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Card USS

Postby shipstamps » Sun Jun 29, 2008 7:26 am


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On December 20, 1964 a set of three stamps was issued by North Vietnam showing war scenes, the 30c value depicting the sabotage of the U.S.S. Card. This aircraft carrier was sunk by an explosion at 5.15 a.m. on the morning of May 2, 1964, while moored at a commercial wharf at Saigon. It is presumed that Viet Cong saboteurs crept under the wharf and exploded the charge against the hull. The vessel slowly began to sink to the bed of the 48 ft. deep river, but on an even keel. None of the crew was hurt by the blast, which tore a hole 28 ft. long and 3 ft. wide in the engine room, adjoining the crew's quarters, 10 ft. below the waterline.
"We sank at the rate of one foot a minute until we hit the bottom 24 minutes later", said Capt. Borge Langeland, of New Orleans, commander of the carrier. A salvage team from the U.S. Navy base at Subic Bay, Phillipine Islands, was called in to help. She was subsequently raised, repaired and returned to service.
The Card had arrived at Saigon on the Thursday before the sabotage occurred with helicopters and fighter bombers and was due to sail for the United States with a cargo of old helicopters. At the time she was assigned to and under the control of the Military Sea Transportation Service and was not a unit of the U.S. Navy's operational forces. She was manned entirely by a civilian crew, her career as a U.S. naval escort carrier having ended shortly after the Second World War. In 1958 she was recommissioned as an aircraft ferry ship and placed in the service of the M.S.T.S.
Now rated as an aircraft ferry (AKV), the Card was originally classed as an escort aircraft carrier (CVE). In fact she has had four classifications; reclassified from escort aircraft carrier to escort helicopter carrier (CVHE) on June 12, 1955; classified utility aircraft carrier (CVU) on July 1, 1958 on allocation to M.S.T.S.; and to aircraft ferry (AKY) on May 7, 1959.
U.S.S. Card was converted from a mercantile hull built by the Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation and was completed on November 8, 1942. Standard displacement is 9,800 tons, length 465 ft. (p.p.), 496 ft. (o.a.), beam 69'/2 ft. (hull), extreme width 112 ft. and maximum draft 27 ft. Vietnam SG NLF8
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