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  USS Copahee CVE-12
USN
Bogue-Class
Escort Carrier

7,800 Tons
495.7' x 111.5' x 26'
2 x 4"/50 guns
8 x Twin 40mm AA guns
27 x 20mm AA guns
Aircraft: 24

PacificWrecks.com
PacificWrecks.com
USN July 1944
Ship History
Built by Todd Pacific Shipyards in Tacoma, Washington. Laid down on June 18 1941 under Maritime Commission contract with hull number 169 as a civilian ship Steel Architect type C3-S-A1. On February 8, 1942 while under construction acquired by the U. S. Navy (USN) and completed as a Bogue-Class Escort Carrier at Bremerton Navy Yard as Aircraft Escort Vessel 12 (AVG-12). On August 20, 1942 reclassified as Auxiliary Aircraft Carrier 12 (ACV-12). On July 15, 1943 again reclassified as Escort Carrier (CVE-12). Launched October 21, 1941 as USS Copahee CVE-12 named for Copahee Sound in South Carolina. Commissioned June 15, 1942 in the U. S. Navy (USN) with commander J. G. Farrell in command and underwent a shake down cruse ending at Alameda.

Wartime History
On September 5, 1942 departed Alameda loaded with with cargo of planes, stores and passengers on her first voyage to the South Pacific and arrived at Noumea on September 28, 1942. From October 7 to 11 October, she cruised toward Guadalcanal to launch 20 marine fighter planes for Henderson Field, then returned to San Diego, California 29 October for overhaul.

After training at Pearl Harbor, Copahee departed from San Diego 25 February 1943 to begin transport duty carrying aircraft, aviation stores and personnel to the forward bases in the New Hebrides, Fiji and New Caledonia plus trips to the Hawaiian Islands until June 7, 1943.

Between 2 September 1943 and 19 January 1944, she made two voyages to deliver aircraft at Townsville and Brisbane and one trip to Pearl Harbor. She sailed from San Diego 10 April to ferry aircraft from Pearl Harbor to Majuro until 3 June when she began supporting the Marianas operation by supplying replacement pilots and aircraft to carriers of the 5th Fleet.

Captured Japanese Aircraft
During July 1944, Copahee loaded as deck cargo 13 A6M5 Zeros and one B5N Kate plus other captured enemy equipment including spare parts and 37 engines and transported them across the Pacific back to the United States for technical evaluation. Among the aircraft embarked were A6M5 4340, A6M5 5357, A6M5 5350, A6M5 1303, A6M5 Zero 5352, A6M5 5356. On July 28, 1944 arrived at San Diego.

After an overhaul, Copahee returned to transport duty. Until the end of the Pacific War, she made six voyages loaded with cargo from Alameda across the Pacific to locations including Manus, Majuro, Guam, Saipan and Pearl Harbor. For her World War II services, earned one battle star.

Postwar
Starting on September 6, 1945 until December 21, 1945 participated in "Magic Carpet" duty, transporting U. S. personnel from Saipan, Guam, Eniwetok, and the Philippines back to the west coast of the United States. On December 21, 1945 returned to Alameda and was decommissioned. On July 5, 1946 placed into reserve at Tacoma, Washington. On June 12, 1955 redesignated as a helicopter escort carrier (CVHE-12). On March 1, 1959 officially stricken from the Navy register.

Fate
During 1961 sold for scrap and afterwards broken up.

References
NavSource - USS Copahee (AVG-12, ACV-12, CVE-12 and CVHE-12)

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Last Updated
September 10, 2020

 

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