Despite its introduction during the fighting of World War 1 (1914-1918), the aircraft carrier did not achieve naval warfare supremacy in a considerable way until the great many naval battles of World War 2 (1939-1945). Such was the importance of the carrier in the conflict that the American carrier fleet was the prime target of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) when it attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. The carrier would cement itself as the primary instrument of many-a-navy thanks to the power showcased by such vessels - particularly those operating under the American and British flags - during the years-long conflict. The carrier ultimately wrestled the title of King of the Seas from the almighty battleship.
When the war broke out, the United States Navy (USN) service clamored for all warship types and the aircraft carrier was of primary concern to the branch. With the early attention given to the Allies against Germany and Italy in North Africa and Europe, the vital Atlantic shipping lanes would need to be protected from dangerous enemy submarine and surface warship attacks both day and night. This led the USN to select certain mercantile-minded vessels for conversion to what became known as "escort carriers".
The vessels armament scheme was purely defensive in nature, centered around airspace denial / anti-aircraft work. She carried 2 x 5" (127mm) Anti-Aircraft (AA) guns along with 8 x 40mm Bofors AA guns in four twin-gunned mountings as well as 12 x 20mm Oerlikon AA guns.
USS Bogue was ordered to the Atlantic for February of 1943 and her crew managed to sink a German U-boat on her forth sortie. Her onboard storage allowed for her to undertake broader submarine-hunting missions than typical frigates and destroyers equipped for such work. On her fifth sortie out, she claimed another two U-boats and, in July of 1943, this being her seventh outing, USS Bogue claimed another enemy submarine.
During the early part of 1944, she was used to ferry combat aircraft to English shores to support the European war effort. Following that, she resumed her submarine-hunting sorties in March that led to her claiming U-575 and three more enemy submarines followed before the end of September. In all, USS Bogue was credited with sinking thirteen enemy submarines (eleven German and two Japanese) with the last one claimed during April of 1945 - this month also marking the last full month of combat in the European Theater (the German military collapsed shortly after Hitler's suicide).
With her European commitment complete, USS Bogue was relocated to the Pacific Theater where her specialty of transporting aircraft, goods, and supplies was put to the test across the vast expanses of the Pacific region. Once in-theater, she was used to deliver such valuable cargo to forward operating areas to help shore up defenses against Japanese counter attacks. With the Japanese Empire capitulating in August of 1945, USS Bogue completed her last war-related gestures when she ferried home veterans and POWs from the Far East to the states.
On November 30th, 1946, she was placed in reserve and berthed at Tacoma, Washington before being decommissioned and ultimately scrapped. For her service in World War 2, the warship was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation and three Battle Stars. With her thirteen total enemy sinkings during the conflict, USS Bogue was fondly remembered as the most successful escort carrier to serve in the anti-submarine role - a dangerous but utterly valuable task.
- Aircraft / Offshore Support
- Blue Water Operations
- Fleet Support
495.6 ft (151.06 m)
111.5 ft (33.99 m)
26 ft (7.92 m)
18 kts (21 mph)
2 x 5" (127mm) Anti-Aircraft (AA) guns.
8 x 40mm Bofors AA guns in four twin-gunned emplacements.
12 x 20mm Oerlikon AA guns in single-gunned mountings.
Air arm consisting of 24 total aircraft typically comprised of 12 x Grumman F4F Wildcat / F6F Hellcat navy fighters and 12 x Grumman TBF Avenger torpedo bombers.