CVE-21 U.S.S. Block Island

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This Month in Naval History
CVE-21 U.S.S. Block Island

Block Island I

(ACV-21: dp. 7800, 1. 4fl6'8", b. 111'6", dr. 26', s. 18
k.; cpl. 890; a. 2 5"; cl. Bogue)

The first Block Island(ACV-21) was launched ~ June 1942 by Seattle Taeoma Shipbuilding Corp, Seattle, Wash., under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Mrs. H, B, Hutchinson, wite of Commander Hutchinson; transferred to the Navy 1 May 1942; and commissioned 8 March 1943, captain L. e. Ramsey in command. Originally classified ~LVG-21, she became ACV-21, 20 August 1942, and CVE~21, 15 July 1943.

Departing San Diego in May 1943 Block Island steamed to Norfolk, Va., to join the Atlantic Fleet. After two trips from New York to Belfast, Ireland, during the summer of 1943 with cargos of army fighters, she operated as part of a hunter killer team. During herfour antisubmarine cruises Block Island planes sank two submarines: U-220 in 48°53' N., 33°30' W., 28 October 1943 and U-lo59 at 13°10' N., 33°44'W, 19 March 1944. She shared credit with Corry (DD-463) and Bronetein (DE~189) for the sinking of U-801 in l6°42' N., 30°20' W., 17 March 1944 and with Buckleg (DE-51) for U - 6 sunk ff May 1944 in 17°17' N., 32°29' W. Three of Block Iesland's escorts, Thomas (D~102), Bostwick (DE-103), and Bronstein sank U-709 on 1 March 1943 and the same day Bronstein got U /;03.

At 2013, 29 May 1944, Block Island was torpedoed by U~549 which had slipped undetected through her screen The German submarine put one and perhaps two more torpedoes into the stricken carrier before being sunk herself by the avenging Eugene Elmore of the screen in 31°13' N., 23°03' W.

Block Island (CVE-2l) received two battle stars for her service.


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