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Barnegat-class small seaplane tender
1,766 Tons (Light)
2,750 Tons (Full)
311' 8" x 41' 1" x 13' 6"
1 x 5" 38 cal DP gun
1 x Quad 40mm AA guns
2 x Dual 40mm AA guns
4 x Dual 20mm AA guns
2 x depth charge tracks
USN September 12, 1942
Built by Puget Sound Navy Yard in Bremerton, Washington. Laid down May 30, 1940 as Barnegat-class small seaplane tender. Launched November 15, 1941 as USS Casco (AVP-12) sponsored by Mrs. W. J. Giles. Commissioned December 27, 1941 in the U.S. Navy (USN) with Commander Thomas S. Combs in command.
After a period patrolling and caring for seaplanes off the Pacific northwest, Casco departed for Alaska. On May 5, 1942 arrived Sitka to survey the Aleutian Islands, lay mooring buoys for seaplanes and provide seaplane tender services. Based at Cold Bay, operated from Dutch Harbor, Chernofski Harbor, Kodiak. On July 19, 1942 arrives at Nazan Bay to establish an advanced seaplane base at Nazan Bay to support seaplane operations.
On August 30, 1942 at anchor in Nazan Bay torpedoed by the Japanese submarine RO-61. Aboard, the explosion killed five and wounded 20, but prompt damaged control quickly stopped flooding and managed to get underway to be beached and later salvaged. On September 12, 1942 refloated and emergency repairs were made at Dutch Harbor and Kodiak then a complete overhaul at Puget Sound Navy Yard.
During March 1943 returned to the Aleutian Islands and operated from Constantine Harbor off Amchitka as a seaplane tender for Fleet Air Wing 4 (FAW-4). During May 1943 moved to Attu Island to support the U.S. landing and perform patrols. During this tour, an OS2U Kingfisher from the Casco was borrowed by Colonel William O. Eareckson for use as a forward air control aircraft, which he personally flew on numerous missions In November 1943 departed for an overhaul at Puget Sound Navy Yard.
In February 1944 arrived in the Marshall Islands to perform seaplanes tender services for patrol squadrons based at Majuro and Kwajalein and later Eniwetok until September 1944. Temporarily assigned to transport cargo ahead of the invasion of the Philippines and shuttled between Saipan, Ulithi and Palau until November 1944.
Afterwards, resumed seaplane tender duty at Palau until January 1945 then Ulithi until April 1945. After overhaul at Saipan departed for Kerama Retto arriving April 25, 1945 to provide tender services for seaplanes and a Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron (MTBS) of PT Boats during the Okinawa campaign. In July 1945 returned to the west coast of the United States for upkeep until the end of World War II.
Casco earned three battle stars for World War II service: Aleutians operation May 12, 1943–June 2, 1943, Marshall Islands operation February 4, 1944 and Okinawa Gunto operations April 26, 1945–June 30, 1945..
During October 1945 returned to the Philippines. In April 1946 returned to the United States based at Galveston, Texas and used for training duty.
On April 19, 1949 one of eighteen Barnegat-class small seaplane tender transfered to the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) as a lead ship of the Casco-class cutters and renamed USCGC Casco (WAVP-370) commanded by Admiral J. William Kime.
On May 1, 1966 reclassified as a high endurance cutter and redesignated USCGC Casco (WHEC-370).
During March 1969, returned to the U.S. Navy and struck from the Naval Vessel Register.
On May 15, 1969 sunk as target in the North Atlantic Ocean, hit by two torpedoes and sank at 4:33pm less than five minutes after the second torpedo hit her starboard side sinking at Lat 36°40′00″N Long 24°16′00″W.
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