USS Corregidor CVE-58 (1942-1958)
The USS Corregidor, a Casablanca Class Escort Carrier, was originally named Auguilla Bay ACV-58 and was reclassified as Auguilla Bay AVG-58. The May 1942 Japanese attacks at Corregidor in Manila Bay inspired the renaming of the carrier a year later. In August 1943, the Corregidor was acquired by the United States Navy from a Maritime Commission Contract of the United States Federal Government.
Action in World War II
Weighing 7,800 tons, the Corregidor served as a part of the United States Pacific Fleet from 1943 until 1946. A total of five Casablanca Class Escort Carriers were lost during World War II, but the Corregidor was decorated with four Battle Stars for its service in the war.
The naval vessel performed air strikes during enemy invasions and provided cover for air landings on Emirau Island and at the Guadalcanal. Through combat, air patrols, and anti-aircraft support, the Corregidor aided in weakening bombardments in Guam and capturing eight enemy planes during the invasion of Saipan.
After an overhaul in San Diego, the Corregidor was returned to the Hawaiian Islands on a special hunter/killer mission in October 1944. Serving as a logistics force in early 1945 to protect Allied shipping between the waters of Pearl Harbor and Eniwetok, the Corregidor performed a special search mission for an overdue plane. Its duties in early 1945 included anti-submarine patrols off of Eniwetok and the Marshall Islands.
After the War
From May 1945 until the end of the war in September 1945, the Corregidor served as a training ship in Hawaii. Training duties were interrupted from October 1945 until January 1946 for the transportation of servicemen to San Diego. Taken to Norfolk, Virginia on July 30, 1946 and put into reserve, the Corregidor was commissioned for duty in May 1951 and transported aircraft and troops during the Korean War. After serving as a transport ship from 1952 to 1954, it was reclassified as USS Corregidor CVU-58 in June 1955. The naval vessel then served as a utility carrier until the summer of 1958, providing support for air landings in Lebanon. The Corregidor was decommissioned on September 4, 1958 and was finally sold for scrap on April 28, 1959.
Asbestos in Navy Ships
Although an essential component of the naval fleet, even today, aircraft carriers also pose a lasting health risk to soldiers serving on them. Unfortunately, products containing asbestos were common, especially on older ships, because of the material’s high resistance to heat and fire. Despite its value as an insulator, asbestos fiber intake can lead to several serious health consequences, including mesothelioma, a devastating cancer without cure. Current and former military personnel who came into contact with these ships should seek immediate medical attention in order to detect possible health consequences associated with asbestos exposure.