The U.S.S. Copahee: the small aircraft carrier which carried Atomic bomb
Found this story today, learned something new today. Link
They are not from here. But they came here to see who is still here. They are world war two veterans - a reunion of the men who with one mission changed the course of history. They used to do this in a ballroom. Now, a meeting room seems oversized. They've been getting together every year for more than 30 years to see who's left and remember those who are not. The U.S.S. Copahee was a small aircraft carrier hardly anyone has ever heard of, and even fewer remember. Mostly the Copahee moved planes and troops. It was important work, but it's what was loaded on board in 1945 that changed the world. It was the atom bomb later exploded over Nagasaki. As ships go, the Copahee had a short life, only four years. After the war it simply wasn't needed anymore. Eventually it was sold for scrap to Japan. What used to be a reunion that numbered into the hundreds this year was down to nine men, all at least in their mid 80's and a few of their wives and children. Two have serious heart problems. Two more have cancer. And most all have a hard time hearing. But their memories of the Copahee and its crew and its historic mission are indivisible. Though none of the Copahee vets is from St. Louis, they've been meeting here for the past four years because of the city's central location
I've done ... 3 or 4 research projects on the Manhattan Project, and I've never heard of this ship being involved...
I am not finding anything to corroborate that USS Copahee was involved in the Bronx Shipments (transfers of bomb parts to Tinian), at all. I do recall reading at least once that after USS Indianapolis was sunk, they stopped moving bomb parts by ship. This looks like a newsie trying to make a human-interest story more interesting.
"On 28 July1944 she returned to San Diego, California with a load of captured Japanese planes (13 Zekes and 1 Kate) and equipment (37 engines) to be used for intelligence and training purposes.
After overhaul, Copahee returned to transport duty. Until the end of the war she made six voyages from Alameda, carrying her vital cargo to M****, Majuro, Guam, Saipan, and Pearl Harbor. From 6 September to 21 December1945,"
from Wikipedia. I would think they would mention that. Wiki is at least as reliable as a news site, imho.
cool to see we haven't run out of the Greatest Generation, yet.
Last edited by orionhawk; 05-13-2008 at 12:17 PM.
Brian, I'm so glad you posted this. My late father served on the U.S.S. Copahee from 1942-45. I spoke with a man who had run their reunions until they stopped in 2006. He was able to send me more info on the carrier. In fact, he was going to hook me up with the 2 remaining cooks. When I did not hear back and emails bounced back, I tried to phone only to find his number disconnected. I assumed he'd either died or went into a home. How I wish I'd known about the reunions earlier, so I might have met some of his former comrades. Dad always downplayed his Navy experiences. I figured it was because he'd switched over to the Army later. It wasn't until my uncle mentioned Dad seeing action in the Pacific that I sent off for his records. Could the Copahee have carried Nagasaki's atomic bomb? It very well could have, as it had to get to its flight origin somehow. If nothing else, it does make for a good story to pass on.
Most of the Jeep carriers were converted to merchants after the war. A few that were damaged beyond economic repair were scrapped, but most went on to have happy dull careers until the 1960's or even the 1970's.
OMG...I just found a picture of the Copahee crew which shows my Dad very plainly. We do not have any photos of him while in the Navy. Does anyone know how I could obtain a copy of this photo? Thanks, in advance!
FIRST IN SUPPORT!
Disabled Gulf War Veteran