The USS Shipley Bay (CVE-85) was
named after a bay in southwest Alaska. She was the 31st
CASABLANCA - class escort aircraft carrier of the fleet.
Shipley Bay (CVE-85) was laid down under Maritime Commission contract (MC
hull 1122) on 22 November1943 by Kaiser Co., Inc., Vancouver, Wash.;
launched on 12 February 1944; sponsored by Mrs. L. B. Richardson; and
commissioned on 21 March 1944, Capt. Edgar T. Neale in command.
Shipley Bay moved down the coast and operated in the San Diego-San Pedro
area until 3 May when the carrier began her maiden voyage to Pearl Harbor
and the South Pacific ferrying planes and pilots to advance bases. She
shuttled between the west coast, Pearl Harbor, Majuro Atoll, Guadalcanal,
and Tulagi until October. During this period, the carrier transported 496
Shipley Bay's next assignment was that of replenishment carrier,
delivering pilots, aircraft, and ammunition to the fast carriers operating
with Task Force (TF) 38. She rendezvoused with TF 38 for three resupply
missions, delivering 100 planes. The first rendezvous was made from 17 to
29 October, 150 miles east of Samar, P.I.; the second took place 450 miles
east of Luzon from 10 to 24 December; and the last, from 26 December1944
to 12 January 1945, occurred 350 miles northeast of Luzon. Shipley Bay
returned to Pearl Harbor and operated as a training carrier for the next
On 22 April, Shipley Bay stood out of Pearl Harbor en route to Okinawa,
via Guam, for her first combat operations. From 7 to 16 May, planes from
the carrier attacked enemy gun emplacements, supply dumps, radar
installations, and caves, flying 352 missions. On the 16th, while taking
on gasoline from Cache (AO-67), the aviation gasoline tanks were damaged,
and she was forced to return to Guam for repairs.
Shipley Bay was back in action off Okinawa on 9 June with five other
escort carriers. From 14 to 16 June, strikes were launched against Miyako
Shima and Ishigaki Shima to neutralize the airfields on those islands.
Aircraft from Shipley Bay returned to pound the airfields again from 18 to
22 June. On that day, the carrier departed the operating area. She was at
the repair base in San Diego undergoing overhaul when the war ended.
On 26 September 1945, Shipley Bay sailed out of San Diego to participate
in Operation “Magic Carpet,” the return of American forces from overseas.
The carrier shuttled from San Francisco to Pearl Harbor, Okinawa, and
Kwajalein, returning several thousand troops to the United States.
Shipley Bay sailed to Boston in February 1946 for deactivation and lay-up,
arriving there on 9 March. On 28 June, the carrier was placed "out of
commission, in reserve," with the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. Shipley Bay was
struck from the Navy list on 1 March 1959 and sold for scrap on 2 October
of that year.
Shipley Bay received two battle stars for World War II service.