A port on the northeast coast of New Britain which was used by the Japanese as a naval and air base during World War II. Frequently bombed by Allied air forces, its military value was neutralized by Allied landings at Arawe, Cape Gloucester, and Talasea, December 1943 to March 1944.
(CVE-121: 11,373; l. 557'1"; b. 75'; ew. 105'2"; dr. 32'; s. 19 k.; cpl. 1,066; a. 2 5", 36 40mm.; cl. Commencement Bay)
Rabaul (CVE-121) was laid down 2 January 1945 by Todd Pacific Shipyards, Inc., Tacoma, Wash.; launched 14 June 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Henry A. Schade; completed by the Commercial Iron Works, Portland, Oreg.; and delivered to the Navy, 30 August 1946.
Accepted by Commander, 19th Fleet (Pacific Reserve Fleet), Rabaul was berthed at Tacoma. Reclassified CVHE-121 in June 1955, she was transferred to the San Diego Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet in June 1958 and reclassified AKV-21 in May of the following year. She remained in reserve at San Diego until 1 September 1971 when she was struck from the Navy list. Rabaul was sold to the Nicholai Joffe Corp. of Beverly Hills, Calif., for scrapping.