Search the Site with 
General Characteristics Crew List Memorabilia Cruise Books About the Ship's Coat of Arms About the Ship's Name Contruction Gallery Image Gallery to end of page

USS Makin Island (LHD 8)

USS MAKIN ISLAND is the eighth and final WASP-class Amphibious Assault Ship and the second ship in the Navy to bear the name. The MAKIN ISLAND is unique because she's the only ship in her class powered by LM 2500+ Gas Turbine Engines and Electric Drive. Additionally, MAKIN ISLAND is the only LHD to feature an all electric design - no steam is used onboard MAKIN ISLAND. As the final member of the WASP-class, MAKIN ISLAND is transforming the US Navy Amphibious Forces and setting the stage for the under-development successor to the WASP-class, the LHA (R) class of Amphibious Landing Ships.

General Characteristics:Awarded: April 19, 2002
Keel laid: February 14, 2004
Launched: September 22, 2006
Commissioned: October 24, 2009
Builder: Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, Pascagoula, Miss.
Propulsion system: 2 General Electric LM2500+ gas turbines, 2 electro motors, 6 diesel generators
Propellers: two
Aircraft elevators: two
Length: 840 feet (256 meters)
Flight Deck Width: 140 feet (42.6 meters)
Beam: 106 feet (32,.3 meters)
Draft: 26,5 feet (8.1 meters)
Displacement: approx. 40,500 tons full load
Speed: 23 knots
Aircraft: (depends upon mission)
6 AV-8B Harrier attack planesor6 AV-8B Harrier attack planes
4 AH-1W Super Cobra attack helis12 CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters
12 CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters9 CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters
9 CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters
4 UH-1N Huey helicopters
Assault:orSea Control:
42 CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters20 AV-8B Harrier attack planes
6 ASW helicopters
Well deck capacity: three LCAC or two LCU or six LCM-8 or 40 Amphibious Assault Vessels (AAV) (normal) or 61 AAVs (stowed)
Crew: Ship: 73 officers, 1,009 enlisted     Marine Detachment: 1,894
Armament: two Mk-29 NATO Sea Sparrow launchers, two 20mm Phalanx CIWS, eight Mk-33 .50 cal. machine guns, two Rolling Airframe Missile Systems
Homeport: San Diego, Calif.


Back to topback to top  go to endgo to the end of the page

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.


back to top  go to the end of the page



Back to topback to top  go to endgo to the end of the page

USS MAKIN ISLAND Cruise Books:


Back to topback to top  go to endgo to the end of the page

About the Ship's Coat of Arms:

The Shield:

The shield border shape and thickness symbolize Makin Island, the atoll in the Gilbert Islands and honors the 30 Marine Raiders who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country there. The five stars commemorate the five battle stars awarded to CVE-93 during World War II. The USMC Raider Crest, a blue shield with skull and five stars in the shape of the Southern Cross commemorates Marine Raider Companies A and B, Second Raider Battalion. The trident, symbol of sea prowess, with its three tines represents the future contributions of USS MAKIN ISLAND (LHD 8), its associated Expeditionary Strike Group, and USMC main battery in the air, across the surface, and under the sea. The trident also symbolizes the contributions that were made in these areas of Sea Power by the Second Raider Battalion and USS MAKIN ISLAND (CVE 93).

The Crest:

The inverted blue star honors SSGT Thomason, who distinguished himself during the Makin Island Raid and was the first enlisted U.S. Marine to be awarded the Medal of Honor in World War II. The embedded stylized cross alludes to the Navy Cross and commemorates the 23 awarded to Carlsonís Raiders after Makin Island. The Phoenix is the symbol of transformation and new beginnings. It has two heads, one looking to the past and the other to the future representing MAKIN ISLANDís role as the transformational bridge between the LHD class and the next generation of amphibious capital ships. The flames and lightning bolts below the Phoenix symbolize the rebirth of amphibious capital ships with Gas Turbines, Electric Drive and all-electric auxiliaries. In the wreath below the flames, blue represents the US Navy and the United States. White represents integrity and loyalty. The two colors interwoven in the wreath represent how these two responsibilities are forever intertwined.

The Supporters:

A USN Officerís Sword, 1917 Naval NCO Cutlass, USMC Officerís Mameluke and a 1840 USMC NCO Sword were chosen to represent the teamwork required of Officer and Enlisted, Navy and Marine Corps for USS MAKIN ISLAND (LHD 8) to accomplish her mission.


Back to topback to top  go to endgo to the end of the page

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.


Back to topback to top  go to endgo to the end of the page

USS MAKIN ISLAND Contruction Gallery:



Back to topback to top  go to endgo to the end of the page


The photos below were taken by me and show the MAKIN ISLAND departing San Diego, Calif., on the morning of September 29, 2011.



The photos below were taken by Shiu On Yee and show the MAKIN ISLAND during her port visit to Hong Kong May 25-29, 2012.



The photos below were taken by me on October 6, 2012, during a public tour of USS MAKIN ISLAND as part of Fleet Week San Francisco. The MAKIN ISLAND was the host ship for the event. She arrived in San Francisco, Calif., on October 3 and stayed until October 9.

Click here for more Photos.


The photos below were taken by me on October 6, 2012, and show the MAKIN ISLAND berthed at San Francisco's Pier 30/32 for San Francisco's Fleet Week 2012.



The photos below were taken by me on October 9, 2012, and show the MAKIN ISLAND departing San Francisco for San Diego, Calif., where she arrived on October 11, 2012.



The photos below were taken by Michael Jenning on October 9, 2012, and show the MAKIN ISLAND departing San Francisco for San Diego, Calif. The photos were taken from the Golden Gate Bridge.



Back to topback to top



Back to Amphibious Assault Ships site. Back to ships list. Back to selection page. Back to 1st page.