She originally designated an AVG, was classified ACV-68 on 20 August 1942; laid down under a Maritime Commission contract 26 April 1943 by the Kaiser Shipbuilding Co., Inc., Vancouver, Washington; reclassified CVE-68 on 15 July 1943; launched 15 October 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Anna Mary Updegraff; and commissioned 27 November at Astoria, Oregon, Captain C. R. Brown in command.
After shakedown along the Pacific Coast, Kalinin Bay departed San Diego 3 January 1944 for replenishment duty in the Pacific. Laden with troops and a cargo of planes, she steamed via Pearl Harbor for the Gilbert Islands, arriving off Tarawa Atoll 24 January to supply 5th Fleet carriers then engaged in the conquest of the Marshalls. For more than 2 weeks she provided logistic support from Tarawa to Majuro Atoll before returning to Alameda, California, 24 February.
So began the Battle off Samar—one of the most memorable engagements in U.S. naval history. Outnumbered and outgunned, the slower "Taffy 3" seemed fated for disaster; but the American ships defied the odds and gamely accepted the enemy's challenge.
Kalinin Bay accelerated to flank speed; and, despite fire from three enemy cruisers, she launched her planes, ordering the pilots "to attack the Japanese task force and proceed to Tacloban airstrip, Leyte, to rearm and regas." As salvos fell "with disconcerting rapidity" increasingly nearer Kalinin Bay, her planes, striking the enemy force with bombs, rockets, and gunfire, inflicted heavy damage on the closing ships.
As the trailing ship in the escort carrier van, Kalinin Bay came under intense enemy fire. Though partially protected by chemical smoke, by a timely rain squall, and by valiant counterattacks of screening destroyers and destroyer escorts, she took the first of 15 direct hits at 0750. Fired from an enemy battleship, the large caliber shell (14 inch or 16 inch) struck the starboard side of the hangar deck just abaft the forward elevator.
By 0800, the enemy cruisers, which were steaming off her port quarter, closed to within 18,000 yards. Kalinin Bay gamely responded to their straddling salvos with rapid fire from her single 5 inch gun, which only intensified the enemy fire. Three 8 inch, armor-piercing projectiles struck her within minutes of each other. At 0825, the carrier's 5-incher scored a direct hit from 16,000 yards on the No. 2 turret of a Nachi-class heavy cruiser, and a second hit shortly thereafter forced the enemy ship to withdraw temporarily from formation.
At 0830, five enemy destroyers steamed over the horizon off her starboard quarter. The closing ships opened fire from about 14,500 yards; and, as screening ships engaged the cruisers and laid down concealing smoke, Kalinin Bay shifted her fire and, for the next hour, traded shots with Japan's Destroyer Squadron 10. Many salvos exploded close aboard or passed directly overhead; and, though no destroyer fire hit Kalinin Bay directly, she took ten more 8 inch hits from the now obscured cruisers. One shell passed through the flight deck and into the communications area, where it destroyed all the radar and radio equipment.
Under heavy attack from the air and harassed by incessant fire from American destroyers and destroyer escorts, the enemy cruisers broke off action and turned northward at 0920. At 0915, the enemy destroyers, which were kept at bay by the daring and almost singlehanded exploits of the destroyer , launched a premature torpedo attack from 10,500 yards. As the torpedoes approached the escort carriers, they slowed down. An Avenger torpedo-bomber from the escort carrier strafed and exploded two torpedoes in Kalinin Bay's wake about 100 yards astern, and a shell from the latter's 5 inch gun deflected a third from a collision course with her stern.
At about 0930, as the enemy ships fired parting salvos and reversed course northward, Kalinin Bay scored a direct hit amidships on a retreating destroyer. Five minutes later, she ceased fire and retired southward with the surviving ships of "Taffy 3." At 1050, the task unit came under a concentrated air attack. During the 40-minute battle, the first attack from a Kamikaze unit in World War II, all the escort carriers except were damaged. One plane of Lt. Yukio Seki's Shikishima squadron crashed through St. Lo's flight deck and exploded her torpedo and bomb magazine, mortally wounding the carrier. Four diving planes attacked Kalinin Bay from astern and the starboard quarter. Intense fire splashed two close aboard; but a third plane crashed into the port side of the flight deck, damaging it badly. The fourth hit destroyed the aft port stack.
As part of "Taffy 3," Kalinin Bay had prevented a Japanese penetration into Leyte Gulf and saved General MacArthur's beachhead in the Philippines. At a cost of five ships and hundreds of men, "Taffy 3," aided by her own planes and those of "Taffy 2," sank three enemy cruisers, seriously damaged several other ships, and turned back the "most powerful surface fleet which Japan had sent to sea since the Battle of Midway."
Despite the battle damage, "Taffy 3" cleared the air of attacking planes; at noon, the escort carriers retired southeastward while their escort searched for survivors from St. Lo. Though Kalinin Bay suffered extensive structural damage during the morning's furious action, she counted only 5 dead among her 60 casualties. Weary and battle scarred, Kalinin Bay was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for heroic conduct as a unit of "Taffy 3". She steamed via Woendi, Schouten Islands, to Manus, arriving 1 November for emergency repairs. Getting under way for the United States 7 November, the escort carrier reached San Diego 27 November for permanent repairs and alterations.
After conducting two more voyages between California and Pearl Harbor, Kalinin Bay departed San Diego 8 December for the Far East. On 25 December, while she steamed to Yokosuka, Japan, an intense storm heavily damaged her flight deck. Arriving the 27th, she received emergency repairs, then sailed 3 January 1946 for the West Coast and arrived San Diego 17 January. On 13 February, she proceeded to the eastern seaboard, reaching Boston 9 March. Kalinin Bay was decommissioned 15 May, and she was sold for scrapping 8 December to Patapsco Steel Co., Baltimore, Maryland.
Contagion Kept at Bay but Draghi Knows Situation in Italy Poses a Dangerous Risk ; the Cyprus Bailout Has Threatened to Undo Progress Made in Recent Months
Apr 05, 2013; A sense of anticipation surrounded Mario Draghi's appearance at the monthly ECB press conference yesterday, his first since the...