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  USS Gilbert Islands CVE-107 (USS Annapolis AGMR-1)
Commencement Bay
Class Escort Carrier

10,900 Tons
24,100 Tons (fully loaded)
557' x 75' x 32'
2 x 5" guns (2x1)
36 x 40mm AA
34 Aircraft

Ship History
Built by Todd Pacific Shipyards in in Tacoma, WA. Laid down November 29, 1943. Launched July 20, 1944 as USS Gilbert Islands CVE-107 named for the Gilbert Islands sponsored by Mrs. Edwin D. McMorries, wife of Captain Edwin D. McMorries, Surgeon at the Naval Hospital at Puget Sound Naval Yard. Commissioned February 5, 1945 and performed a shakedown cruise off the west coast.

Wartime History
During March 1945 embarked Marine Fighting Squadron 512 (VMF-512) equipped with Corsairs and Marine Scout Bomber Squadron  143 "Rocket Raiders" VMTB-143 equipped with Avengers. The two squadrons formed Marine Carrier Air Group 2 (MCAG-2).

On April 12, 1945 departed San Diego to Hawaii for additional training. On May 2, 1945 departed Hawaii as part of an escort carrier force that crossed the Pacific to Okinawa arriving May 21, 1945.

Between May 24, 1945 until May 31, 1945 her carrier aircraft provided ground support for American forces on Okinawa. During June 1945, Gilbert Islands carrier aircraft performed strikes against Japanese airfields and installations in Sakishima Gunto.

On June 8, 1945 steaming with Task Unit 32.1.3 with her carrier aircraft performing 25 sorties including Combat Air Patrol (CAP) and anti-submarine patrols plus strikes against the Sakishima Gunto armed with bombs and rockets. Her aircraft bomb Ishigaki Airfield and Hirara Airfield. Rockets are fired at a radar station on Ishigaki and dispersal areas at Miyako Shima, buildings on Erabu Shima and a bridge and installations at the south end of Ishigaki Airfield. Strafing was performed against installations at the northwest end of Ishigaki Airfield and Miyako Shima. Also, five to six camouflaged ships in the bay off Funaki on the west coast of Iriomote Shima were strafed, leaving them burning and smoking. Lost was FG Corsair 87913 pilot 2nd Lt. Logan Millard White, Jr. (MIA).

On June 16, 1945 departed southward bound for San Pedro Bay to resupply. Afterwards, supported the Australian Army landing at Balikpapan until July 6, 1945 then returned to Leyte. On July 29, 1945 departed Leyte to screen ships for the 3rd Fleet off Japan until the official surrender of Japan. Afterwards, proceeded to Okinawa.

In the middle of October 1945 proceeded southward to Formosa. On October 14, 1945 conducted an air show over the occupation of Formosa by the Chinese Army. Afterwards, proceeded eastward to Saipan and Pearl Harbor before arriving at San Diego on December 4, 1945. For her World War II service, Gilbert Islands received three battle stars.

On January 21, 1946 departed for Norfolk for decommissioning. On May 21, 1946 decommissioned and placed in the reserve fleet. In 1949, towed to Philadelphia and recommissioned on September 7, 1951 and overhauled at Boston in late November 1951. On August 1, 1952 joined the Atlantic Fleet. Embarked a cargo of jet fighters and by September 18, 1952 arrived at Yokohama the departed back to the United States. On October 22, 1952 arrived at f Quonset Point, RI. On January 5, 1953 departed for training exercises in the Caribbean Sea off Cuba then returned to New England for the rest of the year.

Afterwards, steamed to Halifax then underwent an overhaul at Boston. On January 5, 1954 departed on a cruise of the Mediterranean then returned to Quonset Point, RI on March 12, 1954. On June 9, 1954 jet touch and go exercises were conducted on the carrier successfully.

On January 15, 1955 decommissioned at Boston. On May 7, 1959 reclassified as AKV-39 and was placed into the reserve fleet. During June 1961 struck from the register. On June 1, 1963 reclassified as AGMR-1. On June 22, 1963 renamed USS Annapolis to serve as a communication relay ship. On March 7, 1964 recommissioned with Captain John J. Rowan in command. During 1965 handled communications during Operation Teamwork and Operation Steel Pike. On December 16, 1964 reactivated in the U. S. Navy and conducted operations out of Norfolk during the first half of 1965. On June 28, 1965 assigned to Long Beach, CA.

Vietnam War
In September 1965, departed for Vietnam to assist with communications between naval units. During 1966 relayed the first ship-to-shore satellite radio message ever transmitted and received between Annapolis in the South China Sea to Pacific Fleet Headquarters at Pearl Harbor. Remained on station until 1967 with port visits to resupply in Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Philippines. During the Vietnam War, Annapolis earned seven campaign stars.

On December 20, 1969 Annapolis was decommissioned at Norfolk, Virginia and was placed in the Pacific Reserve Fleet then towed to Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and placed in mothball. On October 15, 1976 stricken from the Navy register. On November 1, 1979 sold for scrap and scrapped sometime afterwards.

NARA "USS Gilbert Islands CVE-107 War Diary 29 November 1943 to 2 September 1945" page 28
(Page 28) "On 8 June [1945], Second Lieutenant Logan Millard White, Jr. U. S. Marine Corps Reserve, in an F4U [sic FG], was shot down over the target."
NARA "USS Gilbert Islands CVE-107 War Diary June 1945" page 4
(Page 4) "Five of six camouflaged ships in the bay on the west coast of Iriomote Shima, estimated 100 to 150 feet in length, were strafed and left burning and emitting much black smoke. One F4U-1D [sic FG-1D] airplane, piloted by 2nd Lt. Logan Millard White, Jr. 031359, USMCR, was reported shot down over the target."

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Last Updated
August 4, 2020


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