|USS Munda (CVE-104)|
USS Munda (CVE-104) in San Francisco Bay, 1945
|Career (United States)|
|Laid down:||29 March 1944|
|Launched:||27 May 1944|
|Commissioned:||8 July 1944|
|Decommissioned:||24 April 1946|
|Struck:||1 September 1958|
|Fate:||Sold for scrap on 17 June 1960|
|Class & type:||Casablanca-class escort carrier|
|Displacement:||7,800 tons (standard), 10,400 tons (full load)|
|Length:||512 ft 3 in (156.13 m) overall|
|Beam:||65 ft 2 in (19.86 m), 108 ft 1 in (32.94 m) maximum width|
|Draft:||22 ft 6 in (6.86 m)|
|Speed:||19.3 knots (35.7 km/h)|
|Range:||10,240 nmi (18,960 km) at 15 kn (28 km/h)|
|Armament:||1 × 5 in (127 mm)/38 cal dual purpose gun, 16 × Bofors 40 mm guns (8x2), 20 × Oerlikon 20 mm cannons|
|Part of:||United States Pacific Fleet (1944–1946), Pacific Reserve Fleet (1946–1958)|
|Operations:||Operation Magic Carpet|
|Awards:||1 Battle star|
More Casablanca-class carriers were built than any other single class of aircraft carrier in history, and the last to be built on the Liberty Ship platform; the Commencement Bay class escort carrier which followed was designed from the keel up as a carrier.
She was laid down on 29 March 1944 under Maritime Commission contract as MC hull 1141 by the Kaiser Shipyards, Vancouver, Washington, originally designated ACV-104, and redesignated CVE-104 on 15 July 1944. Originally named Tonowek Bay on 23 September 1944, the carrier was renamed Munda on 6 November 1944, in honor of the battle to take Munda Bay in the Solomon Islands. It was during this fight that Rodger Wilton Young was killed. Some commemorative photographs of the ship gave the name as Munda Bay.
Munda was launched on 27 May 1944 (sponsored by Mrs. James E. Dyer), to be accepted and commissioned on 8 July 1944, under the command of Captain L. A. Pope (a Naval aviator who had, in the 1920s, literally "written the book" on aerial photography for the Navy).
After a west coast shakedown, Munda, assigned to Carrier Transport Squadron, Pacific Fleet, got underway independently on 16 August 1944 on her maiden voyage. With 71 planes and 202 passengers crowded aboard, she arrived at Espiritu Santo on 1 September. Proceeding next to Finschhafen and Manus Island, she returned to Alameda, California for brief availability, before setting out again to carry replacement planes and personnel to forward areas. Returning from her second supply run on 5 December, she was underway again on the 12th. She completed three more runs to various islands in the Pacific before mid-1945, when she sailed for Eniwetok on 3 July. There, she joined Task Group 30.8 (TG 30.8) and commenced supplying planes, pilots, and aviation stores to the fast carriers of Task Force 38 (TF 38).
She rendezvoused with that force on 20 July, as it attacked the Japanese home islands, and remained in the area through the 26th, when she returned to Guam for replenishment. At sea again by the end of the month, she rejoined TF 38 on 3 August, resupplying the carriers then, and again on the 7th and 11th. On 13 August, she departed the formation and was en route back to Guam when she received word of the Japanese surrender. Rejoining TG 30.8, she remained off Japan through the first week of the occupation, and on 10 September steamed into Tokyo Bay.
Departing Tokyo on 2 October, she joined the ships assigned to Operation Magic Carpet, and into the next year, ferried servicemen back to the United States. After completion of that duty on 18 January 1946, Munda prepared for inactivation at Port Angeles, Washington. Decommissioned on 13 September 1946, she joined the Pacific Reserve Fleet, berthing at Tacoma, Washington. Redesignated CVU-104 on 12 June 1955, she was shifted to Bremerton on 29 April 1958. Munda was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 September 1958 and sold as scrap, 17 June 1960, to the General Ore Company, New York.
This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
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