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Navy Chaplain wounded on the Escort Carrier USS Liscome Bay. In terms of lives lost, it was the costliest carrier sinking in United States naval history.


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Robert Hillis Carley was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on July 3, 1917. He attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, California where he made the All-Southern basketball team in his senior year. After graduation he attended Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey. Carley was commissioned as an Ensign in the United States Navy on June 30, 1943. He attended Chaplain School and at graduation he was appointed as Chaplain with the rank of Lieutenant (junior grade) on Sept. 11, 1942. Carley was the Chaplain on the Escort Carrier USS Liscome Bay when she was torpedoed and sunk by the Japanese Submarine I-175 on November 24, 1943. The Liscome Bay was taking part in the landings on Makin, a small group of islands about 100 miles south of Tarawa. The torpedo struck the thin-skinned carrier in the worst possible place, the bomb storage area. The resulting explosion could be seen 16 miles away, ripping the Liscome Bay in half and killing 644 of her crew. In terms of lives lost, it was the costliest carrier sinking in United States naval history. Lieutenant Carley received his Purple Heart for a laceration of his right hand during the sinking of the Liscome Bay. After the war Carley was the organizing minister of St. Mark Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach California. Robert Hillis Carley died on January 5, 1968. The group includes a silver and gold cross presented to Lieutenant Carley in memory of the USS Liscome Bay.














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Dick, you know I like this one, Incredible grouping. The Chaplain was wounded but his first thoughts were for the wounded and Dead.

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