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NavSource Online: Escort Carrier Photo Archive

Courtesy of Tommy Trampp

(later CVU-91)

Unit Awards, Campaign and Service Medals and Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row: American Campaign Medal / Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (2 stars) / World War II Victory Medal

Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign: November - Kilo - Yankee - Whiskey

Displacement 7,800 Tons, Dimensions, 512' 3" (oa) x 65' 2" x 22' 4" (Max)
Armament 1 x 5"/38AA 8 x 40mm, 12 x 20mm, 27 Aircraft.
Machinery, 9,000 IHP; 2 Skinner, Uniflow engines, 2 screws
Speed, 19 Knots, Crew 860.

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Ulitka Bay

CVE-91 was initially named Ulitka Bay for a bay located in Alaskan waters, northwest of Noyes Island, Alexander Archipelago (NS0309109). (Note: Ulitka, not Ulitaka, is the correct spelling. It derives from adjacent Cape Ulitka, from the Russian word meaning "snail.")

Renamed Makassar Strait, 6 November 1943 (before construction began), after the engagement off Balikpapan, also called the Makassar Strait action, fought in the passage in the Malay Archipelago between Borneo and Celebes which connects the Celebes Sea with the Java Sea. During the Japanese invasion of the Netherlands East Indies, which began in January 1942, outnumbered Allied naval forces engaged the enemy in a series of naval battles which harassed and delayed the Japanese conquest of the East Indies and helped thwart the invasion of Australia.

On 24 January the four-piper destroyers of DesDiv 59 (DesRon 29) made a daring and successful night torpedo and gunfire attack on an enemy transport convoy, anchored off Balikpapan, Borneo. This gallant raid into Makassar Strait, which was the first American surface action in the Pacific war, cost the enemy four transports and a patrol ship; and, while it failed to halt the Japanese advance across the Malay Barrier, it was a tactical victory which bolstered the morale and determination of hard-pressed American and Allied naval forces in the southwest Pacific.

The four destroyers involved in the action were: USS John D. Ford (DD-228), with CDR Paul H. Talbot aboard; USS Pope (DD-225) [action report], USS Parrott (DD-218); and USS Paul Jones (DD-230).

(Maps NS0309109 and NS0309109a courtesy of Google Maps.)

(NS0309109b: Track of US destroyers off Balikpapan, January 23–24, 1942, Naval History & Heritage Command.)

Makassar Strait
Makassar Strait
World War II
CVE-91 Makassar Strait
68k USS Makassar Strait (CVE-91). George Broadbent Jr.,
son of George Broadbent,
USS Makassar Strait, 1944
CVE-91 Makassar Strait

Two views of USS Makassar Strait (CVE-91) in camouflage measure 32, Design 16A, circa 1944–1945. Location unknown.

Ken Berner, son of CAPT Warren K. Berner, CO, USS Makassar Strait
CVE-91 Makassar Strait
CVE-91 Makassar Strait

"769806. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .NEW YORK BUREAU
PERIL STALKS HELLDIVER TAKEOFF—PACIFIC—The finger of death was upon this U.S. Navy Helldiver as it catapulted from the deck of the escort carrier, Makassar Strait, somewhere in the Pacific. Crewmen at the side of the flight deck (foreground) watch tensely as the plane glides straight for the water—and doom. See ACME photos # 769807–808."

"(U.S. Navy photo from ACME) 8/25/45 (RK)"

Tommy Trampp
CVE-91 Makassar Strait

Crew of USS Makassar Strait (CVE-91), 6 October 1945. CO was CAPT John O. Lambrecht.

Note the ship was painted in camouflage Measure 32, Design 16A (thanks to Aryeh Wetherhorn.)

Richard Robin Reed, former crew member,
via Tom Kermen.
Larger copy submitted by Mark Douty, son of James N. Douty, USN, USS Makassar Strait
Ex-Makassar Strait
CVE-91 Makassar Strait

Good overhead view at dock, circa 1950; Thetis Bay in the background. National Archives photo # 80-G-372453.

Courtesy of Scott Koen &
CVE-91 Makassar Strait

The former escort carrier ex-USS Makassar Strait being used as an anchored missile target at the Pacific Missile Range circa 1958–1960. The ship was anchored without crew some 90 km (53 mi) off Pt. Mugu, California. The ship's electronics were operated by remote control. The carrier's task was to take direct hits from unarmed surface-launched missiles to gain data on their performance. U.S. Navy Naval Aviation News, September 1961.

Robert Hurst
CVE-91 Makassar Strait

In April 1961, while under tow to San Clemente Island, California (USA), ex-USS Makassar Strait ran aground on San Nicholas Island.

Yu Chu
CVE-91 Makassar Strait

Ex-USS Makassar Strait (CVU-91) breaking up on San Nicholas Island, California, where she had gone ashore while used as a Pacific Missile Range target ship. Photographed on 22 January 1963.

Official U.S. Navy photograph (#USN 1081677).

Naval History & Heritage Command via Robert Hurst
CVE-91 Makassar Strait

Another view, as above.

US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Photo No.1996.488.034.024. Robert L. Lawson Photograph Collection.

Mike Green
The Crew
CVE-91 Makassar Strait
137k Plank Owner's Certificate. George Broadbent Jr.,
son of George Broadbent,
USS Makassar Strait, 1944
CVE-91 Makassar Strait

James N. Douty, USN, USS Makassar Strait (CVE-91).

Mark Douty, son of James N. Douty, USN, USS Makassar Strait

For more information about this ship, see:

Read the USS MAKASSAR STRAIT (CVE-91 / CVU-91) DANFS History entry

Read United States Navy, "The Mighty Mak" (1946). World War Regimental Histories, 157,
at the Bangor, Maine Public Library website, via Jonathan Eno.

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Name: Mr. Robert J Rock
Address:4300 Tabor St Wheat Ridge, CO, 80033-2421
Phone: 303-421-8165
E-mail: None

Related Links
Hazegray & Underway World Aircraft Carrier Pages By Andrew Toppan.
Escort Carrier Sailors & Airmen Association

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Escort Carrier
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Last update: 10 January 2020