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The United States Navy Memorial

Navy Memorial Honoring the Men & Women of the Sea Services



Ship Designation: 
Date Lost: 
Friday, April 10, 1942
Scuttled to Prevent Capture by Japanese

The Japanese aerial bombing attack in the Manila Bay Area of the Philippines December 29, 1941 and January 1, 1942 severely damaged the USS CANOPUS AS-9 and almost all other U.S. ship and shore units present.  The USS CANOPUS was the largest remaining fleet unit present still afloat and as a repair ship used her extensive facilities to repair fleet units and support U.S. shore installations.  This  included provisioning of arms and food as long as she could.  She also became a collection point for the Navy survivors of other units who could not escape the area.  The newly consolidated area Navy personnel were then assigned to the Third Marines as part of the Manila Bay Defense Force, primarily in Corregidor and Bataan. The Canopus, was finally scuttled April 10, 1942 in order to keep her out of the hands of the enemy.  


Those not killed in action in the Defense Force were taken prisoner and dispersed between the Philippines, Taiwan, China and Japanese Prisoner of War Camps.  In order to learn their individual fates, cross reference the Navy Memorial Ship and Aircraft Data Base and the individual listings from that entry with the individual’s personal Navy Log entry.


This information is based on research of existing website entries for the CANOPUS: no quotes were lifted from any source to compose this narrative.


Doug Bewall RMCM USN Ret.