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USS Saint Lo CVE-63
(formerly Midway),
& Composite Squadron 65 (VC 65)

All Photos from Evan Crawforth RT2c

(Some Pictures enlarge with a click)


1.   Construction, Flight Deck
This photo above, and the two photos immediately below, depict the construction
of the ship in the Kaiser Shipyards at Vancouver, WA.


2.    Construction, Hangar Deck


3.   Construction Tank Top

4.   All six Taffy 3 carriers (Midway/St. Lo, White Plains, Kalinin Bay, Fanshaw Bay, Kitkun Bay and Gambier Bay) in various
stages of construction in the shipyard at Vancouver, Washington (across the river from Portland, OR).  The ships in the
picture, from left to right are: Gambier Bay (CVE 73), Natoma Bay (CVE 62), Midway/St. Lo (CVE 63), Tripoli (CVE 64),
Wake Island (CVE 65), White Plains (CVE 66), Solomons (CVE67), Kalinin Bay (CVE 68), Kasaan Bay (CVE 69),
Fanshaw Bay (CVE70), Kitkun Bay (CVE 71), Tulagi (CVE 72).

 


5.   The Commissioning of the USS Midway, October 23, 1943. 
The ship was commissioned as the USS Midway and the
name was changed to St. Lo just before it left Manus Harbor
for the Leyte invasion.  The ship only had the name of
St. Lo for two weeks before it was sunk in the battle. 


6.   Bomb Stowage, St. Lo


 

7.   Captain McKenna presenting medals at Pearl Harbor sometime in November 1944. 
More than 1/3 of the crew of the St. Lo were wounded or killed and received purple hearts.
Evan Crawforth RT2c, is fourth from the left, receiving his purple heart.   From the extreme right and moving left,  Don Marsh, Executive Officer and senior surviving officer of the squadron (VC 65), Martin Heffernan, Assistant "K" Division Officer, looking down unidentified, Captain McKenna giving out the awards.

(click purple heart letter to enlarge)


8.   Chow Line


9.   Enlisted Man Bunks


Below is an incredible sequence of photos showing an airplane coming in, missing the
hook and crashing into guns, wrecking them and the airplane.


Coming In


Missed the hook


The crash


Wrecked Guns


The Wrecked Plane



10.   Another Plane - Missed the hook and went into an elevator shaft.


11.   Crossing the Equator


12.   The Photo Shop.  Standing second from left, Evan Crawforth.  Extreme right with
 moustache is Marleau Cragin who was killed in action at Samar on 10-25-44.



13.  The pilots in the Ready room.  Standing in the foreground is the Air Intelligence Officer, Elmer Collette.  At left in the second row
with cigar is Wayne "Arab" Hammett, next to him is Leonard "Tex" Waldrop, who earned the Navy Cross at Samar.  In the front row
right with helmet is Ralph Jones, Squadron skipper (KIA at Samar 10/25/44) next to him is Stan Cook, Squadron Exec. (KIA at Saipan)


14.   Many Taffy 3 pilots, unable to land on their carriers that were under fire from
Kurita's Center Force, were forced to land on the unfinished airstrip at Tacloban, Leyte, Island.


15.   5-Inch Gun


16.   Test firing the 20 MM guns.


17.   Carrier rolling on the sea


18.   Midway/St. Lo Portside - San Diego


19.   Survivors being taken aboard the Heermann


20.  Survivors coming aboard the Hospital ship Bountiful


21.   Kurita's Center Force leaving Brunei


22.   An 8 inch shell hit on the forward turret of the USS Dennis.  Note the
jagged surface, top center, of the turret.

   
Pictures drawn shortly after the battle by a sailor from the St. Lo.  The wording in red pencil says "Jap surface and air attack on
CVE force off San Bernardino Strait-Phillipines".  The drawing on the left is dated October 24, and the battle was on October 24.  They had
crossed the International Dateline, so it was actually October 25 in the US when these were drawn.


Allied Forces Leyte Gulf


In Battle

 

 


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Battle Off Samar - St Lo's final day
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© 2008 Evan H. Crawforth
 



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