USS Point Cruz CVE-119 (1945-1965)

The aircraft carrier USS Point Cruz was known as the Trocadero Bay until June 5, 1944. On December 4, 1944, the Todd Pacific Shipyard Incorporated, which is located in Tacoma, Washington, laid the ship’s keel down. The ship was sponsored by Mrs. Earl R. DeLong and was also launched on May 18, 1945. On October 16 1945 the ship was commissioned and commanded by Captain D.T. Day.

Action in World War II and Korea

After going through acceptance and a shakedown, she then conducted pilot qualifications off the West Coast, which lasted from October 1945 until March 1946. Afterwards she then ferried aircraft to forward bases located in WestPac. She then wound up entering Puget Sound Naval Shipyard on March 3, 1947, for inactivation. She was then decommissioned June 30, 1947, and entered the Pacific Reserve Fleet in Bremerton, Washington.

On July 26, 1951 the ship was recommissioned and activated due to hostilities in Korea. This time, she was commanded by Captain Horace Butterfield. After she was extensively modified so she could be used as an ASW Hunter-Killer Group carrier, she was sent out on January 4, 1953.  She was then based at Sasebo, Japan, where the Point Cruz kept patrol over the Korean Coast. After armistice the ship’s helicopter squadron took part in “Operation Platform.”

In December 1953 the carrier made its return to San Diego. On August 24, 1955, she was on her way again to WestPac after being extensively modified and going through more training. While she was operating with the 7th fleet in the Pacific, she served as a flagship of Carrier Division 15. The Point Cruz left Yokosuka on January 31, 1956, and was back in Long Beach in early February for inactivation at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. She was then decommissioned on August 31, 1956. The Point Cruz was then placed in the Bremerton Group of the Pacific Reserve Fleet. While she was in reserve status she was then redesignated AKV-19 in May of 1957.

After Combat

On August 23, 1965 the Point Cruz was put back in action with MSTS as T–AKV–19 in September of 1965. Since she became an aircraft ferry for MSTS, she provided important information from South Asia to help the United States forces.   The Point Cruz was decommissioned for the last time in 1969 before being sold for scrap two years later.

Asbestos in Navy Ships

Although an essential component of the naval fleet, especially throughout conflicts of the last century, submarines also pose a lasting health risk to soldiers serving on them. However, these risks extend beyond the inherent dangers that existed while operating the vessels during military conflicts. Unfortunately, products containing asbestos were also common aboard submarines 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. Furthermore, the enclosed environment of submarines put servicemen at an even higher risk of exposure. Current and former military personnel who came into contact with or served on submarines should seek immediate medical attention in order to detect possible health consequences associated with asbestos exposure.

References:

Naval Historical Center