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The Mariana and Palau Islands campaign, also known as Operation Forager, was an offensive launched by United States forces against Imperial Japanese forces in the Mariana Islands and Palau in the Pacific Ocean between June and November 1944 during the Pacific War.The United States offensive, under the overall command of Chester Nimitz, followed the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign and was intended to neutralize Japanese bases in the central Pacific, support the Allied drive to retake the Philippines, and provide bases for a strategic bombing campaign against Japan.
Beginning the offensive, United States Marine Corps and United States Army forces, with support from the United States Navy, executed landings on Saipan in June 1944. In response, the Imperial Japanese Navy's Combined Fleet sortied to attack the U.S. Navy fleet supporting the landings. In the resulting aircraft carrier Battle of the Philippine Sea (the so-called "Great Marianas Turkey Shoot") on 19–20 June, the Japanese naval forces were decisively defeated with heavy and irreplaceable losses to their carrier-borne and land-based aircraft.
U.S. forces executed landings on Guam and Tinian in July 1944. After heavy fighting, Saipan was secured in July and Guam and Tinian in August 1944. The U.S. then constructed airfields on Saipan and Tinian where B-29s were based to conduct strategic bombing missions against the Japanese mainland until the end of World War II, including the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
In the meantime, in order to secure the flank for U.S. forces preparing to attack Japanese forces in the Philippines, in September 1944, U.S. Marine and Army forces landed on the islands of Peleliu and Angaur in Palau. After heavy and intense combat on Peleliu, the island was finally secured by U.S. forces in November 1944.
Following their landings in the Mariana and Palau Islands, Allied forces continued their ultimately successful campaign against Japan by landing in the Philippines in October 1944 and the Volcano and Ryukyu Islands beginning in January 1945.
The Battle of Peleliu, codenamed Operation Stalemate II by the United States military, was fought between the U.S. and Japan during the Mariana and Palau Campaign of World War II, from September to November 1944, on the island of Peleliu.
Tinian is one of the three principal islands of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Together with uninhabited neighbouring Aguigan, it forms Tinian Municipality, one of the four constituent municipalities of the Northern Marianas. Tinian's largest village is San Jose.
Sergeant Darrell Samuel Cole was a United States Marine who posthumously received the United States' highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his conspicuous gallantry at the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II.
The Battle of Saipan was a battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II, fought on the island of Saipan in the Mariana Islands from 15 June to 9 July 1944. The Allied invasion fleet embarking the expeditionary forces left Pearl Harbor on 5 June 1944, the day before Operation Overlord in Europe was launched. The U.S. 2nd Marine Division, 4th Marine Division, and the Army's 27th Infantry Division, commanded by Lieutenant General Holland Smith, defeated the 43rd Infantry Division of the Imperial Japanese Army, commanded by Lieutenant General Yoshitsugu Saito. The loss of Saipan, with the deaths of at least 29,000 troops and heavy civilian casualties, precipitated the resignation of Prime Minister of Japan Hideki Tōjō and left the Japanese archipelago within the range of United States Army Air Forces B-29 bombers.
The Battle of Tinian was a battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II, fought on the island of Tinian in the Mariana Islands from 24 July until 1 August 1944. The 8,000-man Japanese garrison was eliminated, and the island joined Saipan and Guam as a base for the Twentieth Air Force.
The Second Battle of Guam was the American recapture of the Japanese-held island of Guam, a U.S. territory in the Mariana Islands captured by the Japanese from the U.S. in the 1941 First Battle of Guam during the Pacific campaign of World War II.
The Battle of Angaur was a battle of the Pacific campaign in World War II, fought on the island of Angaur in the Palau Islands from 17 September—22 October 1944. This battle was part of a larger offensive campaign known as Operation Forager which ran from June 1944 to November 1944 in the Pacific Theater of Operations, and Operation Stalemate II in particular.
Saipan International Airport, also known as Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport, is a public airport located on Saipan Island in the United States Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The airport is owned by Commonwealth Ports Authority. Its airfield was previously known as Aslito and Isley Field.
The Pacific Ocean theater, during World War II, was a major theater of the war between the Allies and the Empire of Japan. It was defined by the Allied powers' Pacific Ocean Area command, which included most of the Pacific Ocean and its islands, while mainland Asia was excluded, as were the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies, Borneo, Australia, most of the Territory of New Guinea and the western part of the Solomon Islands.
Thomas Eugene Watson was a United States Marine Corps General who served in the Marine Corps from 1912 to 1950. His last command was as commanding general, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific. Previously, he had commanded the Second Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and was commanding officer of the famed Second Division in the battle for Saipan and Tinian during World War II. For outstanding services in this capacity, he was awarded a Gold Star in lieu of a second Navy Distinguished Service Medal.
The First Battle of Guam was an engagement during the Pacific War in World War II, and took place from 8 December to 10 December 1941 on Guam in the Mariana Islands between Japan and the United States. The American garrison was defeated by Japanese forces on 10 December, which resulted in an occupation until the Second Battle of Guam in 1944.
USS Windsor (APA-55) was an attack transport built for the U.S. Navy during World War II. She served in the Pacific Ocean and provided troop transport service. She returned home at war’s end with five battle stars to her credit.
Koreans in Micronesia used to form a significant population before World War II, when most of the region was ruled as the South Pacific Mandate of the Empire of Japan; for example, they formed 7.3% of the population of Palau in 1943. However, after the area came under the control of the United States as the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, most Koreans returned to their homeland. As of 2013, about seven thousand South Korean expatriates & immigrants and Korean Americans reside in Guam and the Northern Marianas, which have remained under U.S. control, while only around two hundred South Korean expatriates reside in the independent countries of Micronesia.
North Field is a former World War II airfield on Tinian in the Mariana Islands. Abandoned after the war, today North Field is a tourist attraction. Along with several adjacent beaches on which Allied forces landed during the Battle of Tinian, the airfield is the major component of the National Historic Landmark District Tinian Landing Beaches, Ushi Point Field, Tinian Island.
The 19th Marine Regiment was a composite engineer regiment of the United States Marine Corps subordinate to the 3rd Marine Division. It existed from September 1942 until September 1944. In December 1943 there was a large change of command in the Regiment. Marine engineer regiments were eventually disbanded in favor of independent engineering battalions within the parent Marine divisions.
The 18th Marine Regiment was a composite engineer regiment of the United States Marine Corps subordinate to the 2nd Marine Division. It was disbanded during the war, with the 1st and 2nd battalions remaining in the Division.
During World War II, a series of Japanese air attacks on the Mariana Islands took place between November 1944 and January 1945. These raids targeted United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) bases and sought to disrupt the bombing of Japan by B-29 Superfortress heavy bombers operating from the islands. The Japanese lost 37 aircraft during this operation, but destroyed 11 B-29s and damaged a further 43. Preparations were also made for commando raids on the bases in early and mid-1945 but these did not go ahead.
Colonel Jaime Sabater Sr. was a United States Marine Corps officer who commanded the 1st Battalion 9th Marines during the Bougainville amphibious operations in World War II. Sabater was also the executive officer of the 9th Marines during the Battle of Guam in 1944.
A Joint Assault Signal Company (JASCO) was a joint service unit that provided ship to shore, air to ground communications to coordinate and control Naval Gunfire and Close Air Support to the United States Army. They were composed of specially trained Marines, Sailors and Army officers and enlisted. The Army component was composed of Air Liaison Officers, modern day Forward Air Controllers and enlisted communications technicians. JASCOs were created in the Pacific because of communication clutter, too many small teams to be effective. After the costly invasion of Tarawa the need for centralized command and control of air and naval fire support, utilizing Navy, Marine or Army gunners, spotters and radiomen was seen. Based on the Guadacanal experience of Major General Alexander A. Vandergrift the Joint Assault Signal Companies were formed.
John Houghton Griebel was a decorated officer in the United States Marine Corps with the rank of Brigadier general. A veteran of Nicaraguan Campaign and Yangtze Patrol, he later distinguished himself as Commanding officer, 5th Marine Regiment during the Battle of Okinawa.
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