Burial at Sea for Dead of USS Liscome Bay (CVE-56)

Two enlisted men killed on USS Liscome Bay (CVE-56) are buried at sea by the crew of USS Leonard Wood (APA-12). At 0513 Hours on November 24, 1943, personnel aboard the Coast Guard-manned Leonard Wood observed a violent explosion 13.5 miles (21.7 kilometers) away and it was later discovered that this explosion was the Liscome Bay of Task Group 52.13 which had been torpedoed by Imperial Japanese Navy submarine I-175 under Lieutenant Commander Sunao Tabata. Liscome Bay had been hit in the worst possible spot-the bomb stowage area, which had no protection from a torpedo hit or fragment damage. The bombs stowed there had detonated en masse. The resulting explosion disintegrated half of the ship. No one aft of the forward bulkhead of the after engine room survived. At 0533 Liscome Bay listed to starboard and sank carrying Admiral Henry M. Mullinix, Commander of Carrier Division 24; Captain Irving D. Wiltsie, 53 other officers, and 591 enlisted men down with her; 272 of her crew were rescued. At 0640 the Wood proceeded into the transport area northwest of Flint Point, Makin Island, lowered all boats and prepared to re-embark troops and receive survivors from the Liscome Bay. At 2011 the destroyer USS Hughes (DD-410) came alongside to transfer 150 survivors from the torpedoed vessel. Altogether 245 casualties from six sunk or damaged vessels were taken aboard. At 1435 on November 25 the vessel stood out to form convoy and arrived at Pearl Harbor with the survivors on December 2. The missing in action included Pearl Harbor hero Doris Miller, who was declared dead on November 25, 1944.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
National Archives
Date Photographed: 
Friday, November 26, 1943
Enroute to Pearl Harbor