USS Cor Caroli (AK-91)
|Ordered:||as SS Betsy Ross
EC2-S-C1 hull, MCE hull 476
|Laid down:||date unknown|
|Launched:||19 March 1943|
|Acquired:||31 March 1943|
|Commissioned:||16 April 1943|
|Decommissioned:||30 November 1945|
|Fate:||Sunk as an Artificial Reef Approximately 16 miles off the coast of Hilton Head SC|
|Displacement:||4,023 t.(lt) 11,565 t.(fl)|
|Length:||441 ft 6 in (134.57 m)|
|Beam:||56 ft 11 in (17.35 m)|
|Draught:||28 ft 4 in (8.64 m)|
|Propulsion:||Joshua Hendy Ironworks reciprocating steam engine, single shaft, 1,950shp|
|Armament:||one 5"/38 dual purpose gun mount, one 3"/50 dual purpose gun mount, two 40mm guns, six 20mm guns|
USS Cor Caroli (AK-91) was an Crater-class cargo ship commissioned by the U.S. Navy for service in World War II, named after Cor Caroli, the brightest star in constellation Canes Venatici. She was responsible for delivering goods and equipment to locations in the war zone.
Cor Caroli (AK-91) was launched 19 March 1943 as SS Betsy Ross by Permanente Metals Corp., Yard No. 2, Richmond, California, under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Mrs. F. Modglin; acquired by the Navy 31 March 1943; commissioned 16 April 1943, Lieutenant Commander J. A. Lewis, USCGR, in command; and reported to the Pacific Fleet.
World War II Pacific Theatre operations
After coastwise cargo operations, Cor Caroli cleared San Diego, California, 14 June 1943 for Auckland, New Zealand, arriving 18 July. Until 23 January 1944, she operated between Auckland and Noumea, Espiritu Santo, Guadalcanal, Suva, Efate, and Tulagi, supporting the South Pacific Ocean operations. She sailed from Auckland 8 January 1944 for Nouméa, where she loaded additional cargo, and Lunga Point, arriving 28 January.
Shooting down a Japanese plane
She proceeded to Bougainville, where she joined in the invasion from 8 to 17 February, splashing a Japanese plane when air resistance developed. She returned to Bougainville with additional cargo from 6 to 11 March, and next operated off Emirau from 9 to 16 April in landings there. Cor Caroli continued to operate in the Solomons until 12 June, when she sailed for Eniwetok. After standing by in reserve during the invasion of Eniwetok, she sailed on with her cargo to Guam, where she participated in the assault from 27 July to 15 August.
Supporting Philippine invasion operations
Cor Caroli returned to the Southwest Pacific early in September 1944, and carried cargo among the bases there until 13 January 1945, when she arrived at Auckland to load new cargo, which she carried to Eniwetok and Guam. Returning to New Zealand for brief repairs, she sailed on to Pearl Harbor, arriving 8 June to load cargo for the Philippines. She ferried among Philippine ports between 13 July and 4 August, when she sailed for Guadalcanal, Espiritu Santo, Pearl Harbor, and San Pedro, California.
Military awards and honors
Cor Caroli received one battle star for World War II service. It was for the Marianas operation (capture and occupation of Guam, 27 July to 15 August 1944). Her crew was eligible for the following medals:
- American Campaign Medal
- Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (1)
- World War II Victory Medal
- Philippines Liberation Medal
- Photo gallery of Cor Caroli at NavSource Naval History