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Essex-class aircraft carrier
27,100 Tons (standard)
888' x 93' x 28' 7" (as built)
4 × 2x5" guns
4 × 5" guns
8 × Quad 40mm Bofors
46 × 20 mm cannons
USN November 5, 1944
USN January 21, 1945
Built by Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Newport News, VA. Laid down February 1, 1943 as USS Hancock. Launched February 7, 1944 sponsored by Miss Stephanie Sarah Pell. On May 1, 1943 renamed USS Ticonderoga Commissioned May 8, 1944 into the U. S. Navy (USN) as USS Ticonderoga (CV-14) at the Norfolk Navy Yard with Captain Dixie Kiefer in command.
During the next two months, Ticonderoga remained at Norfolk for two months for outfitting and embarking Carrier Air Group 80 (CAG-80). On June 26, 1943 departed for a shake down cruise in the Caribbean Sea. On June 30, 1943 arrived Trinidad and conducted training exercises in the vicinity for two weeks. On July 16, 1943 departed Trinidad and six days later returned to Norfolk for repairs and alterations.
On August 30, 1943 departed Norfolk bound for Panama. On September 4, 1944 crossed the Panama Canal then proceeded to San Diego arriving nine days later and embarked fuel, supplies and additional carrier aircraft and Marine personnel. On September 19, 1943 departed San Diego and five days later arrived at Pearl Harbor and remained for a month. During this period attempted experiments to transfer bombs and cargo from USS Carina (AK-74) to the carrier for resupply at sea. Also, carrier aircraft training including day and night landings and anti-aircraft gun drills.
On October 18, 1943 departed Pearl Harbor across the Pacific stopping at Eniwetok before arriving eleven days later at Ulithi. Assigned to Carrier Division 6 and joined Task Force 38 (TF-38) as part of Task Group 38.3 (TG 38.3) and embarked Rear Admiral Arthur W. Radford for the upcoming operations. On November 2, 1944 departed Ulithi with TF-38 to provide air cover over Leyte.
On November 5, 1944 carrier aircraft from Ticonderoga including VF-19, VB-19 and VT-19 plus carrier aircraft from USS Essex CV-9 strike Japanese shipping in Manila Bay and hit Zablan Airifeld, Mandaluyong Airfield and Pasig Airfield on Luzon and participate in the sinking of Nachi and claim six aircraft shot down plus one on the ground and 23 damaged. At 6:00pm attacked by kamikaze aircraft and her anti-aircraft gunners claim two shot down.
On November 6, 1944 carrier aircraft from Ticonderoga continued fighter sweeps and strikes against Luzon and claimed 35 aircraft and attacks on six vessels in Manila Bay. Afterwards, withdrew eastward to resupply. On November 7, 1944 resupplied with replacement aircraft then returned westwards.
On November 11, 1944 carrier aircraft from Ticonderoga plus other aircraft from TF-38 attacked a Japanese convoy entering Ormoc Bay and sank transports and escorting destroyers.
On November 12, 1944 continued attacks against Luzon and shipping in Manila Bay. On November 13, 1944 continued attacks against the same targets sinking Kiso, four destroyers and seven merchant ships. Afterwards, TF-38 withdrew eastward to refuel but Ticonderoga and Task Group 38.3 (TG 38.3) continues to Ulithi arriving five days later for resupply and rearming.
On January 21, 1945 at 7:00am Ticonderoga launches her Carrier Air Group 80 (CAG-80) twelve SB2C-3 Helldivers from VB-80 with one aborting due to engine trouble, twelve TBM-3 Avengers from VT-80 escorted by eight F6F Hellcats from VF-80 attack Toshien Harbor (Takao Harbor) at Takao (Kaohsiung) on southwest Formosa (Taiwan). During the attack, the formation experienced intense and accurate medium and heavy anti-aircraft fire and barrage balloons. Several Helldivers sustained slight damage from shrapnel including SB2C-3 Helldiver 18632.
After recovering all aircraft around noon, kamikaze aircraft attacked with one hitting USS Langley (CVL-27) and soon afterwards one hit Ticonderoga in the flight deck at the no. 2 5" gun mount with its bomb exploding above the hanger deck and immediately caused several aircraft to catch fire, kill crew and cause secondary explosions. Immediately, Captain Kiefer ordered the carrier turned away from the wind, magazines flooded as a precaution and to correct a 10° starboard list then to create a 10° port list to push burning aircraft overboard. Meanwhile, other kamikazes attacked and her gunners claimed three shot down but a fourth hit the starboard side near the island that exploded and the bomb set more aircraft on fire and the explosion of its bomb caused 100 casualties including Captain Kiefer. By 2:00pm the damage was under control and the damaged carrier retired from action.
On January 24, 1945 arrived at Ulithi where wounded crew members were transfered to hospital ship Samaritan and her air group transfered aboard USS Hancock CV-19 and embarked passengers then departed for days later via Pearl Harbor then to Puget Sound Navy Yard for repairs.
On February 15, 1945 Captain William Sinton assumed command and repairs were completed by April 20, 1945 and departed the next day for NAS Alameda where the carrier embarked new aircraft and personnel then departed for the Pacific. On May 1, 1945 arrived Pearl Harbor and the next day embarked Air Group 87 (AG-87) and for the next week conducted flight training exercises off Hawaii then departed westward bound for Ulithi. Along the way, her carrier aircraft attacked Taroa for experience flying over a neutralized Japanese target then continued onward to Ulithi.
On May 22, 1945 arrived at Ulithi and two days later departed with Fast Carrier Task Force as part of Task Group 58.4 (TG 58.4) proceeding northward towards Japan. Three days into the voyage the 5th Fleet reverted to the 3rd Fleet when Admiral Halsey took command and the force was redesignated Task Force 38 (TF-38). On June 2-3, 1945 Ticonderoga aircraft attacked airfields on Kyushu. Two days later, rode out a typhoon without any major impact. On June 6, 1945 provided Combat Air Patrol (CAP) for refueling and four of her fighters intercepted kamikaze aircraft bound for Okinawa. On June 8, 1945 fighter sweep over airfields on southern Kyushu then attacked Minami Daito and Kita Daito before departing southward to Leyte Gulf.
On June 13, 1945 arrived in Leyte Gulf for a two week period of rest and recuperation and was assigned to Task Group 38.3 (Task Group 38.3). On July 1, 1945 became the flagship for Rear Admiral Clifton Sprague and departed Leyte Gulf with Task Group 38 northward to Japan. Two days later, suffered a damaged reduction gear and diverted to Apra Harbor off Guam for repairs. On July 19, 1945 after repairs rejoined TF-38. On July 24, 1945 her aircraft attacked Japanese shipping in the Inland Sea and attacked airfields around Nagoya, Osaka and Miko.
On September 1, 1973 decommissioned. During 1975 sold for scrap and scrapped afterwards.
NARA History of Bombing Squadron Eighty page 6
(Page 6) "...on 21 January launched attacks against southern Formosa. Bombing 80 [VB-80] sent out 12 planes to attack Toshien Harbor. Despite intense 'AA' several ships were damaged, and all planes returned safely. Immediately after completing interrogation of the pilots in the ready-room, the Ticonderoga was hit at 1201 noon by a 'kamikaze' which struck only about twenty-five-feet forward of the ready room. All officers of the squadron, except one, were in the ready room at the time and despite the some and fire everyone was able to get out of the ready room to safety."
Navy History and Heritage Command - Antiaircraft Action Summary COMINCH P-009 pages 2-5, 5-2, 5-3, 6-3 (photo)
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