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USS Makin Island (CVE 93)

- formerly WOODCLIFF BAY -
- formerly ACV 93, formerly AVG 93 -
- decommissioned -

no coat of arms

USS MAKIN ISLAND was the 39th CASABLANCA - class escort aircraft carrier. Decommissioned on April 19, 1946, the MAKIN ISLAND was placed in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, Bremerton. The ship was stricken from the Navy list on July 11, 1946, and sold on January 1, 1947.

General Characteristics:Awarded: 1942
Keel laid: January 12, 1944
Launched: April 5, 1944
Commissioned: May 9, 1944
Decommissioned: April 19, 1946
Builder: Kaiser Shipbuilding Co., Vancouver, Wash.
Propulsion system: four boilers
Propellers: two
Length: 512.5 feet (156.2 meters)
Flight Deck Width: 108 feet (32.9 meters)
Beam: 65 feet (19.9 meters)
Draft: 22.6 feet (6.9 meters)
Displacement: approx. 10,400 tons full load
Speed: 19 knots
Catapults: one
Aircraft: 28 planes
Armament: one 5-inch L/38 gun, 16 40mm guns, 20 20mm guns
Crew: 860

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Crew List:

This section contains the names of sailors who served aboard USS MAKIN ISLAND. It is no official listing but contains the names of sailors who submitted their information.

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Embarked Squadrons:

PeriodSquadron (Aircraft)
November 1944 - February 1945VC-84 (16 FM and 12 TBM)
March - April 1945VC-84 and VC-91 with 16 FM and 11 TBM each

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MAKIN ISLAND was laid down 12 January 1944 by Kaiser Shipbuilding Co., Vancouver, Wash. launched 5 April 1944; sponsored by Mrs. B. B. Nichol; and commissioned at Astoria, Oreg., 9 May 1944, Comdr. W. B. Whaley in command.

Following brief west coast shakedown, MAKIN ISLAND departed San Diego 19 June 1944 to ferry aircraft and men to Pearl Harbor, Majuro, and Kwajalein, returning to San Diego 24 July. The escort carrier then trained out of San Diego preparing for combat until 16 October, when she sailed for Ulithi, via Pearl Harbor and Eniwetok, arriving 5 November.

On 10 November, the ship got underway for Leyte, protecting convoys in transit to the invasion beachhead. Extensive air operations were conducted but no enemy resistance was encountered. On 22 November, she sailed to Manus for the forthcoming invasion of Luzon.

Flying the pennant of Rear Adm. C. T. Durgin, Commander TG 77.4, MAKIN ISLAND left Manus 27 December to rendezvous with the invasion force in Surigao Strait, Leyte. Sailing for Lingayen Gulf 3 January 1945, the carrier was subjected to fierce, almost continuous enemy air attack during the passage to the assault beaches. Though sister carrier OMMANEY BAY (CVE 79) was sunk and a number of other ships damaged, MAKIN ISLAND arrived unscathed 6 January. For the next 11 days she remained off the beachhead flying air support for the amphibious operation, then sailed for Ulithi.

Admiral Durgin flew his flag in MAKIN ISLAND, once more, during the invasion of Iwo Jima, off which she arrived 16 February. Her planes made preinvasion strikes and, after the landings, provided aerial fire support, essential to success in the hot action ashore, until 8 March. The carrier group again came under heavy Japanese suicide attacks, but MAKIN ISLAND again was not hit. After replenishing at Ulithi, she sailed for Okinawa, again as flagship.

From her arrival off Japan's last great island bastion Okinawa, 25 March, MAKIN ISLAND remained on station for 67 days, flying constant fire support, supply, and reconnaissance missions for the ground forces. The ship's aircraft, from Composite Squadrons 84 and 91, flew 2,258 combat sorties, recording over 8,000 hours of flying time. Relieved 1 June, the carrier sailed for Guam, arriving 5 June.

She sailed again 11 July to provide air cover for ships conducting minesweeping and raiding operations in the East China Sea and to launch airstrikes against Japanese targets on the Chinese coast. On 13 August, she anchored in Buckner Bay, Okinawa, and on 9 September proceeded to Wakanoura Wan, in southern Honshu, for occupation duty. Among her missions was providing air cover for the evacuation of Allied prisoners of war. She sailed for San Francisco 18 October, arrived 5 November, then voyaged to Shanghai to return troops to the United States at Seattle, 30 December.

MAKIN ISLAND decommissioned 19 April 1946 at Puget Sound, was stricken from the Navy list 11 July, and sold 1 January 1947.

MAKIN ISLAND received five battle stars for World War II service.

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About the Ship's Name:

USS MAKIN ISLAND is the second ship in the Navy to honor the daring raid carried out by Marine Corps Companies A and B, Second Raider Battalion, on Japanese-held Makin Island, in the Gilbert Islands, Aug. 17-18, 1942.

The raid was launched from the submarines USS NAUTILUS and USS ARGONAUT and succeeded in routing the enemy forces based there, gaining valuable intelligence. The raid's leader, Marine Corps Lt. Col. Evan Carlson was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions, while Marine Corps Sgt. Clyde Thompson, was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism and was the first enlisted Marine to be so honored during World War II.

The Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Michael Hagee, cited the transformational nature of the engagement in a letter to Secretary Johnson and noted that many considered the raid the Marine Corps' first action in the realm of special operations.

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