World War Two Gallery

Shipmates, the Hannah showed her 'stuff' during WWII. Here are the ribbons and commendations she won during this period of History. The only one here I am not sure of is the Big 'E' but even if she didn't win it, she EARNED it. So if she didn't, I am giving it to her now!

Naval Effeciency Ribbon

The Navy E for Efficiency
(If she didn't win it, she deserved it)

She did Win it, but not until it became an Official Naval Ship Award during the Vietnam War

Five Battle Stars WWII

Two non-engagement Stars on her Philippine Liberation Ribbon
awarded by the government of the Philippines. The basic
ribbon is earned for "taking part in the initial landing operations on Leyte"

Navy Unit Commendation

WWII Navy Unit Commendation

Celebrating the decommissioning of Hannah, July 1946, after 'Magic Carpet' from
left to right, Ronald Tracy, The Late "Doc" Andy Gibbons and "Pedro", man in background unknown

The Late Andy Gibbons* and his shipmates celebrated the end of the War and Magic Carpet by attending the Decommissioning Party held at B & M Hall. He donated the picture above, the Souvenir Photograph and the notice below..

(Broadway & Madison Hall)


Andy also donated this picture of a souvenir edition of the "Scuttlebut" - the Hancock Newspaper. Next is the Command Record of the Hancock's WWII Cruises.

* Link takes you to "Doc" Andy's Taps Memorial

The following is the final Editon of the Hannalog Newsletter
which our ship published, declaring, War Over!

Welcome to the Hancock Memorial WWII Gallery

The Hancock and other ships face more than the threats of War - here HANCOCK and the NEW JERSEY
deal with rough weather during a Storm at Sea. No Sailor who goes to sea is a stranger to days like this!
These three images courtesy of our Admin Assistant, Herschel A. Pahl

Original Picture Source Unknown - If you have information Sound Off

U.S.S. COWPENS CVL-25 during Typhoon

These three images above, courtesy of our former Admin Assistant, the Late Herschel A. Pahl
Hersch was our Former WWII Admin Assistant - see
Admin Department

An awesome photo of the "Mighty Moo" - U.S.S. COWPENS CVL-25 during the mighty Storm, Typhoon "Cobra" - You can read the story here. The viewer must be aware that the flight deck of an aircraft carrier in most cases is at least 60 ft from the waterline. The above photo proves that she was rolling a maximum of 47°.

The Yeoman remembers similar seas like this - one in particular was during a Typhoon we experienced in late November, 1963 - known as Typhoon Gloria - where the ship was rolling similarly at or near 45°. What he remembers most is walking down the Hangar Deck in such seas, and trying to make headway .

These Sailors are grabbing hold while in the starboard aft gun tub. The Ship is in such a stiff pitch in the high winds and heavy seas, that the Gun Tub they're huddled in is nearly hitting the seas. An Adventure for ONLY the Stout of Heart! Yes, Typhoon Cobra was one hell of a storm.. But no sailor that goes to sea is a stranager to them. The Yeoman read the History of our ship and found that during the Battle of Leyti Gulf, the fourth operation was cut short due to a severe typhoon which prevented refueling and damaged the anti-aircraft cruiser San Juan as well as damaging three destroyers so badly that they foundered with severe loss of life. This plaque is dedicated to such as these in all ship's of our Navy who have been lost as sea...

Lest we Forget...

A Kamikaze hit on the Flight Deck... April, 1945

The Deck of the Hancock shortly after a VT-7 TBF Avenger was trapped aboard and while taxiing with a 500-pound bomb in its bomb bay - the pilot, not knowing that he had an armed bomb hung up in his Bomb bay.. opened his Bomb bay doors; the bomb falling to the deck and exploded.

The Story from the Deck Log:

January 21, 1945.

1328: VT 124, Bu #23539 [a General Motors TBM-3 Avenger], pilot, LT(JG) C.R. Dean, 298954, and crewmen F.J. Blake, ARM3c, and D.E. Zima, AOM2c, made a normal landing and taxied forward. As the plane reached a point abreast the island a violent explosion occurred, believed to have been caused by the detonation of two (2) 500 lb. bombs adrift in the plane's bomb bay. The immediate results of the explosion were: casualties: killed - 62; critically injured - 46; seriously injured - 25; slightly injured - 20. A 10x16 foot hole in the flight deck, gallery deck area in the vicinity demolished, inboard side signal bridge wrecked. Three airplanes demolished. Numerous shrapnel holes throughout the island structure. Fires broke out on the flight, gallery, and hangar decks. Hauled clear of the formation and commenced maneuvering at various courses and speeds in an attempt to control the winds over the deck, and with high speed turns, to wash flooding water out of the hangar deck.

1342: Fire in hangar deck under control.

1405: Fire in gallery deck under control.

1406: Hancock planes in the vicinity commenced landing on other carriers of the Task Group.

1500: Rejoined station in formation.

1510: Emergency repairs to the flight deck completed.

CDR Joseph F. Parker, Senior Chaplain

CDR Joseph F. Parker, Senior Chaplain, 1944-45
  Father James J. Doyle, Chaplain, WWII
See Taps Section on these two Chaplains

CDR's Joseph F. Parker and J.J. Doyle were witness to the terror and mayhem that was experienced aboard Hancock during the destruction sent our way, by two exploding 500 Lb. bombs which dropped from the bomb bay of a returning TBM.

Capt Herschel A. Pahl donated this Scan of the
Naval Aviation News Magazine from October 15, 1945
showing the hole in the Flight Deck caused from a bomb.

Note: Pictures with the symbol are presented courtesy of Paul R.Yarnall from NavSource - The United States Surface Warship Photo Archives. Pictures with the § symbol are here courtesy of the Hancock Association and the Hancock History Book - Turner Publishing Company - Paducah, Kentucky - copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved.

Please note that if you wish to save these pictures to your computer, you should click your Right Mouse Button, and then the 'save as' option. The pictures, in most cases are much better quality than they show on this page.. so rest assured, your copy will be better than you see here.


Although not a very good quality photo, this shows the Hancock as she looked, minus the angle deck and steam catapults which were added later (Steam catapults in 1954 - Angle deck in '56)

However, thanks to Capt. Herschel Pahl, USN (Ret), Ex-Navy Pilot during WWII, and now our WWII Administrator, we now are in possession of one of the finest photos taken of the Hannah in WWII. This picture was scanned from an 8 x 12 Glossy, which Hersch was given before he disembarked Hancock late October, 1945. The same picture which the poorly done one above was made. Thanks go out to Hersch Pahl. Please visit Hersch's Books Website when you have a chance. He is the author of "Point Option" - documenting the Pacific War as seen through the eyes of a Naval Aviator.

Here our ship is loaded for bear, carrying a full contingent of planes, steaming into the Lehti gulf (I think )

Following pictures includes Hancock WW2 History

Removing wounded
after bomb accident

Mass burial at sea for those
killed in bomb accident

These two photos tell of a disaster that took place on Hancock while on her 4th War Cruise. January 21, 1945 was a bad day for Hannah and her crew, for around 1330 a big VT-7 TBF Avenger, after landing and while taxiing with a 500-pound bomb in its bomb bay, jarred loose the bomb which exploded on contact with the deck, instantly destroying the plane and it's 3 men crew. 52 deck hands were killed on deck, and 75 more were injured, many with severe burns. Please visit the WWII Hancock Memorial for Remembrance of those who lost their lives on Hancock during WWII

Flack overhead

 A near fatal collision with the Halsey-Powell
Halsey Powell is
hit, losing Steerage

Halsey-Powell limping away crippled of her steering
Halsey Powel, barely missing
Hannah's Bow, is without rudder

When you read this story, the XO Dennis Milliken wants you to think of the courage and quick thinking of Captain Hickey and the Quartermaster at the Helm during these tense moments. These man were guided by the Hand of God. There is no mistake in this; not one bit!

The Near collision with the HALSEY-POWELL

The following pictures were taken while Hancock was on her 6th War Cruise. During this time, Hancock experienced some very tense moments, for on March 20, 1945, Hancock's gunners shot down a suicide plane at close range and some burning fragments fell on it's deck (a flight of F6s were landing at the time, low on fuel). The engine and bomb of the shattered plane hit the fantail of destroyer Halsey Powell which Hancock was refueling at the time but the bomb did not explode. Powell's steering was damaged and Capt. Hickey of Hannah went to all back emergency; Powell, out of control, cut to port under the bow of Hannah and missed a collision by only a few feet. Capt. Hickey on Hancock was praised for his expert seamanship in avoiding a sure disaster.Then Hancock gunners shot down a second Kamikaze (its bomb splashed 100 feet off it's port beam). It was a busy few minutes for Hannah. The surface ship's gunners and the CAP shot down 46 enemy planes this day. The enemy knew what the major target was - Okinawa- and they were not going to give it up easily. Reference this event in the Hancock History.

Hancock engulfed in flames and
smoke after being hit by Kamikaze


Hannah on Fire
Hancock continues to burn but her
crew quickly put out the fires

Hannah on fire, taken from the Essex
Fires abating, she sits in the water.
Picture was taken from the
flight deck of the Essex not far away

Damaged deck and planes

Hangar deck showing damage

Putting out fires

Bomb hole showing damage
to catapult

Crew view charred remains
of a Corsair

Funeral Services for those killed
April 7, 1945

Funeral Service for those killed when a 500# Bomb exploded on the Flight Deck in 1945

Funeral Services for those killed
April 7, 1945

Later during the 6th Cruise, Hancock again experienced near fatal conditions when on April 7th, a Kamikaze pilot in a Judy, screamed in over Hannah's bow, his prop chewing up and destroyed the port catapult, and the impact released it's 550-pound bomb. The bomb broke through the wood deck just aft of the forward elevator and detonated in the forward hangar bay below; the explosion did additional damage to the deck and humped up the forward elevator and jammed it in the raised position. The partly destroyed plane then slid forward into a group of 19 parked planes, shattering three of them and setting them on fire. Hannah's skipper ordered a sharp turn to starboard in an attempt to slide the three burning airplanes overboard; black and gray smoke billowed from stem to stern from the stricken carrier, her lights failed, smoke poured into spaces below decks and paint chips rained down. The forward flight deck was a scene of chaos, but all the fires were out by 1345 and the burning airplanes had been pushed into the sea. By 1630 the deck had been cleared enough so Hannah could begin recovering it's aircraft returning from their strikes - they were out to bomb the super-battleship Yamato but couldn't find it.. but other planes did, and sunk it! Yes, Hancock proved herself then and there, that she was a force to be reckoned with! Her crew unfailing!

Beyond the damage inflicted, the Hannah suffered even more: 63 men died this day and 82 were wounded, mostly burns. Hancock continued operation for another day, burying it's dead at sea on the 9th of April. The catapult and elevator damage was too extensive to repair at sea or even at one of the forward bases so Hannah was detached from its Task Group on the 9th and headed for Ulithi, arriving on the 11th and departing on the 13th of April for Pearl Harbor. On this day, bad news arrived Hannah, President Roosevelt had died on the 12th at Warm Springs, Georgia. All ships Ensigns were lowered to half mast. Vice-President Truman was sworn in as 33rd President of the United States of America.

This is a side view of Hannah, decked out in her War Dress camouflage

Source Unknown

Although not the Hancock, this photo of the 'Fighting Lady' - the USS Yorktown CV-10, Hannah's sister ship, displays her WWII War dress, and is a magnificent picture of same. She is located today at Charleston, S.C. at Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum

Picture courtesy of Dennis Milliken

Hancock showing no smoke during Flight Operations, with the
USS Washington steaming at Flank Speed, with water over her Forecastle

Picture courtesy of the Hancock Association - Hiram Greer, Editor, Hannah News

This photo is very poor in quality, but shows a closeup aerial photo of the Hancock with full complement of planes.

This picture was in the the Radio News, the Hancock Official Newspaper in 1944, showing her in her Sunday Best.

Source Unknown

Another very nice picture of Hannah in War Paint. This picture shows her close up before they installed her with the now famous Hurricane Bow.. here, you can see her twin Bow 5" Mounts.

Picture courtesy of
Hiram Greer

This terriffic picture was donated to our gallery by Hiram Greer, Editor of the Hanna News, and member of the Hancock Association. Imagine the job of spotting those planes on the limited area on Hancock's Flight Deck. Those jeep drivers amaze me!

A bomb hits a gun turret and by the Grace of God, does not explode!

A bomb hits a gun turret and by the Grace of God, does not explode!

Everyone aboard was forever grateful that this bomb did not explode, as we all are sure, those who manned the guns at this turret must surely have felt!

Crash on the Flight Deck
Picture courtesy of Paul
(sorry, no last name given)

This picture was donated to our WWII gallery by Paul at nascar3(at) who stated in his email to your Yeoman, "Found your web site today and did not know if you had this photo of the Hancock. This photo came from my fathers WW2 Navy memoirs. He served aboard the USS Independence CVL-22. - Paul"

A great pre-Angle Deck picture of the Fighting Hannah
Picture donated by
"Doc" Andy Gibbons
picture above)
The name 'Francisco Ramirez, FN' appears at the bottom of the picture,
and is not shown on this copy.
Andy was a Plane Captain on the Hannah, and worked with the
F4UD/FUF Corsairs

A great photo of the Fighting Hannah taken sometiime between 1943 and 1954. It was sent to your Yeoman by Doc Andy Gibbons, who served in Hannah during Magic Carpet years after WWII. The label on this print and it's quality tells me that it was the kind of print sold in the Ship's Store. This one in particular had the name "Francisco Ramirez, FN. If you see this picture, Francisco , let the Yeoman know!

(This picture was too big to scan as a single picture so the Yeoman had to do some "Picture Magic" and this is why there may appear some 'strange' lines in the bottom area)

Reserved for
your Photo

 Please consider donating your photos to this gallery!

Richard Sullivan's father filmed a brief Film Clip of the Celebrations in Honolulu, T.H. and he has been gracious enough to provide us access to this Superb Film Clip - the video is so good, you would think it was filmed yesterday.... Visit our Mirror Page for that Film Clip Here.

Still more to view in the WWII Gallery...

The Earl P. Ayres Extended WWII Gallery

Hancock Galleries Launch

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