‘A Mighty Important’ Makeshift Flagship
“Our ship was neither a troopship nor a warship,” the renowned war correspondent Ernie Pyle observed, “but it was a mighty important ship. It was not huge; just big enough that you could feel self-respecting and vital about your part in the invasion, yet small enough that it was intimate and you could get to be a part of the ship’s family.”
Because of wartime security, when some of Pyle’s dispatches were published in book form—as Brave Men—the ship about which he had written so fondly had to remain anonymous. That “mighty important ship” did, however, have a name—the USS Biscayne (AVP-11). She had begun life as a small seaplane tender, the second of a new class of such vessels whose development had been dictated by the increasingly important role played by patrol planes in naval warfare.