Stuff You Should Know
The USS Belle Isle was a miscellaneous auxiliary ship belonging to the Basilan-class, operated by the US Navy during World War II. The ship was built in South Portland, Maine by the New England Shipbuilding Co. in September 1944 and launched in November the same year. It was transferred to the Navy and converted to a repair ship soon after the launch. After its conversion, the USS Belle Isle served at Okinawa assisting ships with repairs in the Pacific and then sailed for Wakayama to carry out its repairing duties until March 1946. After the war, the ship arrived on the West Coast to be decommissioned and placed in the reserve fleet in San Diego. In 1951, the vessel went through another conversion and redesigned as a stores issue ship. It was used as a target ship and sunk by the Destroyer Squadron 13 on the coast of San Diego.