Makassar Strait

Other Names: Ex-Ulitaka Bay Date of Sinking: 4 September 1958
Rig/Type: Casablanca class Escort Carrier CVE-91 Cause of Sinking: Stranding
Length: 512' Breadth: 108' Tons: 7,800 Cargo: None
Built: Kaiser S.B. Co., Vancouver, and commissioned 27 Apr 1944 Location: San Nicholas Island 
Hull Construction: Steel. Armament 1 x 5"/38 AA 8x40mm, 12 x 20mm
Capacity: 27 Aircraft.  Machinery, 9,000 IHP; 2 Skinner, Uniflow engines, 2 screws Speed, 19 Knots, Crew 860. Depth: 20-40' Visibility: 20-50'


After shakedown along the west coast, MAKASSAR STRAIT departed San Diego 6 June and steamed to the Marshalls carrying replacement aircraft and passengers; thence and later transported military casualties to Pearl Harbor and the west coast where she arrived San Diego, 13 July. During much of the next 2 months she trained carrier pilots off southern California. Between 25 September and 15 October she ferried 129 planes to Hawaii and to Manus, Admiralties. After returning to Pear Harbor 26 October with 70 damaged Wildcats on board, she resumed pilot training operations out of Pearl Harbor. With Composite Squadron 97 embarked, MAKASSAR STRAIT departed Pearl Harbor 29 January 1945 and steamed for combat duty in the western Pacific. Assigned to a support carrier group 8 April, MAKASSAR STRAIT began air operations in the intense fighting on Okinawa. During the next 4 weeks, she launched scores of sorties against targets in the Ryukus. Her planes provided close air support for American ground troops and struck with effective and devastating force against enemy gun emplacements, ground installations, and airfields as determined Americans drove to capture Okinawa--the enemy's last bastion of his crumbling empire. In addition, the escort carrier's planes splashed four enemy aircraft. MAKASSAR STRAIT transferred her air squadron to SHIPLEY BAY (CVE-85) at Kerama Retto 7 May and departed later that day for Guam where she arrived the 11th. Arriving San Diego 21 August, MAKASSAR STRAIT had steamed more than 91,000 miles in support of the Allied victory in the Pacific. She continued to train carrier pilots during the next 2 months; by the end of October the total number of landings on her flight deck since her commissioning had surpassed 15,500. Departing San Diego 5 January, MAKASSAR STRAIT steamed via San Francisco to Tacoma, Wash., where she arrived 12 January. Assigned to the 19th Fleet, she underwent deactivation and decommissioned 9 August 1946. She entered the Pacific Reserve Fleet at Tacoma; and, while berthed there, was reclassified CVU-91 on 12 June 1955. On 28 August 1958, the Secretary of the Navy authorized her to be used as a target to destruction. Her name was struck from the Navy list 1 September 1958. MAKASSAR STRAIT received two battle stars for World War II service. Transcribed by Michael Hansen

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