WWII carrier USS Ommaney Bay located in the Philippines

WWII carrier USS Ommaney Bay located in the Philippines

The US Navy has confirmed the discovery of the WWII carrier USS Ommaney Bay, lost to a kamikaze attack in the Pacific Theater.

USS Ommaney Bay (CVE-79) underway off Hawaii with lifts lowered, July 1944
USS Ommaney Bay (CVE-79) underway off Hawaii with lifts lowered, July 1944

In a significant move, the United States Navy has confirmed the identity of a sunken World War II aircraft carrier in the Sulu Sea as the USS Ommaney Bay.

The carrier, which met its demise in 1945, was sunk by a devastating kamikaze attack during the ferocious battles of the Pacific Theater. Through meticulous examination and research, the navy has now shed light on the final resting place of this legendary warship.

The Ommaney Bay played a crucial role in the US Navy's operations during World War II. As part of the Casablanca-class escort carriers, it provided essential air support to troops in key Pacific campaigns. However, on 4 January 1945, the carrier faced an intense assault from Japanese kamikaze pilots.


The harrowing attack took place during the Battle of Lingayen Gulf, part of the Philippines Campaign. A kamikaze aircraft, armed with a bomb, dove towards the Ommaney Bay, aiming for a fatal blow. The carrier's crew bravely engaged in efforts to repel the imminent threat, to no avail—the kamikaze's strike proved fatal.

The impact caused catastrophic damage, leading to massive fires and explosions that engulfed the ship. Despite the heroic efforts of the crew, the carrier succumbed, sinking to the depths of the sea.


For decades, the exact location and identity of the wreck was shrouded in mystery. It wasn't until recently that advancements in marine technology and historical research—including analyses of official records and eyewitness accounts—enabled marine researchers and experts to discover the Ommaney Bay's final resting place.

The discovery of the Ommaney Bay's wreckage offers closure to the crew's families, while commemorating the sacrifices made by the crew on board the ship while executing their duties.

As a sunken military craft, the wreck is protected by U.S. law and is under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Navy.

US Naval History and Heritage Command

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