Biscayne file photo

USS Biscayne

CountryUnited States
Ship ClassBarnegat-class Seaplane Tender
BuilderPuget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, United States
Launched23 May 1941
Commissioned3 Jul 1941
Decommissioned29 Jun 1946
Displacement1766 tons standard
Length311 feet
Beam41 feet
Draft13 feet
Speed18 knots
Crew215
Armament2x5in

Contributor: C. Peter Chen

Biscayne was the second ship of Barnegat-class of small seaplane tenders, but she was commissioned during the same ceremony as the lead ship of the class. After shakedown cruise, Lieutenant Commander C. C. Champion, Jr. took her to Boston, Massachusetts, United States via the Panama Canal, where the ship was based when United States entered the war on 7 Dec 1941. On 27 May 1942, she sailed to waters off Newfoundland and Greenland and operated as a seaplane tender and communications ship in support of the build-up of American air forces in Britain. She operated out of Casablanca, Morocco, between 18 Nov 1942 and 25 Apr 1943. On 26 Apr 1943, she sailed to Mers-el-Kebir and became Rear Admiral Richard L. Connolly's flagship. At Oran, she was re-fitted as a communications ship by USS Delta between 2 and 31 May. She sailed to Bizerte, Tunisia in May 1943, and on 10 Jul 1943 served as flagship of the Joss (Licata) Force during the Sicily landings; she remained off Sicily until 22 Jul. Between 9 Sep and 11 Oct 1943, she took part in the Salerno, Italy landings, and served both as flagship and a makeshift hospital ship. On 7 Nov 1943, while at Bizerte, she became flagship of Rear Admiral F. J. Lowry of the US Navy 8th Amphibious Force. Between 22 Jan and 2 Feb 1944, she was the flagship during the landings at Anzio. Between 15 Aug and 16 Sep 1944, she was the flagship of Rear Admiral B. J. Rodger during the invasion of southern France.

On 12 Oct 1944, Biscayne sailed for Boston, then steamed toward the Pacific Ocean. She arrived at Pearl Harbor on 9 Jan 1945; despite just being reclassified as AGC-18 on 10 Oct 1944 to reflect her new role as amphibious force flagship, she was named Commodore F. Moosbrugger's flagship of the US Navy Destroyer Squadron 63. In that new role, she participated in the invasions of Iwo Jima, Kerama Retto, and Okinawa in early 1945. Between 3 and 9 Jun 1945, she was the flagship of the occupation force of Iheya and Aguni Islands near Okinawa. After her duties off Okinawa, she retired to Leyte, Philippine Islands and remained there until the end of the war.

After WW2, Biscayne carried out occupation duties in Korean and Chinese waters until 30 Oct 1945. She arrived at San Diego, California, United States on 21 Dec 1945, then sailed for Portland, Maine, United States, arriving on 7 Jan 1946. She then moved to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, United States as quarters for the aviation instruction staff. After decommissioning, she was transferred to the US Coast Guard at Curtis Bay, Maryland, on 19 Jul 1946. The US Coast Guard renamed her USCG Dexter until 1968.

Sources: United States Navy Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, United States Navy Naval Historical Center.

Seaplane Tender USS Biscayne Interactive Map

USS Biscayne Operational Timeline

3 Jul 1941 Biscayne was commissioned into service.
29 Jun 1946 Biscayne was decommissioned from service.

Photographs

Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, United States, 25 Jul 1941, photo 1 of 4; note AVPs Barnegat, Biscayne, Casco, Mackinac, BB Colorado, AG Utah, AK Aroostook, and AR PrometheusPuget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, United States, 25 Jul 1941, photo 2 of 4; note AVPs Barnegat, Biscayne, Casco, Mackinac, BB Colorado, AG Utah, AK Aroostook, and AR PrometheusPuget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, United States, 25 Jul 1941, photo 3 of 4; note AVPs Barnegat, Biscayne, Casco, Mackinac, BB Colorado, AG Utah, AK Aroostook, and AR PrometheusPuget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, United States, 25 Jul 1941, photo 4 of 4; note AVPs Barnegat, Biscayne, Casco, Mackinac, BB Colorado, AG Utah, AK Aroostook, and AR Prometheus
See all 13 photographs of Seaplane Tender USS Biscayne



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Visitor Submitted Comments

  1. Michael BAiley says:
    20 Aug 2009 02:13:22 PM

    I am looking for a seaplane tender named SEALE, a patron here at the Museum is looking for information on it since that is where he did his short stint of sea-duty on it. World War Two era. Any information would be of great help.



    Thanks,

    Mike Bailey, Curator
    Brazoria County Historical Museum
  2. joyce carleton says:
    22 Sep 2009 10:59:40 AM

    my dad was on the biscayne,went through 12
    invations,he went through a lot more.
    my dad was a grate man, he passed on a year ago feb.
  3. Keith Hurst says:
    29 Nov 2009 08:10:32 PM

    My father, Gordon L. Hurst Jr., was a signalman on the USS Biscayne in the Pacific campaign until the war was over. We lost my father in 1989 and my mother passed a couple of years ago. Before she died she forwarded me my fathers Naval papers and discharge papers he had kept. I guess I am wondering if there are still any survivors that may have known him or maybe there are some type reunions that may still exist for survivors and/or their families. I regret not asking him more about his WWII experiences and have spent the last ten years or so reading tons of books about the Pacific campaign.
  4. Anonymous says:
    12 Feb 2011 08:43:00 AM

    My father Jim Abbott served on the Biscayne longer than any other sailor. He is still alive, well and would enjoy contact with any others who are interested in the ship.
  5. P. Smith says:
    23 Jun 2011 12:29:40 PM

    My Dad, Paul J. Mulvehill, was on the Biscayne. He is still living and told us that was his favorite ship in WWII. He was in the Navy 30 yrs. and a WWII veteran. Anyone who served with him, please let me know. He still has a good memory.Thanks.
  6. Kim says:
    21 Sep 2011 01:01:54 PM

    My dad was also on the Biscayne. He was electrician, today at 100 years of age he on the Western Slope Honor flight to visit the WW2 memorial

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More on USS Biscayne
Event(s) Participated:
» Invasion of Sicily and Italy's Surrender
» Operation Avalanche
» Battle of Anzio
» Invasion of Southern France
» Battle of Iwo Jima
» Okinawa Campaign


Seaplane Tender USS Biscayne Photo Gallery
Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, United States, 25 Jul 1941, photo 1 of 4; note AVPs Barnegat, Biscayne, Casco, Mackinac, BB Colorado, AG Utah, AK Aroostook, and AR Prometheus
See all 13 photographs of Seaplane Tender USS Biscayne



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