Unit Details

USS Philippine Sea (CV-47)

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Contributed by Mike Smolinski

 

USN_Units

USS PHILIPPINE SEA (CV-47)
(later CVA-47, CVS-47 and AVT-11)


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Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign: November - Tango - Mike - Uniform
Tactical Voice Radio Call: "CASHEW"
CLASS - ESSEX (Long Hull) AKA TICONDEROGA
Displacement 27,100 Tons, Dimensions, 888' (oa) x 93' x 28' 7" (Max)
Armament 12 x 5"/38AA, 32 x 40mm, 46 x 20mm, 82 Aircraft.
Armor, 4" Belt, 2 1/2" Hanger deck, 1 1/2" Deck, 1 1/2" Conning Tower.
Machinery, 150,000 SHP; Westinghouse Geared Turbines, 4 screws
Speed, 33 Knots, Crew 3448.

Operational and Building Data

Initially named Wright, Philippine Sea (CV-47) was laid down by the Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass. 19 August 1944, launched 5 September 1945, and commissioned 11 May 1946.

FATE

Decommissioned 28 December 1958 and berthed with the Reserve Fleet at Long Beach, she was redesignated AVT-11, 15 May 1959, and struck from the Navy List 1 December 1969. About 600 tons of her armor plate have been put to use at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.
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By And/Or Copyright
CV/CVA-47, 1946-1955
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95k As completed, F9F Panthers on deck. Undated. USN
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120k Transporting aircraft. Undated USN
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181k Underway © EMC(SW) Brian Kroenung
Operation Highjump, 1946-47
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USS Philippine Sea passing through the Panama Canal with six Douglas R4D-5L transports en route to the Antarctic, in support of Operation High Jump, Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd's scientific expedition to the frozen continent in 1947. Note the carrier's port-side elevator swung up so she can squeeze through the canal and the two OY-1 light planes parked forward of her island. U.S. Navy photo.

Photo and text from Aircraft Carriers, by Norman Polmar.

Robert Hurst
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Overhead bow view of USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) passing through the Panama Canal in 1946. The ship was en route to the Antarctica for Operation Highjump. Note the R4D Skytrains spotted on the flight deck behind the barrier.

US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, photo # 1986.056.001.024.

Mike Green
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Soon after World War II the Navy returned to the Antarctic to continue exploration and mapping. Operation Highjump, 1946–47, was a massive effort that included 13 ships, 4,700 men, and 25 aircraft, making it the largest expedition to Antarctica. RADM Richard H. Cruzen commanded the Navy task force while RADM Richard E. Byrd (photosNS024752cNS024752d, right; NS024752gNS024752h, left) was given control of the technical aspects of the operation.

Participating ships included: USS Mount Olympus (AGC-8), the flagship; attack cargo ships USS Yancey (AKA-93) and USS Merrick (AKA-97); submarine USS Sennet (SS-408); Navy icebreaker USS Burton Island (AG-88) and Coast Guard icebreaker USCGC Northwind (WAG-282); seaplane tenders USS Currituck (AV-7) and USS Pine Island (AV-12); destroyers USS Henderson (DD-785) and USS Brownson (DD-868); oilers USS Cacapon (AO-52) and USSCanisteo (AO-99); and aircraft carrier USS Philippine Sea (CV-47). Aircraft included PBM Mariner seaplanes, R4DSkytrains (photos NS024752NS024752aNS024752eNS024752i) equipped with a unique wheel/ski combination, and HOS, HO3S (photo NS024752b), and HNS Hoverfly helicopters.

The Navy decided to fly the Skytrains to the continent from Philippine Sea, and equip these two-engine cargo planes with Jet Assisted Take Off (JATO) equipment to provide extra thrust (photos NS024752fNS024752i). The first R4D took off from Philippine Sea on 19 January 1947 piloted by CDR William M. Hawkes. The R4D's continued to use JATO for some operations from the ice fields, and JATO bottles also allowed the PBM Mariners to shorten their takeoffs in often ice chocked waters. The utility of the JATO system ashore and at sea was vital to polar aviation. The helicopters, still in their infancy, proved useful in scouting for ice in the dangerous waters near the continent. The expedition's flights observed more than 700,000 square miles of Antarctica which were previously unexplored.

The expedition made major scientific contributions and photographed much of the coast of Antarctica which had never been recorded before. For the Navy, Highjump was primarily a testing and training exercise for cold weather operations. It demonstrated the viability of new technologies, such as the helicopter and JATO, and confirmed the need for ski-equipped aircraft in Antarctic aviation operations.

(Text from "Naval Aviation in the Antarctic," by Curtis Utz, Naval Aviation News, November–December 2006; "Polar Expeditions," Naval History & Heritage Command website.)

Note: Two ships have been named after Rear Admiral Byrd: DDG-23 and AKE-4.

Gary Schreffler
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A Navy Douglas R4D-5L takes off from USS Philippine Sea (CV-47), on 29 January 1947, in a blast of smoke from auxiliary rockets (JATO), heading for the Little America base 800 miles south, in Antarctica, as part of U.S. Navy's Antartic Expedition, Operation High Jump, led by Admiral Richard E. Byrd. Note that only three inches of wheel protrude from beneath the skis for take-off. Only half of the Philippine Sea's flight deck—about 400 feet—could be used because of the danger of an R4D wing striking the island structure. Photo U.S. Navy Official.

Photo and text from Aircraft Carriers, by Norman Polmar.

Robert Hurst
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USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) exercising at sea with another carrier and a heavy cruiser, circa 1948. The photograph was received by the Naval Photographic Center on 10 January 1949. Note: "E" painted on her stack, location of hull number below the after end of her island; and HO3S helicopter on her flight deck.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-706709).

NHC
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USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) at Gibraltar in February or March 1948. Philippine Sea, with Attack Carrier Air Group Nine assigned, was at the beginning of her deployment to the Mediterranean Sea from 9 February to 26 June 1948. US Navy photo by Charles J. Beggy, Jr., ET 2nd Class, USN (ret.).

Robert M. Cieri
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Caribbean (September–October 1949)—USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) anchored out in a bay, possibly Guantanamo, with Air Group 1 embarked. She is engaged in a shakedown cruise following a complex overhaul at the Boston Naval Shipyard. Five views from stem to stern along the starboard side.

Robert M. Cieri
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USS Chara (AKA-58) during an underway replenishment with USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) and USS Hollister (DD-788), circa early 1950s during the Korean War.

US Navy photo now in the collections of the NARA Seattle.

Tracy White
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NS024747
149k

Official US Navy Photograph (# USN-707935) of an AD-4 Skyraider of VA-115 landing on USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) on 2 October 1950, after conducting strikes in the Inchon area of North Korea. Looking on are Landing Signal Officers, LT(JG) Floyd K. Lissy and LT(JG) Robert K. McNeil and Assistants Walter R. Evans, AM and Richard E. King, AM.

Robert M. Cieri
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Grumman F9F-2 Panther of Fighter Squadron 111 (VF-111) is fueled on the carrier's forward flight deck, during operations off Korea, circa 19 October 1950. At left are Vought F4U-4B Corsair fighter-bombers of Fighter Squadron 114 (VF-114).

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-420916).

Scott Dyben
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Ordnancemen hauling bombs on the carrier's flight deck, preparing planes for attacks on enemy targets in Korea, circa 19 October 1950. A Douglas AD-4 Skyraider of Attack Squadron 115 (VA-115) is behind them, with small bombs on its wing racks.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-420919).

Scott Dyben
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NS024760
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Vought F4U-4B Corsairs of Fighter Squadron (VF) 113 are spotted prior to take-off from USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) on a strike mission against targets in Korea, circa 19 October 1950.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-420920).

Gerd Matthes, Germany
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Ordnancemen loading bombs on a Vought F4U-4B Corsair of Fighter Squadron (VF) 114, during operations aboard USS Philippine Sea (CV-47), off Korea, circa 19 October 1950. This aircraft is Bureau No. 63034.

F4U-4 in the right background has tail code "PP", indicating that it belongs to squadron VC-61.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-420921).

Gerd Matthes, Germany
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NS024762
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Ordnancemen attach rockets to the hardpoints on the wing of a Vought F4U-4B Corsair fighter, aboard USS Philippine Sea (CV-47), circa October 1950.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-420922).

Gerd Matthes, Germany
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NS024763
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A Vought F4U-4B Corsair of Fighter Squadron (VF) 113 gets the "Go" signal to take off from USS Philippine Sea (CV-47), during operations off Korea, circa 19 October 1950.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-420924).

Gerd Matthes, Germany
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NS024764
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A Grumman F9F-2 Panther of Fighter Squadron (VF) 111 being moved by a flight deck tractor aboard USS Philippine Sea (CV-47), during operations off Korea, circa 19 October 1950.

Other planes parked near by are Vought F4U-4B Corsairs.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-420925).

Gerd Matthes, Germany
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NS024765
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Vought F4U-4B Corsair fighters, of Fighter Squadrons 113 and 114 (VF-113 & VF-114) prepare for launching aboard USS Philippine Sea (CV-47), during strikes on North Korean targets, circa 19 October 1950. Note small bombs, with fuse extensions, on the planes' wings.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-420926).

Gerd Matthes, Germany
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Douglas AD-4 Skyraider of Attack Squadron (VA) 115 spotted for launch aboard USS Philippine Sea (CV-47), with a wing load of bombs, during operations off Korea, circa 19 October 1950. This aircraft is Bureau No. 123830.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-420928).

Gerd Matthes, Germany
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Vought F4U-4B Corsair, of Fighter Squadron 113 (VF-113) taxies forward on the flight deck of USS Philippine Sea(CV-47), just before taking off to attack North Korean targets, circa 19 October 1950. Note small bombs on the plane's wings and flight deck crewman signalling to the pilot.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-420932).

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Douglas AD Skyraider of Attack Squadron (VA) 115 ready for launching from USS Philippine Sea (CV-47), on a strike mission against Korean targets, circa 19 October 1950.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-420934).

Gerd Matthes, Germany
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NS024768
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A Douglas AD-4W Skyraider prepares to take off from USS Philippine Sea (CV-47), for a night heckler mission over Korea, circa 19 October 1950.

Vought F4U-4B Corsair fighters are parked in the right background. The ship's Sikorski HO3S-1 utility helicopter is overhead, in the upper left distance.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-420936).

Gerd Matthes, Germany
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NS024769
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Operations Officer in the "Pri-Fly" booth aboard USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) checks in returning aircraft after a strike on Korean targets, circa 19 October 1950.

In the distance is a Vought F4U-4B Corsair approaching to land on board.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-420938).

Gerd Matthes, Germany
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NS024770
176k

A Vought F4U-4B Corsair, of Fighter Squadron (VF) 114, returns to USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) following a strike on North Korean targets, circa 19 October 1950.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-420942).

Gerd Matthes, Germany
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A Grumman F9F-2 Panther from Fighter Squadron (VF) 112 on the flight deck of USS Philippine Sea (CV-47), during operations off Korea, circa 19 October 1950.

Note spectators on the island walkways.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-420946).

Gerd Matthes, Germany
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A Sikorski HO3S-1 helicopter, of Helicopter Utility Squadron (HU) 1, aboard USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) during operations off Korea, circa 19 October 1950. Crewman is backing off vacuum prior to starting the helicopter's engine.

Note aircraft carrier in the left distance.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-420949).

Gerd Matthes, Germany
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A Sikorski HO3S-1 helicopter, of Helicopter Utility Squadron (HU) 1, hovers near USS Philippine Sea (CV-47), awaiting the return of aircraft from missions over Korea, circa 19 October 1950.

Crewmen foreground are standing by their stations on one of the ship's 40mm gun mounts. Note screening destroyer in the middle distance.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-420950).

Gerd Matthes, Germany
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242k

Demonstration of air-sea rescue techniques, using a Sikorski HO3S-1 helicopter from USS Worcester (CL-144), on the flight deck of USS Philippine Sea (CV-47), during operations off Korea, circa 19 October 1950.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-420957).

Gerd Matthes, Germany
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100k

Grumman F9F-2 Panther (Bureau No. 123438) of Fighter Squadron 112 (VF-112) goes into the crash barrier while returning from a mission over Korea, circa 19 October 1950.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-420958).

Scott Dyben
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NS024775
189k

A Grumman F9F-2 Panther comes in for a landing aboard USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) during operations off Korea, circa 19 October 1950.

The ship's HO3S-1 helicopter is standing by, faintly visible, in the left distance. Note Landing Signal Officer (LSO) at right, antennae on the LSO platform, and 5"/38 gun in the right foreground.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-420960).

Gerd Matthes, Germany
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NS024776
247k

Crewmen rolling a 1000-pound bomb across the hangar deck of USS Philippine Sea (CV-47), while rearming from the ammunition ship (AE) in the background, during operations in Korean waters, circa 19 October 1950. Note wooden rails used for moving the bomb.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-420962).

Gerd Matthes, Germany
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584k

Vought F4U-4B Corsair of Fighter Squadron (VF) 114 taking off from USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) for a mission over Korea, circa 19 October 1950. Other F4Us are following.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-420967).

Gerd Matthes, Germany
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NS024706
110k National Archives Photo 80-G-439869:  USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) flight deck scene, looking aft from the island, as the carrier is enveloped in a snowstorm off the Korean coast, 15 November 1950.  Planes on deck include Vought F4U-4B Corsair fighters and Douglas AD Skyraider attack planes. Note men on deck, apparently tossing snowballs, and what may be a toppled snowman just in front of the amidships elevator. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.
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99k National Archives Photo 80-G-439871:  USS Philippine Sea (CV-47).  Grumman F9F-2 Panther fighters of Fighter Squadrons 111 and 112 (VF-111 & VF-112) parked on the flight deck, forward, during a snowstorm off the Korean coast, 15 November 1950. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.
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Secretary of the Navy Francis P. Matthews (center) disembarks from a Douglas AD-4N Skyraider aircraft, after being flown aboard USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) off Korea, 22 November 1950. He is being welcomed by the carrier's Commanding Officer, Captain Willard K. Goodney. Secretary Matthews was visiting Navy units involved in Korean War operations. Note his leather flight helmet and inflatable life vest.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (# 80-G-423481).

Naval History & Heritage Command
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Mount Katmai (AE-16) transferring bombs during underway replenishment with Philippine Sea (CV-47) off Korea, 29 November 1950. Note: Crewmen standing in the carrier's forward hangar bay, and Grumman F9F-2 Panther fighters and LeTourneau crane parked on her flight deck. Crewmen on Mount Katmai are wearing cold weather clothing. A few days after this photo was taken, Philippine Sea commenced a period of close-support operations in the vicinity of the Chosin Reservoir.

US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives (# 80-G-439879).

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An ordnanceman carting bombs on the flight deck of USS Philippine Sea (CV-47), probably off Korea, 1950–51. Plane behind him is an F4U-4B Corsair of Fighter Squadron (VF) 113 "Stingers."

US Navy photo (# USN 428187).

Courtesy of Scott Koen &ussnewyork.com
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USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) with Carrier Air Group (CVG) 11, circa 1950–52 (maybe at about the same time as the photo below).

Ron Reeves
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USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) moored at Sasebo, Japan, 3 January 1951, with much of her air group spotted on the flight deck. Planes seen include Douglas AD-4 Skyraiders of Attack Squadron 115 (VA-115), Vought F4U-4B Corsairs of Fighter Squadrons 113 and 114 (VF-113 & VF-114) and Grumman F9F-2 Panthers of Fighter Squadrons 111 and 112 (VF-111 & VF-112). Note: Destroyer tender and destroyers in the middle distance, with USS Juneau (CLAA-119) just beyond; LCM-3 landing craft tied to the carrier's stern; and barge and ship's boats alongside her starboard quarter.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-439886).

Scott Dyben
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102k National Archives Photo 439890:  General Motors TBM-3E Avenger (Bureau Number 91404) crashes into the barrier while landing on board USS Philippine Sea (CV-47), during operations in the Korean war zone on 17 January 1951. Note: Details of the carrier's island, with a LeTourneau crane parked nearby; splintered wooden decking below the plane; and hydraulic fluid spilling from the plane's port side landing gear leg (seen in the air just below and in front of the tailplane). Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.
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USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) moored at Yokosuka, Japan, on 6 February 1951. Note: Large cranes on the shore; harbor tugs at right; and mobile crane on the flight deck of the carrier from which the photo was taken.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-439894).

Scott Dyben
Larger copy submitted by Louis N. Murray
Larger copy submitted by Mike Green
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Members of the carrier's Ordnance Department pose with decorated 2000-pound bombs, during Korean War operations, 9 March 1951. Messages painted on the bombs are: "Greetings from PhilCee"; "Happy Easter"; and "Listen! To This One it will Kill you". Among the planes parked in the background are F4U-4Bs of Fighter Squadron 113 (VF-113).

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-439895).

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Underway at sea, 9 April 1951, while en route to operating areas off Formosa.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-439899).

Scott Dyben
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An Attack Squadron 65 (VA-65) AD-2 Skyraider taxies forward on the flight deck, during Korean War operations in May 1951.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-439905).

Scott Dyben
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Plane guard helicopter swings in for a landing on USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) after launchings.

(From "All Hands" magazine, May 1951.)

Stanley Svec
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"Preparing for another strike in the Navy's bridge busting campaign in Korea, Panther jet is refueled on flight deck of USS Philippine Sea (CV-47.)"

(From "All Hands" magazine, May 1951.)

Stanley Svec
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USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) passes under the Oakland Bay Bridge as she arrives at San Francisco, California, upon her return from the Korean War zone, circa 9 June 1951. Crewmen on the flight deck are spelling out "CVG 2" in honor of her air group.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center (photo # NH 97322).

NHC
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USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) underway. The photo appears to have been taken at about the time of her second Korean Cruise, 31 December 1951–8 August 1952, with Carrier Air Group (CVG) 11 aboard.

Robert M. Cieri
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"AF3c Edward H. Zierlein, of Carrier Air Group 11, develops a roll of Sonne prints in the photo lab [aboard USSPhilippine Sea (CV-47)], while the carrier was operating off Korea in April 1952. These prints will be used by Photographic Interpreters in evaluating the results of recent air strikes and planning new ones."

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the All Hands collection at the Naval History & Heritage Command (# NH 97113).

Gerd Matthes, Germany
USN_Units
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Aboard USS Philippine Sea (CV-47), "Lieutenant Zack Taylor gets ready for a reconnaissance flight over enemy territory, while the carrier was operating off Korea in April 1952. His plane is a Grumman F9F-2P photo version of thePanther jet fighter. Note camera window in the plane's nose, and Lt. Taylor's ribbed crash helmet."

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the All Hands collection at the Naval History & Heritage Command (# NH 97114).

Gerd Matthes, Germany
USN_Units
NS016131
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USS Philippine Sea (CV-47), USS Barton (DD-722) and USS Iowa (BB-61) operating in the Sea of Japan, off Korea, during replenishment operations. Photo is dated 1 July 1952.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-444887).

NHC
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USS Philippine Sea (CVA-47) underway, off the coast of North Korea on 3 May 1953. On deck are various aircraft of Carrier Air Group Nine (CVG-9): 14 Grumman F9F-2 Panthers of Fighter Squadrons VF-91 and VF-93, six Douglas AD-4/-4NA/-4NL Skyraiders of Attack Squadron VA-95, eleven Vought F4U-4 Corsairs of VF-94, three AD-4W of Composite Squadron VC-11 Det. M (one on the starbord bow, two in front and to the right of the lowered deck elevator), and a AD-4N of VC-35 Det. M (aft of the elevator). US Navy photo; US National Archives file No. 80-G-629442; U.S.Defense Visual Information Center photo No. HN-SN-98-07229.

Robert M. Cieri
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USS Philippine Sea (CVA-47), from Our Navy magazine, mid-August 1954.

This photo was probably taken in 1954, with Carrier Air Group 5 (CVG-5) aboard.

Stanley Svec
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Navasota (AO-106) refueling Electra (AKA-4) off her starboard side and Philippine Sea (CVA-47) off her port side, off San Diego in 1954.

Photo by Donald Ravey
USS Electra
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Navasota (AO-106) refueling Electra (AKA-4) off her starboard side and Philippine Sea (CVA-47) off her port side, off San Diego in 1954.

Photo by Donald Ravey
USS Electra
USN_Units
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USS Philippine Sea (CVA-47) refueling from an unidentified oiler during a WestPac deployment, 1954. Photographed from USS O'Brien (DD-725).

Photo by Roy Thomas
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"Task Force 77, 1954." USS Philippine Sea (CVA-47) off the Philippine Islands with USS Valley Forge (CVS-45) and USS Rochester (CA-124) in the background. Painting by Wayne Scarpaci, 24"x36".

©Wayne Scarpaci
USN_Units
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Operating in the Western Pacific with the Seventh Fleet, 9 July 1955.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-K-18427).

Scott Dyben
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USS Philippine Sea (CVA-47) makes a sharp turn to starboard, while steaming in the Western Pacific with the Seventh Fleet, 9 July 1955. Photographed by PH1 D.L. Lash.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-K-18429).

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View looking aft from the carrier's island, showing AD and F9F aircraft parked on the flight deck. Photographed on 19 July 1955, while Philippine Sea was operating with the Seventh Fleet. Photographed by PH1 J.E. Cook.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-K-18466).

Scott Dyben
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150k USN Photo K-18468:  USS Platte (AO-24) refueling USS Watts (DD-567) and USS Philippine Sea (CVA-47), while operating with the Seventh Fleet, 19 July 1955. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

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Task Force 77

Richard J. Havener (AT3)
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USS Philippine Sea, CVA-47.

Wolfgang Hechler
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USS Philippine Sea, CVA-47.

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"Roadrunners," USS Philippine Sea CVS-47.

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USS Philippine Sea, CVA-47.

Wolfgang Hechle
Commanding Officers
CAPT Delbert Strother Cornwell USNA 1922 11 May 1946 – 7 July 1947 RADM
CAPT George van Deurs USNA 1921  (1) 7 July 1947 – 29 June 1948 RADM
CAPT John Lockwood Pratt USNA 1922 29 June 1948 – 18 August 1949  
CAPT Raymond Randolph Waller USNA 1924 18 August 1949 – 1 August 1950 RADM
CAPT Willard Kinsman Goodney USNA 1925 1 August 1950 – 25 February 1951 RADM
CAPT Ira Earl Hobbs USNA 1925 25 February 1951 – 4 February 1952 RADM
CAPT Allen Smith, Jr. USNA 1927 4 February 1952 – 9 August 1952 RADM
CAPT Paul Hubert Ramsey USNA 1927 9 August 1952 – 15 August 1953 VADM
CAPT William Stephen Harris USNA 1927 15 August 1953 – 24 August 1954 RADM
CAPT Herman Lamar Ray USNA 1929 24 August 1954 – 13 August 1955  
CAPT Elwin Lewis Farrington USNA 1931 13 August 1955 – 5 September 1956  
CAPT George Shearman James, Jr. USNA 1932 5 September 1956 – 21 September 1957  
CAPT Magruder Hill Tuttle USNA 1932 21 September 1957 – 22 August 1958 RADM
CDR James Goold Hedrick USNA 1940 22 August 1958 – 28 December 1958  

USS PHILIPPINE SEA CV-47 History
View This Vessels DANFS History Entry

Philippine Sea

CV-47

Displacement: 27,100 t. Length: 855'10" Beam: 93' Draft: 30' Speed: 30 k. Complement: 3,310 Armament: 12 5"; 44 40mm Class: Essex

Philippine Sea (CV-47) was laid down by the Bethlehem Steel Co., Quincy, Mass. 19 August 1944, launched 5 September 1945 sponsored by Mrs. Albert B. Chandler; and commissioned 11 May 1946, Capt. D.S. Cornwell in command.

In June, the ship went to Quonset Point, R.I. for initial training of the crew. By September 1946, she began her shakedown cruise in the Caribbean area with Air Group 20 embarked.

Upon returning from shakedown exercises, Philippine Sea was ordered back to Boston to prepare for the Navy's Antarctic Expedition, Operation Highjump. On 29 January 1947 in the Antarctic region of the South Pacific, Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd a nd his party were flown from the ship to begin their polar explorations from Little America.

During the remainder of 1947, Philippine Sea operated in the Atlantic and Caribbean. In the spring of 1948, the ship was deployed to the Mediterranean to join Vice Admiral Forrest Sherman's 6th Fleet. With Air Group 9 on board, Philippine Sea showed the American ensign in France, Greece, Tunisia and Sicily. In June 1948, the huge carrier returned to the United States.

During the summer, Philippine Sea was engaged in developing doctrine for carrier control approach landings, the sea going equivalent of GCA. November found her exploring the lower rim of the Arctic Circle in a cold weather operation designed to t est planes, ships, and equipment.

In January 1949 the ship was again ordered to the Mediterranean, with Air Group 7 embarked. Returning at the end of May, the ship went immediately into overhaul at the Boston Naval Shipyard. Early autumn found the ship once more in the Caribbean, "shaking down," this time with Air Group 1. Operational development projects with jet fighters and task force exercises in the North Atlantic kept the ship and her air group busy until the end of the year.

Operating again from her base at Quonset Point, Philippine Sea was employed during the winter of 1950 [?? 49 ??] in qualifying carrier pilots and, for part of February and most of March, took part in extensive fleet exercises in the Atlantic and Caribbean. April and May were taken up with demonstration cruises for guests of the Secretary of the Navy, the Armed Forces Industrial College, Air War College, and the Armed Forces Staff College.

On 24 May, Philippine Sea sailed from Norfolk, Va., passed through the Panama Canal, and arrived at her new homeport of San Diego, Calif., to become a welcome addition to the Pacific Fleet.

Korea

Korean War[edit]

An aircraft carrier tied to two smaller ships while moving.
Philippine Sea and Hollister take on supplies from Chara en route to Korea, 1950.

With the outbreak of the Korean War on 25 June 1950, Philippine Sea was ordered to Naval Base Pearl Harbor.[17] She sailed for Hawaiian waters on 5 July with Carrier Air Group 11 embarked, flying four squadrons of Vought F4U Corsair fighter-bombers. The ship departed for Japan on 24 July. Leaving Pearl Harbor, Philippine Sea sailed at full speed for the Western Pacific, reaching Okinawa on 4 August. During this time, she took command of Carrier Division One.[18] She was the third aircraft carrier to arrive in Korea, as her sister ship Valley Forge as well as HMS Triumph had arrived in July.[19] By the time Philippine Sea arrived in Korea, the UN forces had established superiority in the air and sea.[20]

A propeller-driven aircraft prepared to take off aboard an aircraft carrier deck.
An AD-4 Skyraider takes off from Philippine Sea for a sortie to Korea in the fall of 1950.

Philippine Sea arrived in Korean waters on 1 August,[19] and became flagship of Task Force 77 on 5 August. She immediately began launching air strikes against strategic targets, as the Battle of Pusan Perimeter began and United Nations and United States Army forces fought a defensive battle against the North Korean Korean People's Army. Her first strikes were against Iri, Mokpo, and Kunsan.[21] The strikes were at first planned to target North Korean lines of communication but the intensity of the battle at Pusan Perimeter forced the carrier to fly primarily close air support missions for troops on the front lines.[22] They also hit targets of opportunity, such as North Korean boats, bridges and dams spotted during missions.[18]

As many as 140 sorties a day were launched from the carrier. Except for brief rests to re-arm, refuel, or repair, Philippine Sea was in action continuously.[23] She was put in a rotation of continuous action with Valley Forge to assure at least one was launching aircraft at all times.[24]

Following the beginning of The Great Naktong Offensive on 31 August, the two carriers launched 263 sorties to prevent the North Koreans from overrunning Pusan Perimeter.[25] The ship sent sorties to defend Masan during the Battle of Masan, in spite of being 200 miles (320 km) from the area. The ship steamed to the southern tip of the Peninsula at 27 knots (50 km/h; 31 mph) on 1 September to support the Masan area more easily during the North Korean attacks.[26]

With the other carriers of Task Force 77, Philippine Sea targeted rail and communication centers around North Korean-controlled Seoul to Wonsan in September. The strikes were part of a deception plan to draw North Korean attention away from the UN force massing for an attack on Inchon.[27] Stationed in the Yellow Sea, she sent numerous air attacks on Inchon and Wolmi-do in preparation for Operation Chromite.[21] The day of the operation, 15 September, Philippine Sea dispatched planes far inland to destroy North Korean positions and prevent reinforcements from countering the Inchon landings. Following the initial assault, she continued to provide close air support for the thrust inland to recapture Seoul.[28] During this time, she was joined by Boxer.[29] They were part of a massive invasion force of some 230 ships and hundreds of aircraft.[30]

Ensign Jackson being helped from Grumman F9F-2 Panther after landing blind.

F9F-2 Miracle Landing[edit]

On 17 September 1950 a pair of Grumman F9F-2 Panthers launched from the deck of Philippine Sea. VF-112 Ensign Edward D. Jackson Jr. was leading a section dispatched to strafe an airfield near North Korea's capital, Pyongyang.[31] Flying on his wing was Ensign Dayl E. Crow. The airfield turned out to be little more than a grass strip littered with burned and shattered Soviet-built war machines. After strafing a locomotive and setting it ablaze, the jets turned north and started down the Han River.[32] Soon, Jackson spotted about 75 river boats. When they starting receiving small arms fire from "passengers" on the vessels, Crow followed Jackson down as they made a low strafing pass, splintering many of the small craft with 20 mm cannon fire. After the pass both attackers started to climb from 50 feet (15 m) AGL. Jackson then flew through an aerial booby trap: steel cables strung across the Han to "clothesline" low flying planes. The Panther ripped through the cables like twine, but the whipsawing cable strands caught the starboard wing, shredded the wingtip tank and snapped across the canopy, punching out the windscreen and side windows. The impact knocked Jackson unconscious with severe facial injuries.[31] Crow, flying just astern noticed something wrong, then saw the crushed wing tank and shattered canopy, its inner surface misted with blood. After 20 seconds[33] Jackson regained consciousness and found himself blinded by shards of Plexiglas and blood. Crow was able to guide his leader towards the Yellow Sea, but Jackson was fading in and out of consciousness. With only the left flap down due to damage to the right wing the Panther approached the ship and with the help of LSO Lt.j.g."Les" Bruestle[33] and Crow the blind pilot trapped the #4 wire on the first attempt. Jackson survived with 36 stitches and an emergency blood transfusion.[32]

F9F Panther fighters aboard Philippine Sea during a snow storm off the Korean Peninsula in November 1950.
Air Group 2 in formation aboard Philippine Sea after the carrier's return from its first tour in Korea in early 1951.

In November 1950 when China surprised the United Nations ground troops with an unexpected counterattack from the Yalu River by the People's Liberation Army, Philippine Sea planes saw heavy action. The US Navy had sent Valley Forge and several other ships away from Korea, expecting the conflict to end, and so the unprepared forces remaining in the area were heavily engaged.[34] Throughout the long retreat from the Yalu River, the four carriers' Panthers, Skyraiders and Corsairs provided close air support for the trapped X Corps at Chosin Reservoir.[35] Though the increasingly cold weather proved a problem for Philippine Sea,[36] the ship continued to support the troops as they tried to evacuate from the reservoir and then cleared the path for their retreat to Hungnam. The carriers provided support with hundreds of aircraft sorties as 150,000 UN troops and civilians were evacuated, and then destroyed the port.[35] During this support, Valley Forge and Philippine Sea were tightly clustered with Leyte and Princeton and commanders worried that they would be a target for air attack by North Korean MiG-15 fighters, prompting a large screen of 32 destroyers.[37][38]

For the rest of 1950 and early 1951, she launched numerous attacks against Chinese forces around the 38th Parallel hoping to slow their advance as UN troops retreated. With only brief stops for repair and rest, the carrier continued numerous sorties against Chinese targets. On 25 February, command of Task Force 77 was transferred to Valley Forge. During this time, the cold weather hampered operations and blizzards occasionally shut them down completely.[35] Putting into Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, in late March 1951 for repair and refit, Philippine Sea exchanged Air Group 11 for Carrier Air Group 2 from Valley Forge, a group which consisted mostly of Vought F4U Corsair fighter-bombers. The same date as the transfer on 28 March, Philippine Sea became flagship of Vice Admiral H. M. Martin, the commander of the 7th Fleet.[35]

Returning to the Sea of Japan in April, Philippine Sea led Task Force 77 as well as other ships of the 7th Fleet through the Strait of Formosa to the South China Sea. From the Formosa Strait, planes flew in parades over Formosa as part of a show of support for the newly formed nation of Taiwan, in an effort to boost morale of the nation. She steamed back to Korea three days later, in time to lend close air support to UN forces throughout early 1951 as they faced repeated offensives by the Chinese.[35]

A black and white photo of a large aircraft carrier with aircraft filling its deck.
Philippine Sea on 3 May 1953 with planes of Carrier Air Group 9

Philippine Sea completed her first deployment to Korea and arrived at San Francisco on 9 June 1951. It conducted refits, repairs and patrol operations along the West Coast continued for the remainder of the year. On 19 December, she was the site of a test for an emergency nuclear weapon assembly, the first such test involving a nuclear weapon aboard a US Navy ship. The ship departed from San Diego on 31 December 1951. Arriving at Pearl Harbor on 8 January 1952, Philippine Sea continued on to Yokosuka for a second deployment to Korea, arriving 20 January 1952 with Carrier Air Group 11, which flew five squadrons of the F4U Corsair, about 100 aircraft.[39] During this tour, the front lines in Korea had largely stabilized, and instead the ship directed its aircraft against strategic targets, including the 23 June attack on the Sui-ho Dam in conjunction with Boxer, Princeton, and Bon Homme Richard, and sending aircraft against targets in Pyongyang.[40]

Philippine Sea returned to San Diego in August 1952. Her designation was changed to CVA, denoting an "attack aircraft carrier" in October. With five more Corsair squadrons of Carrier Air Group 9 embarked, she began a third cruise to the Far East early in December 1952 with about 100 aircraft.[9] In this third tour in Korea, Philippine Sea focused primarily on interdiction attacks against rail and communication lines in North Korea, hoping to limit supplies to the front lines. The North Korean offensive, begun at the same time truce talks began at Panmunjom, marked the beginning of a series of "round the clock" air sorties designed to weaken North Korean and Chinese front line troops and support UN troops when under attack.[41] This mission continued until an armistice was signed in the summer of 1953, resulting in the de jure cessation of open warfare.[9]

KOREA

With the outbreak of war in Korea, Philippine Sea was ordered to Pearl Harbor.

July 5, 1950

She sailed for Hawaiian waters on 5 July with Air Group 11 embarked.

July 24, 1950

 The ship departed for the forward area 24 July.

August 4, 1950

Leaving Pearl Harbor, Philippine Sea sailed at full speed for the Western Pacific, reaching Okinawa, 4 August.

August 5, 1950

Philippine Sea sailed into action off Korea as flagship of Task Force 77 on 5 August. She launched air strikes to rain thousands of tons of bombs, rockets, and napalm down on strategic targets. As many as 140 sorties a day were launched from the carrier. Except for time out to re-arm, refuel, or repair for brief periods, Philippine Sea was in action continuously.

Operating with other carriers of Task Force 77, she hit North Korean rail and communication centers from Sŏul to Wŏnsan in September. In the Yellow Sea she put on a major performance softening up the Inch'ŏn invasion coast.

September 15, 1950

D-Day, 15 September, found Philippine Sea planes ranging far inland to destroy any attempts by the enemy to bring up reinforcements. Following the initial assault, she continued to provide close and deep support for the thrust inland to Sŏul.

November 27, 1950

Two months later when the Chinese Communists surprised the United Nations ground troops with a smashing drive south, down the middle of the peninsula, Philippine Sea planes dived through snow and sleet to hold back the Red hordes. Throughout the long retreat from the Yalu, the ships' Panther jets, Skyraider attack bombers and Corsair fighter bombers blasted the path for the trapped Marines. Hill after hill was cleared all the way to Hungnam where Philippine Sea and other carriers of Task Force 77 sent up a virtual aerial umbrella. Hundreds of carrier planes swarmed over the tiny evacuation perimeter from which 150,000 troops and civilians came to the sea.

March 28, 1951

Putting into Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, in late March 1951 for rest and repair, Philippine Sea exchanged Air Group 11 for Air Group 2 from Valley Forge (CV-45). The same date as the transfer, 28 March, Philippine Sea became flagship of Vi ce Admiral H. M. Martin, Commander 7th Fleet.

From the Sea of Japan in April, Philippine Sea led Task Force 77 and other elements of the 7th Fleet down through the Strait of Formosa to the South China Sea. From the Formosa Strait, planes paraded over the island of Formosa in an attempt to bolster Nationalist morale. After this demonstration of strength, the force steamed back to Korea three days later, in time to lend close air support to the embattled ground forces. Every Chinese offensive of the spring of 1951 suffered staggering losses in personnel as planes of Philippine Sea peppered the Reds with deadly fragmentation bombs.

June 9, 1951

Philippine Sea returned from her operations in Korean waters and the western Pacific to arrive at San Francisco, 9 June 1951. Yard availability and operations along the West Coast continued until

December 31, 1951

 the ship departed from San Diego, 31 December.

January 8, 1952

Ar riving at Pearl Harbor 8 January 1952,

January 20, 1952

Philippine Sea continued on to Yokosuka, Japan, arriving 20 January.

August 1952

Philippine Sea returned to San Diego in August 1952. Her designation was changed to CVA in October.

December 1952

With Carrier Air Group 9 embarked, she got underway once more for the Far East early in December 1952. Air strikes from the carrier cut Communis t supply and transportation arteries. The North Korean offensive, begun at the same time the first truce overtures were extended, marked the beginning of a series of "round the clock" air sorties in support of frontline UN troops.

August 14, 1953

The ship arrived in Alameda Naval Air Station 14 August 1953 to off-load Air Group 9, then entered drydock at Hunter's Point for overhaul.

end of War

On 9 January 1954, Philippine Sea once more began training off the coast of San Diego. She then headed west, 12 March, for her fourth tour in the Far East. She operated out of Manila. (?)

The most significant event of the cruise occurred in late July. Communist planes had shot down a Cathay-Pacific Airways passenger liner somewhere near Hainan Island off the Chinese coast. Philippine Sea was ordered into the area as part of a sea rch mission with the hope that the remaining survivors might be found. While engaged in the search mission, a flight of the ship's Skyraider aircraft was attacked by two Communist fighter aircraft. Under orders to fire only if actually attacked, the Sky raiders returned the fire and shot down the Communist planes. Later this came to be known unofficially as the "Hainan Incident."

The ship returned to San Diego, Calif., in November. Remaining in the area for four months, Philippine Sea conducted extensive training operations off the California coast. She began her fifth cruise of the Far East 1 April 1955 enroute Yokosuka . She operated in waters of Japan, Okinawa, and Taiwan. On 15 November, she was redesignated as a CVS. She returned to San Diego, 23 November.

Leave, upkeep, and operations off the southern California coast and in Hawaiian waters followed and in March 1957 she got underway for another WestPac tour. There for only a little over two months, she returned to San Diego and resumed local operations off the west coast in mid-summer. In January 1958, she steamed west on her last 7th Fleet deployment. Remaining six months, she returned to San Diego 15 July and commenced inactivation. Decommissioned 28 December 1958 and berthed with the Reserve Fleet at Long Beach, she was redesignated AVT-11, 15 May 1959, and struck from the Navy List 1 December 1969.

Philippine Sea received nine battle stars for Korean service.

Transcribed by Michael Hansen mhansen2@attbi.com