USS CABOT CV 28
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The second USS Cabot (CVL 28) was laid down as the cruiser Wilmington (CL 79), redesignated CV 28 on June 2, 1942, renamed Cabot June 23rd, converted while building, and launched April 4, 1943 by New York Shipbuilding Co., Camden, N.J.; sponsored by Mrs. A. C. Read; reclassified CVL 28 on July 15; and commissioned July 24, 1943, Captain M. F. Shoeffel in command.
Cabot sailed from Quonset Point, R.I., November 8, 1943 for Pearl Harbor, where she arrived December 2nd. Clearing for Majuro January 15, 1944, she joined TF 58 to begin the consistently high quality of war service which was to win her a Presidential Unit Citation. From February 4 to March 4, 1944 she launched her planes in strikes on Roi, Namur, and the island stronghold of Truk, aiding in the neutralization of these Japanese bases as her part in the invasion of the Marshalls.
USS Cabot returned to Pearl Harbor for a brief repair period, but was back in action from Majuro for the pounding raids on the Palaus, Yap, Ulithi, and Woleai at the close of March 1944. She sailed to provide valuable air cover for the Hollandia operation from April 22-25th, and four days later began to hurl her air power at Truk, Satawan, and Ponape. She cleared Majuro again June 6, 1944 for the pre-invasion air strikes in the Marianas, and on June 19 and 20th launched sorties in the key Battle of the Philippine Sea, the famous "Marianas Turkey Shoot," which hopelessly crippled Japanese naval aviation. Cabot's air units pounded Japanese bases on Iwo Jima, Pagan, Rota, Guam, Yap and Ulithi as the carrier continued her support of the Marianas oper ation until August 9.
Pre-invasion strikes in the Palaus in September 1944 along with air attacks on Mindanao, the Visayas, and Luzon paved the way for the long-awaited return to the Philippines. On October 6, 1944 USS Cabot (CVL 28) sailed from Ulithi for raids on Okinawa, and to provide air cover for her task group during the heavy enemy attacks off Formosa on October 12 and 13th. Cabot joined the group which screened "Cripple Division 1," the cruisers USS Canberra (CA 70) and USS Houston (CL 81) which had been torpedoed off Formosa, to the safety of the Carolines, then rejoined her group for continued air strikes on then Visayas, and the Battle for Leyte Gulf on 25th and 26th.
USS Cabot remained on patrol off Luzon, conducting strikes in support of operations ashore, and repelling desperate suicide attacks. On November 25, 1944, a particularly vicious one occurred. Cabot had fought off several kamikazes when one, already flaming from hits, crashed the flight deck on the port side, destroying the still-firing 20 mm gun platform, disabling the 40 mm mounts and a gun director. Another of Cabot's victims crashed close aboard and showered the port side with shrapnel and burning debris. Cabot lost 62 men killed and wounded but careful training had produced a crew which handled damage control smoothly and coolly. While she continued to maintain her station in formation and operate effectively, temporary repairs were made. On November 28th, she arrived at Ulithi for permanent repairs.
USS Cabot returned to action December 11, 1944, steaming with the force striking Luzon, Formosa, Indo-China, Hong Kong, and the Nansei Shoto in support of the Luzon operations. From February 10 to March 1, 1945 her planes pounded the Japanese homeland and the Bonins to suppress opposition to the invasion of Iwo Jima. Continued strikes against Kyushu and Okinawa in March prepared for the invasion of the latter island. After these prolonged, intensive operations, Cabot was homeward bound for San Francisco for a much-needed overhaul completed in June.
After refresher training at Pearl Harbor, the carrier launched strikes on Wake Island on August 1, 1945 while en route to Eniwetok. Here she remained on training duty until the end of the war. Sailing August 21, she joined TG 38.3 to support the landings of occupation troops in the Yellow Sea area in September and October. Embarking homeward-bound men at Guam, USS Cabot (CVL 28) arrived at San Diego November 9, then sailed for the east coast. Cabot was placed out of commission in reserve at Philadelphia February 11, 1947.
Recommissioned October 27, 1948, Cabot was assigned to the Naval Air Reserve training program. She operated out of Pensacola, then Quonset Point, on cruises to the Caribbean, and had one tour of duty in European waters from January 9 to March 26, 1952. The light carrier was again placed out of commission in reserve January 21, 1955. She was reclassified AVT 3 on May 15, 1959.
In 1967, after over twelve years in "mothballs", Cabot was loaned to Spain, in whose navy she served as Dedalo. The loan was converted to a sale in 1972. Dedalo was stricken by the Spanish Navy in August 1989 and given to a private organization in the U.S. for use as a museum ship. However, that private organization was unable to pay its creditors, so, on September 10, 1999, the ship was auctioned off by the U.S. Marshal's Service to Sabe Marine Salvage.