Unit Details

USS Sicily (CVE-118)

NavSource Online: Escort Carrier Photo Archive

USN_Units

USS SICILY   (CVE-118)
(later AKV-18)

USN_Units  USN_Units  USN_Units 

Patches contributed by Mike Smolinski (left) and Gerd Matthes (center, right)


CLASS - COMMENCEMENT BAY
Displacement 11,3730 Tons, Dimensions, 557' 7" (oa) x 75' x 30' 8" (Max)
Armament 2 x 5"/38AA 36 x 40mm, 20 x 20mm, 33 Aircraft.
Machinery, 16,000 SHP; Allis-Chambers, Geared Turbines, 2 screw
Speed, 19 Knots, Crew 1066.



Operational and Building Data

Originally named Sandy Bay. Built by Todd-Pacific Shipyards Inc., Tacoma, Wash. Laid down 23 Oct 1944. Renamed Sicily 5 Jun 1944. Launched 14 Apr 1945 and commissioned 27 Feb 1946.

Decommissioned to reserve 4 Oct 1954. Reclassified as an aircraft transport and redesignated AKV-18, 7 May 1959, while in reserve.

FATE: Stricken from the Navy List 1 Jul 1960. Sold for scrap 31 Oct 1960.


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Size Image Description Contributed
By And/Or Copyright
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NS0311814
2.23Mb

Preliminary Acceptance Trial pamphlet (PDF format).

Joe Dietrich, Lt Col, USAF (Ret)
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NS0311801
51k

Nice overhead, undated.

USN
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NS0311804
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USS Sicily (CVE-118) photographed while moored in Hampton Roads, Virginia, 6 June 1948.

Courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1969.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph (# NH 67896).

NHC
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NS0311810
59k

USS Sicily (CVE-118) dockside, date and location unknown.

Charles E. Mac Kay comments: "The image was taken in July 1948. The carrier has just collected F-80's from Panama. The picture is in the Canal Zone. A few days later she arrived here in Glasgow. The air group was commanded by Colonel Spicer."

Robert Hurst
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NS0311820
149k

"My father flew air reconnaissance A-26's with the 45th Recon. Squadron out of Furstenfeldbruk, Germany in 1947–48. [...] [These photos] were taken 9 August 1948 at the King George V docks in Glasgow Harbor, Scotland. The ship at the center of the images is USS Sicily (CVE-118). Aircraft (P/F-80s) of the 36th Fighter Group are being offloaded, assembled and towed to the nearby RAF station where they are to be flown to Germany. This Fighter Group was being transferred from Panama to Furstenfeldbruk Airfield to support the Berlin Airlift."

NS0311820b: Photo by Walter Sanders, courtesy of LIFE magazine (used for educational and non-commercial purposes).

Jack M. Fancher
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NS0311820a
151k
USN_Units
NS0311820b
205k Charles E. Mac Kay
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NS0311811
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USS Sicily (CVE-118) underway, 12 April 1949, location unknown. The chevron-type deck markings are believed to be associated with airship (blimp) trials and were designed to show a landing pilot the centerline of the flight deck (USN photo, now in the collections of the National Archives, #80-G-438017.)

(See also photos NS0311816 & NS-03-cve118-z03.)

Robert Hurst
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NS0311816
200k

A K-type blimp lands on USS Sicily (CVE-118), circa April 1949.

US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum,Photo No. 1996.488.035.045. Robert L. Lawson Photograph Collection.

(See also photos NS0311811 & NS-03-cve118-z03.)

Mike Green
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NS0311812
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USS Sicily (CVE-118) on transport duties at the time of the Korean War. (USN photo.)

Robert Hurst
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NS0311805
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USS Sicily (CVE-118) launches a U.S. Marine Corps OY-2 Sentinel spotter plane during operations in the Yellow Sea, off the west coast of Korea, 22 September 1950. Sicily was then supporting the campaign to recapture Seoul.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (# 80-G-420239).

NHC
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NS0311806
90k

U.S. Marine Corps F4U-4B Corsair fighter-bomber receives final checks to its armament of bombs and 5-inch rockets, just prior to being catapulted from USS Sicily (CVE-118) for a strike on enemy forces in Korea. The original photograph is dated 16 November 1950, but was probably taken in August-October 1950. Note battered paint on this aircraft.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (# 80-G-419929).

NHC
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NS0311819
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Pilots of VMF-323 pose in front of an F4U-4 Corsair aboard USS Sicily (CVE-118), 1951.

Photo courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum (# 1996.488.006.012).

Bill Gonyo
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NS0311813
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The aircraft carrier USS Sicily (CVE 118) enters San Diego Bay on her return from her first deployment to the Korean War zone, February 5, 1951. Her crew spells out the ship's name on the flight deck.

Official US Navy photo.

Contributed by Robert M. Cieri
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NS0311813a
100k From "All Hands"magazine, April 1951 issue.

Contributed by Stanley Svec
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NS0311809
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The helicopter carrier USS Sicily underway as she cruises off Inchon harbour, circa 1952.

Robert Hurst
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NS0311821
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AF-2W Guardian, #17, of Antisubmarine Squadron (VS) 931—later VS-20—that landed on the USS Sicily (CVE-118) at night with the tail hook up, circa 1952. The plane was piloted by LCDR Arthur Hoorshead.

NS0311821: US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, photo # 1996.253.6139.

NS0311821a: US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, photo # 1996.253.6138.

Mike Green
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NS0311821a
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USS Sicily (CVE-118), launches U.S. Marine Corps HRS-1 helicopters during Operation Marlex-5 off the west coast of Korea in the Inchon area. This was the first time that Marine Corps landing forces had moved from ship to shore by helicopter. Photo is dated 1 September 1952. Nearest HRS-1 is Bureau # 127798. It wears the markings of squadron HMR-161.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (photo # 80-G-477573).

Scott Dyben
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NS0311817
103k

U.S. Marine Sikorsky HRS-2 helicopters operating from the escort carrier USS Sicily (CVE-118) underway, location unknown, circa 1950s. U.S. Navy photo.

Photo and text from Aircraft Carriers, by Norman Polmar.

Robert Hurst
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NS0311818
106k

U.S. Marine Sikorsky HRS-2 helicopters lined-up ready on the flight deck of the escort carrier USS Sicily (CVE-118). Note U.S. Marines on the Sicily's elevator. U.S. Navy photo.

Photo and text from Aircraft Carriers, by Norman Polmar.

Robert Hurst
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NS0311815
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USS Sicily (CVE-118) underway, with the AF-2S and AF-2W Guardians of VS-931.

These photos were probably taken in October 1952, en route to Hawaii, during Sicily's Korean War deployment, 19 October–4 December.

VS-931 (tail code "SV") was a Reserve Antisubmarine Squadron called to active duty on 1 March 1951.

The Grumman AF Guardian was the first purpose-built antisubmarine carrier-based aircraft to enter service with the U.S. Navy. It operated in two-plane ("Hunter/Killer") teams, one plane carrying the sensors and the other the weapons. The AF-2S was the "killer" production variant, the AF-2W the "hunter," with a search radar in a ventral radome.

LT(JG) Philip Nelson (hometown of Tulsa, OK) was a Communications Officer aboard USS McNair (DD-679).

LT(JG) Philip Nelson.
Submitted by his son, Steve Nelson
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NS0311815a
128k
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NS0311815b
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USS Sicily (CVE-118) photographed at the Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, circa February 1954, with USS Yorktown(CVA-10) at right and eleven LCM landing craft in the foreground. Grumman AF Guardian anti-submarine aircraft are parked on Sicily's flight deck. Douglas AD Skyraider attack planes are parked aft on Yorktown's flight deck.

The original caption, released by Commander Naval Forces Far East on 18 February 1954, reads: "Twins, Almost — The Essex-class carrier USS Yorktown (CVA-10) and her smaller counterpart, the escort carrier USS Sicily (CVE-118), rest side by side during a recent in-port maintenance period at the Yokosuka, Japan, Naval Base".

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center (# NH 97318).

NHC
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NS0311808
102k

USS Sicily (CVE-118) underway with F4U aircraft parked aft, April 1954.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center (# NH 97317).

NHC
In "Mothballs"
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NS0308607
113k

Ex-USS Sitkoh Bay (CVE-86), with ex-USS Sicily (CVE-118) moored across the pier, at the Hunters Point (San Francisco Group) Inactive Ship Facility in the mid-1950s. Special attention was paid to the wooden decks of the carriers, and they were periodically sprayed with preservatives. Still, the ravages of weather took their toll. In the foreground are the cruisers ex-USS Vincennes (CL-64) and ex-USS Amsterdam (CL-101). Note the metal "igloos" fitted over the ships' light AA mounts.

Robert Hurst
Scott Koen &ussnewyork.com

 

Sicily (CVE-118)

USN_Units

Sicily (CVE-118) steams in Far Eastern waters during her final deployment in April 1954. Escort carriers of this type provided valuable close air support to ground forces during the Korean conflict.

(CVE-118: dp. 10,900; l. 557'; b. 75'; ew. 104'; dr. 31'; s. 19 k.; cpl. 1,170; a. 2 5", 36 40mm., 18 20mm.; cl.Commencement Bay)

An island in the Mediterranean Sea separated from the Italian mainland by the narrow Strait of Messina. Sicily was invaded by United States troops on 9 and 10 July 1943 and by British troops on 10 July. The Allies completed the conquest of the island on 16 August.

Sicily (CVE-118) was laid down on 23 October 1944 by Todd-Pacific Shipyards Inc., Tacoma, Wash., as Sandy Bay;launched on 14 April 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Julius Vanderwiele; renamed Sicily on 5 June 1944; and commissioned on 27 February 1946, Capt. B. W. Wright in command.

Sicily fitted out at Portland, Oreg., loaded supplies at Seattle, and then sailed for San Diego where she held shakedown training during April and May. On 15 May, she was ordered to proceed to New York, via the Panama Canal and Norfolk. The carrier entered the Brooklyn Navy Yard on 6 June and remained there until 30 September when she sailed to Argentia, Newfoundland, to conduct cold weather training.

During the remainder of 1946 and until 3 April 1950, Sicily operated with the Atlantic Fleet out of her home port of Norfolk. At that time, she was reassigned to the Pacific Fleet with San Diego as her home port, arriving there on 28 April.

 

KOREAN WAR

 

The carrier was scheduled to conduct antisubmarine warfare exercises during the summer, but the invasion of South Korea by the North Koreans, on 25 June, caused a radical change in her operating plans. 

Sicily was notified on 2 July that she was needed in the Far East; and she sailed, two days later, for the first of three deployments to Korean waters.

 

Ausust 3, 1950 1638

 Pilots of VMF-214 required no new carrier qualifications when they landed on board the Sicily on the third, so it began strike operations right away, the first an eight-plane attack on Chinju launched at 1638 against KPA troops.

Sicily was designated flagship of Carrier Division (CarDiv) 15 and on 3 August launched aircraft of VMF214 on their first air strike in support of Allied ground forces. During this tour, she supported ground operations at Pohang, the Inchon landing, the advance to Seoul, and the withdrawal of the marines from the Chosin Reservoir to Hungnam before returning to San Diego on 5 February 1951.

On her second tour with the 7th Fleet, from 13 May to 12 October 1951, Sicily operated on both the east and west coast of Korea.

Her last tour during the Korean conflict was from 8 May to 4 December 1952, and she served with the United Nations Escort and Blockading Force. 

Sicily was deployed to the Far East again from 14 July 1953 to 25 February 1954.

END OF WAR

Upon her return to the west coast, Sicily was placed in reserve, out of commission, with the Pacific Reserve Fleet. She was struck from the Navy list on 1 July 1960 and sold to Nicolai Joffe Corporation on 31 October for scrap.

Sicily received five battle stars for service in Korea.

Published:Wed Apr 27 03:08:51 EDT 2016

 

 

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USN_UnitsUSS Sicily (CVE-118)

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Career

Name: USS Sicily

Builder: Todd Pacific Shipyards

Laid down: 23 October 1944

Launched: 14 April 1945

Commissioned: 27 February 1946

Decommissioned: 1954

Struck: 1 July 1960

Fate: Sold for scrap, 31 October 1960

General characteristics

Class & type: Commencement Bay-class escort carrier

Displacement: 10,900 long tons (11,100 t)

Length: 557 ft (170 m)

Beam: 75 ft (23 m)

Draft: 31 ft (9.4 m)

Propulsion: 2-shaft Allis-Chambers geared turbines, 16,000 shp

Speed: 19 knots (22 mph; 35 km/h)

Complement: 1,170

Armament: • 2 × 5 in (130 mm) guns (2×1)

• 36 × 40 mm AA guns

Service record

Part of: US Atlantic Fleet (1946-1950)

US Pacific Fleet (1950-1954)

Pacific Reserve Fleet (1954-1960)

Operations: Korean War (1950-1952)

Awards: 5 Battle stars

USS Sicily (CVE-118) was a Commencement Bay-class escort carrier in the United States Navy. She was named in honor of the island of Sicily, which was the site of a major invasion during World War II. Sicily was laid down on 23 October 1944 by Todd-Pacific Shipyards, Tacoma, Washington, as Sandy Bay; launched on 14 April 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Julius Vanderwiele; renamed Sicily on 5 June 1945; and commissioned on 27 February 1946, Capt. B. W. Wright in command.

Operational history

USMC OY-2, takes off from the USS Sicily, 1950.

Sicily fitted out at Portland, Oregon, loaded supplies at Seattle, and then sailed for San Diego where she held shakedown training during April and May. On 15 May, she was ordered to proceed to New York, via the Panama Canal and Norfolk, Virginia. The carrier entered the Brooklyn Navy Yard on 6 June and remained there until 30 September when she sailed to NS Argentia, Newfoundland, to conduct cold weather training.

During the remainder of 1946 and until 3 April 1950, Sicily operated with the U.S. Atlantic Fleet out of her home port of Norfolk. At that time, she was reassigned to the Pacific Fleet with San Diego as her home port, arriving there on 28 April. The carrier was scheduled to conduct antisubmarine warfare exercises during the summer, but the invasion of South Korea by the North Koreans, on 25 June, caused a radical change in her operating plans. Sicily was notified on 2 July that she was needed in the Far East; and she sailed, two days later, for the first of three deployments to Korean waters. Sicily was designated flagship of Carrier Division (CarDiv) 15 and on 3 August launched aircraft of VMF-214 on their first air strike in support of Allied ground forces. During this tour, she supported ground operations at Pohang, the Inch'ŏn landing, the advance to Sŏul, and the withdrawal of the marines from the Chosin Reservoir to Hungnam before returning to San Diego on 5 February 1951. On her second tour with the 7th Fleet, from 13 May to 12 October 1951, Sicily operated on both the east and west coast of Korea. Her last tour during the Korean War was from 8 May to 4 December 1952, and she served with the United Nations Escort and Blockading Force. Sicily was deployed to the Far East again from 14 July 1953 to 25 February 1954.

Decommissioning

Upon her return to the west coast, Sicily was placed in reserve, out of commission, with the Pacific Reserve Fleet. She was struck from the Navy List on 1 July 1960 and sold to Nicolai Joffe Corporation on 31 October for scrap.

Sicily received five battle stars for service in Korea.

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