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622' 6" x 109' 2" x 26'
26 x 40mm AA guns
24 x fighter aircraft
9 x torpedo aircraft
USN October 30, 1944
Belleau Wood operated with TF 58 during the seizure of Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls, Marshall Islands (29 January–3 February 1944), Truk raid (16 February–17 February); Saipan-Tinian-Rota-Guam raids (21 February–22 February); Palau-Yap-Ulithi-Woleai raid (30 March–1 April); Sawar and Wakde Island raids in support of the landings at Hollandia (currently known as Jayapura), New Guinea (22 April–24 April); Truk-Satawan-Ponape raid (29 April–1 May); occupation of Saipan (11 June–24 June), 1st Bonins raid (15 June–16 June), Battle of the Philippine Sea (19 June–20 June); and 2nd Bonins raid (24 June). During the Battle Of the Philippine Sea, TBF Avengers from Belleau Wood torpedoed Japanese aircraft carrier Hiyo that exploded and sank two hours later.
After an overhaul at Pearl Harbor (29 June–31 July 1944) Belleau Wood rejoined TF 58 for the last stages of the occupation of Guam (2 August–10 August). She joined TF 38 and took part in the strikes in support of the occupation of the southern Palaus (6 September–14 October); Philippine Islands raids (9 September–24 September); Morotai landings (15 September); Okinawa raid (10 October); northern Luzon and Formosa raids (11 October–14 October); Luzon strikes (15 October and 17 October–19 October), and the Battle of Cape Engaño (24 October–26 October). On 30 October, while Belleau Wood was patrolling with her task group east of Leyte, she shot down a Japanese suicide plane which fell on her flight deck aft, causing fires which set off ammunition. Before the fire could be brought under control, 92 men had either died or gone missing.
Belleau Wood launched her planes 2 September for the mass flight over Tokyo, Japan, during the surrender ceremonies. She remained in Japanese waters until 13 October. Arriving at Pearl Harbor 28 October, she departed three days later with 1248 servicemen for San Diego. She remained on "Magic Carpet" duty, returning servicemen from Guam and Saipan to San Diego, until 31 January 1946. During the next year Belleau Wood was moored at various docks in the San Francisco area, undergoing inactivation. She was placed out of commission in reserve at Alameda Naval Air Station 13 January 1947. She remained in reserve service until transfered to France in 1953. Belleau Wood would received the Presidential Unit Citation and twelve battle stars for World War II service.
First Indochina War (Bois Belleau)
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