USS Block Island (CVE-106)

USS Block Island (CVE-106)

The second USS "Block Island" (CVE-106) was a "Commencement Bay" class escort carrier of the United States Navy, named in honor of the first one, being launched 12 days after the original was sunk.

She was launched on 10 June 1944 as "Sunset Bay" by Todd-Pacific Shipyards, Inc. Tacoma, Washington; sponsored by Mrs. E. J. (Grace) Hallenbeck (mother of Major Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, USMC, then a Prisoner of War of the Japanese), and commissioned as "Block Island" on 30 December 1944, Captain F. M. Hughes in command.

"Block Island" got underway for Pearl Harbor on 20 March 1945. Upon arrival she underwent a period of provisioning and training in preparation for the invasion of Okinawa. On 17 April "Block Island" left Hawaii and steamed toward Okinawa, via Ulithi. Flight operations commenced immediately upon her arrival 3 May and lasted until 16 June when she departed for Leyte. After a brief stay at San Pedro Bay, the carrier steamed through the Straits of Makassar for Borneo. Between 26 June and 6 July she took part in the Balikpapan operation. She then proceeded to Guam where she was anchored at the time of the cessation of hostilities. During 6 September–9 September she took part in the evacuation of Allied prisoners of war from Formosa. She continued cruising in the Far East until 14 October and arrived at San Diego 11 December 1946. Leaving San Diego 6 January 1946, she transited the Panama Canal and reached Norfolk on the 20th. She was placed in service in reserve 28 May 1946.

On 29 May 1946 "Block Island" was towed from Norfolk to Annapolis and reported to the Superintendent of the Naval Academy for duty as training ship for the midshipmen. This duty terminated 3 October 1950 and "Block Island" was transferred to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.

The vessel was recommissioned 28 April 1951 and reported to the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. Between June 1951 and November 1953 she carried out local operations off the Virginia Capes; made four cruises to the Caribbean; and one to the United Kingdom, France, and Italy (17 April–26 June 1953).

On 15 January 1954 she was placed in commission in reserve at Philadelphia and out of commission in reserve 27 August 1954. From 1957 to 1958 she was redesignated LPH-1 in anticipation of conversion to an amphibious assault ship, but the conversion was canceled and her designation reverted to CVE-106 before any work was done. "Block Island" was stricken from the Navy List on 1 July 1959. "Block Island" received two battle stars for her World War II service.



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