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USS Cape Esperance (CVE 88)

- formerly TANANEK BAY -
- formerly ACV 88, formerly AVG 88 -
- later T-CVE 88, later CVU 88 -
- decommissioned -


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USS CAPE ESPERANCE was the 34th CASABLANCA - class escort aircraft carrier. Decommissioned on August 22, 1946, the CAPE ESPERANCE was placed in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, Bremerton. Recommissioned on August 5, 1950, the CAPE ESPERANCE was assigned to the Military Sea Transportation Service, serving as T-CVE 88 until re-classified as CVU 88 on June 12, 1955. Finally decommissioned on January 15, 1959, the CAPE ESPERANCE was stricken from the Navy list on March 1, 1959, and was sold on May 14, 1959.

General Characteristics:Awarded: 1942
Keel laid: December 11, 1943
Launched: March 3, 1944
Commissioned: April 9, 1944
Decommissioned: August 22, 1946
Reactivated: August 5, 1950
Decommissioned: January 15, 1959
Builder: Kaiser Shipbuilding Co., Vancouver, Wash.
Propulsion system: four boilers
Propellers: two
Length: 512.5 feet (156.2 meters)
Flight Deck Width: 108 feet (32.9 meters)
Beam: 65 feet (19.9 meters)
Draft: 22.6 feet (6.9 meters)
Displacement: approx. 10,400 tons full load
Speed: 19 knots
Catapults: one
Aircraft: 28 planes
Armament: one 5-inch L/38 gun, 16 40mm guns, 20 20mm guns
Crew: 860


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Crew List:

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS CAPE ESPERANCE. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.


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Embarked Squadrons:

PeriodSquadron (Aircraft)
March 1944VC-84 (7 FM, 5 F4F and 9 TBF/TBM)


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History of USS CAPE ESPERANCE:

CAPE ESPERANCE (name changed from TANANEK BAY on 6 November 1943) was launched 3 March 1944 by Kaiser Co., Inc., Vancouver, Wash., under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Mrs. W. M. McDade; transferred to the Navy 9 April 1944; and commissioned the same day, Captain Robert Wurts Bockius in command.

Assigned to the Pacific Fleet, CAPE ESPERANCE made two voyages from the west coast to South Pacific bases between 26 May 1944 and 20 September, carrying new aircraft out, and returning with planes needing repairs. Loaded with combat-ready aircraft, she sailed from San Francisco 5 October to join TG 30.8 on 2 November in its support of 3rd Fleet air strikes on Leyte and Luzon. From her decks, replacement aircraft roared off to the operating carriers, ready to take their part in pounding the Japanese out of the Philippines. Continuing to operate from Ulithi and Guam through January, CAPE ESPERANCE carried fresh aircraft to the far-ranging TF 38 for its strikes on Japanese air bases on Formosa and the China coast. In February, the escort carrier returned to the west coast to load new aircraft which she carried to Guam. This was the first of a series of such voyages in which she brought to the western Pacific a large number of the aircraft which roared over Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and the Japanese home islands in the massive carrier raids of the war's last months.

At the close of the war, CAPE ESPERANCE sailed from San Diego to Pearl Harbor, returning to San Francisco 11 September 1945 with aircraft and passengers. She made similar voyages until decommissioned and placed in reserve at Bremerton, Wash., 22 August 1946.

Recommissioned 5 August 1950, CAPE ESPERANCE reported to the Military Sea Transportation Service for duty as an aircraft transport. During the next 9 years, she cruised widely in the Pacific, delivering aircraft to Japan for use in the Korean conflict, supporting atomic tests at Eniwetok, and making two voyages to bring aircraft to the Royal Thai Air Force at Bangkok. In 1952, she sailed to Hong Kong, to evacuate Chinese Nationalist aircraft in danger of seizure by the Chinese Communists. Reclassified CVU 88 on 12 June 1955, CAPE ESPERANCE made her first transatlantic crossing in 1956 to ferry aircraft to and from Italy, France, and Portugal. Returning to the Pacific under an operating schedule that found her almost constantly at sea, CAPE ESPERANCE carried aircraft to Pakistan later in 1956. She continued to make as many as eight transpacific voyages in a year, supporting forces of the United States and Southeast Asia Treaty Organization countries in protecting the free nations of the Far East. CAPE ESPERANCE was decommissioned 15 January 1959, and sold 14 May 1959.

CAPE ESPERANCE received two battle stars for World War II service.


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