|The Bismarck Sea, northeast of New Guinea, was the scene of attacks by United States and Australian aircraft on a Japanese troop convoy (2-5 March 1943).|
(CVE-95: dp. 7,020; l. 512'3"; b. 65'2"; ew. 108'1"; dr. 22'4"; s. 19.3 k.; cpl. 860; a. 1 5"; cl. Casablanca )
Bismarck Sea was launched 17 April 1944 by Kaiser Co., Inc., Vancouver, Wash., under a Maritime Commission contract as Alikula Bay; sponsored by Mrs. M.C. Wallgren, wife of Senator Wallgren; renamed Bismarck Sea 16 May 1944; transferred to the Navy 20 May 1944; and commissioned the same day, Captain J.L. Pratt in command.
During July and August 1944 Bismarck Sea escorted convoys between San Diego, Calif., and the Marshall Islands. After repairs and additional training at San Diego, she steamed to Ulithi, Caroline Islands, to join the 7th Fleet. During 14-23 November 1944 she operated off Leyte in support of the operations and later took part in the Lingayen Gulf landings (9-18 January 1945). On 16 February she arrived off Iwo Jima to support the invasion. On 21 February 1945 despite damaging gunfire two Japanese suicide planes hit and started uncontrollable fires and set off ammunition. All efforts to save the ship were halted by the exploding ammunition and she sank in 90 minutes with the loss of 318 men.
Bismarck Sea received three battle stars for her World War II operations.