV-37), assigned to the Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility, Naval Station, San Diego, California, and sold as well to Nicolai Joffe Corporation, 25 August 1972.

Suggested by
William Stevens, USN (Ret.);
and David Lewis
CVE-121 Rabaul
CVE-121 Rabaul
CVE-121 Rabaul

USS RABAUL CVE-121 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:
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: 30 July 2017