Bogue Class Escort Aircraft Carrier
The Bogue class were a class of 45 escort carriers built in the United States for service with the US Navy and the Royal Navy, through the Lend-Lease program, during World War II. Following the war, ten Bogue-class ships were kept in service by the US Navy and were reclassified for helicopter and aircraft transport operations.
The first 22 ships of the class were converted from finished, or near finished, Maritime Commission C3-S-A1 and C3-S-A2 ships, with 11 retained by the US Navy, and the other 11 transferring to the RN, where they were renamed and grouped as the Attacker class. Prince William was the last of the USN ships built and comprised all of the lessons learned in the earlier ships, sometimes it is referred to as its own subclass of the Bogue class. The remaining 23 ships were built from the keel up on C3-class designs and classified as Ruler class, or the Ameer-class. Following the war, those ships that served with the Royal Navy were returned to the United States and were either scrapped or converted for mercantile use.
The Bogue-class escort carriers were based on the Maritime Commission's Type C3 cargo ships hull. They all were named for sounds. All of the ships for the US Navy and half of the ships for the Royal Navy were built by the Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation, some of the early Royal Navy ships were produced by Ingalls Shipbuilding of Pascagoula, Mississippi, and Western Pipe and Steel Company of San Francisco, California.
USS Card CVE-11
The first I have worked on is one of the most famous of the Bogue's that being USS Card. She was named for Card Sound, a continuation of Biscayne Bay, south of Miami, Florida. She was the flagship of Task Group 21.14 (TG 21.14), a hunter-killer group formed to destroy German submarines in the North Atlantic Ocean. By the end of World War II, Card and her aircraft destroyed a total of 11 German submarines. This made her the second most successful ship of her class, behind USS Bogue with 11 German and 2 Japanese submarines. Assigned to "Magic Carpet" duty, she made two voyages to Pearl Harbor, and one to the western Pacific, from 21 August to 16 December, returning servicemen to the west coast. Card departed Alameda, California, 7 January 1946, for the east coast where she was placed out of commission in reserve at Norfolk, 13 May. Card was reclassified as a helicopter escort carrier CVHE-11, 12 June 1955; a utility carrier CVU-11, 1 July 1958; and an aviation transport AKV-40, 7 May 1959.
However, her most famous event came after WW2 when she was used as a Aircraft Transport Vessel as USNS Card where she operated with a civilian crew under Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) control as an aircraft transport. On 15 December 1961, Card left Quonset Point Naval Air Station in Rhode Island, with a cargo of H-21 Shawnee helicopters and soldiers from Fort Devens, bound for Vietnam. At Subic Bay, in the Philippines, the cargo and troops were transferred to the helicopter carrier Princeton, which arrived and unloaded off the coast of Da Nang, on 25 January 1962. On 2 May 1964, while Card was moored dockside in Saigon, a Vietcong frogman planted an explosive charge that blew a hole in the hull, killing five crewmen. Card settled in 20 ft of water. She was patched and pumped out, and raised on 19 May, and towed to Subic Bay, and then Yokosuka, for repairs. Card returned to service on 11 December.
USNS Card entered the Reserve Fleet, at Olympia, Washington, on 10 March 1970 and officially withdrawn from the fleet on 9 June 1971 ending her service career of nearly 30 years of service