Commencement Bay class
Design History
Under the Financial Year 1944 program, the Navy chose the design of escort carrier which it perceived the best, the Sangamon class, for future production. Since the new ship would be built from keel up a carrier, it would certainly be a more capable ship. The emphasis was away from the stated mission of the earlier Casablanca class (of aircraft transport and convoy support) to real combat roles.

For that, it received more careful attention to the issues of damage resistance, being provided with the latest in damage control technology, from separated engine rooms to reduce the vulnerability to underwater hits, to increased structural strength.

The new ships received a much larger hangar, more crew spaces, faster elevators, a more powerful type of catapult, saddle tanks, a stronger flight deck.

Armament consisted of 2 5L/38 guns aft, 28 40mm L/56 guns, 20 20mm L/70 guns and the airgroup, comprising 33 planes.

Only nineteen of the ordered 35 ships were completed, and only seventeen ever commissioned.

Modification History
None of the ships completed early enough to see modernization during the war.

Service
Only Block Island, Cape Gloucester and Gilbert Islands saw service in the war. All three operated off Okinawa until wars end.


Ships in class:

CVE-105 Commencement Bay
CVE-106 Block Island
CVE-107 Gilbert Islands
CVE-108 Kula Gulf
CVE-109 Cape Gloucester
CVE-110 Salerno Bay
CVE-111 Vella Gulf
CVE-112 Siboney
CVE-113 Puget Sound
CVE-115 Bairoko
CVE-117 Saidor
CVE-118 Sicily
CVE-119 Point Cruz
CVE-120 Mindoro
CVE-121 Rabaul, never commissioned
CVE-122 Palau
CVE-123 Tinian, never commissioned

Stats
Displacements:
Standard: 10,975 tons
Full: 21,397 tons
Length: 169.8m / 557ft 1"
Beam: 32.05m / 105ft 2"
Draft (Full Load): 8.50m / 27ft 10 1/2"
Height: ???? / ????
Crew (Officers/Men): 134 / 920
Endurance: 10,240 at 15 knots
Speed: 19 knots
Armor
Belt: No belt armor
Deck: No deck armor
Barbettes: No barbette armor
Conning Tower: No conning tower armor
Armament and Equipment
(As designed):
Main: 2 x 127mm L/38 on the stern
Secondary: None
AA: 36 x 40mm L/56, 20 x 20mm L/70 in singles.
Aviation:
33 planes