CVE-106 U.S.S. Block Island

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This Month in Naval History
CVE-106 U.S.S. Block Island
Block Island II

(CVE~106: dp. 11,373; 1. 577'1"; b. 105'2"; dr. 82'; B.
19.1 k.; cpl. 10~; a. 2 5"; cl. Commencement Bag)

The second Block Island (CVE-106) was launched 10 June 1944 as Sunset Bay by Todd-Pacific Shipyards, Inc., Tacoma, Wash., sponsored by Mrs. L. J. Hallenbeek ; and commissioned as Block Island 30 December 1944, Captain F. M. Hughes in command.

Block Island got underway for Pearl Harbor 20 March 1945. Upon arrival she underwent a period of provisioning and training in preparation for the invasion oi Okinawa. On 17 April Block Island left Hawaii and steamed toward Okinawa, via Ullthi. Flight operations comruenced Immediately upon her arrival 3 May and lasted until 10 June when ~she departed for Leyte After a brief stay at San Pedro Bay, the earrier steamed through the Straits of Makassar for Borneo. Retween 26 June and 6 July she took part in the Balikpapan operation. She then proceeded to Guam where she was anchored at the time of the cessation of hostilities. During-9 September she took part in the evacuation of Allied prisoners of war from Formosa. She continued cruising in the Far East until 14 October and arrtred at San Diego 11 December 1945. Leaving San Diego 5 January 1946, she transited the Panama Canal and reached Noriolk on the 20th. She was placed in service in reserve 28 May 1946.

On 29 May 1046 Block Island was towed from Norfolk to Annapolis and reported to the Superintendent nf the Naval Academy for duty as training ship for the midshipmen. This duty terminated 3 October 1950 and Block Island was transferred to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.

The vessel was recommissioned 28 April 1951 and reported to the Atlantic Fleet. Between June 1951 and November 1953 she carried out local operations ofl the Virginia Capes, made four cruises to the Caribbean; and one to the United Kingdom, France, and Italy (17 April 25 June 1953).

On 15 January 1954 she was placed in commission in reserve at Philadelphia and out of commission in reserve 27 August 1954. Block Island is presently undergoing conversion to an amphibious assault ship.

Block Island received two battle stars for her World War II service.


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