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Pacific Theater
Images in: /World War II/Pacific Theater

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 Aerial view of Japanese Airfield 1#, Iwo Jima Aerial view of Japanese Airfield 1#, Iwo Jima
Aerial view looking southward over the island's South Airfield "formerly Japanese Airfield # 1", with Mount Suribachi in the distance. Several B-29 "Superfortress" bombers are on the field, including two wrecks in the left foreground, May 26, 1945.
 
 
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 Boeing B-29 bomber crash-landing on Motoyama Airfield Boeing B-29 bomber crash-landing on Motoyama Airfield
After crash-landing on Motoyama Airfield, Iwo Jima. It had encountered trouble on a mission over Tokyo, March 10, 1945. This Boeing B-29 "Superfortress" bomber is from the 497th Bomb Group. Note holes in the ground, apparently in the roof of an underground structure. A P-51 "Mustang" fighter is taxiing by in the background.
 
 
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 Iwo Jima during the pre-invasion bombardment Iwo Jima during the pre-invasion bombardment
Iwo Jima during the pre-invasion bombardment on February 17, 1945, looking north with Mount Suribachi in the foreground. Photographed from an airplane based on USS Makin Island (CVE-93).
 
 
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 USS Bismarck Sea (CVE-95) explodes from Kamikaze attack USS Bismarck Sea (CVE-95) explodes from Kamikaze attack
Large explosion on board the ship, after she was hit by a Kamikaze during the night of 21-22 February 1945, while she was taking part in the Iwo Jima operation. She sank as a result of her damage. Photographed from USS Saginaw Bay (CVE-82).
 
 
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"Fat Man" being placed on trailer cradle, Tinian "Fat Man" being placed on trailer cradle, Tinian
 Atomic bomb "Fat Man" F31 being placed on trailer cradle in front of Assembly Building #2.  Project Alberta was formally established within the Manhattan Project in March 1945, although its functions had been performed by various Project offices for months. Approximately 55 scientists, engineers and military personnel worked in conjunction with the 509th Composite Group. That meant training bomb assembly teams and technical support personnel, providing logistic arrangements for the 509th's special weapons, and assembling and testing weapons and practice devices at Tinian.  The "Fat Man" team that assembled and loaded the bomb included Charles P. Baker (Pit Team Co-Head), Vincent Caleca, Morton Camac, Lieutenant John D. Hopper, Henry Linschitz, Philip Morrison (Pit Team Co-Head), Roger S. Warner Jr., (Assembly Team Chief). Raemer S. Schreiber arrived on July 26, 1945 with a plutonium core and initiator on board C-54 "Green Hornet."  On August 2, three B-29s arrived at Tinian from Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico each carrying a Fat Man-type high-explosive preassembly. "Fat Man" (number F31) with high explosives and a nuclear (plutonium) core was assembled by US Navy Lieutenant Commander Frederick L. Ashworth. In the rush to complete the bomb, the firing unit cable was installed backwards, requiring Ensign Bernard J. O'Keefe to cut the connectors and reinstall them at the very last minute. F31 was assembled on August 7 and loaded into B-29 "Bock's Car" at 2200 Hours on August 8, 1945.
 
 
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"Water Buffalo" line up for invasion of Cape Sansapor, New Guinea "Water Buffalo" line up for invasion of Cape Sansapor, New Guinea
"Water Buffalo" (amphibious tanks) line up for invasion of Cape Sansapor at the western end of Dutch New Guinea. Coast Guardsman Robert Campbell stands guard, 1944. (Coast Guard)
 
 
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10 year old Chinese soldier in Burma 10 year old Chinese soldier in Burma
 This 10 year old Chinese soldier with heavy pack is a member of a Chinese division which is boarding planes at the North Airstrip, Myitkyina, Burma, bound for China, December 5, 1944. Photo by Henry Allen, US Army.
 
 
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124th Cavalry Regiment in Burma 124th Cavalry Regiment in Burma
 Silhouette of troops from 124th Cavalry Regiment, 5332nd Brigade, Provisional (Mars Task Force) on move from Ramgarh to Myitkyina, Burma, October 25, 1944. Photo by  T5c. Kirsten, US Army.
 
 
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1st Cavalry troops on Leyte Island 1st Cavalry troops on Leyte Island
 U.S. 1st Cavalry troops move into the sands of Leyte Island's beaches, after rushing ashore from the landing barges of a Coast Guard-manned landing craft. One of the soldiers said "Hug the dirt, mates, or you'll get your back scratched." October 1944. (Coast Guard)
 
 
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1st Marine Division hold captured flags "Battle of Cape Gloucester" 1st Marine Division hold captured flags "Battle of Cape Gloucester"
 Soldiers of the 1st Marine Division display Japanese flags captured during the Battle of Cape Gloucester, Solomons. New Britain was defended by the Imperial Japanese Army's 17th Division, under Major General Iwao Matsuda; reinforced by 65th Independent Mixed Brigade and elements of the 51st Division, known as the Matsuda Force. The strain and fatigue of 23 days on the line at Cape Gloucester is clearly shown in the faces of these men of the 7th Marines, relieved after taking Hill 660.  They trapped the Japanese between 60mm mortar fire in front and 81mm and artillery fire in back, then  overlapped the impact areas; over 100 Japanese were caught in the open and killed. Later the 5th Marines attacked and neutralized Matsuda's Command Post. New Britain cost the reinforced 1st Marine Division 310 killed in action and 1,083 wounded. The remains of the Matsuda Force were ordered back to Rabaul to defend the base. For the rest of the war, 40,000 Japanese starved and were harassed by a much smaller Allied force. 1st Marine Division was relieved by the US Army's 40th Infantry Division and prepared for the Peleliu operation.
 
 
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1st Marine Division Lands on Cape Gloucester 1st Marine Division Lands on Cape Gloucester
 Soldiers of the 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division wade through a three-foot surf from Infantry Landing Craft (LCIs) to land on Yellow Beach. The Landing Zone was divided into two areas.  Beach Yellow 1, the westernmost, was about 500 yards long, bounded on the east by a 1,000-yard stretch of rocky shore line where jungle grew out over the water to provide a secondary barge hideout that serviced what aerial observers had spotted as a small supply dump and bivouac area immediately inland.   Beach Yellow 2: approximately 700 yards long and terminating some 1,200 yards west of the tip of Silimati Point. The first wave of the 3d Battalion (Lieutenant Colonel William R. Williams) landed on Yellow 1 at 0746, the 1st Battalion (Lieutenant Colonel John E. Weber) on Yellow 2 two minutes later, both in landing craft from the APDs. Charging down the lowered ramps of their LCVPs, the Marines found themselves brought up short by a dense jungle. Cape Gloucester, New Guinea, Solomon Islands.
 
 
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1st Marine Division look for Japanese snipers 1st Marine Division look for Japanese snipers
Marine of the 1st Marine Division draws a bead on a Japanese sniper with his tommy-gun as his companion ducks for cover. The division is working to take Wana Ridge before the town of Shuri. Okinawa, May 1945. S.Sgt. Walter F. Kleine. (Marine Corps)
 
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1st Marine War Dog Platoon "Devil Dogs" 1st Marine War Dog Platoon "Devil Dogs"
 US Marine "Raiders" and their war dogs, which are used for scouting and running messages, starting off for the jungle front lines on Bougainville, November 1943. Photo by  T.Sgt. J. Sarno, US Marine Corps.  The first appearance of the "Devil Dogs" as the Raiders were to be called, was during the Bougainville operation, 1 November 1943. Here the 1st Marine War Dog Platoon was attached to H & S Company, 2nd Marine Raider Regiment (provisional). This platoon was composed of 24 dogs (21 Doberman Pinschers, 1 Belgian and 2 German Shepherds).
 
 
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209th Engineers build Bailey bridge over Taiping River, China 209th Engineers build Bailey bridge over Taiping River, China
Looking up from Taiping River as cables are attached to Bailey bridge suspension clamps of stiffening girder section from west bank, in order to raise or lower it to level of section from opposite bank, 209th Engineers Combat Battalion, Taiping River, China. February 4, 1945. Metzger. (Army)
 
 
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27th Infantry Division move into Saipan 27th Infantry Division move into Saipan
 Army reinforcements disembarking from LST's as they proceed across coral reef toward the beach on Saipan. On June 16, units of the U.S. Army's 27th Infantry Division landed and advanced on the Aslito airfield on June 16,1944. Photo by Dan Laudansky, US Army.
 
 
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2d Battalion, 165th Infantry land on Makin Atoll 2d Battalion, 165th Infantry land on Makin Atoll
 American troops of the 2d Battalion, 165th Infantry, struggle to move on shore, Yellow Beach sector during high tide on Butaritari Island. Makin Atoll, Gilbert Islands, November 20, 1943. Photo by Rob Dargis, US Army.   As the landing craft approached YELLOW Beach from the lagoon, they began to receive small-arms and machine-gun fire from the island's defenders. The assault troops were also surprised to learn that even though they were approaching the beach at high tide as planned, a miscalculation of the depth of the lagoon caused their small boats to go aground, forcing them to cover the final 250 yards to the beach in waist-deep water.
 
 
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2nd Marine Division during the battle of Tarawa 2nd Marine Division during the battle of Tarawa
 Troops with 2nd Marine Division take cover behind a sea wall on Red Beach #3, during the battle of Tarawa, November 20, 1943.
 
 
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2nd Marine Division storming Japanese bunker on Tarawa 2nd Marine Division storming Japanese bunker on Tarawa
  Lt. Alexander Bonnyman 4th from right and his assault party with 2nd Marine Division, storming Japanese stronghold during the battle of Tarawa. Medals of Honor were awarded to 1stLt. Alexander Bonnyman, SSgt. William J. Bordelon, 1stLt. William D. Hawkins, and Col. David M. Shoup, for their action in combat on November 21, 1943. Photo by WO Obie Newcomb, Jr., US Marine Corps.
 
 
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2nd Marine Regiment on Guadalcanal 2nd Marine Regiment on Guadalcanal
 Group of Marines at rest are with K Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, on extended duty with the 1st Marine Division, landed in Tulagi, August 7, 1942 and held it until relieved by other elements of the 2nd Marines, September 14, 1942. Tulagi, Guadalcanal.
 
 
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35th Engineers Brigade build the Alcan Highway 35th Engineers Brigade build the Alcan Highway
 Caterpillar tractor from the 35th Engineers, breaking up the rocky surface for the Alcan Highway in Alaska. The pioneer road totaled 1543 miles with more than 200 bridges and 8000 culverts.  The Alcan Highway served the American and Canadian military until the end of World War II when it was opened to civilian traffic.
 
 
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37th Infantry Division lands on Bougainville 37th Infantry Division lands on Bougainville
 Soldiers with 37th Infantry (Army) Division try to secure landing craft in heavy surf after landing on Bougainville, November, 1944.
 
 
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388th Battalion repairing trucks at camp 388th Battalion repairing trucks at camp
 388th Battalion (Separate) who are building the Alcan Highway, are back in camp repairing trucks and equipment, October 1942. The 93rd, 95th, 97th (Regiments) and 388th Battalion (Separate) of the Corps of Engineers assigned to Alaska.  The 3,695 African American troops accounted for slightly more than a third of the 10,607 engineers on the highway. These soldiers made a major contribution to the war effort which, until recently, was not recognized.
 
 
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3rd Marine Division lands on Bougainville 3rd Marine Division lands on Bougainville
 The first wave of the assault force moved ashore, Third Marine Division during the landings on Bougainville, at 0645hrs on 1 November 1943, "Battle of Bougainville," Solomon Islands.
 
 
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3rd Marine Division move into Empress Augusta Bay 3rd Marine Division move into Empress Augusta Bay
 On 1 November 1943 the US 3rd Marine Division landed at Cape Torokina in Empress Augusta Bay, Bougainville. The bay had been chosen because it was at the outer limit of Allied fighter plane range, and because the numerically-superior Japanese 17th Army was concentrated at other more strategic sites in the north and the south.  The Battle of Empress Augusta Bay, on November 1-2, 1943 — also known as the "Battle of Gazelle Bay," "Operation Cherry Blossom" and in Japanese sources as the "Sea Battle of Bougainville Bay Shore"— was a naval battle fought near the island of Bougainville.
 
 
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3rd Marine Division, Battle of Guam 3rd Marine Division, Battle of Guam
 Marine from the 3rd Marine Division goes after a sniper in a shelled building during the "Battle of Guam," August 1944. Photo by Cpl. J. F. Andrejka (Marine Corps)
 
 
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40mm Bofors gun firing aboard USS Hornet 40mm Bofors gun firing aboard USS Hornet
 Task Force 58 raid on Japan, USS Hornet launches pre-dawn strikes on Tokyo to resume where HORNET (CV-8) had left off 34 months before. The 40mm Bofors gun firing aboard USS Hornet during the attack on 16 February 1945, as the carrier's planes were raiding Tokyo. Note expended shells and ready-service ammunition at right. Photo by Lt. Comdr. Charles Kerlee, US Navy.
 
 
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4th Marine Division buildup on Kwajalein Atoll 4th Marine Division buildup on Kwajalein Atoll
 Construction in and around Kwajalein Atoll began as soon as the Americans landed. The 121st Construction Battalion landed on Roi-Namur with the 4th Marine Division, and the 109th arrived on February 9th. They quickly built the existing Japanese runway into a fighter base. The 74th and 107th Battalions reported on Kwajalein Island in March 1944, the 74th setting up headquarters on near-by Berlin, or Gugegwe Island. They used a captured Japanese coral crushing plant to build a 6,300 foot (1920 meter) airstrip that was utilized by the 11th and 30th Bomb Groups of the 7th Air Force.  During March 1944, the Americans took over Wotho, Ujae, and Lae Atolls in the West Marshalls; Namu, Ailinglapalap, Namorik, Ebon Atolls, and Kili Island in the south; Bikini, Rongelap, Ailinginae, and Rongerik Atolls in the north; Bikar, Utirik, Taka, Ailuk, Likiep Atolls, Jemo and Mejit Islands in the northeast; and Lib Island in a separate operation. Other bases in the Gilberts and the Marshalls were bypassed. This meant that Kwajalein became a large base of operations to keep pressure on the Japanese throughout the war. The 1st, 15th, and 52nd Defense Battalions provided security, garrison, and antiaircraft artillery. The 52nd was a segregated unit.
 
 
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4th Marine Division cemetery on Iwo Jima 4th Marine Division cemetery on Iwo Jima
Fourth Marine Division cemetery on Iwo Jima, March 1945. Note DUKW and other trucks passing by in the background with wrecked Japanese airplanes beyond. Photographed by a member of the Steichen unit.
 
 
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4th Marine Division landing on Tinian Island 4th Marine Division landing on Tinian Island
  A LVT(A)-2 Water Buffalo Amtrac loaded with Marines from 4th Marine Division churns through the sea bound for Tinian Island during the battle of Tinian on July 24, 1944.
 
 
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4th Marine Division take Roi, Marshall Islands 4th Marine Division take Roi, Marshall Islands
  The U.S. 4th marine division raise the American flag on Roi, to signify the end of fighting on the island, February 2, 1944. A destroyed three-story concrete blockhouse is burning in the background, Roi, Marshall Islands.
 
 
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