Western Caroline Islands

WWII stopping point

Adair embarked via Ulithi Atoll, upon an 11 week assignment in the southwestern Pacific,  reporting for duty to the Commander, 7th Fleet, on 5 November and for one month thereafter, made short voyages between ports including Hollandia and Finschhafen in New Guinea.

Departed Guadalcanal on 15 March with elements of the 4th Marines and the 11th Construction Battalion (Special) embarked.  She stopped at Ulithi Atoll in the western Carolines between the 26th and 28th and ..then continued on to Ryukyus.

Departed the U.S. west coast on 18 May for a round-trip voyage, via Ulithi, to Guiuan on Samar Islandin the Philippines. She concluded that mission at San Francisco on 20 July by disembarking soldiers returning for discharge. 

In June 1945, Adair's stopover at Ulithi made it possible
for Earl Lickley of the Shangri La CV-38 and
half-brother Linn Sheckler Jr., our Subject of this webpage,
were able to get a launch and meet. 

See Shangri-La track map.
Ulithi is a native name and its etymology is known by very few today. The word dates back to an early native practice of burying the dead. Literally it means: "Put your head toward the setting sun."

Ulithi Atoll (also know as Urushi, or Mackenzie Island) is 19 1/2 miles long and 9 1/2 miles wide at its Northern and widest point. Its lagoon is the fourth largest in the world. (85 square miles capable of holding 1000 ships). The main islets were Mogmog, Sorlen and Falalop. Asor, was the home to the Atoll Commander and his staff. Other major ones were Lossau, Mangejang and Song, smaller but habitable. All-in-all there are thirty  land areas which comprise this atoll. It is the largest atoll in the Carolines group. Mokomok is the chief village.  See Page 6 of "The Story of Ulithi" written in 1945.

Hundreds of ships at anchor in Ulithi Atoll, with 
Mogmog Islet in foreground 
The atoll became (1920) part of the Japanese mandate in the Pacific and was strongly fortified.

The naval base at Ulithi was established to provide a fleet anchorage and an air base to support half of a night fighter squadron, a light inshore patrol
squadron, pool for a maximum of 150 carrier replacement aircraft, a utility squadron, and staging facilities for transport aircraft. The basic plan also called for
maintaining shore facilities to support the garrison and the fleet.
from:Building the Navy's Bases Online

View Mogmog Web Page

Sorlen - A movie theater seating 1600, was constructed on Sorlen Island in 19 days as part of Ulithi's fleet recreation area. The con- struction of facilities for a stand- ard landing-craft unit on Sorlen Island was another major project. This development involved grading the entire island and covering it with quonset huts for storage, shops, mess halls, offices,
and living quarters, and building roads, supply dumps, and necessary facilities to supply
water and electricity to all parts of the island. Eleven distillation units, drawing water from
the sea, and nine 5,000-gallon storage tanks were set up to provide drinking water. A
hospital, constructed between November 24, 1944, and January 17, 1945, included
quonset huts and supplementary facilities to house and operate a 100-bed unit.

A strips for light plane operations between the islands of the atoll were built between December 12, 1944, and January 27, 1945.

View the signal tower on the Islet of Sorlen. 

Official Navy photo showing the USS Shannon at Ulithi in March 1945. The ships in the background include the  USS FLINT (CL-97) in left center, and the USS Miami (CL-89) at the right. Three Essex-class aircraft carriers are anchored in the middle distance. The USS Enterprise (CV-6) is at the far left.


Murderers Row at Ulithi in December of 1944. Front to rear in dazzle camouflage are WASP (CV-18), YORKTOWN   (CV-10), HORNET (CV-12), HANCOCK (CV-19), TICONDEROGA (CV-14) and LEXINGTON (CV-16) in overall Navy Blue bringing up the rear. .................................from: Dwayne Miles page

LINKS: Allied Ships of the Pacific War........US Navy Attacks Ulithi Atoll........Ulithi Adventure Resort

Western Caroline Islands...................................Go To Central Pacific Map