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Marshall Islands RSS

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

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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 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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7th Division using flame throwers on Kwajalein Island 7th Division using flame throwers on Kwajalein Island
 Men with the 7th Marine Division using flame throwers to smoke out the Japanese from a block house on Kwajalein Island, while others wait with rifles ready in case Japanese army come out, February 4, 1944. Photo by Cordray, US Army.
 
 
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7th Infantry Division land on Kwajalein 7th Infantry Division land on Kwajalein
7th Infantry Division in Coast Guard-manned landing craft during the Battle of Kwajalein, January 31, 1944. Photo by Morris A. Lucia, US Coast Guard. The 17th,32nd and 184th of the 7th Infatery Division landed on the main island of Kwajalein and some smaller islands, while the 2nd Battalion of the 106th was assigned to the simultaneous capture of Majuro Atoll.
 
 
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7th Infantry Division use flamethrower, Kwajalein 7th Infantry Division use flamethrower, Kwajalein
 Soldiers of the 7th Infantry Division use a M1-1 flamethrower on a Japanese-held bunker on Kwajalein. The M1-1 was a man-portable backpack flamethrower that had a "burn time" of around 7 seconds. The flame was only effective out to around 33 meters. It used gasoline or diesel fuel and hydrogen propellant. It was employed by engineers at first. The actual combat employment of the flame thrower in the Marshall Islands failed to justify fully the extensive preliminary training program.  An analysis of the Marshall campaign also indicated to Army and Marine leaders that trained infantrymen as well as engineer troops were required to operate the flame thrower. After the Marshall Islands operation infantrymen became the primary users of the weapon in the Central Pacific.
 
 
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F6F Hellcat taking off USS Yorktown F6F Hellcat taking off USS Yorktown
 Grummen F6F Hellcat fighter with Fighting Squadron Five "VF-5" is taking off from the deck of the USS Yorktown to attack targets in the Marshall Islands to cover the landings in the Gilberts.  The motion of its props causes an "aura" Dynamic static to form around the F6F Hellcat Rapid change of pressure and drop in temperature create condensation with rotating blades, halo moves aft, giving depth and perspective. November 1943.
 
 
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First wave of soldiers land on Wake Island First wave of soldiers land on Wake Island
 First wave of American troops with the 163rd Infantry Regiment hit the beach from landing craft during the invasion of Wake Island, Dutch New Guinea, May 18, 1944. Photo by Lt. Kent Rooks, US Army.
 
 
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Japanese tank sits on Sherman Tank Japanese tank sits on Sherman Tank
 US Marine N.E. Carling, stands besides a Sherman tank "Killer" on which is mounted a Japanese light tank on top during the second day of fighting on Kwajalein Island, February 2, 1944. Photo by J. Tennelly, US Marine Corps.
 
 
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Japanese torpedo bomber explodes Japanese torpedo bomber explodes
 Japanese torpedo bomber explodes in air after a direct hit by 5 inch shell from U.S. aircraft carrier U.S.S. Yorktown as it attempted an unsuccessful attack on carrier off Kwajalein, December 4, 1943. Photo by CPhoM. Alfred Cooperman, US Navy.
 
 
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Kwajalein Island after bombardment Kwajalein Island after bombardment
 Devastation of Kwajalein, the preparatory bombardment of Kwajalein Island was unprecedented in the Pacific in both volume and effectiveness. During one period two shells per second were hitting specific targets or areas in the path of the assault troops. The 14-inch naval shells of the six battleships of Task Force 51 (TF 51) were most effective in piercing and destroying reinforced concrete structures. All together on February 1, 1944, almost 7,000 14-inch, 8-inch, and 5-inch shells were fired by supporting naval vessels at Kwajalein Island alone, and the bulk of these were expended against the main beaches before the landing.    All together 96 sorties were flown from the carriers in support of the troop landing on Kwajalein Island. The results of all this expenditure of explosives were devastating. The damage was so intensive that it was impossible to determine the relative effectiveness of the three types of bombardment - naval, artillery, and air. The area inland of Red Beaches was reduced almost completely to rubble. As the TF 51 report stated, "The entire island looked as if it had been picked up to 20,000 feet and then dropped." Kwajalein Island, Marshalls.
 
 
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Marines relaxing after 48hrs. of battle, Eniwetok Atoll Marines relaxing after 48hrs. of battle, Eniwetok Atoll
These Marines weary from two days and two nights of continuous fighting the on Eniwetok Atoll. Pfc. Faris M. (Bob) Tuohy, 19, is the Marine holding the coffee cup. Ca. 1944. CPhoM. Ray R. Platnick. (Coast Guard )
 
 
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Marines unloading supplies from LST, Majuro Atoll Marines unloading supplies from LST, Majuro Atoll
 Marines unloading supplies from LST, at Majuro Island, Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands, March 1944.
 
 
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Pilots on USS Lexington celebrate Pilots on USS Lexington celebrate
 Pilots celebrate on board the USS Lexington after shooting down 17 out of 20 Japanese planes heading for Tarawa during the Marshall Islands campaign. Photo by Commander Edward J. Steichen, US Navy, November 1943.
 
 
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Red Cross field men shipping boxes to Philippines Red Cross field men shipping boxes to Philippines
Red Cross field men preparing to ship gift boxes to servicemen fighting on Leyte and other islands in the Philippines. Efforts are being made to assure each man a gift package on Christmas Day. New Guinea, November 20, 1944. American Red Cross.
 
 
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Sailor is getting a tatto on USS New Jersey Sailor is getting a tatto on USS New Jersey
Sailor is getting another tatoo aboard the "U.S.S. New Jersey" with Task Group 58.2 for the assault on the Marshall Islands, January 22, 1944.
 
 
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US Plane strafe Japanese bunker, Eniwetok Atoll US Plane strafe Japanese bunker, Eniwetok Atoll
 American plane sweeps overhead to strafe the Japanese army hidden in their coral trenches, while a group of Marines lie in the sand peppering for the Japanese to cross the smoking "No Man's Land" with rifle fire. Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands, February 1944.
 
 
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USS Iowa fire guns during battle USS Iowa fire guns during battle
 USS Iowa firing 16" guns during battle in the Pacific, 1944.
 
 
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