History of USS Hamlin AV-15

2004 Reunion Info


Displacement 8,510 t.(lt) 12,610 t.(fl);
Length 492';
Beam 69' 5";
Draft 22';
Speed 18.7kts;
Crew Complement 1,077;
Armament two single 5"/38 gun mounts, two quad 40mm gun mounts, two dual 40mm gun mounts, sixteen single 20mm gun mounts;
Propulsion, steam turbine, two boilers, one shaft, 8,500hp.

The USS Hamlin was one of the primary support tenders of VPB-208.  This information was taken from http://www.multied.com/Navy/MISC/hamlin.html  Please visit that site for more information, and products about the Hamlin.  Note there was an Escort carrier, CV-15 which was transfered to the British, 15 July 1943, and renamed HMS Stalker.  There may be some confusion due to this as to which ship's history is of interest when searching on the internet.  The Seaplanes of VBP-208 and other squadrons were in the Pacific theatre, and were served by AV-15.

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships History

Hamlin (AV-15) was Launched by Todd Pacific Shipyards Inc., Tacoma. Wash., 11 January 1944, sponsored by Miss Constance Taffinder, daughter of Rear Admiral S. A. Taffinder; and commissioned 26 June 1944, Captain GI. A. McLean in command.  The Hamlin was a Kenneth Whiting Class Seaplane Tender.

Hamlin conducted shakedown drills off California until 16 August 1944 when she departed San Pedro for the Pacific. Arrived Pearl Harbor 24 August, the ship loaded aviation gasoline and supplies and got underway 29 August for Entwetok. She unloaded cargo and passengers there and continued to recently won Saipan, arriving 11 September to take up her plane-tending duties. During this period, seaplanes tended by Hamlin were making important contributions to the Pacific fighting by engaging in reconnaissance, hunter-killer operations against submarines, and air coverage of fleet cripples. She moved to Ulithi 11 October and back to Saipan anchorage 29 December 1944, all the time continuing her vital support of plane operations. Hamlin's aircraft protected the cruisers Houston and Reno, damaged 14 October off Luzon and flew photographic missions and rescue flights as the Navy pressed home the ever-mounting attack on Japanese held territory.

The operation next on her schedule was Iwo Jima, necessary to safeguard lines of communication and provide a base from which fighters could protect B-29's in bombing missions over Japan. Hamlin proceeded 15 February to Guam for fuel oil and two days later departed for Iwo Jima. She arrived 2 days after this historic and bitterly contested landing had begun, and with two other tenders established a floating seaplane base from which search and rescue missions were performed.

Debris and off-shore gunfire prevented the establishment of the seadrome until 24 February, and Haml&Mac245;n worked under the handicap of large swells and congestion of' the sea areas around Iwo Jima. The ship also experienced numerous air raids during this operation, but suffered no damage. She got underway for Saipan 8 March 1945 and after another voyage to Guam, she returned to prepare for the Okinawa operation and the largest seaplane tending job of the war.

Hamlin sailed 23 March from Saipan for Okinawa, the first step prior to the home islands in the long campaign across the Pacific. Her commander wee designated Commander, Seaplane Base Graupr The tenders arrived Kerama Retto, west of Okinawa, 28 March, the day after it had been secured and 4 days before the main landings on Okinawa. During the operation, Hamlin's planes provided long-range search, antisubmarine patrols, and airsea rescue services, even providing aviation gasoline and luboil to battleships and cruisers. Her work was performed amid nearly constant air attack by Japanese suicide planes, and, though many ships in the anchorage were damaged by repeated attacks, Hamlin fought off all attacks without injury.

The tender group shifted its base of operations to Chimu Wan Okinawa, 11 July. After the surrender of Japan, Hamlin and other tenders got underway to assist in the occupation 16 August, anchoring in Yokosuka harbor 30 August. She began tending seaplanes on patrol over Japanese home waters 2 September, and was anchored in the harbor when the historic surrender was signed on board Missouri.

Hamlin returned to California following a short period in Japan and decommissioned at San Diego 15 January 1947, She went to reserve with the San Diego Group and remained there until September 1962 when she was transferred to the Maritime Administration, under Navy ownership, and placed in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Calif. She was struck from the Navy List 1 July 1963.

Hamlin received three battle stars for service in World War II.

1944  Jan 11 Launched
1944  Jun 26 Comissioned
1944  Aug 16 Shakedown
1944  Aug 24
Pearl Harbor
1944 Aug 29
Pearl Harbor - Entwetok
1944  Sep 11
Saipan  (started Tending duty)
1944  Oct 11
1944  Dec 29
1945  Feb 15
1945  Feb 21
Iwo Jima (landing started 19 Feb)
1945  Feb 24
support landing
1945  Mar 8
Saipan - Guam
1945  Mar 23
left Saipan
1945  Mar 28
Kerama Retto
1945  Jul 11
Chimu Wan, Okinawa
1945  Aug 6
** Hiroshima
1945  Aug 16
Okinawa  -  Tokyo
1945  Aug 23
met USS Bangust 32.3n 114.45e
1945  Sep 2
Arrive Tokyo Bay
1945  Sep 12
Japanese Surrender
1947  Jan 15
1947  1962
Reserve Fleet, San Diego
1963  Jul 1
  information also taken from http://www.hazegray.org/navhist/carriers/us_sea2.htm#kw-cl


2004 Reunion for Hamlin Crew

USS HAMLIN (AV 15) ASSN reunion will be held 9-11 Sep 04 at the Shilo Inns Suites Hotel, Portland, OR. Contact Lawrence.C. GODWIN, 226 State Rte. 18, New Wilmington, PA 16142-3718; 724/652-4880. 4-804   mailto://djmonaco ** at ** adelphia ** dot ** net  (replace previous ** xx ** with symbols)
Sailor Donald R. Pond taken from hand written notes in 1991, exactly as written during WWII. with USS Bangust from August 21 1944 until September 19 1945

There is a mention of the Hamlin in Donald R. Pond's Diary in the entry of August 23, 1945:

August 23 1945
Still waiting for orders to Tokyo. Storm has passed. Went alongside USS Hamlin (AV 15) to pass OP folder. Kyne left to rendezvoused with USS Iowa (BB 61) at noon. 32.30n, 114.45e. AVP sank mine today. Drifted past hospital ships. USS Rescue (AH 18) joined last night. Weaver rejoined this evening. The LST and the ALR collided so the ALR went back to Saipan.

Source:  http://dpdon.com/bangust/diary.htm