|Ship Class||Barnegat-class Seaplane Tender|
|Builder||Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, United States|
|Launched||23 May 1941|
|Commissioned||3 Jul 1941|
|Decommissioned||29 Jun 1946|
|Displacement||1766 tons standard|
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.|
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James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945