USS Currituck (AV-7)










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Entry: 88869
Subject: SHIPS COOK

Robert (Bob) Joey wrote on May 10, 2014

Email Update Needed



City and State: NAPLES FL

Unit:

Service or Relationship: Navy Veteran

Comments: I was on the Currituck. Av-7rom 1944 to 1946i served as a ships cook during that time. I sm now 91 years young. I love to tell my family about my time on the ship and just asked them for a picture of the ship for my birthday in June to hang on my wall in my bedroom at my daughters house.

Keywords: Nickname. Bobby

Loves to talk about ship days and wants a good picture of the ship any idea where the best one can be found.



Entry: 81811
Subject: SHIP HISTORY

Phillip Roger Packer wrote on January 21, 2012

Email Update Needed



City and State:

Unit:

Service or Relationship: Navy Veteran

Comments: ~

UNOFFICIAL HISTORY OF THE U.S.S. CURRITUCK (AV-7)
WRITTEN AND COMPILED FROM INFORMATION TAKEN FROM THE
SHIP'S LOG, RECORDS, AND PERSONAL INTERVIEWS.

U.S.S. CURRITUCK (AV-7)
(DP. 14,000; L. 54015; B. 6913; DR. 2213-11; s. 19
K.; CPL. 1247; A. 4 511)

THE COMBATANT SHIPS OF OUR NAVY PLAYED AN OUTSTANDING
AND VITAL ROLE IN SWEEPING THE JAPANESE NAVY AND
JAPANESE SHIPPING FROM THE SEAS AND IN PUTTING TROOPS
ASHORE AND SUPPORTING THEM, BUT WITHOUT THE AUXILIARY
SHIPS OF THE FLEET DOING THEIR DUTY AS TRANSPORTSI
SUPPLY SHIPS, AND TENDERS OF ALL TYPES OF VESSELS
ENGAGED IN OFFENSIVE AS WELL AS DEFENSIVE TACTICS,
THIS MAGNIFICENT ACHIEVEMENT COULD NOT HAVE BEEN
POSSIBLE.

VESSELS SUCH AS THE U.S.S. CURRITUCK (AV-7)
CLASSIFIED AS A SEAPLANE TENDER, TAKING AN ACTIVE
PART IN ALL TYPES OF OPERATIONS AIDED IN MOLDING
TOGETHER AS ONE FIGHTING UNIT THE COMBAT SHIPS AND
THE AUXILIARY SHIPS SERVING AS A COMPONENT OF THE
NAVY.

THE CURRITUCK WAS LAID DOWN AS ONE OF THE NEWEST AND
LARGEST SEAPLANE TENDERS HAVING ALL MODERN
OPERATIONAL FACILITIES AS FOUND ON BOARD ALL CAPITAL
SHIPS PRIMARILY DESIGNED FOR OPERATIONING AIRCRAFT,
SUCH AS: OPERATIONS Room, AIR PLOT, COMBAT
INFORMATION CENTERS, AEROLOGICAL LAB, PILOTS READY
Room, AND LATEST UP TO DATE COMMUNICATIONS
FACILITIES, AND AS SUCH IT WAS DESTINED TO PLAY AN
IMPORTANT PART IN THE WAR IN THE PACIFIC. OTHER THAN
BEING AN OPERATIONS CONTROL SHIP IT WAS TO ACT AS
A MOTHER SHIP AND TEND TO THE REPAIR AN]) SERVICING
OF SQUADRONS OF LONG DISTANCE SEAPLANES IN THE SAME
MANNER AS OPERATIONS ARE CARRIED ON IN THE LARGER
AIRCRAFT CARRIERS, THE DIFFERENCE BEING THAT THE
TENDER USED THE SURROUNDING WATER TO LAUNCH AND
RECOVER PLANES.

THE ORIGINAL TENDERS FOR THIS TYPE OF WORK WERE FOUND
TO BE LACKING IN CERTAIN DESIGN QUALIFICATIONS BY
WHICH THE CURRITUCK PROFITED. THE SHIP BEING LARGER
IN STORAGE SPACE AND LIVING QUARTERS BELOW DECKS BY
WHICH SHE WAS BETTER ABLE TO PROVIDE COMFORTABLE
LIVING QUARTERS FOR MORE PLANE
CREWS. THE EXTRA SIZE OF SPACE OF THE AFT-DECK
ALLOWED THE CREW OF THE AIR MAINTENANCE DIVISION
ADDED WORKING ROOM IN WHICH THEY COULD OPERATE
WITHOUT INTERFERENCE FROM THE HANGER AREA AND LARGE
AND COMPLETE MACHINES AND VITAL SHOPS WERE ADDED.

USS CURRITUCKIS KEEL WAS LAID MONDAY 14 DECEMBER 1942
IN THE U.S NAVY YARD, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA AND
LIAUNCHED ON 11 SEPTEMBER 1943; SPONSORED BY MRS.
MILO F. DRAEMEL, WIFE OF THE COMMANDANT, FOURTH NAVAL
DISTRICT NAVY YARD, PHIADELPHIA, PA. ON THE 26TH DAY
OF JUNE 1944, CAPTAIN W. A. EVANS, USN., OF
ALEXANDRIA, VA ASSUMED COMMAND OF THE SHIP IN
APPROPRIATE CEREMONIES AND GAVE THE ORDER TO SET THE
WATCH AND THE COMMISSIONING AND RAISING OF THE
PENNANT TOOK PLACE@ THIS WELL ATTENDED CEREMONY HELD
IN TRADITIONAL MANNER TOOK PLACE IN THE CITY OF
PHILADELPHIA, WHERE THE KEEL WAS LAID IN DECEMBER
1942. THUS THE U.S.S. CURRITUCK, NAMED FOR THE
CURRITUCK SOUND IN THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA IN THE
VICINITY OF KITTY HAWK, THE SITE WHERE THE WRIGHT
BROTHERS FIRST GAVE BIRTH TO THE AVIATION IN THIS
COUNTRY, BECAME AFTER A YEAR AND A HALF FROM THE TIME
HER KEEL WAS LAID AN ACTIVE MEMBER OF THE U.S. FLEET
AND DESTINED TO DO HER PART IN DEFEATING THE ENEMIES
OF THE ALLIED NATIONS.

I


ON THIS DAY COMMANDER F. D. POWERS, USNR., OF UPPER
MONTCLAIR, NJ,
ASSUMED OFFICE AS THE EXECUTIVE OFFICER. His PREVIOUS
SERVICE WAS AS COMMANDER OF A SUBCHASER IN WORLD WAR
1, AND AS SUCH EARNED THE COVETED
NAVY CROSS FOR SKILL AND DARING IN HANDLING AND
PROTECTING SHIPPING LANES. COMMANDER POWERS REMAINED
IN THE ACTIVE FLEET RESERVE, AND WAS RECALLED TO
DUTY AS A COMMANDER IN JANUARY 1941. HE REMAINED
ABOARD THE CURRITUCK FROM
THE TIME OF HER COMMISSIONING IN JUNE UNTIL OCTOBER
1944, WHEN HE RECEIVED COMMAND OF THE U.S.S. WRIGHT
IN THE MANUS ISLANDS AND WAS PROMOTED TO THE RANK OF
CAPTAIN.

WHILE THE SHIP WAS BEING CONSTRUCTED THE OFFICERS AND
CREW WERE QUITE GREEN AS TO THEIR DUTIES ABOARD.
THERE WAS NO OPPORTUNITY FOR DRILLS OR TRAINING
ABOARD SHIP BUT THIS WAS A PROBLEM WHICH WAS MET AND
SOLVED DURING THE TIME OF SHAKEDOWN CRUISE.

UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF ENSIGN B.M. THROCKMORTON OF
SAN FRANCISCO,
CA., WHO CAME UP FROM THE RANKS TO ASSUME DUTIES AS
THE FIRST LIEUTENANT OF THE SHIP WITH THE RANK OF
FULL LIEUTENANT, THE DAMAGE CONTROL ORGANIZATION WAS
SOON WHIPPED INTO SHAPE,

AIDING LIEUTENANT THROCKMORTON IN SETTING UP THE
DAMAGE CONTROL ORGANIZATION WAS CHIEF WARRANT
CARPENTER THOMAS H. ERNST, OF DAYTON, OH.

IMMEDIATELY THE CREW UNDERWENT INTENSIVE INSTRUCTION
AND DRILL IN ALL SHIPBOARD OPERATIONS, ROUTINE AND
EMERGENCY. THE GUNNERY DEPARTMENT BECAME A CONCISE
AND COORDINATED GROUP, WORKING AS ONE UNIT AND PLAYED
THEIR PART SO WELL LATER ON THAT THE SHIP RETURNED
STATESIDE WITH NO MATERIAL BATTLE CASUALTIES.

ON THE LAST DAY OF AUGUST 1944, THE SHIP LEFT FOR ITS
OVERSEAS DESTINATION, WHICH WAS TO BE FINSCHAVEN, NEW
GUINEA, TO SERVE AS THE FLAGSHIP FOR THE COMMANDER
AIRCRAFT, SEVENTH FLEET, AT BALBOA, CANAL ZONE, SHE
EMBARKED PASSENGERS FOR TRANSPORTATION TO MANUS
ISLAND IN THE ADMIRALTY ISLANDS ON SATURDAY 9
SEPTEMBER 1944. CURRITUCK CROSSED THE EQUATOR ON
SUNDAY 17 SEPTEMBER AND THE INTERNATIONAL DATELINE ON
TUESDAY 26 SEPTEMBER 1944. PERSONNEL ABOARD TOOK THE
CROSSING TIME OF 23 DAYS IN GOOD SPIRITS, FINDING
TIME FROM THEIR ROUTINE DUTIES TO HOLD
THE SHELLBACK CEREMONIES WHEN THEY CROSSED THE
EQUATOR. ARRIVING IN NEW GUINEA, THE 3RD OF OCTOBER
1944, THE SHIP WAS IMMEDIATELY ORDERED TO PROCEED TO
MANUS ISLAND OF THE ADMIRALTY GROUP WHERE THE
COMMANDER AIRCRAFT, SEVENTH FLEET, REAR ADMIRAL FRANK
B. WAGNER, USN., CAME ABOARD WITH HIS STAFF AND
RAISED HIS FLAG ON 5 OCTOBER 1944.

DURING THE MONTH OF OCTOBER THERE WAS A QUICK
SUCCESSION OF SHUTTLE TRIPS BETWEEN WOENDI, MANUS,
MOROTAX, AND KosSEL PASSAGE AND THE PALAUS.
THE SHIP SERVED NOT ONLY AS AN AIRCRAFT TENDER, BUT
OPERATED AS A TRANSPORT AS WELL, CARRYING
CONSIDERABLE NUMBER OF PASSENGERS AND LARGE AMOUNTS
OF CARGOES TO THE ISLANDS NEEDING MEN AND SUPPLIES.

IN THE MONTHS OF NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER AT TACLOBAN,
IN THE LEYTE AREA, THE SHIPS FORCE WAS KEPT BUSY
WORKING AROUND THE CLOCK OPERATING AND
TENDING SEAPLANES, BECOMING ACCUSTOMED TO BEING
CALLED REGULARLY TO GENERAL QUARTERS AND ACTING AS A
SUPPLY AND EMERGENCY BASE FOR NUMEROUS NON- AVIATION
UNITS WHICH HAD NOT CONTEMPLATED RECEIVING SUCH
SERVICES. DURING THIS CRITICAL AND HAZARDOUS PERIOD
THEY WERE MORE THAN A SEAPLANE TENDER, ACTING AS A
DISPATCH AND COMMUNICATION SHIP, THEY SERVED EVERY
MILITARY

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EFFORT IN THE TACLOBAN-JINAMOC AREA. COOPERATING WITH
THE ARMY, THE SHIP PROVIDED A WELL BALANCED DIET OF
FOOD TO ITS CREW AND GUESTS OF WHICH-THERE WERE OVER
1700 WHO CAME ABOARD FOR A DRY PLACE TO SLEEP AND A
CHANCE FOR A REAL MEAL, THEREBY GETTING THE
REPUTATION OF BEING A HFLOATING HOTELO.

DURING THIS TIME THE WELFARE OF THE MEN AND FEEDING
THEM FELL TO THE RESPONSIBILITY OF CHIEF PAY CLERK,
HARRY BARNHORST, USN., OF EAST PROVIDENCE, RI., A
VETERAN OF SOME THIRTY (30) YEARS OF SERVICE IN THE
NAVY. THE SHIP WAS WELL EQUIPPED AS THERE WERE ENOUGH
STORES ON BOARD TO FEED 1200 MEN FOR A PERIOD OF 90
DAYS.

DURING THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER THE CURRITUCK WAS THE
ONLY MAJOR SHIP IN THE SAN PEDRO BAY AREA OF THIS
LARGE LEYTE GULF. ON NOVEMBER THE 14TH AT 0738 IN THE
MORNING ZEKES ATTACKED FROM THE STARBOARD QUARTER AND
THE GUNNERS ENGAGED THEM IN A RUNNING BATTLE
RESULTING IN ONE ZEKE BEING SHOT DOWN, THERE BEING NO
DAMAGE TO THE SHIP OR PERSONNEL. DURING THE MONTH OF
DECEMBER WHILE LYING AT ANCHOR OFF THE LEYTE
BEACHHEAD THE CREW WAS GIVEN A RESPITE BY THE ENEMY,
AND EXCEPT FOR AN OCCASIONAL SOUND OF THE ALERT SIREN
THERE WAS NO ENEMY CONTACT OR ACTIVITY, AND THE CREW
HAD A CHANCE TO RELAX COMPLETELY FOR THE FIRST TIME
IN OVER A MONTH.

THE MORNING OF 6 JANUARY 1945 FOUND THE SHIP RIGGED
FOR SEA AND EVERY MAN ALERT AT HIS BATTLE STATION AS
THEY TOOK THEIR ASSIGNED POSITION IN TASK FORCE 79.
ON THE MORNING OF THE INVASION OF LINGAYEN GULF IN
THE PHILIPPINES THE 9TH OF JANUARY 1945 THE
CURRITUCK, ACCOMPANIED BY THE USS BARATARIA, A SMALL
SEAPLANE TENDER, FORMEI) A SMALL BUT ACTIVE PART OF
THE HUGE ARMADA CONTAINING MANY TYPES OF SHIPS. IT
WAS A WELL PLANNED AND COORDINATED AMPHIBIOUS
OPERATION, EVERY UNIT WENT ABOUT ITS BUSINESS AND
CARRIED OUT ITS ASSIGNED DUTIES. THE TWO TENDERS
IMMEDIATELY WERE DETACHED UPON ARRIVING IN THE
CENTRAL BAY AREA AND PROCEEDED TO CARRY OUT THEIR
ASSIGNED MISSIONS OF LAYING SEAPLANE MOORINGS.
SHORTLY BEFORE DROPPING THE HOOK THE CURRITUCK HAD
COME TO A HALT NEAR SOME LARGE COMBATANT SHIPS WHICH
WERE POUNDING THE SHORES WITH THEIR GUNS AND UNKNOWN
TO THE CREW ABOARD THE CURRITUCK, THEY WERE CREDITED
WITH BEING A PART OF THE BOMBARDMENT GROUP WHICH
EARNED THE NAME OF THE FIGHTING TENDER, ACTUALLY
HOWEVER THE SHIP PLAYED NO PART IN THE BOMBARDMENT OF
THE BEACHHEAD.

DURING THE PERIOD OF 6 NOVEMBER 1944 TO 6 JANUARY
1945 THE SENIOR MEDICAL OFFICER OF THE CURRITUCK WAS
RECOMMENDED FOR THE AWARD OF THE BRONZE STAR MEDAL
AND CITATION BY COMMANDER AIRCRAFT, SEVENTH FLEET. TH
SENIOR MEDICAL OFFICER BEING AT THAT TIME COMMANDER
FRANKLIN G. BALCH, (MC), USNR. THE CEREMONIES TOOK
PLACED ABOARD SHIP, WITH THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF
THE SHIP MAKING THE PRESENTATION, ON 11 AUGUST 1945.

COMMANDER BALCH WHOSE HOME IS IN NEWTON CENTER, MA.,
RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING CITATION FROM COMMANDER
AIRCRAFT, SEVENTH FLEET IN THE NAME OF THE PRESIDENT
OF THE UNITED STATES. UFOR DISTINGUISHING HIMSELF BY
MERITORIOUS ACHIEVEMENT IN CONNECTION WITH OPERATIONS
AGAINST THE ENEMY. DURING THE PERIOD BETWEEN 6
NOVEMBER 1944 AND 6 JANUARY 1945, AS SENIOR MEDICAL
OFFICER OF THE CURRITUCK DURING ITS STAY IN LEYTE
GULF, PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, COMMANDER FRANKLIN G.
BALCH, JR., (MC), USNR, DISPLAYED OUTSTANDING
LEADERSHIP, INTELLIGENCE AND PROFESSIONAL SKILL. AS A
RESULT OF HIS EFFORTS THE HEALTH AND MORALE OF
PERSONNEL OF UNITS IN COMMANDER AIRCRAFT, SEVENTH
FLEET, BASED ABOARD THE CURRITUCK, DURING THIS
HAZARDOUS AND CRITICAL PERIOD WAS MAINTAINED AT A
HIGH STANDARD. HE FURNISHED EMERGENCY SURGICAL AND
MEDICAL SERVICES TO SEVERAL NEARBY UNITS DURING THE

3


EARLY WEEKS OF THE INVASION OF LEYTE. His OUTSTANDING
SERVICE AND CONDUCT THROUGHOUT THIS PERIOD WERE IN
KEEPING WITH THE HIGHEST TRADITIONS OF THE NAVY OF
THE UNITED STATES.

DURING THE NEXT FEW DAYS, IN JANUARY, THE SHIP WAS
ALERTED AGAIN AND AGAIN, BECAUSE OF SUICIDE SWIMMERS
AND CERTAIN TYPES OF MIDGET SUBMARINES AND BAKAH
BOATS OPERATING IN THE VICINITY. IT WAS DURING THIS
TIME THAT 3 JAP PRISONERS WERE BROUGHT ABOARD AND
FOUND TO BE CARRYING A DEADLY CHARGE OF EXPLOSIVES IN
THEIR FANATICAL SUICIDE ATTEMPTS TO HARASS AND
DESTROY SHIPPING IN THE HARBOR. HOWEVER, THESE
ATTEMPTS PROVED VERY UNSUCCESSFUL DUE TO THE
ALERTNESS OF THE LOOKOUTS ABOARD THE NAVAL VESSELS IN
THE HARBOR AREA. FROM ITS SEADROME, ITS flBLACK CATU
SQUADRONS ROAMED THE CHINA SEA, PRODUCING VERY
EFFECTIVE RESULTS.

IT WAS ABOUT THIS TIME ONE JAP BOMBER FLYING LOW
BETWEEN THE MASTS LET GO WITH A BOMB WHICH EXPLODED
IN THE WATER AND SCORED A NEAR MISS. JAP ARTILLERY
WAS COMING UNCOMFORTABLY CLOSE IN THE FORM OF HEAVY
CONCENTRATION RATHER THAN ACCURACY AND FORCED BOTH
TENDERS TO SHIFT TO NEW MOORINGS IN LINGAYEN GULF.
THAT SAME EVENING A BOMBER MADE A PASS AT THE SHIP
BUT THE GUN CREWS, WORKING UNDER THE DIRECTION OF
LIEUTENANT (JG) MILTON T. McPHERSON, USN., OF SAN
DIEGO, CA, SHOT DOWN THE ATTACKER WHICH CRASHED
INTO THE SEA IN FLAMES AND EXPLODED AND GAVE THE SHIP
ANOTHER TALLY IN ITS BOX SCORE OF ENEMY PLANES
DESTROYED. THE SHIP CONTINUED OPERATIONS AT ITS NEW
MOORINGS AND THE ROUTINE FLIGHTS OF THE PATROL
BOMBERS CONTINUED IN AND ACROSS THE CHINA SEA.

DURING THE TIME THE SHIP WAS UNDER FIRE FROM AIR
ATTACKS FOUR MEN WERE WOUNDED BY SHRAPNEL. NONE OF
THE MEN RECEIVED VITAL INJURIES AND LATER RECEIVED
THE ORDER OF THE PURPLE HEART. THE FOUR RECEIVING THE
AWARD WERE
WILLIAM M PERKINS, SIC, OF WALLA WALLA, WA., AND
HENRY J. ANNUNZIATA, SC3c, OF SEA CLIFF, NY., HOWARD
J. KORPACY, SIC, OF PITTSBURGH, PA, AND Guy B.
ELLINGER, SIC, OF CRIMORA, VA.

DURING THE TIME OF THE SHIP'S OPERATIONAL ACTIVITIES
A FEW OF THE OFFICERS AND MEN RECEIVED THE AIR MEDAL
FOR FLIGHTS OVER ENEMY TERRITORY; WHEN ACTING IN THE
ROLE OF TECHNICAL OBSERVERS THEY FLEW WITH THE
SQUADRONS. THE LAST WEEK IN JANUARY THE CURRITUCK WAS
RELIEVED BY THE USS TANGIER (AV-8) AND WHILE ENROUTE
To TACLOBAN, LEYTE SHE STOPPED OFF AT SAN JOSE AREA
OF MINDORO, WHERE THE MAINTENANCE CREW OF THE OV
DIVISION SET A RECORD BY CHANGING 7 AIRCRAFT ENGINES
FOR VP-25's SEAPLANES BASED THERE IN FIVE DAYS.

FEBRUARY AGAIN FOUND THE SHIP CARRYING OUT ROUTINE
DUTIES ACTING AS A SEAPLANE TENDER AND SENDING FORTH
BOMBER PATROLS WHICH FLEW NIGHTLY IN OPERATIONS WHICH
TOOK THEM AS FAR NORTH AS FORMOSA ALONG THE CHINA
COAST AND BACK TO THE SHIP BY THE BREAK OF DAWN.
THEIR MAIN OBJECTIVE A'r THIS TIME DURING THE TWO
MONTHS WAS TO ATTACK AND HARASS JAPANESE SHIPPING
SUPPLY LINES BETWEEN THE HOME ISLANDS AND ITS
CONQUERED TERRITORIES. THE PLANES FROM THE TENDER IN
FLYING THEIR ASSIGNED SECTORSI CONTRIBUTED MATERIALLY
IN BRINGING AN END TO THE HOSTILITIES BY THEIR
STRAFING AND BOMBING OF SHIPS AND LAND BASED JAP
AIRFIELDS AND TAKING PART IN BOMBING MISSIONS OVER
ENEMY OCCUPIED TERRITORY.

DURING THE EARLY DAYS OF MARCH SHE SAILED TO THE
VARIOUS ISLANDS IN THE PHILIPPINE GROUP CARRYING
FREIGHT AND PASSENGERS AND ACTING AS A TROOP
TRANSPORT. SATURDAY 3 MARCH FOUND THE CURRITUCK OFF
OF NAVAL BASE AND

4i



NAVAL AIR STATION, SAMAR ISLAND, P.I., LOADING
AVIATION SUPPLIES ON HER WAY TO MANILA BAY. ON MARCH
6, THE SHIP ENTERED MANILA BAY FOR THE FIRST TIME,
ESTABLISHING A SEADROME OFF OF SANGLEY POINT, CAVITE,
P.I. AND THIS WAS
DONE WHILE THE ffRoCKO (CORREGIDOR) WAS UNDERGOING
HER FINAL ASSAULTS BY THE AGGRESSIVE ARMY AIR FORCE
ATTACK AND BOMBING PLANES. ADMIRAL WAGNER WAS BACK TO
WHERE HE HAD STARTED AS PATROL WING 10, COMMANDER,
WHEN CAVITE HAD BEEN BOMBED ON WEDNESDAY 10 DECEMBER
1941.

IN MARCH 1945, WORD WAS RECEIVED THAT THREE PBM'S HAD
GONE DOWN DUE TO WATER IN THE FUEL. ONE CRASHED ON
LAND, WHILE THE OTHERS WERE ABLE TO LAND ON WATER,
ABOUT 90 MILES DOWN THE COAST FROM LINGAYEN GULF. THE
CREWS WERE PICKED UP BY FRIENDLY PHILIPPINOS AND
TAKEN TO A MAKE-SHIFT HOSPITAL
SEVERAL MILES INLAND, ALL SUFFERING FROM SECOND AND
THIRD DEGREE BURNS. CURRITUCK DISPATCHED A MEDICAL
TEAM CONSISTING OF LT. TOPOL, DC, USNR, LT. GREEN,
MC, USNR, ALBERT KEENAN, PHM2 AND WAYNE HACKLEY, PHM3
IN A CRASH
BOAT DOWN THE COAST. RUBBER RAFTS WERE USED TO GET
ASHORE AND UPON LANDING THEY LOCATED A U.S. ARMY
RADIO STATION AND WERE TOLD THERE WERE JAPANESE
SOLDIERS IN THE AREA TRYING TO AVOID CAPTURE. AFTER A
TREKKING THROUGH WILD AND HAZARDOUS TERRITORY, THE
HOSPITAL WAS LOCATED. THERE WAS NO MEDICAL EQUIPMENT
AT THIS LOCATION AND THE BURNS HAD BEEN COVERED WITH
BAMBOO LEAVES AND IT SEEMED UNLIKELY THAT THESE MEN
WOULD SURVIVE. MEDICAL ATTENTION WAS PROVIDED BY
ADMINISTERING MORPHINE AND SULPHA POWDER. BLOOD
PLASMA WAS STARTED AND THE MEN WERE MOVED BACK TO THE
COAST* THE SOLDIERS FROM THE RADIO STATION SENT CODED
MESSAGES TO THE SHIP REQUESTING SEAPLANES TO PICK
THEM up,u(NOTE; THE CODE NAME FOR THE USS CURRITUCK
WAS FIREFLY,) KEENAN TOOK THE FIRST TWO CASUALITIES
ON THE FIRST PLANE AND OTHER
SEAPLANES FOLLOWED BRINGING ALL THE MEN BACK TO THE
SHIP WHERE THE FULL HOSPITAL CREW ADMINISTERED
TREATMENT. Two OF THE MEN SURVIVED AND SPENT
CONSIDERABLE TIME ABOARD SHIP BEFORE BEING TRANSFERED
TO A HOSPITAL SHIP AND LATER RETURNED TO THE STATES.
AGAIN, COMMMANDER FRANKLIN BALCH, MC, USNR, TOGETHER
WITH ALL THE HOSPITAL CREW DESERVED CREDIT FOR THEIR
EFFORTS IN PROVIDING MEDICAL ATTENTION IN SPITE OF
THE GREAT ODDS AGAINST THEM.

ON THIS SAME DAY, SQUADRON VPB-20 WAS TAKEN ABOARD
WHEN THEY ARRIVED FROM MINDORO THE TYPE OF PLANES
BEING PBM-5's. OPERATIONS COMMENCED ON THE BTH DAY OF
MARCH, 3 PLANES DAILY MAKING ROUTINE FLIGHTS TO THE
CHINA COAST, WHICH OPERATIONS CONTINUED THRU TO MAY
1945 WHEN THE SHIP SENT OUT 4 PLANES TO ATTACK A JAP
CONVOY THAT WAS TRYING TO PULL A SNEAK TO ITS HOME
WATERS COMING UP FROM THE SOUTH ALONG THE CHINA
COAST. THE CONVOY WAS SIGHTED AND FOUND TO BE A GROUP
OF NINE SHIPS COMPOSED OF TRANSPORTS AND DESTROYERS.
THE PLANES OF THE SQUADRON BESIDES SCORING POSSIBLE
HITS KEPT HARASSING THE CONVOYS AND FORCED THEM TO
BREAK UP, AND RUN FOR COVER IN PROTECTIVE COVES IN
THE AREA. ALL PLANES RETURNED TO THE MOTHER SHIP WITH
THE EXCEPTION OF ONE, AND ITS ENTIRE CREW OF 14
PERSONNEL ABOARD WERE DECLARED OFFICIALLY MISSING IN
ENEMY ACTION OFF THE CHINA COAST. THE SHIP ASSUMED
ROUTINE DUTIES UNTIL 10 JUNE AT SANGLEY POINT, CAVITE
AND ATTENDED IN ADDII'l,@)N TO ITS OWN PLANES,
TRANSIENT VPB PLANES WHICH WERE USING THE SHIP AS AN
OPERATIONAL BASE. COMMANDER AIRCRAFT, SEVENTH FLEET
DISEMBARKED AND ESTABLISHED HEADQUARTERS ASHORE AT
SANGLEY POINT, I JUNE 1945.

ON JUNE IOTH THE SHIP DEPARTED FROM THE MANILA AREA
AND RETURNED TO
ITS OWN'OPERATING BASE OFF CABALITIAN ISLAND,
LINGAYEN GULF. CAPTAIN EVANS NOW ACTING AS COMMANDER
TASK FORCE 73.1 AND SENIOR OFFICER PRESENT AFLOAT
RELIEVE]) THE USS TANGIER OF SUPPORT AND PATROL
BOMBING. AGAIN WAS AN OLD FRIEND THE USS BARATARIA
ANCHORED NEAR BY AND TOGETHER THEY USEI) THE PORT

5



SUAL AREA AS A BASIC OPERATIONAL ADVANTAGE POINT
UNTIL V-J DAY, WEDNESDAY 15 AUGUST 1945..

ON AUGUST 14-15 AIR PATROLS FROM THIS SHIP ENGAGED
JAPANESE SMALL
CRAFT OFF THE CHINA COAST AS A FITTING CONCLUSION OF
ITS HISTORY AND ACTIVE PART PLAYED IN THE WAR. THE
SHIP RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING DISPATCH FROM COMMANDER
AIRCRAFT, SEVENTH FLEET, NNIGHT MARES WORK ON NIGHT
OF 13TH AND 14TH WAS AN EXCELLENT FINALE FOR COMBAT
OPERATIONS THIS AREA. ALSO FROM USS SAN PABLO TO
CURRITUCK THE FOLLOWING CONGRATULATORY MESSAGE WAS
RECEIVED, OWE ARE WELL AWARE OF THE SUPERLATIVE
OFFENSIVE YOUR TASK GROUP HAS CARRIED ACROSS THE
SOUTH CHINA SEA AND THE ENTHUSIASM YOUR COMBAT
AIRCREWS HAVE CONSISTENTLY DISPLAYED. WE ARE PROUD TO
HAVE BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH THE CURRITUCK IN THE
PHILIPPINES. BEST REGARDS. GEORGE E. HUGHES,
COMMANDING.

TWENTY AUGUST 1945 FOUND THE SHIP UNDERWAY TO SUBIC
BAY, LUZON ISLAND, P.I. WHERE SHE PICKED UP SUPPLIES
AND GOT UNDERWAY FOR CAVITE FOR REFUELING AND ROUTINE
DUTIES. SHE COMPLETED HER DUTY UNDER THE COMMANDER
AIRCRAFT, SEVENTH FLEET ON THE 28TH OF AUGUST AND
REPORTED TO THE COMMANDER, SEVENTH FLEET FOR DUTY.
THE 29TH OF AUGUST FOUND CAPTAIN EVANS OF THE
CURRITUCK AS THE COMMANDER OF TASK FORCE 70.4
COMPRISING THE USS BARATARIA (AVP-33), USS PRATT (DE-
363) AND USS ROMBACH (DE-364), AND ON 30 AUGUST
ACCOMPANIED BY THE USS HALF MOON (AVP-26) AS AN ADDED
MEMBER OF THE FORCE SET SAIL FOR OKINAWA, RYUKYU
ISLANDS.

WHILE UNDERWAY TO OKINAWA THEY RAN INTO A TYPHOON OFF
THE NORTHEAST COAST OF LUZON AND DUE TO ITS STRENGTH
THE HALF MOON AND BARATARIA WERE GIVEN PERMISSION TO
LEAVE THEIR POSITION AND PROCEED INDEPENDENTLY. By
0800 THE WIND WAS IN EXCESS OF 90 KNOTS AND THE SHIP
WAS OBLIGED TO HEAVE TO, AND RIDE OUT THE TYPHOON.
EXCEPT FOR FLOODING OF THE FORWARD MAGAZINES AND
TAKING WATER THROUGH VENTS IN THE 3RD DECK AFT
BERTHING COMPARTMENTS WHERE THE DAMAGE CONTROL CREWS
WORKED THROUGHOUT THE STORM, THE SHIP SUFFERED NO
DAMAGE AND SOON AFTER THE STORM PROCEEDED ON HER WAY.

ON 3 SEPTEMBER THE SHIP DROPPED ANCHOR IN BUCKNER
BAY, OKINAWA AND SERVED AS A MAINTENANCE BASE FOR THE
SEAPLANES BASED THERE. AFTER THE WAR'S END, THE
PLANES ATTACHED TO THE SHIP ENGAGED IN FOUR AIR SEA
RESCUE MISSIONS To LST's OF WHICH THREE WERE
SUCCESSFUL AND ONE WAS A FAILURE DUE TO THE HEAVY
SEAS OFF OKINAWA. THE MEDICAL OFFICER AND THE
ASSISTANT TAKING PART IN THE MERCY FLIGHTS WERE
LIEUTENANT ROBERT L. ROUEN, (MC), USN., OF GOSHEN,
INDIANA AND AUBURN P. RATCLIFF, PHMIC, OF BEAUMONT,
TEXAS. CURRITUCK DEPARTED BUCKNER BAY FOR JINSEN
(INCHON), KOREA AS PART OF THE REOCCUPATION FORCE FOR
THIS REGION, ARRIVING THERE ON SUNDAY 9 SEPTEMBER,
WHERE SHE SET UP A TEMPORARY SEADROME. SHE DEPARTED
JINSEN, KOREA FOR SHANGHAI, CHINA, ARRIVING THERE ON
FRIDAY 21 SEPTEMBER 1945.

CURRITUCK SET UP A SEADROME OFF THE OLD PAN AMERICAN
AIRWAYS SEAPLANE STATION A SHANGHI. SHE REMAINED IN
THE FAR EAST IN SUPPORT OF RE- ESTABLISHING GENERAL
CHIANG KAI SHEK'S REGIME BACK INTO CIVIL GOVERNMENT
THROUGHOUT THE MAJOR SEAPORTS OF CHINA. CURRITUCK
PROCEEDED TO SET UP SEAPLANE OPERATIONS AT TAKU ON
MONDAY I OCTOBER, THEN ON To TSINGTAO ON MONDAY 8
OCTOBER 1945.

CURRITUCK RETURNED TO OKINAWA ON SUNDAY 28 OCTOBER,
WHERE SHE DID LIMITED OPERATIONS AT CHIMA-WAN AND
BUCKNER BAY.

6


ONE YEAR AND FIVE MONTHS AFTER COMMISSIONING, THE
SHIP UNDERWENT A CHANGE OF COMMAND ON THE 19TH DAY OF
NOVEMBER 1945, WHEN CAPTAIN JOHN E. CLARK, USN., OF
LEAVENWORTH, KANSAS, ASSUMED COMMAND RELIEVING
CAPTAIN EVANS, AND BECAME THE SECONI) SKIPPER OF THE
USS CURRITUCK. ALSO THERE HAD BEEN FOUR CHANGES IN
THE EXECUTIVE OFFICERS' DURING THE TIME THE SHIP WAS
COMMISSIONED WHEN COMMANDER POWERS FIRST ASSUMED THE
EXECUTIVE OFFICERS' DUTIES, LIEUTENANT COMMANDER
GORDON BEAL, USNR., OF NARBETH, PA.,
SUCCEEDED COMMANDER POWERS ON 6 OCTOBER 1944 AS THE
EXECUTIVE OFFICER UNTIL 29 OCTOBER 1945 WHEN HE WAS
RELIEVED By LIEUTENANT COMMANDER DAVID C.
MILLER, USNR., WHO TURNED OVER DUTIES OF HIS OFFICE
ON NOVEMBER 7TH, TO LIEUTENANT JACK N. PARKER, USN.,
OF JACKSON, MICHIGAN.

CURRITUCK GOT UNDERWAY FOR STATESIDE ON THURSDAY 6
DECEMBER 1945, STOPPING OFF AT GUAM ON HER WAY TO SAN
FRANCISCO. RETURNING TO ITS HOME WATERS FOR THE FIRST
TIME IN SIXTEEN MONTHS, CARRYING 570 NAVAL PERSONNEL
AND 34 ARMY PERSONNEL AS PASSENGERS TO HAWAII AND THE
UNITED STATES, AND AVIATION MARINE FIGHTER PLANES AND
AVIATION GEAR WHICH WAS UNLOADED AT PEARL HARBOR. ON
13 DECEMBER THE SHIP THEN PROCEEDED TO SAN FRANCISCO,
CALIFORNIA, ARRIVING ON 30 DECEMBER 1945 WHERE IT
ENTERED DRYDOCK FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE ITS
COMMISSIONING DATE OF 26 JUNE 1944; BRINGING TO A
SUCCESSFUL CLIMAX ITS FIRST CRUISE AS A SEAPLANE
TENDER OF THE FLEET.

WHILE AT NAVAL SHIPYARD HUNTERS POINT, SHE WAS
REFITTED AND PREPARED FOR HER NEXT ASSIGNMENT. HER
Bow 40 MM GUN TUB AND FORWARD 5 TURRET WERE REMOVED
AND A HELICOPTER DECK WAS INSTALLED FOR
OPERATION HIGH JUMP.

OHIGH JUMP WAS A COLD WEATHER EXERCISE, DURING WHICH
AMERICA'S NEWEST ANTARTIC EXPEDITION WAS TASKED IN
AMBITIOUS AERIAL MAPPING OF THIS SUBCONTINENT. THIS
ASSIGNMENT WAS THE MOST EXTENSIVE IN THE HISTORY OF
POLAR EXPLORATION. AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHIC-MAPPING
MISSIONS WERE FLOWN ALL OVER THE VAST UNEXPLORED AND
TO THAT DATE, UNCHARTED AREAS OF THE ANTARTICA.

THIS OPERATION WAS CODE NAMED TASK FORCE 68, AND IT
WAS COMMANDED BY REAR ADMIRAL RICHARD EVELYN BYRD,
USN, WHO HELD OVERALL TECHNICAL CONTROL, ADMIRAL BYRD
WAS ONE OF THE WORLD'S FOREMOST NOTED AVIATION
PIONEERS, AND AN EXPERIENCED ANTARTIC EXPLORER. REAR
ADMIRAL RICHARD H. CRUZEN, USN WAS ACTUAL TASK FORCE
COMMANDER.

IN ORDER TO HAVE MAXIMUM DAYLIGHT FOR THIS
EXPEDITION, THE UNITS OF TASK FORCE 68 HAD TO LEAVE
THE STATES FOR THE POLAR REGION DURING DECEMBER. THIS
EXPEDITION WAS MADE UP INTO THREE GROUPS, WITH THE
CENTRAL GROUP
MAKING UP ITS HEADQUARTERS ABOARD THE FLAGSHIP USS
MT. OLYMPUS (AGC-8) AND HER SUPPORT UNITS SAILING
FROM VARIOUS EAST COAST PORTS, THE SECOND GROUP, AKA
THE EASTERN GROUP, WAS BUILT AROUND THE USS PINE
ISLAND (AV-12) WHICH SAILED FROM NORFOLK, VIRGINIA.
THE THIRD GROUP WAS BUILT AROUND THE USS CURRITUCK
(AV-7) AKA THE WESTERN GROUP, SAILED FROM SAN DIEGO,
CALIFORNIA ON MONDAY 2 DECEMBER 1946.

NOT PART OF THE EXPEDITION, BUT SUPPORTING IT, THE
USS PHILIPPINE SEA (CV-47), FERRING SIX SKI-EQUIPPED
R4D'S, LEFT NORFOLK IN EARLY JANUARY 1947. SHE
TRAVELED THROUGH THE PANAMA CANAL AND STEAMED TO A
POINT APPROXIMATELY 500 MILES OFF THE ANTARTIC SHELF.
FROM THERE SHE LAUNCHED THE R4D's WITH THE ASSIST OF
JATO, AND THEY FLEW ON To LITTLE AMERICA, ANTARTICA.
THIS WHOLE OPERATION WAS A FIRST IN NAVAL AVIATION.

7




THE TASK FORCE ALSO INCLUDE]) THE USS YANCEY (AKA-
93), USS MERRICK (AKA-97), USS SENNET (SS-408), USCG
NORTHWIND (WAGB-282), USCG BURTON
ISLAND (WAGB-283), USS CANISTEO (AO-99), USS BROWNSON
(DD-868), USS CACAPON (AO-52) AND USS HENDERSON (DD-
785).

DURING THIS EXPEDITION THE R4D's OPERATED FROM THE
LITTLE AMERICA 13ASE AND THEY WERE TASKED IN PHOTO-
MAPPING THE ENTIRE CENTRAL REGIONOF THIS CONTINENT$
MEANWHILE, THE PBM'S OPERATING FROM THE TWO SEAPLANE
TENDERS, PHOTO-MAPPED THE COASTAL REGIONS OF THIS
VAST POLAR CONTINENT.

ONE OF THE MAJOR OBJECTIVES OF THIS EXPEDITION WAS TO
EVALUATE HOW EVERY DAY, STANDARD NAVY EQUIPMENT WOULD
PERFORM UNDER SUCH COLD WEATHER AND ADVERSE USAGE
CONDITIONS. THIS EXPEDITION WAS CONDUCTED DURING
DECEMBER 1946 To APRIL 1947, AND IT WAS CONSIDERED TO
BE A VERY SUCCESSFUL OPERATION. FROM THEIR OPERATING
AREA IN THE ANTARTIC REGION, CURRITUCK SAILED TO
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA FOR A SIX DAY LAY-OVER, FROM 13 To
20 MARCH 1947, BEFORE PROCEEDING BACK TO STATESIDE.

USS CURRITUCK RETURNEI) TO NAVAL BASE NORFOLK,
VIRGINIA BY WAY OF THE PANAMA CANAL, ARRIVING THERE
ON FRIDAY 18 APRIL 1947. UPON THE COMPLETION OF
OFFLOADING STORES AND AMMUNITION THE CURRITUCK
PROCEEDED To NAVAL SHIPYARD, PHILADELPHIA WHERE IT
WAS PLACED OUT OF COMMISSION AND IN THE ATLANTIC
RESERVE FLEET ON 7 AUGUST 1947.

USS CURRITUCK WAS RECOMMISSIONED ON WEDNESDAY I
AUGUST 1951, WHEN CAPTAIN JOHN H. McELROY, USN READ
THE COMMISSIONING ORDERS AND ASSUMED COMMAND.
COMMANDER WALTER S. REID, USN, WAS THE EXECUTIVE
OFFICER. COMMANDER REID WAS THE CO-PILOT ON THE
OTRUCULENT TURTLEO, A P2V WHICH MADE AN HISTORIC
FLIGHT AND RECORD FROM PERTH, AUSTRALIA TO COLUMBUS,
OHIO, A DISTANCE OF 11,236 MILES IN 55 HOURS, 17
MINUTES, WITHOUT REFUELING.

AFTER REFITTING, CURRITUCK GOT UNDERWAY ON 17
DECEMBER 1951 FOR NORFOLK, VIRGINIA AND THEN ON TO A
FOUR MONTH SHAKEDOWN CRUISE. THIS EXERCISE TOOK HER
THROUGH THE CARIBBEAN REGION, MAKING PORT CALLS AT
HAITI, TRINIDAD, JAMAICA, SAN JUAN AND PANAMA,
COVERING SOME 8,687 MILES, BEFORE RETURNING To
NORFOLK, DURING THE TIME FRAME OF 28 JANUARY TO 14
APRIL 1952.

COMMANDER FRANK D. HEYER USN, RELIEVED COMMANDER REID
As EXECUTIVE OFFICER ON 23 APRIL 1952 AND ON 13 JUNE
1952, CAPTAIN HARVEY P. BURDEN, USN, ASSUMEID COMMAND
OF THE CURRITUICK.

ON 23 AUGUST 1952, CURRITUCK DEPARTED NORFOLK FOR A
CRUISE, OPERATION MAINBRACE, WHICH INCLUDED VISITS
To TRONDHEIM, NORWAY AND LEITH, SCOTLAND. DEPARTING
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND ON 7 OCTOBER THE SHIP ARRIVED IN
PHILADELPHIA ON 17 OCTOBER 1952 TO REPAIR VOYAGE
DAMAGE, RETURNING TO NORFOLK IN DECEMBER 1952.

OPERATION SPRINGBOARDO, WAS CONDUCTED FRom 6 JANUARY
To 29 MARCH 1953 IN THE SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO AREA
SERVICING \tP SQADRONs 49, 34, 44, 45 AND
661.

CAPTAIN J. D. BLACK, USN RELIEVED CAPTAIN BURDEN AS
COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE CURRITUCK ON 28 MAY 1953.

CURRITUCK DEPARTEX) NORFOLK ON 24 AUGUST 1953,
PASSING THROUGH THE PANAMA CANAL ON HER CRUISE TO
ESTABLISH A SPECIAL OPERATION IN THE

8


GALAPAGOS ISLANDS. IN THIS LOCATION, SHE SERVED AS A
MOBILE BASE FOR OPERATION CHURCHYN AND SKYHOOK.
THESE OPERATIONS INVOLVED A SCIENTIFIC
GROUP STUDYING COSMIC RADIATION IN THE STRATOSPHERE
DURING AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER 1953. CURRITUCKIS
AIRCRAFT AFT WORK DECK WAS UTILIZED To SPREAD OUT THE
HUGE PLASTIC BALLOONS FROM WHICH MANY SCIENTIFIC
TELEMETERING GADGETS WERE SUSPENDED. UPON RELEASE,
THESE BALLOONS WOULD REACH HEIGHTS OF 100,000 FEET.
DURING THESE BALLOON EXERCISES, CURRITUCK LAUNCHED
THIRTEEN OF THEM WITH THE PBM's OF VP-45, USS ELLYSON
(DMS-19) AND USS RODMAN (DMS-21) PROVIDING THEIR
SERVICES IN TRACKING AND RECOVERING THEM AND THEIR
GONDOLAS WHICH DROPPED BACK TO SEA, IN MOST CASES,
HUNDREDS OF MILES AWAY FROM CURRITUCK.

CURRITUCK RETURNED To NORFOLK ON 25 SEPTEMBER FOR
FOUR MONTHS OF DUTY IN LOCAL OPERATING AREAS, ON 6
OCTOBER 1953 COMMANDER EDWARD W. BISHOP, USN, BECAME
THE CURRITUCK'S NEW EXECUTIVE OFFICER.

SHE DEPARTED I FEBRUARY 1954 TO TAKE PART IN FLEET
MANEUVERS WHILE BASED AT GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA,
RETURNING To NORFOLK 2 APRIL FOR A SCHEDULE OF
TACTICS OFF THE VIRGINIA CAPES, SHE THEN DID A TOUR
OF DUTY WHILE BASED AT BERMUDA FROM 24 APRIL To 3
JUNE 1954.

WITH CAPTAIN J. B. VREDENBURGH, USN COMMANDING AND
COMMANDER E. W. BisHop, USN As EXECUTIVE OFFICER,
CURRITUCK DEPARTED ON 6 JULY 1954 FOR A
EUROPEAN CRUISE TO MILFORD HAVEN, WEST WALES,
OPERATING A SEADROME AND SERVICING VP-44 UNTIL
STEAMING TO VISIT TARANTO, ITALY IN AUGUST AND THEN
RETURNING TO MILFORD HAVEN AND VISITING PORTSMOUTH,
ENGLAND, SHE RETURNED TO NORFOLK ON 18 SEPTEMBER
1954.

CURRITUCK PARTICIPATED IN LOCAL AND CARIBBEAN
OPERATIONS UNTIL DEPLOYING ON A EUROPEAN CRUISE ON 26
AUGUST 1956. As PART OF THE SIXTH FLEET SHE VISITED
PRINCIPAL PORTS AND RETURNED To NORFOLK ON 13
DECEMBER 1956. AFTER COMPLETING VARIOUS LOCAL
OPERATIONS CURRITUCK PROCEEDED TO PHILADELPHIA NAVAL
SHIPYARD ON 9 JANUARY 1958 FOR INACTIVATION AND WAS
PLACED OUT OF COMMISSION ON 12 FEBRUARY 1958 FOR
MODERNIZATION AND OVERHAUL.

CURRITUCK WAS RECOMMISSIONED ON 20 AUGUST 1960 AND
FOLLOWING A SHAKEDOWN AND TRAINING CRUISE ALONG THE
EAST COAST AND CARIBBEAN, STEAMED THROUGH THE PANAMA
CANAL TO HER NEW HOME PORT OF SAN DIEGO ARRIVING ON 3
DECEMBER 1960.

SHE DEPLOYED TO THE WESTERN PACIFIC ON 27 JUNE 1961
ON HER FIRST TOUR WHERE SHE SERVED As FLAGSHIP FOR
COMMANDER, TAIWAN PATROL FORCE, REAR ADMIRAL BERNARD
M. STREAM. THIS FORCE, COMPRISED OF BOTH AIR AND
SURFACE PATROL, PROVIDED SURVEILLANCE PATROLS ALONG
THE COAST LINES OF SOVIET SIBERIA, NORTH KOREA.,
NORTH VIETNAM AND THE COMMUNIST-HELD CHINA MA,INLAND.

IN A WARM-UP CRUISE, PRIOR TO HER NEXT WEST-PAC
DEPLOYMENT, CURRITUCK MADE AN ALASKAN VOYAGE THAT
SPANNED THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS, OPERATING WITH VP-47
EQUIPPED WITH P5M MARLIN SEAPLANES. CURRITUCK, ON
THIS OPERATION, PROVIDED THE RARE OPPORTUNITY TO
VISIT THE PORT OF ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, AND BECAME THE
LARGEST SHIP EVER TO VISIT THAT PORT.

CURRITUCK BEGAN HER SECOND WEST-PAC TOUR ON 19 APRIL
1963 AND AGAIN IN EARLY 1964 OPERATING IN LINGAYEN
GULF IN EXERCISE OMINUTE MANDO, THE LOCATION OF HER
SEA]DROME IN JANUARY 1945, SOME TWENTY YEARS PRIOR,
THIS

9



TIME SERVICING VP-48. RETURNING TO MANILA ON 29 MAY
1964 SHE PARTICIPATED IN EXERCISE OLIGTASO, A 7
NATION, 75 SHIP TASK FORCE MASSIVE
AMPHIBIOUS/AIRBORNE EXERCISEI DURING WHICH CURRITUCK
SERVED AS COMMAND INFORMATION CENTER. NEXT WAS A
VISIT TO SAIGON, SOUTH VIETNAMI WHEREIN SHE HAD TO
NAVIGATE UP THE SAIGON RIVER THROUGH HOSTILE
TERRITORY. ARRIVING
OFF SAIGONI SHE NEGOTIATED A 180 DEGREE TURN BY
MAKING A PLANNED MANEUVER OF RUNNING HER ROW AGROUND
ON THE RIVER BANK AND SWINGING HER STERN UPSTREAM
UNTIL SHE HAD REVERSED HERSELF.

CURRITUCK DEPLOYED FOR A SUBSEQUENT WEST-PAC CRUISE
ON 23 APRIL 1965 TO BECOME FLAGSHIP SEVENTH FLEET.
AFTER VISITS To KOH SAMUI AND BANGKOK, THAILAND SHE
ESTABLISHED A SEADROME OFF OF CON SON, POULO CONDORES
ISLANDS, REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM ON 29 MAY 1965 AND
BEGAN SERVICING AIRCRAFT OF VP-40. DURING THIS PERIOD
CURRITUCK ESTABLISHED A NUMBER OF NFIRSTSO. ON 22
JUNE 1965, CURRITUCK BECAME THE FIRST.SHIP OF HER
CLASS TO ]DELIVER SHORE BOMBARDMENT AGAINST ENEMY
POSITIONS IN THE MEKONG DELTA REGION OF VIETNAM. SHE
ALSO ESTABLISHED A RECORD OF 67 ]DAYS OF CONTINUOUS
SEAPLANE OPERATIONS IN AN ADVANCED-BASE AREA. UPON
LEAVING VIETNAM, SHE VISITED HONG KONG, B.C.C.,
KEELUNG AND KAOHSIUNG, TAIWAN, YOKOSUKA, SASEBO AND
KOBE, JAPAN, SUBIC BAY, P.I. WHEN NOT AT BUCKNER BAY
OPERATING WITH VP-50. THE SHIP WAS COMMANDED BY
CAPTAIN MARTIN G. O'NEILL, USN AND COMMANDER KEITH E.
BAILEY, USN SERVED As EXECUTIVE OFFICER.

THE SHIP RETURNED TO SAN DIEGO ON I DECEMBER 1965 AND
ON 13 JANUARY 1966 DEPARTED FOR A TWO WEEK TRAINIG
CRUISE WITH STOPS AT MAGDELINA BAY AND LA PAZ,
MEXICO, RETURNING TO SAN DIEGO ON 27 JANUARY.

CURRITUCK's FINAL DEPLOYMENT TO WEST-PAC INCLUDED
OPERATIONS FROM A SEADROME AT HER ANCHORAGE IN CAm
RANH BAY, SOUTH VIETNAM WHERE SHE SERVICE THE P5M's
OF VP-40 DURING OPERATION NMARKET TIME. OPERATING
FROM CURRITUCK, VP-40 PARTICIPATED IN THE LAST
SEAPLANE TENDER OPERATIONS CONDUCTED BY THE U.S. NAVY
AND CLOSED THIS PHASE OF U.S. NAVAL AVIATION HISTORY
AFTER OPERATING THERE FROM 19 MARCH TO 12 APRIL 1967.
VP-40 LOGGED A TOTAL OF 860 FLIGHT HOURSI UTILIZING
BUT SEVEN AIRCRAFT FROM CURRITUCKI WHICH MAINTAINED
AN AVAILABILITY OF 94.38 PERCENT. ON 23 MAY 1967,
CURRITUCK RETURNED TO HER HOMEPORT OF SAN DIEGO AND
IN SO DOING BROUGHT DOWN THE CURTAIN ON ONE OF THE
MORE COLORFUL FACETS OF NAVAL AVIATION OPERATIONS.
SHE WAS THE LAST ACTIVE SEAPLANE TENDER IN THE U.S.
NAVY.

IN LATE SUMMER, USS CURRITUCK STEAMED TO PUGET SOUND
NAVAL SHIPYARD, BREMERTON, WASHINGTON FOR
DECOMMISSIONING. THERE SHE JOINED HER WEST-PAC
SISTERS: USS PINE ISLAND (AV-12) AND USS SALISBURY
SOUND (AV-13) ALREADY IN THE SAME STATUS. SHE WAS
LATER STRUCK FROM THE NAVAL RECORDS AND DISMANTLED AT
THE LEARNER SHIPYARD, OAKLANDs CALIFORNIA IN JUNE
1972.

I WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE MANY MEMBERS WHO PROVIDED
INFORMATION FROM THEIR PERSONAL FILES. AS ADDITIONAL
HISTORIC INFORMATION IS ACQUIRED ABOUT THE SHIP AND
HER HISTORYI THIS INFORMATION WILL BE INCLUDED IN THE
NEWSLETTERSI SO THAT EACH OF THE MEMBERS WHO SO
DESIRE, MAY CREATE THEIR OWN HISTORICAL FILES ON THE
USS CURRITUCK.

10





Keywords:



Entry: 81810
Subject: SHIP HISTORY

Phillip Roger Packer wrote on January 21, 2012

Email Update Needed



City and State:

Unit:

Service or Relationship: Navy Veteran

Comments: ~

UNOFFICIAL HISTORY OF THE U.S.S. CURRITUCK (AV-7)
WRITTEN AND COMPILED FROM INFORMATION TAKEN FROM THE
SHIP'S LOG, RECORDS, AND PERSONAL INTERVIEWS.

U.S.S. CURRITUCK (AV-7)
(DP. 14,000; L. 54015; B. 6913; DR. 2213-11; s. 19
K.; CPL. 1247; A. 4 511)

THE COMBATANT SHIPS OF OUR NAVY PLAYED AN OUTSTANDING
AND VITAL ROLE IN SWEEPING THE JAPANESE NAVY AND
JAPANESE SHIPPING FROM THE SEAS AND IN PUTTING TROOPS
ASHORE AND SUPPORTING THEM, BUT WITHOUT THE AUXILIARY
SHIPS OF THE FLEET DOING THEIR DUTY AS TRANSPORTSI
SUPPLY SHIPS, AND TENDERS OF ALL TYPES OF VESSELS
ENGAGED IN OFFENSIVE AS WELL AS DEFENSIVE TACTICS,
THIS MAGNIFICENT ACHIEVEMENT COULD NOT HAVE BEEN
POSSIBLE.

VESSELS SUCH AS THE U.S.S. CURRITUCK (AV-7)
CLASSIFIED AS A SEAPLANE TENDER, TAKING AN ACTIVE
PART IN ALL TYPES OF OPERATIONS AIDED IN MOLDING
TOGETHER AS ONE FIGHTING UNIT THE COMBAT SHIPS AND
THE AUXILIARY SHIPS SERVING AS A COMPONENT OF THE
NAVY.

THE CURRITUCK WAS LAID DOWN AS ONE OF THE NEWEST AND
LARGEST SEAPLANE TENDERS HAVING ALL MODERN
OPERATIONAL FACILITIES AS FOUND ON BOARD ALL CAPITAL
SHIPS PRIMARILY DESIGNED FOR OPERATIONING AIRCRAFT,
SUCH AS: OPERATIONS Room, AIR PLOT, COMBAT
INFORMATION CENTERS, AEROLOGICAL LAB, PILOTS READY
Room, AND LATEST UP TO DATE COMMUNICATIONS
FACILITIES, AND AS SUCH IT WAS DESTINED TO PLAY AN
IMPORTANT PART IN THE WAR IN THE PACIFIC. OTHER THAN
BEING AN OPERATIONS CONTROL SHIP IT WAS TO ACT AS
A MOTHER SHIP AND TEND TO THE REPAIR AN]) SERVICING
OF SQUADRONS OF LONG DISTANCE SEAPLANES IN THE SAME
MANNER AS OPERATIONS ARE CARRIED ON IN THE LARGER
AIRCRAFT CARRIERS, THE DIFFERENCE BEING THAT THE
TENDER USED THE SURROUNDING WATER TO LAUNCH AND
RECOVER PLANES.

THE ORIGINAL TENDERS FOR THIS TYPE OF WORK WERE FOUND
TO BE LACKING IN CERTAIN DESIGN QUALIFICATIONS BY
WHICH THE CURRITUCK PROFITED. THE SHIP BEING LARGER
IN STORAGE SPACE AND LIVING QUARTERS BELOW DECKS BY
WHICH SHE WAS BETTER ABLE TO PROVIDE COMFORTABLE
LIVING QUARTERS FOR MORE PLANE
CREWS. THE EXTRA SIZE OF SPACE OF THE AFT-DECK
ALLOWED THE CREW OF THE AIR MAINTENANCE DIVISION
ADDED WORKING ROOM IN WHICH THEY COULD OPERATE
WITHOUT INTERFERENCE FROM THE HANGER AREA AND LARGE
AND COMPLETE MACHINES AND VITAL SHOPS WERE ADDED.

USS CURRITUCKIS KEEL WAS LAID MONDAY 14 DECEMBER 1942
IN THE U.S NAVY YARD, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA AND
LIAUNCHED ON 11 SEPTEMBER 1943; SPONSORED BY MRS.
MILO F. DRAEMEL, WIFE OF THE COMMANDANT, FOURTH NAVAL
DISTRICT NAVY YARD, PHIADELPHIA, PA. ON THE 26TH DAY
OF JUNE 1944, CAPTAIN W. A. EVANS, USN., OF
ALEXANDRIA, VA ASSUMED COMMAND OF THE SHIP IN
APPROPRIATE CEREMONIES AND GAVE THE ORDER TO SET THE
WATCH AND THE COMMISSIONING AND RAISING OF THE
PENNANT TOOK PLACE@ THIS WELL ATTENDED CEREMONY HELD
IN TRADITIONAL MANNER TOOK PLACE IN THE CITY OF
PHILADELPHIA, WHERE THE KEEL WAS LAID IN DECEMBER
1942. THUS THE U.S.S. CURRITUCK, NAMED FOR THE
CURRITUCK SOUND IN THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA IN THE
VICINITY OF KITTY HAWK, THE SITE WHERE THE WRIGHT
BROTHERS FIRST GAVE BIRTH TO THE AVIATION IN THIS
COUNTRY, BECAME AFTER A YEAR AND A HALF FROM THE TIME
HER KEEL WAS LAID AN ACTIVE MEMBER OF THE U.S. FLEET
AND DESTINED TO DO HER PART IN DEFEATING THE ENEMIES
OF THE ALLIED NATIONS.

I


ON THIS DAY COMMANDER F. D. POWERS, USNR., OF UPPER
MONTCLAIR, NJ,
ASSUMED OFFICE AS THE EXECUTIVE OFFICER. His PREVIOUS
SERVICE WAS AS COMMANDER OF A SUBCHASER IN WORLD WAR
1, AND AS SUCH EARNED THE COVETED
NAVY CROSS FOR SKILL AND DARING IN HANDLING AND
PROTECTING SHIPPING LANES. COMMANDER POWERS REMAINED
IN THE ACTIVE FLEET RESERVE, AND WAS RECALLED TO
DUTY AS A COMMANDER IN JANUARY 1941. HE REMAINED
ABOARD THE CURRITUCK FROM
THE TIME OF HER COMMISSIONING IN JUNE UNTIL OCTOBER
1944, WHEN HE RECEIVED COMMAND OF THE U.S.S. WRIGHT
IN THE MANUS ISLANDS AND WAS PROMOTED TO THE RANK OF
CAPTAIN.

WHILE THE SHIP WAS BEING CONSTRUCTED THE OFFICERS AND
CREW WERE QUITE GREEN AS TO THEIR DUTIES ABOARD.
THERE WAS NO OPPORTUNITY FOR DRILLS OR TRAINING
ABOARD SHIP BUT THIS WAS A PROBLEM WHICH WAS MET AND
SOLVED DURING THE TIME OF SHAKEDOWN CRUISE.

UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF ENSIGN B.M. THROCKMORTON OF
SAN FRANCISCO,
CA., WHO CAME UP FROM THE RANKS TO ASSUME DUTIES AS
THE FIRST LIEUTENANT OF THE SHIP WITH THE RANK OF
FULL LIEUTENANT, THE DAMAGE CONTROL ORGANIZATION WAS
SOON WHIPPED INTO SHAPE,

AIDING LIEUTENANT THROCKMORTON IN SETTING UP THE
DAMAGE CONTROL ORGANIZATION WAS CHIEF WARRANT
CARPENTER THOMAS H. ERNST, OF DAYTON, OH.

IMMEDIATELY THE CREW UNDERWENT INTENSIVE INSTRUCTION
AND DRILL IN ALL SHIPBOARD OPERATIONS, ROUTINE AND
EMERGENCY. THE GUNNERY DEPARTMENT BECAME A CONCISE
AND COORDINATED GROUP, WORKING AS ONE UNIT AND PLAYED
THEIR PART SO WELL LATER ON THAT THE SHIP RETURNED
STATESIDE WITH NO MATERIAL BATTLE CASUALTIES.

ON THE LAST DAY OF AUGUST 1944, THE SHIP LEFT FOR ITS
OVERSEAS DESTINATION, WHICH WAS TO BE FINSCHAVEN, NEW
GUINEA, TO SERVE AS THE FLAGSHIP FOR THE COMMANDER
AIRCRAFT, SEVENTH FLEET, AT BALBOA, CANAL ZONE, SHE
EMBARKED PASSENGERS FOR TRANSPORTATION TO MANUS
ISLAND IN THE ADMIRALTY ISLANDS ON SATURDAY 9
SEPTEMBER 1944. CURRITUCK CROSSED THE EQUATOR ON
SUNDAY 17 SEPTEMBER AND THE INTERNATIONAL DATELINE ON
TUESDAY 26 SEPTEMBER 1944. PERSONNEL ABOARD TOOK THE
CROSSING TIME OF 23 DAYS IN GOOD SPIRITS, FINDING
TIME FROM THEIR ROUTINE DUTIES TO HOLD
THE SHELLBACK CEREMONIES WHEN THEY CROSSED THE
EQUATOR. ARRIVING IN NEW GUINEA, THE 3RD OF OCTOBER
1944, THE SHIP WAS IMMEDIATELY ORDERED TO PROCEED TO
MANUS ISLAND OF THE ADMIRALTY GROUP WHERE THE
COMMANDER AIRCRAFT, SEVENTH FLEET, REAR ADMIRAL FRANK
B. WAGNER, USN., CAME ABOARD WITH HIS STAFF AND
RAISED HIS FLAG ON 5 OCTOBER 1944.

DURING THE MONTH OF OCTOBER THERE WAS A QUICK
SUCCESSION OF SHUTTLE TRIPS BETWEEN WOENDI, MANUS,
MOROTAX, AND KosSEL PASSAGE AND THE PALAUS.
THE SHIP SERVED NOT ONLY AS AN AIRCRAFT TENDER, BUT
OPERATED AS A TRANSPORT AS WELL, CARRYING
CONSIDERABLE NUMBER OF PASSENGERS AND LARGE AMOUNTS
OF CARGOES TO THE ISLANDS NEEDING MEN AND SUPPLIES.

IN THE MONTHS OF NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER AT TACLOBAN,
IN THE LEYTE AREA, THE SHIPS FORCE WAS KEPT BUSY
WORKING AROUND THE CLOCK OPERATING AND
TENDING SEAPLANES, BECOMING ACCUSTOMED TO BEING
CALLED REGULARLY TO GENERAL QUARTERS AND ACTING AS A
SUPPLY AND EMERGENCY BASE FOR NUMEROUS NON- AVIATION
UNITS WHICH HAD NOT CONTEMPLATED RECEIVING SUCH
SERVICES. DURING THIS CRITICAL AND HAZARDOUS PERIOD
THEY WERE MORE THAN A SEAPLANE TENDER, ACTING AS A
DISPATCH AND COMMUNICATION SHIP, THEY SERVED EVERY
MILITARY

2




EFFORT IN THE TACLOBAN-JINAMOC AREA. COOPERATING WITH
THE ARMY, THE SHIP PROVIDED A WELL BALANCED DIET OF
FOOD TO ITS CREW AND GUESTS OF WHICH-THERE WERE OVER
1700 WHO CAME ABOARD FOR A DRY PLACE TO SLEEP AND A
CHANCE FOR A REAL MEAL, THEREBY GETTING THE
REPUTATION OF BEING A HFLOATING HOTELO.

DURING THIS TIME THE WELFARE OF THE MEN AND FEEDING
THEM FELL TO THE RESPONSIBILITY OF CHIEF PAY CLERK,
HARRY BARNHORST, USN., OF EAST PROVIDENCE, RI., A
VETERAN OF SOME THIRTY (30) YEARS OF SERVICE IN THE
NAVY. THE SHIP WAS WELL EQUIPPED AS THERE WERE ENOUGH
STORES ON BOARD TO FEED 1200 MEN FOR A PERIOD OF 90
DAYS.

DURING THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER THE CURRITUCK WAS THE
ONLY MAJOR SHIP IN THE SAN PEDRO BAY AREA OF THIS
LARGE LEYTE GULF. ON NOVEMBER THE 14TH AT 0738 IN THE
MORNING ZEKES ATTACKED FROM THE STARBOARD QUARTER AND
THE GUNNERS ENGAGED THEM IN A RUNNING BATTLE
RESULTING IN ONE ZEKE BEING SHOT DOWN, THERE BEING NO
DAMAGE TO THE SHIP OR PERSONNEL. DURING THE MONTH OF
DECEMBER WHILE LYING AT ANCHOR OFF THE LEYTE
BEACHHEAD THE CREW WAS GIVEN A RESPITE BY THE ENEMY,
AND EXCEPT FOR AN OCCASIONAL SOUND OF THE ALERT SIREN
THERE WAS NO ENEMY CONTACT OR ACTIVITY, AND THE CREW
HAD A CHANCE TO RELAX COMPLETELY FOR THE FIRST TIME
IN OVER A MONTH.

THE MORNING OF 6 JANUARY 1945 FOUND THE SHIP RIGGED
FOR SEA AND EVERY MAN ALERT AT HIS BATTLE STATION AS
THEY TOOK THEIR ASSIGNED POSITION IN TASK FORCE 79.
ON THE MORNING OF THE INVASION OF LINGAYEN GULF IN
THE PHILIPPINES THE 9TH OF JANUARY 1945 THE
CURRITUCK, ACCOMPANIED BY THE USS BARATARIA, A SMALL
SEAPLANE TENDER, FORMEI) A SMALL BUT ACTIVE PART OF
THE HUGE ARMADA CONTAINING MANY TYPES OF SHIPS. IT
WAS A WELL PLANNED AND COORDINATED AMPHIBIOUS
OPERATION, EVERY UNIT WENT ABOUT ITS BUSINESS AND
CARRIED OUT ITS ASSIGNED DUTIES. THE TWO TENDERS
IMMEDIATELY WERE DETACHED UPON ARRIVING IN THE
CENTRAL BAY AREA AND PROCEEDED TO CARRY OUT THEIR
ASSIGNED MISSIONS OF LAYING SEAPLANE MOORINGS.
SHORTLY BEFORE DROPPING THE HOOK THE CURRITUCK HAD
COME TO A HALT NEAR SOME LARGE COMBATANT SHIPS WHICH
WERE POUNDING THE SHORES WITH THEIR GUNS AND UNKNOWN
TO THE CREW ABOARD THE CURRITUCK, THEY WERE CREDITED
WITH BEING A PART OF THE BOMBARDMENT GROUP WHICH
EARNED THE NAME OF THE FIGHTING TENDER, ACTUALLY
HOWEVER THE SHIP PLAYED NO PART IN THE BOMBARDMENT OF
THE BEACHHEAD.

DURING THE PERIOD OF 6 NOVEMBER 1944 TO 6 JANUARY
1945 THE SENIOR MEDICAL OFFICER OF THE CURRITUCK WAS
RECOMMENDED FOR THE AWARD OF THE BRONZE STAR MEDAL
AND CITATION BY COMMANDER AIRCRAFT, SEVENTH FLEET. TH
SENIOR MEDICAL OFFICER BEING AT THAT TIME COMMANDER
FRANKLIN G. BALCH, (MC), USNR. THE CEREMONIES TOOK
PLACED ABOARD SHIP, WITH THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF
THE SHIP MAKING THE PRESENTATION, ON 11 AUGUST 1945.

COMMANDER BALCH WHOSE HOME IS IN NEWTON CENTER, MA.,
RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING CITATION FROM COMMANDER
AIRCRAFT, SEVENTH FLEET IN THE NAME OF THE PRESIDENT
OF THE UNITED STATES. UFOR DISTINGUISHING HIMSELF BY
MERITORIOUS ACHIEVEMENT IN CONNECTION WITH OPERATIONS
AGAINST THE ENEMY. DURING THE PERIOD BETWEEN 6
NOVEMBER 1944 AND 6 JANUARY 1945, AS SENIOR MEDICAL
OFFICER OF THE CURRITUCK DURING ITS STAY IN LEYTE
GULF, PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, COMMANDER FRANKLIN G.
BALCH, JR., (MC), USNR, DISPLAYED OUTSTANDING
LEADERSHIP, INTELLIGENCE AND PROFESSIONAL SKILL. AS A
RESULT OF HIS EFFORTS THE HEALTH AND MORALE OF
PERSONNEL OF UNITS IN COMMANDER AIRCRAFT, SEVENTH
FLEET, BASED ABOARD THE CURRITUCK, DURING THIS
HAZARDOUS AND CRITICAL PERIOD WAS MAINTAINED AT A
HIGH STANDARD. HE FURNISHED EMERGENCY SURGICAL AND
MEDICAL SERVICES TO SEVERAL NEARBY UNITS DURING THE

3


EARLY WEEKS OF THE INVASION OF LEYTE. His OUTSTANDING
SERVICE AND CONDUCT THROUGHOUT THIS PERIOD WERE IN
KEEPING WITH THE HIGHEST TRADITIONS OF THE NAVY OF
THE UNITED STATES.

DURING THE NEXT FEW DAYS, IN JANUARY, THE SHIP WAS
ALERTED AGAIN AND AGAIN, BECAUSE OF SUICIDE SWIMMERS
AND CERTAIN TYPES OF MIDGET SUBMARINES AND BAKAH
BOATS OPERATING IN THE VICINITY. IT WAS DURING THIS
TIME THAT 3 JAP PRISONERS WERE BROUGHT ABOARD AND
FOUND TO BE CARRYING A DEADLY CHARGE OF EXPLOSIVES IN
THEIR FANATICAL SUICIDE ATTEMPTS TO HARASS AND
DESTROY SHIPPING IN THE HARBOR. HOWEVER, THESE
ATTEMPTS PROVED VERY UNSUCCESSFUL DUE TO THE
ALERTNESS OF THE LOOKOUTS ABOARD THE NAVAL VESSELS IN
THE HARBOR AREA. FROM ITS SEADROME, ITS flBLACK CATU
SQUADRONS ROAMED THE CHINA SEA, PRODUCING VERY
EFFECTIVE RESULTS.

IT WAS ABOUT THIS TIME ONE JAP BOMBER FLYING LOW
BETWEEN THE MASTS LET GO WITH A BOMB WHICH EXPLODED
IN THE WATER AND SCORED A NEAR MISS. JAP ARTILLERY
WAS COMING UNCOMFORTABLY CLOSE IN THE FORM OF HEAVY
CONCENTRATION RATHER THAN ACCURACY AND FORCED BOTH
TENDERS TO SHIFT TO NEW MOORINGS IN LINGAYEN GULF.
THAT SAME EVENING A BOMBER MADE A PASS AT THE SHIP
BUT THE GUN CREWS, WORKING UNDER THE DIRECTION OF
LIEUTENANT (JG) MILTON T. McPHERSON, USN., OF SAN
DIEGO, CA, SHOT DOWN THE ATTACKER WHICH CRASHED
INTO THE SEA IN FLAMES AND EXPLODED AND GAVE THE SHIP
ANOTHER TALLY IN ITS BOX SCORE OF ENEMY PLANES
DESTROYED. THE SHIP CONTINUED OPERATIONS AT ITS NEW
MOORINGS AND THE ROUTINE FLIGHTS OF THE PATROL
BOMBERS CONTINUED IN AND ACROSS THE CHINA SEA.

DURING THE TIME THE SHIP WAS UNDER FIRE FROM AIR
ATTACKS FOUR MEN WERE WOUNDED BY SHRAPNEL. NONE OF
THE MEN RECEIVED VITAL INJURIES AND LATER RECEIVED
THE ORDER OF THE PURPLE HEART. THE FOUR RECEIVING THE
AWARD WERE
WILLIAM M PERKINS, SIC, OF WALLA WALLA, WA., AND
HENRY J. ANNUNZIATA, SC3c, OF SEA CLIFF, NY., HOWARD
J. KORPACY, SIC, OF PITTSBURGH, PA, AND Guy B.
ELLINGER, SIC, OF CRIMORA, VA.

DURING THE TIME OF THE SHIP'S OPERATIONAL ACTIVITIES
A FEW OF THE OFFICERS AND MEN RECEIVED THE AIR MEDAL
FOR FLIGHTS OVER ENEMY TERRITORY; WHEN ACTING IN THE
ROLE OF TECHNICAL OBSERVERS THEY FLEW WITH THE
SQUADRONS. THE LAST WEEK IN JANUARY THE CURRITUCK WAS
RELIEVED BY THE USS TANGIER (AV-8) AND WHILE ENROUTE
To TACLOBAN, LEYTE SHE STOPPED OFF AT SAN JOSE AREA
OF MINDORO, WHERE THE MAINTENANCE CREW OF THE OV
DIVISION SET A RECORD BY CHANGING 7 AIRCRAFT ENGINES
FOR VP-25's SEAPLANES BASED THERE IN FIVE DAYS.

FEBRUARY AGAIN FOUND THE SHIP CARRYING OUT ROUTINE
DUTIES ACTING AS A SEAPLANE TENDER AND SENDING FORTH
BOMBER PATROLS WHICH FLEW NIGHTLY IN OPERATIONS WHICH
TOOK THEM AS FAR NORTH AS FORMOSA ALONG THE CHINA
COAST AND BACK TO THE SHIP BY THE BREAK OF DAWN.
THEIR MAIN OBJECTIVE A'r THIS TIME DURING THE TWO
MONTHS WAS TO ATTACK AND HARASS JAPANESE SHIPPING
SUPPLY LINES BETWEEN THE HOME ISLANDS AND ITS
CONQUERED TERRITORIES. THE PLANES FROM THE TENDER IN
FLYING THEIR ASSIGNED SECTORSI CONTRIBUTED MATERIALLY
IN BRINGING AN END TO THE HOSTILITIES BY THEIR
STRAFING AND BOMBING OF SHIPS AND LAND BASED JAP
AIRFIELDS AND TAKING PART IN BOMBING MISSIONS OVER
ENEMY OCCUPIED TERRITORY.

DURING THE EARLY DAYS OF MARCH SHE SAILED TO THE
VARIOUS ISLANDS IN THE PHILIPPINE GROUP CARRYING
FREIGHT AND PASSENGERS AND ACTING AS A TROOP
TRANSPORT. SATURDAY 3 MARCH FOUND THE CURRITUCK OFF
OF NAVAL BASE AND

4i



NAVAL AIR STATION, SAMAR ISLAND, P.I., LOADING
AVIATION SUPPLIES ON HER WAY TO MANILA BAY. ON MARCH
6, THE SHIP ENTERED MANILA BAY FOR THE FIRST TIME,
ESTABLISHING A SEADROME OFF OF SANGLEY POINT, CAVITE,
P.I. AND THIS WAS
DONE WHILE THE ffRoCKO (CORREGIDOR) WAS UNDERGOING
HER FINAL ASSAULTS BY THE AGGRESSIVE ARMY AIR FORCE
ATTACK AND BOMBING PLANES. ADMIRAL WAGNER WAS BACK TO
WHERE HE HAD STARTED AS PATROL WING 10, COMMANDER,
WHEN CAVITE HAD BEEN BOMBED ON WEDNESDAY 10 DECEMBER
1941.

IN MARCH 1945, WORD WAS RECEIVED THAT THREE PBM'S HAD
GONE DOWN DUE TO WATER IN THE FUEL. ONE CRASHED ON
LAND, WHILE THE OTHERS WERE ABLE TO LAND ON WATER,
ABOUT 90 MILES DOWN THE COAST FROM LINGAYEN GULF. THE
CREWS WERE PICKED UP BY FRIENDLY PHILIPPINOS AND
TAKEN TO A MAKE-SHIFT HOSPITAL
SEVERAL MILES INLAND, ALL SUFFERING FROM SECOND AND
THIRD DEGREE BURNS. CURRITUCK DISPATCHED A MEDICAL
TEAM CONSISTING OF LT. TOPOL, DC, USNR, LT. GREEN,
MC, USNR, ALBERT KEENAN, PHM2 AND WAYNE HACKLEY, PHM3
IN A CRASH
BOAT DOWN THE COAST. RUBBER RAFTS WERE USED TO GET
ASHORE AND UPON LANDING THEY LOCATED A U.S. ARMY
RADIO STATION AND WERE TOLD THERE WERE JAPANESE
SOLDIERS IN THE AREA TRYING TO AVOID CAPTURE. AFTER A
TREKKING THROUGH WILD AND HAZARDOUS TERRITORY, THE
HOSPITAL WAS LOCATED. THERE WAS NO MEDICAL EQUIPMENT
AT THIS LOCATION AND THE BURNS HAD BEEN COVERED WITH
BAMBOO LEAVES AND IT SEEMED UNLIKELY THAT THESE MEN
WOULD SURVIVE. MEDICAL ATTENTION WAS PROVIDED BY
ADMINISTERING MORPHINE AND SULPHA POWDER. BLOOD
PLASMA WAS STARTED AND THE MEN WERE MOVED BACK TO THE
COAST* THE SOLDIERS FROM THE RADIO STATION SENT CODED
MESSAGES TO THE SHIP REQUESTING SEAPLANES TO PICK
THEM up,u(NOTE; THE CODE NAME FOR THE USS CURRITUCK
WAS FIREFLY,) KEENAN TOOK THE FIRST TWO CASUALITIES
ON THE FIRST PLANE AND OTHER
SEAPLANES FOLLOWED BRINGING ALL THE MEN BACK TO THE
SHIP WHERE THE FULL HOSPITAL CREW ADMINISTERED
TREATMENT. Two OF THE MEN SURVIVED AND SPENT
CONSIDERABLE TIME ABOARD SHIP BEFORE BEING TRANSFERED
TO A HOSPITAL SHIP AND LATER RETURNED TO THE STATES.
AGAIN, COMMMANDER FRANKLIN BALCH, MC, USNR, TOGETHER
WITH ALL THE HOSPITAL CREW DESERVED CREDIT FOR THEIR
EFFORTS IN PROVIDING MEDICAL ATTENTION IN SPITE OF
THE GREAT ODDS AGAINST THEM.

ON THIS SAME DAY, SQUADRON VPB-20 WAS TAKEN ABOARD
WHEN THEY ARRIVED FROM MINDORO THE TYPE OF PLANES
BEING PBM-5's. OPERATIONS COMMENCED ON THE BTH DAY OF
MARCH, 3 PLANES DAILY MAKING ROUTINE FLIGHTS TO THE
CHINA COAST, WHICH OPERATIONS CONTINUED THRU TO MAY
1945 WHEN THE SHIP SENT OUT 4 PLANES TO ATTACK A JAP
CONVOY THAT WAS TRYING TO PULL A SNEAK TO ITS HOME
WATERS COMING UP FROM THE SOUTH ALONG THE CHINA
COAST. THE CONVOY WAS SIGHTED AND FOUND TO BE A GROUP
OF NINE SHIPS COMPOSED OF TRANSPORTS AND DESTROYERS.
THE PLANES OF THE SQUADRON BESIDES SCORING POSSIBLE
HITS KEPT HARASSING THE CONVOYS AND FORCED THEM TO
BREAK UP, AND RUN FOR COVER IN PROTECTIVE COVES IN
THE AREA. ALL PLANES RETURNED TO THE MOTHER SHIP WITH
THE EXCEPTION OF ONE, AND ITS ENTIRE CREW OF 14
PERSONNEL ABOARD WERE DECLARED OFFICIALLY MISSING IN
ENEMY ACTION OFF THE CHINA COAST. THE SHIP ASSUMED
ROUTINE DUTIES UNTIL 10 JUNE AT SANGLEY POINT, CAVITE
AND ATTENDED IN ADDII'l,@)N TO ITS OWN PLANES,
TRANSIENT VPB PLANES WHICH WERE USING THE SHIP AS AN
OPERATIONAL BASE. COMMANDER AIRCRAFT, SEVENTH FLEET
DISEMBARKED AND ESTABLISHED HEADQUARTERS ASHORE AT
SANGLEY POINT, I JUNE 1945.

ON JUNE IOTH THE SHIP DEPARTED FROM THE MANILA AREA
AND RETURNED TO
ITS OWN'OPERATING BASE OFF CABALITIAN ISLAND,
LINGAYEN GULF. CAPTAIN EVANS NOW ACTING AS COMMANDER
TASK FORCE 73.1 AND SENIOR OFFICER PRESENT AFLOAT
RELIEVE]) THE USS TANGIER OF SUPPORT AND PATROL
BOMBING. AGAIN WAS AN OLD FRIEND THE USS BARATARIA
ANCHORED NEAR BY AND TOGETHER THEY USEI) THE PORT

5



SUAL AREA AS A BASIC OPERATIONAL ADVANTAGE POINT
UNTIL V-J DAY, WEDNESDAY 15 AUGUST 1945..

ON AUGUST 14-15 AIR PATROLS FROM THIS SHIP ENGAGED
JAPANESE SMALL
CRAFT OFF THE CHINA COAST AS A FITTING CONCLUSION OF
ITS HISTORY AND ACTIVE PART PLAYED IN THE WAR. THE
SHIP RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING DISPATCH FROM COMMANDER
AIRCRAFT, SEVENTH FLEET, NNIGHT MARES WORK ON NIGHT
OF 13TH AND 14TH WAS AN EXCELLENT FINALE FOR COMBAT
OPERATIONS THIS AREA. ALSO FROM USS SAN PABLO TO
CURRITUCK THE FOLLOWING CONGRATULATORY MESSAGE WAS
RECEIVED, OWE ARE WELL AWARE OF THE SUPERLATIVE
OFFENSIVE YOUR TASK GROUP HAS CARRIED ACROSS THE
SOUTH CHINA SEA AND THE ENTHUSIASM YOUR COMBAT
AIRCREWS HAVE CONSISTENTLY DISPLAYED. WE ARE PROUD TO
HAVE BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH THE CURRITUCK IN THE
PHILIPPINES. BEST REGARDS. GEORGE E. HUGHES,
COMMANDING.

TWENTY AUGUST 1945 FOUND THE SHIP UNDERWAY TO SUBIC
BAY, LUZON ISLAND, P.I. WHERE SHE PICKED UP SUPPLIES
AND GOT UNDERWAY FOR CAVITE FOR REFUELING AND ROUTINE
DUTIES. SHE COMPLETED HER DUTY UNDER THE COMMANDER
AIRCRAFT, SEVENTH FLEET ON THE 28TH OF AUGUST AND
REPORTED TO THE COMMANDER, SEVENTH FLEET FOR DUTY.
THE 29TH OF AUGUST FOUND CAPTAIN EVANS OF THE
CURRITUCK AS THE COMMANDER OF TASK FORCE 70.4
COMPRISING THE USS BARATARIA (AVP-33), USS PRATT (DE-
363) AND USS ROMBACH (DE-364), AND ON 30 AUGUST
ACCOMPANIED BY THE USS HALF MOON (AVP-26) AS AN ADDED
MEMBER OF THE FORCE SET SAIL FOR OKINAWA, RYUKYU
ISLANDS.

WHILE UNDERWAY TO OKINAWA THEY RAN INTO A TYPHOON OFF
THE NORTHEAST COAST OF LUZON AND DUE TO ITS STRENGTH
THE HALF MOON AND BARATARIA WERE GIVEN PERMISSION TO
LEAVE THEIR POSITION AND PROCEED INDEPENDENTLY. By
0800 THE WIND WAS IN EXCESS OF 90 KNOTS AND THE SHIP
WAS OBLIGED TO HEAVE TO, AND RIDE OUT THE TYPHOON.
EXCEPT FOR FLOODING OF THE FORWARD MAGAZINES AND
TAKING WATER THROUGH VENTS IN THE 3RD DECK AFT
BERTHING COMPARTMENTS WHERE THE DAMAGE CONTROL CREWS
WORKED THROUGHOUT THE STORM, THE SHIP SUFFERED NO
DAMAGE AND SOON AFTER THE STORM PROCEEDED ON HER WAY.

ON 3 SEPTEMBER THE SHIP DROPPED ANCHOR IN BUCKNER
BAY, OKINAWA AND SERVED AS A MAINTENANCE BASE FOR THE
SEAPLANES BASED THERE. AFTER THE WAR'S END, THE
PLANES ATTACHED TO THE SHIP ENGAGED IN FOUR AIR SEA
RESCUE MISSIONS To LST's OF WHICH THREE WERE
SUCCESSFUL AND ONE WAS A FAILURE DUE TO THE HEAVY
SEAS OFF OKINAWA. THE MEDICAL OFFICER AND THE
ASSISTANT TAKING PART IN THE MERCY FLIGHTS WERE
LIEUTENANT ROBERT L. ROUEN, (MC), USN., OF GOSHEN,
INDIANA AND AUBURN P. RATCLIFF, PHMIC, OF BEAUMONT,
TEXAS. CURRITUCK DEPARTED BUCKNER BAY FOR JINSEN
(INCHON), KOREA AS PART OF THE REOCCUPATION FORCE FOR
THIS REGION, ARRIVING THERE ON SUNDAY 9 SEPTEMBER,
WHERE SHE SET UP A TEMPORARY SEADROME. SHE DEPARTED
JINSEN, KOREA FOR SHANGHAI, CHINA, ARRIVING THERE ON
FRIDAY 21 SEPTEMBER 1945.

CURRITUCK SET UP A SEADROME OFF THE OLD PAN AMERICAN
AIRWAYS SEAPLANE STATION A SHANGHI. SHE REMAINED IN
THE FAR EAST IN SUPPORT OF RE- ESTABLISHING GENERAL
CHIANG KAI SHEK'S REGIME BACK INTO CIVIL GOVERNMENT
THROUGHOUT THE MAJOR SEAPORTS OF CHINA. CURRITUCK
PROCEEDED TO SET UP SEAPLANE OPERATIONS AT TAKU ON
MONDAY I OCTOBER, THEN ON To TSINGTAO ON MONDAY 8
OCTOBER 1945.

CURRITUCK RETURNED TO OKINAWA ON SUNDAY 28 OCTOBER,
WHERE SHE DID LIMITED OPERATIONS AT CHIMA-WAN AND
BUCKNER BAY.

6


ONE YEAR AND FIVE MONTHS AFTER COMMISSIONING, THE
SHIP UNDERWENT A CHANGE OF COMMAND ON THE 19TH DAY OF
NOVEMBER 1945, WHEN CAPTAIN JOHN E. CLARK, USN., OF
LEAVENWORTH, KANSAS, ASSUMED COMMAND RELIEVING
CAPTAIN EVANS, AND BECAME THE SECONI) SKIPPER OF THE
USS CURRITUCK. ALSO THERE HAD BEEN FOUR CHANGES IN
THE EXECUTIVE OFFICERS' DURING THE TIME THE SHIP WAS
COMMISSIONED WHEN COMMANDER POWERS FIRST ASSUMED THE
EXECUTIVE OFFICERS' DUTIES, LIEUTENANT COMMANDER
GORDON BEAL, USNR., OF NARBETH, PA.,
SUCCEEDED COMMANDER POWERS ON 6 OCTOBER 1944 AS THE
EXECUTIVE OFFICER UNTIL 29 OCTOBER 1945 WHEN HE WAS
RELIEVED By LIEUTENANT COMMANDER DAVID C.
MILLER, USNR., WHO TURNED OVER DUTIES OF HIS OFFICE
ON NOVEMBER 7TH, TO LIEUTENANT JACK N. PARKER, USN.,
OF JACKSON, MICHIGAN.

CURRITUCK GOT UNDERWAY FOR STATESIDE ON THURSDAY 6
DECEMBER 1945, STOPPING OFF AT GUAM ON HER WAY TO SAN
FRANCISCO. RETURNING TO ITS HOME WATERS FOR THE FIRST
TIME IN SIXTEEN MONTHS, CARRYING 570 NAVAL PERSONNEL
AND 34 ARMY PERSONNEL AS PASSENGERS TO HAWAII AND THE
UNITED STATES, AND AVIATION MARINE FIGHTER PLANES AND
AVIATION GEAR WHICH WAS UNLOADED AT PEARL HARBOR. ON
13 DECEMBER THE SHIP THEN PROCEEDED TO SAN FRANCISCO,
CALIFORNIA, ARRIVING ON 30 DECEMBER 1945 WHERE IT
ENTERED DRYDOCK FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE ITS
COMMISSIONING DATE OF 26 JUNE 1944; BRINGING TO A
SUCCESSFUL CLIMAX ITS FIRST CRUISE AS A SEAPLANE
TENDER OF THE FLEET.

WHILE AT NAVAL SHIPYARD HUNTERS POINT, SHE WAS
REFITTED AND PREPARED FOR HER NEXT ASSIGNMENT. HER
Bow 40 MM GUN TUB AND FORWARD 5 TURRET WERE REMOVED
AND A HELICOPTER DECK WAS INSTALLED FOR
OPERATION HIGH JUMP.

OHIGH JUMP WAS A COLD WEATHER EXERCISE, DURING WHICH
AMERICA'S NEWEST ANTARTIC EXPEDITION WAS TASKED IN
AMBITIOUS AERIAL MAPPING OF THIS SUBCONTINENT. THIS
ASSIGNMENT WAS THE MOST EXTENSIVE IN THE HISTORY OF
POLAR EXPLORATION. AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHIC-MAPPING
MISSIONS WERE FLOWN ALL OVER THE VAST UNEXPLORED AND
TO THAT DATE, UNCHARTED AREAS OF THE ANTARTICA.

THIS OPERATION WAS CODE NAMED TASK FORCE 68, AND IT
WAS COMMANDED BY REAR ADMIRAL RICHARD EVELYN BYRD,
USN, WHO HELD OVERALL TECHNICAL CONTROL, ADMIRAL BYRD
WAS ONE OF THE WORLD'S FOREMOST NOTED AVIATION
PIONEERS, AND AN EXPERIENCED ANTARTIC EXPLORER. REAR
ADMIRAL RICHARD H. CRUZEN, USN WAS ACTUAL TASK FORCE
COMMANDER.

IN ORDER TO HAVE MAXIMUM DAYLIGHT FOR THIS
EXPEDITION, THE UNITS OF TASK FORCE 68 HAD TO LEAVE
THE STATES FOR THE POLAR REGION DURING DECEMBER. THIS
EXPEDITION WAS MADE UP INTO THREE GROUPS, WITH THE
CENTRAL GROUP
MAKING UP ITS HEADQUARTERS ABOARD THE FLAGSHIP USS
MT. OLYMPUS (AGC-8) AND HER SUPPORT UNITS SAILING
FROM VARIOUS EAST COAST PORTS, THE SECOND GROUP, AKA
THE EASTERN GROUP, WAS BUILT AROUND THE USS PINE
ISLAND (AV-12) WHICH SAILED FROM NORFOLK, VIRGINIA.
THE THIRD GROUP WAS BUILT AROUND THE USS CURRITUCK
(AV-7) AKA THE WESTERN GROUP, SAILED FROM SAN DIEGO,
CALIFORNIA ON MONDAY 2 DECEMBER 1946.

NOT PART OF THE EXPEDITION, BUT SUPPORTING IT, THE
USS PHILIPPINE SEA (CV-47), FERRING SIX SKI-EQUIPPED
R4D'S, LEFT NORFOLK IN EARLY JANUARY 1947. SHE
TRAVELED THROUGH THE PANAMA CANAL AND STEAMED TO A
POINT APPROXIMATELY 500 MILES OFF THE ANTARTIC SHELF.
FROM THERE SHE LAUNCHED THE R4D's WITH THE ASSIST OF
JATO, AND THEY FLEW ON To LITTLE AMERICA, ANTARTICA.
THIS WHOLE OPERATION WAS A FIRST IN NAVAL AVIATION.

7




THE TASK FORCE ALSO INCLUDE]) THE USS YANCEY (AKA-
93), USS MERRICK (AKA-97), USS SENNET (SS-408), USCG
NORTHWIND (WAGB-282), USCG BURTON
ISLAND (WAGB-283), USS CANISTEO (AO-99), USS BROWNSON
(DD-868), USS CACAPON (AO-52) AND USS HENDERSON (DD-
785).

DURING THIS EXPEDITION THE R4D's OPERATED FROM THE
LITTLE AMERICA 13ASE AND THEY WERE TASKED IN PHOTO-
MAPPING THE ENTIRE CENTRAL REGIONOF THIS CONTINENT$
MEANWHILE, THE PBM'S OPERATING FROM THE TWO SEAPLANE
TENDERS, PHOTO-MAPPED THE COASTAL REGIONS OF THIS
VAST POLAR CONTINENT.

ONE OF THE MAJOR OBJECTIVES OF THIS EXPEDITION WAS TO
EVALUATE HOW EVERY DAY, STANDARD NAVY EQUIPMENT WOULD
PERFORM UNDER SUCH COLD WEATHER AND ADVERSE USAGE
CONDITIONS. THIS EXPEDITION WAS CONDUCTED DURING
DECEMBER 1946 To APRIL 1947, AND IT WAS CONSIDERED TO
BE A VERY SUCCESSFUL OPERATION. FROM THEIR OPERATING
AREA IN THE ANTARTIC REGION, CURRITUCK SAILED TO
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA FOR A SIX DAY LAY-OVER, FROM 13 To
20 MARCH 1947, BEFORE PROCEEDING BACK TO STATESIDE.

USS CURRITUCK RETURNEI) TO NAVAL BASE NORFOLK,
VIRGINIA BY WAY OF THE PANAMA CANAL, ARRIVING THERE
ON FRIDAY 18 APRIL 1947. UPON THE COMPLETION OF
OFFLOADING STORES AND AMMUNITION THE CURRITUCK
PROCEEDED To NAVAL SHIPYARD, PHILADELPHIA WHERE IT
WAS PLACED OUT OF COMMISSION AND IN THE ATLANTIC
RESERVE FLEET ON 7 AUGUST 1947.

USS CURRITUCK WAS RECOMMISSIONED ON WEDNESDAY I
AUGUST 1951, WHEN CAPTAIN JOHN H. McELROY, USN READ
THE COMMISSIONING ORDERS AND ASSUMED COMMAND.
COMMANDER WALTER S. REID, USN, WAS THE EXECUTIVE
OFFICER. COMMANDER REID WAS THE CO-PILOT ON THE
OTRUCULENT TURTLEO, A P2V WHICH MADE AN HISTORIC
FLIGHT AND RECORD FROM PERTH, AUSTRALIA TO COLUMBUS,
OHIO, A DISTANCE OF 11,236 MILES IN 55 HOURS, 17
MINUTES, WITHOUT REFUELING.

AFTER REFITTING, CURRITUCK GOT UNDERWAY ON 17
DECEMBER 1951 FOR NORFOLK, VIRGINIA AND THEN ON TO A
FOUR MONTH SHAKEDOWN CRUISE. THIS EXERCISE TOOK HER
THROUGH THE CARIBBEAN REGION, MAKING PORT CALLS AT
HAITI, TRINIDAD, JAMAICA, SAN JUAN AND PANAMA,
COVERING SOME 8,687 MILES, BEFORE RETURNING To
NORFOLK, DURING THE TIME FRAME OF 28 JANUARY TO 14
APRIL 1952.

COMMANDER FRANK D. HEYER USN, RELIEVED COMMANDER REID
As EXECUTIVE OFFICER ON 23 APRIL 1952 AND ON 13 JUNE
1952, CAPTAIN HARVEY P. BURDEN, USN, ASSUMEID COMMAND
OF THE CURRITUICK.

ON 23 AUGUST 1952, CURRITUCK DEPARTED NORFOLK FOR A
CRUISE, OPERATION MAINBRACE, WHICH INCLUDED VISITS
To TRONDHEIM, NORWAY AND LEITH, SCOTLAND. DEPARTING
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND ON 7 OCTOBER THE SHIP ARRIVED IN
PHILADELPHIA ON 17 OCTOBER 1952 TO REPAIR VOYAGE
DAMAGE, RETURNING TO NORFOLK IN DECEMBER 1952.

OPERATION SPRINGBOARDO, WAS CONDUCTED FRom 6 JANUARY
To 29 MARCH 1953 IN THE SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO AREA
SERVICING \tP SQADRONs 49, 34, 44, 45 AND
661.

CAPTAIN J. D. BLACK, USN RELIEVED CAPTAIN BURDEN AS
COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE CURRITUCK ON 28 MAY 1953.

CURRITUCK DEPARTEX) NORFOLK ON 24 AUGUST 1953,
PASSING THROUGH THE PANAMA CANAL ON HER CRUISE TO
ESTABLISH A SPECIAL OPERATION IN THE

8


GALAPAGOS ISLANDS. IN THIS LOCATION, SHE SERVED AS A
MOBILE BASE FOR OPERATION CHURCHYN AND SKYHOOK.
THESE OPERATIONS INVOLVED A SCIENTIFIC
GROUP STUDYING COSMIC RADIATION IN THE STRATOSPHERE
DURING AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER 1953. CURRITUCKIS
AIRCRAFT AFT WORK DECK WAS UTILIZED To SPREAD OUT THE
HUGE PLASTIC BALLOONS FROM WHICH MANY SCIENTIFIC
TELEMETERING GADGETS WERE SUSPENDED. UPON RELEASE,
THESE BALLOONS WOULD REACH HEIGHTS OF 100,000 FEET.
DURING THESE BALLOON EXERCISES, CURRITUCK LAUNCHED
THIRTEEN OF THEM WITH THE PBM's OF VP-45, USS ELLYSON
(DMS-19) AND USS RODMAN (DMS-21) PROVIDING THEIR
SERVICES IN TRACKING AND RECOVERING THEM AND THEIR
GONDOLAS WHICH DROPPED BACK TO SEA, IN MOST CASES,
HUNDREDS OF MILES AWAY FROM CURRITUCK.

CURRITUCK RETURNED To NORFOLK ON 25 SEPTEMBER FOR
FOUR MONTHS OF DUTY IN LOCAL OPERATING AREAS, ON 6
OCTOBER 1953 COMMANDER EDWARD W. BISHOP, USN, BECAME
THE CURRITUCK'S NEW EXECUTIVE OFFICER.

SHE DEPARTED I FEBRUARY 1954 TO TAKE PART IN FLEET
MANEUVERS WHILE BASED AT GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA,
RETURNING To NORFOLK 2 APRIL FOR A SCHEDULE OF
TACTICS OFF THE VIRGINIA CAPES, SHE THEN DID A TOUR
OF DUTY WHILE BASED AT BERMUDA FROM 24 APRIL To 3
JUNE 1954.

WITH CAPTAIN J. B. VREDENBURGH, USN COMMANDING AND
COMMANDER E. W. BisHop, USN As EXECUTIVE OFFICER,
CURRITUCK DEPARTED ON 6 JULY 1954 FOR A
EUROPEAN CRUISE TO MILFORD HAVEN, WEST WALES,
OPERATING A SEADROME AND SERVICING VP-44 UNTIL
STEAMING TO VISIT TARANTO, ITALY IN AUGUST AND THEN
RETURNING TO MILFORD HAVEN AND VISITING PORTSMOUTH,
ENGLAND, SHE RETURNED TO NORFOLK ON 18 SEPTEMBER
1954.

CURRITUCK PARTICIPATED IN LOCAL AND CARIBBEAN
OPERATIONS UNTIL DEPLOYING ON A EUROPEAN CRUISE ON 26
AUGUST 1956. As PART OF THE SIXTH FLEET SHE VISITED
PRINCIPAL PORTS AND RETURNED To NORFOLK ON 13
DECEMBER 1956. AFTER COMPLETING VARIOUS LOCAL
OPERATIONS CURRITUCK PROCEEDED TO PHILADELPHIA NAVAL
SHIPYARD ON 9 JANUARY 1958 FOR INACTIVATION AND WAS
PLACED OUT OF COMMISSION ON 12 FEBRUARY 1958 FOR
MODERNIZATION AND OVERHAUL.

CURRITUCK WAS RECOMMISSIONED ON 20 AUGUST 1960 AND
FOLLOWING A SHAKEDOWN AND TRAINING CRUISE ALONG THE
EAST COAST AND CARIBBEAN, STEAMED THROUGH THE PANAMA
CANAL TO HER NEW HOME PORT OF SAN DIEGO ARRIVING ON 3
DECEMBER 1960.

SHE DEPLOYED TO THE WESTERN PACIFIC ON 27 JUNE 1961
ON HER FIRST TOUR WHERE SHE SERVED As FLAGSHIP FOR
COMMANDER, TAIWAN PATROL FORCE, REAR ADMIRAL BERNARD
M. STREAM. THIS FORCE, COMPRISED OF BOTH AIR AND
SURFACE PATROL, PROVIDED SURVEILLANCE PATROLS ALONG
THE COAST LINES OF SOVIET SIBERIA, NORTH KOREA.,
NORTH VIETNAM AND THE COMMUNIST-HELD CHINA MA,INLAND.

IN A WARM-UP CRUISE, PRIOR TO HER NEXT WEST-PAC
DEPLOYMENT, CURRITUCK MADE AN ALASKAN VOYAGE THAT
SPANNED THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS, OPERATING WITH VP-47
EQUIPPED WITH P5M MARLIN SEAPLANES. CURRITUCK, ON
THIS OPERATION, PROVIDED THE RARE OPPORTUNITY TO
VISIT THE PORT OF ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, AND BECAME THE
LARGEST SHIP EVER TO VISIT THAT PORT.

CURRITUCK BEGAN HER SECOND WEST-PAC TOUR ON 19 APRIL
1963 AND AGAIN IN EARLY 1964 OPERATING IN LINGAYEN
GULF IN EXERCISE OMINUTE MANDO, THE LOCATION OF HER
SEA]DROME IN JANUARY 1945, SOME TWENTY YEARS PRIOR,
THIS

9



TIME SERVICING VP-48. RETURNING TO MANILA ON 29 MAY
1964 SHE PARTICIPATED IN EXERCISE OLIGTASO, A 7
NATION, 75 SHIP TASK FORCE MASSIVE
AMPHIBIOUS/AIRBORNE EXERCISEI DURING WHICH CURRITUCK
SERVED AS COMMAND INFORMATION CENTER. NEXT WAS A
VISIT TO SAIGON, SOUTH VIETNAMI WHEREIN SHE HAD TO
NAVIGATE UP THE SAIGON RIVER THROUGH HOSTILE
TERRITORY. ARRIVING
OFF SAIGONI SHE NEGOTIATED A 180 DEGREE TURN BY
MAKING A PLANNED MANEUVER OF RUNNING HER ROW AGROUND
ON THE RIVER BANK AND SWINGING HER STERN UPSTREAM
UNTIL SHE HAD REVERSED HERSELF.

CURRITUCK DEPLOYED FOR A SUBSEQUENT WEST-PAC CRUISE
ON 23 APRIL 1965 TO BECOME FLAGSHIP SEVENTH FLEET.
AFTER VISITS To KOH SAMUI AND BANGKOK, THAILAND SHE
ESTABLISHED A SEADROME OFF OF CON SON, POULO CONDORES
ISLANDS, REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM ON 29 MAY 1965 AND
BEGAN SERVICING AIRCRAFT OF VP-40. DURING THIS PERIOD
CURRITUCK ESTABLISHED A NUMBER OF NFIRSTSO. ON 22
JUNE 1965, CURRITUCK BECAME THE FIRST.SHIP OF HER
CLASS TO ]DELIVER SHORE BOMBARDMENT AGAINST ENEMY
POSITIONS IN THE MEKONG DELTA REGION OF VIETNAM. SHE
ALSO ESTABLISHED A RECORD OF 67 ]DAYS OF CONTINUOUS
SEAPLANE OPERATIONS IN AN ADVANCED-BASE AREA. UPON
LEAVING VIETNAM, SHE VISITED HONG KONG, B.C.C.,
KEELUNG AND KAOHSIUNG, TAIWAN, YOKOSUKA, SASEBO AND
KOBE, JAPAN, SUBIC BAY, P.I. WHEN NOT AT BUCKNER BAY
OPERATING WITH VP-50. THE SHIP WAS COMMANDED BY
CAPTAIN MARTIN G. O'NEILL, USN AND COMMANDER KEITH E.
BAILEY, USN SERVED As EXECUTIVE OFFICER.

THE SHIP RETURNED TO SAN DIEGO ON I DECEMBER 1965 AND
ON 13 JANUARY 1966 DEPARTED FOR A TWO WEEK TRAINIG
CRUISE WITH STOPS AT MAGDELINA BAY AND LA PAZ,
MEXICO, RETURNING TO SAN DIEGO ON 27 JANUARY.

CURRITUCK's FINAL DEPLOYMENT TO WEST-PAC INCLUDED
OPERATIONS FROM A SEADROME AT HER ANCHORAGE IN CAm
RANH BAY, SOUTH VIETNAM WHERE SHE SERVICE THE P5M's
OF VP-40 DURING OPERATION NMARKET TIME. OPERATING
FROM CURRITUCK, VP-40 PARTICIPATED IN THE LAST
SEAPLANE TENDER OPERATIONS CONDUCTED BY THE U.S. NAVY
AND CLOSED THIS PHASE OF U.S. NAVAL AVIATION HISTORY
AFTER OPERATING THERE FROM 19 MARCH TO 12 APRIL 1967.
VP-40 LOGGED A TOTAL OF 860 FLIGHT HOURSI UTILIZING
BUT SEVEN AIRCRAFT FROM CURRITUCKI WHICH MAINTAINED
AN AVAILABILITY OF 94.38 PERCENT. ON 23 MAY 1967,
CURRITUCK RETURNED TO HER HOMEPORT OF SAN DIEGO AND
IN SO DOING BROUGHT DOWN THE CURTAIN ON ONE OF THE
MORE COLORFUL FACETS OF NAVAL AVIATION OPERATIONS.
SHE WAS THE LAST ACTIVE SEAPLANE TENDER IN THE U.S.
NAVY.

IN LATE SUMMER, USS CURRITUCK STEAMED TO PUGET SOUND
NAVAL SHIPYARD, BREMERTON, WASHINGTON FOR
DECOMMISSIONING. THERE SHE JOINED HER WEST-PAC
SISTERS: USS PINE ISLAND (AV-12) AND USS SALISBURY
SOUND (AV-13) ALREADY IN THE SAME STATUS. SHE WAS
LATER STRUCK FROM THE NAVAL RECORDS AND DISMANTLED AT
THE LEARNER SHIPYARD, OAKLANDs CALIFORNIA IN JUNE
1972.

I WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE MANY MEMBERS WHO PROVIDED
INFORMATION FROM THEIR PERSONAL FILES. AS ADDITIONAL
HISTORIC INFORMATION IS ACQUIRED ABOUT THE SHIP AND
HER HISTORYI THIS INFORMATION WILL BE INCLUDED IN THE
NEWSLETTERSI SO THAT EACH OF THE MEMBERS WHO SO
DESIRE, MAY CREATE THEIR OWN HISTORICAL FILES ON THE
USS CURRITUCK.

10





Keywords:



Entry: 78011
Subject: GRANDSON

Christopher Tinker wrote on February 27, 2011


City and State: BALTIMORE MD

Unit:

Service or Relationship: Family Member

Comments: I AM THE GRANDSON OF WILLIAM TINKER. DURING WW2 HE WAS
THE SUPPLY OFFICER ON THE CURRITUCK. I AM LOOKING FOR
ANYONE WHO SERVED WITH HIM OR KNEW HIM. I HAVE A LOT OF
PICTURES AND A DETAILED DIARY OF HIS TIME OF SERVICE. A
LOT OF THE PICTURES NEED IDENTIFICATION OF THE SUBJECTS!
PICTURES CONSIST OF PLACES SUCH AS HAWAII,
PHILLIPINES,AND MANY UNNAMED LOCATIONS.AS A SIDE NOTE MY
OTHER GRANDFATHER WAS ALFRED HARRIS HE LANDED ON OMAHA
BEACH ON DAY 2 OF D-DAY. IF ANYONE KNOWS OF HIM OR HAS
ANY PICTURES PLEASE CONTACT ME!

Keywords: LOOKING FOR PEOPLE WHO KNEW WILLIAM TINKER [OF BALTIMORE
MD] OR ALFRED HARRIS [ALSO OF BALTIMORE] WILLIAM TINKER
SERVED ON THE USS CURRITUCK IN WW2.AL HARRIS LANDED ON
OMAHA BEACH ON THE SECOND DAY AND FOUGHT HIS WAY TO
GERMANY.



Entry: 68671
Subject: LEONARD CLENDANIEL 1951-1954

Leonard Clendaniel wrote on January 14, 2009

Email Update Needed



City and State: JACKSONVILLE FL

Unit: GAS CREW

Service or Relationship: Navy Veteran

Comments: Looking forward to connecting with old shipmates!

Keywords: Hank Yelaco from Chapel Hill, NC; Donovan from Kennebunk, Maine; Gates who made Chief; Bruce Bates; Capt. Black; Chief Wach
1951-1954



Entry: 68348
Subject: USS CURRITUCK 1951TO1954

Robert E. Lehman wrote on December 22, 2008


City and State: CANTON OH

Unit: V-2 DIV. PARCHUTE RIGGER

Service or Relationship: Army Veteran

Comments: Served on the "TUCK" 51-54

Keywords: Coffey,AN/1 Richey ,Walt,AO/3



Entry: 65209
Subject: MED CRUISE 56

Marvin Morrow wrote on April 12, 2008


City and State: STOCKBRIDGE GA

Unit: RADIO SHACK

Service or Relationship: Navy Veteran

Comments: Way back then I was from Kansas City, Came to the Atlanta area in 65. I remember we had VP56 aboard and had many stops. Milford Haven, Gibralter Horta and the downed plane with 9 lost. I've got whats left of an old cruise book from 56. I came aboard late 55 or early 56 from USS Intrepid CVA 11. Would like to hear from any of those aboard

Keywords: Nickname "Red" Many friends throughout the ship. Harter, "Love Charlie" our Chief L C Collinsworth, Lingway, Mccorkle, Crawford, Carney and Smith These all in OR div.



Entry: 61613
Subject: THE NEW WILDGOOSE WEBSITE DOES NOT SEEM 2 WORK 4 ME???

Smiley Develin wrote on July 13, 2007


City and State: NY

Unit: RADIO SHACK ON THE AV7

Service or Relationship: Navy Veteran

Comments: we have a website that works now...found first boss in life after attending the valleyforge reunion of the tuck............dm...........we met after in nyc, again..........no word lately

over

Keywords: av7



Entry: 44468
Subject: NEW AV-7 WEBSITE

Nathan Good wrote on July 13, 2004

Email Update Needed



City and State:

Unit:

Service or Relationship: Interested Person

Comments: The old AV7.8m.com is no longer the home page of the USS Currituck. The new URL is http://wildgoose.000k.net
Thats 3 zeros and a K.
Many Thanks

Keywords:



Entry: 43451
Subject: SN PHILIP EUGENE BRUCKMAN

Raymond Lantz wrote on June 2, 2004


City and State:

Unit:

Service or Relationship: Family Member

Comments: Interested in hearing from anyone who may have served with my uncle the late Philip Eugene Bruckman born Altoona, PA served ship's company USS Currituck May 1951-May 1955.

Keywords:



Entry: 43445
Subject: JUST PASSIN' BY

Dan (DJ) Harrington wrote on June 1, 2004

Email Update Needed



City and State: RICHMOND VA

Unit: V2 DIV

Service or Relationship: Navy Veteran - Korea

Comments: Still looking for a good pic of the ship. I served on board from 1955-57 as ship's company, V2 Div.
Anyone out there remember our trips to San Juan, Trinidad, England, Sicily, etc?

Keywords: Nickname DJ



Entry: 40540
Subject: 2004 REUNIION

Ronald Curtis wrote on February 3, 2004


City and State: BLAND MO

Unit: W- DIVISION 1965-66

Service or Relationship: -

Comments: The USS CURRITUCK will hold its annual reunion from 26-30 September 2004 in Las Vegas, NV. All crew members, attached VP Squadron and Staff personnel are invited to attend.

Keywords:



Entry: 18885
Subject: RADIO SHACK 1954

Smiley Develin wrote on August 22, 2001


City and State:

Unit: THE TUCK IN THE 50'IES

Service or Relationship: Navy Veteran - Korea

Comments: anyone going to valley forge reunion.....

can share ride from syracuse ny.....

should take 4 hours.

Keywords: reunion ride......uss currituck



Entry: 18186
Subject: DUTY ON THE AV-7

James Richie wrote on July 23, 2001

Email Update Needed



City and State: LAWRENCE KS

Unit: AVN METALSHOP

Service or Relationship: -

Comments: Was ships company on the AV-7 in '52-'54. Left her
for overseas shore duty in London, England in April of '54.

Keywords: Currituck AV-7



Entry: 14349
Subject: REUNION INFO REQUESTED

Richard Hochheimer wrote on January 16, 2001

Email Update Needed



City and State: HONEOYE NY

Unit: 2ND DIVISION

Service or Relationship: Navy Veteran - Korea

Comments: Hey "Lazoo" from Niagra Falls are you out there? or Robert Burns from Mass, Fields from Tenesee? Looking for folks who where with me. Interested in hearing from you. And reunion info.

Dick Hochheimer

Keywords:



Entry: 13924
Subject: FORMER CURRITUCK CREWMEMBER

Tom Fuquay wrote on December 29, 2000

Email Update Needed



City and State: LITTLE ROCK AR

Unit: AV-7

Service or Relationship: -

Comments: Would like to hear from shipmates 1965-66

Keywords:



Entry: 9026
Subject: USS CURRITUCK WEB SITE

Nathan Good wrote on May 29, 2000


City and State: TATUM NM

Unit: V3 DIV

Service or Relationship: Interested Person

Comments: For those interested, the web site with history and some photos concerning the 'Goose' is
http://av7.8m.com
Former crewmembers may e-mail memories or stories that I can post on the site.
This is a new site, with links to other Currituck related sites. Thanks to all.

Keywords: history, shipmates, photos



Entry: 7214
Subject: CURRITUCK EARLY 1950S

Ted Nukes wrote on February 27, 2000

Email Update Needed



City and State: INDIANAPOLIS IN

Unit:

Service or Relationship: Family Member

Comments: My father ,Sotir (Sam) Nukes served aboard the Currituck in 1950-1951.He was the personel officer during much of that time. He is very interested in hearing from former shipmates of that era. He is also interested in any information about two good friends "Mo" Needham and an Ens. Ackerman. Please feel free to e-mail or write to the above address. Also when and where is the next Reunion?

Keywords: Currituck , Korea , 1950-1951







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