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Location: /Squadron Patches/USN NAVY Squadrons

WWII Patch, USN, VC-86 USS Bismark Sea (CVE-95)

WWII Patch, USN, VC-86  USS Bismark Sea (CVE-95)

Product Information
WWII US Navy Squadron Patch
Navy Composite Squadron 86

USS Bismark Sea (CVE-95)
Leyte Gulf, P.I.,  Lingayen Gulf landings, Iwo Jima
Walt Disney Design
4 1/4 x 5 7/8 inches

VC-86 Established 18 Jan 1944
VC-86 Disestablished 7 Jun 1945

Naval Auxiliary Air Station, Brown Field (East Field; Naval Auxiliary Air Station, Otay Mesa, San Diego, CA)
In conjunction with the World War I development of San Diego's North Island, the Army established an airfield at Otay Mesa, 16 miles southeast. Located five miles from the coast, Otay Mesa has an elevation of 500 ft. and is less subject to ocean fog that reduced flying hours at other airfields in San Diego. After the beginning of World War II, the Navy improved the airfield. During the six months ending December 1944, VC-84, VC-85, VC-86, VC 87, VC-94, CVLG 30, VC-71, VC-25, and CVEG 24 arrived. All departed by the end of the year except VC-71 and CVEG 24.

USS Bismarck Sea (CVE-95) was the last aircraft carrier sunk by enemy fire.  The USS Bismark Sea was a Casablanca class escort carrier of the United States Navy. She was launched on 17 April 1944 by Kaiser Co., Inc., Vancouver, Washington, under a Maritime Commission contract as Alikula Bay; sponsored by Mrs. M. C. Wallgren, wife of Senator Monrad Wallgren; renamed Bismarck Sea on 16 May 1944; transferred to the Navy on 20 May 1944; and commissioned the same day, with Captain J. L. Pratt in command.
Launched:     17 April 1944
Commissioned:     20 May 1944
Fate:     Sunk during the Battle of Iwo Jima on 21 February 1945
Class and type:     Casablanca-class escort carrier
     Philippines campaign
     Invasion of Iwo Jima
Awards:     3 Battle stars
Service history
During July and August 1944, Bismarck Sea escorted convoys between San Diego, California, and the Marshall Islands. After repairs and additional training at San Diego, she steamed to Ulithi, Caroline Islands, to join Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid's 7th Fleet. During 14–23 November 1944, she operated off Leyte in support of the operations and later took part in the Lingayen Gulf landings (9–18 January 1945). On 16 February, she arrived off Iwo Jima to support the invasion.
On 21 February 1945, despite heavy gunfire, two Japanese kamikazes hit the Bismarck Sea, first on the starboard side under the first 40 mm gun (aft), crashing through the hangar deck and striking the ship's magazines. The fire was nearly under control when the second plane struck the aft elevator shaft, exploding on impact and destroying the fire fighting salt water distribution system, thus preventing any further damage control. Shortly after, the order was given to abandon ship. The USS Bismarck Sea sank with the loss of 318 men, and was the last US Navy aircraft carrier to be lost during WWII. Three destroyers and three destroyer escorts rescued survivors over the next 12 hours, between them saving a total of 605 officers and men from her crew of 923. Survivors were then transferred to Dickens and Highlands.  According to the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, Edmonds directed the rescue operations of the remaining hands, saving 378 of the carrier's crew including the commanding officer, in spite of darkness, heavy seas and continuing air attacks. Thirty of Edmonds' own crew went over the side to bring the wounded and exhausted carrier men to safety.
Bismarck Sea received three battle stars for her World War II operations.

EDWARD J. MILOTA (Seaman 1st Class) Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Entered Navy January 1944 and went through boot camp in Farragut, Idaho. Was assigned to U.S.S. Bismarck Sea CVE 95 - Commissioned in Astoria, Oregon, after shake down, went into action at Leyte and Lingayen in the Philippines. Went through one of the worst hurricanes Dec 18, 1944. Prior to the invasion of Iwo Jima, the Bismarck Sea and squadron VC-86 helped with pre bombing on D-3 day. At dusk, the Bismarck Sea was hit by two kamikaze planes and set on fire. Exploding torpedoes and ammunition destroyed back half of the ship. We abandoned at dusk in 12' to 20' waves. After an hour did manage to hang on to a 2 man raft with 16 other shipmates. We were strafed by Japanese planes. After 3-1/2 hrs. in cold water, everybody suffered hypothermia. Our group was picked up by the U.S.S. Edmonds DE 406. Suffering from exposure, it was difficult to board a rolling destroyer with cargo nets over the side, men from the Edmonds went into the water to get us aboard.  While going up the cargo net, the man above slipped, knocking me back into the water. As the destroyer started pulling ahead, I snagged a jacobs ladder hanging off the stern, next to the propellers. I was like a yo-yo in the water and out as the destroyer rolled. Two men aboard the Edmonds pulled me up, ladder and all, spent some time in Farragut Naval hospital and Sun Valley Naval hospital.  Returned to active duty, served on U.S.S. Y.M.S. 333, U.S.S. LST 1064 and Mount Katmai (A.E. 16.) Discharged at Bremerton Naval Base.

Sinking of the USS BISMARCK SEA off Iwo Jima.     DECLASSIFIED
Narrative by:   Captain John L. Pratt, USN                    Recorded: 22 March 1945

Price: $185.00 $165.00

Product Code: PatchUSN.086.VC86.ussBismarkSea
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