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Gilbert Islands RSS

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

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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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Chart room on USS Lexington during battle Chart room on USS Lexington during battle
 Chart room on board the USS Lexington as ship maneuvers into enemy waters during strike in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands, December 1943. Photo by Comdr. Edward J. Steichen, US Navy.
 
 
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F6F Hellcat crash landing on USS Enterprise F6F Hellcat crash landing on USS Enterprise
 Crash landing of Grumman F6F Hellcat on flight deck of USS Enterprise while enroute to attack Makin Island during the "Battle of Makin." Lt. Walter Chewning the catapult officer is clambering up the side of the plane to assist pilot Ens. Byron Johnson, from the flaming cockpit, November 1943.
 
 
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Fallen heroes buried at sea, Gilbert Islands Fallen heroes buried at sea, Gilbert Islands
 Burial at sea aboard transport "Leonard Wood" of two "Liscome Bay" sailors, victims of the Japanese submarine attack. Foreground facing ceremony are survivors of "Liscome Bay." Ship in background is transport "Neville" carrying remainder of the small number of survivors. The "Liscome Bay" was part of Task Group 52.13 which had been torpedoed by Imperial Japanese Navy submarine I-175 under Lieutenant Commander Sunao Tabata. Liscome Bay had been hit in the worst possible spot-the bomb stowage area, which had no protection from a torpedo hit or fragment damage, during "Operation Galvanic", the Allied invasion of the Gilbert Islands.  The resulting explosion disintegrated half of the ship. No one aft of the forward bulkhead of the after engine room survived. At 0533 Liscome Bay listed to starboard and sank carrying Admiral Henry M. Mullinix, Commander of Carrier Division 24, Captain Irving D. Wiltsie, 53 other officers, and 591 enlisted men down with her; 272 of her crew were rescued. At 0640 the Wood proceeded into the transport area northwest of Flint Point, Makin Island, lowered all boats and prepared to re-embark troops and receive survivors from the Liscome Bay. At 2011 the destroyer USS Hughes (DD-410) came alongside to transfer 150 survivors from the torpedoed vessel.  Altogether 245 casualties from six sunk or damaged vessels were taken aboard. At 1435 on November 25 the vessel stood out to form convoy and arrived at Pearl Harbor with the survivors on December 2. The missing in action included Pearl Harbor hero Doris Miller, who was declared dead on November 25, 1944.
 
 
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Marines install sign on Tarawa Marines install sign on Tarawa
 Sign on Tarawa illustrates Marine humor and possible lack of optimism as to duration of war "To the Beach," "To Tokio 3130 mi" and " To Frisco - What the hell you care? Your not going there" June 1944. Lt. Comdr. Charles Fenno Jacobs. (Navy)
 
 
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Marines wounded during landing on Tarawa Marines wounded during landing on Tarawa
Marines wounded during the landing on Tarawa are towed out on rubber boats by their buddies to larger vessels that will take them to base hospitals for medical care.
 
 
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US Marines and Japanese battle on Tarawa US Marines and Japanese battle on Tarawa
 Taking the slim protection that a blasted three affords this Marine picks-off the Japanese in a pill box. A Japanese in a pill box must be shot through the small opening he uses to sight through, Tarawa. November 1943.
 
 
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