The USS Guadalcanal
Prepared by Don Baker
"The Lord looks out for drunks, little children, and the CVEs"
USS Guadalcanal CVE-60
The escort carriers were considered to be thin-skinned, slow, unstable, and unwanted, but the crews fought these "baby flattops" in every theater of WW II with distinction and valor; none more so than in the Battle of the Atlantic against the U-boats. The American CVE sailors had a wry saying; the CVEs were "...two torpedo ships; the first torpedo would go through you and the second would go over you". Admiral D. V. Gallery USN, summarized the shiphandling and seakeeping abilities of the escort carriers as, "...they were barely good enough; but they were good enough". In spite of the acknowledged shortcomings of the ship design, Samuel Eliot Morison, distinguished Harvard professor and WW II naval historian, said of these ships "...the escort carrier groups were probably the greatest single contribution of the United States Navy to victory over enemy submarines".
USS Guadalcanal CVE-60 was the sixth of the Casablanca class escort carriers built by the Kaiser shipyards in Vancouver on the Columbia River in the state of Washington. Fifty of these ships were built within the period of one year using welded construction and prefabrication mass production techniques. With a large balanced single rudder operating in the race from twin screws, the Casablanca's were highly maneuverable, fast for an escort carrier, but noted for their rolling tendencies which gave operating problems in the heavy seas of the North Atlantic. Of the 50 Casablancas built, only 6 were assigned Atlantic duty.