USS Gambier Bay (CVE-73) was a Casablanca-classescort carrier of the United States Navy. She was sunk in the Battle off Samar during the battle of Leyte Gulf after helping to turn back a much larger attacking Japanese surface force. She was the only American aircraft carrier sunk by enemy surface gunfire during World War II.
Named for Gambier Bay on Admiralty Island in the Alaska Panhandle, she was originally classified AVG-73, was reclassified ACV-73 on 20 August 1942 and again reclassified CVE-73 on 15 July 1943; launched under a Maritime Commission contract by the Kaiser Shipbuilding Company, Vancouver, Washington on 22 November 1943; sponsored by Mrs. H. C. Zitzewitz, wife of Lieutenant Commander Zitzewitz, the Senior Naval Liaison Officer (SNLO) assigned to Kaiser's Vancouver Yard from the Navy's Bureau of Ships; and commissioned at Astoria, Oregon on 28 December 1943, Captain Hugh H. Goodwin in command.
The ship was referred to as the "Bonus Ship" by yard personnel because she was the 19th carrier delivered in 1943. The yard had originally projected 16 carriers would be delivered before the end of 1943, however, in September the Navy asked the yard to increase that number by at least two more. To rally the workers, Kaiser initiated a campaign called "18 or More by '44" to meet the new challenge. Gambier Bay—being the 19th and last Kaiser-built carrier commissioned in 1943—hence was dubbed the "Bonus Ship". No ships in her class survive today. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Gambier_Bay (accessed on 22/12/2017);