USS Gilbert Islands (CVE-107)

Gilbert Islands in 1945. US Navy photo.

Laid Down

Originally to be named USS St. Andrews Bay, CVE-107 was laid down 29 November, 1943, days after the conquest of Tarawa in the Gilberts, which probably led to her renaming of USS Gilbert Islands. Commissioned 5 February, 1945, she arrived off Okinawa in late May, assisting with ground support in the closing days of the conquest of the island. In June, she was sent south to cover Australian landings in Borneo, from 1-4 July. At the end of the month, she was sent to the coast of Japan to cover fleet replenishment ships, and was there when the War ended on the 15th. After covering Chinese landings in Formosa, Gilbert Islands was sent home, and decommissioned in Norfolk, 21 May, 1946. She recommissioned in 1951, and, after an overhaul in Boston, was used as an aircraft ferry and training ship, until 1955. She was converted into a communications relay ship, and renamed USS Annapolis (AGMR-1), commissioning 7 March, 1964. Used heavily off Vietnam, Annapolis was on the ship end of the first ship-to-shore satellite message, contacting Pearl Harbor in this manner in 1966. Decommissioned 20 December, 1969, Annapolis was mothballed, and stricken from the register in 1976. she was sold for scrap three years later.