USS St. Lo CVE-63 was the Ninth Escort Carrier of the Casablanca class. She was launched on August 17, 1943 and commissioned on October 23, 1943 at Astoria, Oregon with Captain Francis J. McKenna in command. The ship would serve the Composite Squadron 65. The ship was originally called the USS Midway, however the name would be changed on October 10, 1944 both to honor the men who fought at St. Lo, France, and also to make room for a new more updated carrier to carry the name Midway. The ship would receive her first real combat test in the invasion of the Marianas where she shot down numerous Japanese aircraft. She would later in 1944 assist in the invasion of the Morotai Islands. The airplanes of Composite Squadron 65 would provide important cover for the army in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. However, shortly afterward the ship would enter in her final battle, The Battle off Samar on October 25, 1944. The carrier group fought against four Japanese battleships, including the Yamato. Though they managed to hold the ships at bay for 3 hours, the USS St. Lo’s end would come from a kamikaze plane that slammed into the deck exploding its bombs and tearing the ship apart. This ship has the unfortunate fate of being the first ship sunk by kamikaze pilots.

The Ship
Loaded displacement: 10,200 tons
Length: 512 feet
Draft: 22 feet, 6 inches
Flight Deck: 498 X 108 feet
Beam: 65 feet
Speed: 18 knots

Skinner Uniflow-11,200 Horsepower, Twin Screws

1-5" 38 gun
8-twin 40 MM guns
20-20 MM guns

SG Surface search
SK Air search
YE Homing Beacon

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