Savo Island file photo

USS Savo Island

CountryUnited States
Ship ClassCasablanca-class Escort Carrier
BuilderKaiser Shipbuilding Co., Inc., Vancouver, WA
Laid Down27 Sep 1943
Launched22 Dec 1943
Commissioned3 Feb 1944
Decommissioned12 Dec 1946
Displacement7800 tons standard; 10400 tons full
Length512 feet
Beam65 feet
Draft22 feet
MachineryFour boilers with two screws
Speed19 knots
Crew860
Armament1x5-in Anti-aircraft, 8x40mm, 12x20mm
Aircraft28

Contributor: C. Peter Chen

Savo Island was originally planned as the aircraft escort vessel Kaita bay, but was reclassified on 15 Jul 1943 as a Casablanca-class escort carrier. She was commissioned in Feb 1944 with Captain C. E. Eckstrom in command. She held her shakedown cruise off San Diego, California, and then sailed twice for the South Pacific with replacement aircraft. Her first combat assignment was during the Palaus campaign against the island of Peleliu, where her aircraft strafed Japanese positions as United States Marines landed. In Oct 1944, her aircraft provided aerial support during the Leyte campaign in the Philippine Islands. In the morning of 25 Oct 1944, her escorts came under fire when Admiral Takeo Kurita's powerful surface fleet reached the relatively unprotected American escort carriers. Despite intense air pressure, the Japanese scored a tactical victory at the Battle off Samar, but Savo Island emerged unharmed. In Nov 1944, she operated further off Leyte to protect the convoy lanes leading to the Philippines. Her aircraft supported the landings at Mindanao in Dec 1944 then Lingayen Gulf landings at Luzon in Jan 1945. During the latter action, a special attack suicide aircraft grazed her flight deck, giving her crew a brief scare. In Mar and Apr 1945, she provided air support for actions against Kerama Eetto, Okinawa, and Sakishima Gunto during the Okinawa campaign. On 29 April, Savo Island returned to San Diego for an overhaul. She emerged from the shipyard shortly before the Japanese surrender. After the war, she supported the occupation of northern Japan and performed as one of the Magic Carpet transports that brought American servicemen back to the United States. Her final Magic Carpet duty ended at Seattle on 14 Jan 1946, and she was inactivated at Boston on 16 Mar. She was formally decommissioned from service on 12 Dec 1946. She was sold to Comarket, Inc. for civilian service and was broken up in Hong Kong in Jun 1960.

Source: Wikipedia.

USS Savo Island Operational Timeline

3 Feb 1944 Savo Island was commissioned into service.
12 Dec 1946 Savo Island was decommissioned from service.

Photographs

Savo Island underway, date unknownSavo Island wearing camouflage and carrying aircraft, date unknownSavo Island, date unknown




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Visitor Submitted Comments

  1. Marco Becerra says:
    14 Dec 2010 08:20:54 AM

    My Father served on this ship and just recently passed at 83 I would like to find out more of his service, he never talked much about it which is common of this great generation
  2. Dory Warren says:
    1 Mar 2011 09:56:05 AM

    My father-in-law passed away a few years ago, he was very reluctant to speak of his service. I am trying to uncover any information to help pass-on to my sons how very vital it is to learn their family history in connection to that of their country. As one son is particularly interested in the Navy and unfortunately was too young to remember much of his grandfather, it would mean so very much to me to learn more about his grandfather: a plane gunner: Joe Warren
  3. Larry Witt says:
    2 Sep 2011 01:03:14 PM

    My father David Witt served about the Savo Island. He passed in 1990. He only talked of the good times. I never knew of his battle adventures until the internet, though his stories did inspire me to join the Navy.
  4. J.T. Rosien says:
    21 Jun 2012 02:36:14 PM

    I had an uncle that served on teh Savo Island. He never mentioned the battle action, other than a Kamakazi Pilot circled the ship, abvaiding the anti-aircraft fire,until he was sot down by a Navy Pilot.
    He also tld me that the actor Robert Stack, AKA Eliot Ness served on the Island. He also told me the funny stuff that happened when the ship crossed the Equator and all of the polly-wogs were welcomed into Neptunes Family
  5. Debbie Hill says:
    7 Nov 2012 09:21:55 PM

    My Daddy served on the Savo and he turned 88 Oct.3rd, 2012. He has been interviewed by the World War II museum in Fredersburg, Texas. He does talk about his time on the ship but He is starting to forget some...not a lot. I will ask him any questions if any of you have some...
    Debbie Hill


    Oh My Dad is Harold Evans
  6. Wendell says:
    30 Nov 2012 08:52:47 PM

    Dear Debbie, my grandfather serve on the Savo, I loved to here his stories about that time. His job was to tell the gun man when to fire the big guns. My grandfather was very special to me, he past away in feb. of 99. If there is anything more special, enjoy having yours still around. Anything or information please let us know. My grandfathers name was Calvin Garner. Thank you and God Bless.
  7. Jenny David says:
    5 Nov 2013 01:30:28 PM

    My dad was on the SAVO ISLAND in WWII. He said that he worked the engine room. He died recently March 2011. He was 83. He took many many pictures while on the Savo Island. Unfortunately, I don't know the names of the sailers with him in the pictures. I also have a battle babby book of the savo island. I MISS MY DAD !!!!! He was proud to be a sailer !!!
  8. Mark Brucker says:
    5 Feb 2014 02:32:56 PM

    I live in Berkeley, CA. I remember as a kid there was a Savo Island naval housing complex in town. Here's a bunch more info about it:
    According to naval historian Lt. Col. David E. Quantock, "The Battle of Savo Island occurred early in the morning on 9 August 1942, when the Japanese 8th fleet surprised the Allied Task Force shortly after the landing at Guadalcanal. In approximately 37 minutes, the Japanese Navy destroyed four Allied heavy cruisers and killed more than 1000 American and Australian sailors, handing the U.S. Navy the worst defeat in its history. There were many strategic, operational, and tactical reasons for this debacle; however, the one common thread through the entire disaster was the poorly framed command and control relationships." http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/rep/Savo/Quantock/index.html

    Soon after this tragic event, a new housing project for naval personnel was constructed in Berkeley, CA, and named after that sad and humiliating battle. According to the January 3, 1945 Berkeley Gazette, "Located across the street from the WACs barracks, [Savo Island] will consist of 192 units [where] some combat personnel returning to shore jobs may rent a single-bedroom unit for as low as $11 a month." http://tinyurl.com/cqx8exr

    And one of the children raised in this new housing project was Jimi Hendrix. And we all now what happened to him.

    In 1974, the old Savo Island housing project in Berkeley was torn down and then Jimmy Carter (my hero, he built housing like this in every single city and town in America in 1979) gave orders to build a new, renovated Savo Island right on the same site -- but as a housing cooperative.
  9. David Stubblebine says:
    5 Feb 2014 05:35:54 PM

    To Mark Brucker:
    The link to LCol Quontock’s assessment of The Battle of Savo Island is intriguing. Keep in mind that was a project written for his War College in 2002 and is hardly the final word on the topic. There has been much written on this as well as the Guadalcanal Campaign as a whole. See also http://ww2db.com/battle_spec.php?battle_id=9.
  10. Debbie hill says:
    6 Feb 2014 10:04:35 PM

    Jenny David
    I would love to see some of your pictures. My daddy has gone blind but still talks about his time on the Savo. He will be 90 this year.
  11. Mike C. says:
    24 Nov 2014 07:55:06 AM

    A former co-worker and friend of mine just shared with me that her Grandfather, Ralph Elliott, flew off the Savo Island! He was credited with nine (9) victories and was an established "ACE" She is a wonderful person and it is not surprising that she came from such a solid family. Her Grandfather would be proud!!

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More on USS Savo Island
Event(s) Participated:
» Palau Islands and Ulithi Islands Campaigns
» Philippines Campaign, Phase 1, the Leyte Campaign
» Philippines Campaign, Phase 2
» Okinawa Campaign


Escort Carrier USS Savo Island Photo Gallery
Savo Island underway, date unknown
See all 3 photographs of Escort Carrier USS Savo Island



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