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War in the Pacific National Park Guam

War in the Pacific National Park Guam

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Published by Bob Andrepont

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Published by: Bob Andrepont on Jun 12, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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War in the Pacic
National Park ServiceU.S. Department o the InteriorWar in the PacicNational Historical ParkGuam
1941 to 1945
The Pacic Theater o World War II involved one-third o the Earth’s suracebut only
th o its total land mass. It involved vast distances and new strat-egy, tactics, equipment, and weapons o war. Moreover, it involved not justJapan and the United States but Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, theNetherlands, Canada, China, France, and the Soviet Union. Caught in the mid-dle were the people o the Pacic islands, upon whose homelands and inwhose waters the battles were ought. This chronology tracks signicant as-pects o the Pacic War as a ramework or understanding the people andevents commemorated at War in the Pacic National Historical Park.
7 December
Without warning, Japanese planesbomb Pearl Harbor and Hickam and WheelerAirelds on Oahu, and within 30 minutes de-stroy the power o the U.S. Pacic battle feet—except or aircrat carriers
, which are at sea. Japan declareswar on the United States and Great Britain. ThePacic war that the United States suddenlyound itsel embroiled in had begun many yearsbeore the attack on Pearl Harbor when Japan,lacking the raw materials or modern industrial-ization, looked to mineral-rich Manchuria tosupply them. Japanese attacks on China led toopen warare in July 1937. As a result o Japan’sinvolvement in China and the extension o Japan’s“Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere” intoIndochina, the United States, Great Britain, andother countries roze Japanese assets and exports,threatening Japan’s industrial survival. This ledto accelerated Japanese economic expansioninto Southeast Asia and the Dutch East Indies,bringing it into direct confict with westerncountries that also had economic interests inthese areas. By 1941, Japan was committed to apolicy o aggression to achieve its goals. Japan’sinability to come to diplomatic terms with theUnited States, which it saw as its most ormida-ble opponent, led to the Pearl Harbor attack.
8 December
Congress declares war on Japan;Japanese bomb islands o Wake and Guam, andCaroline, Mariana, and Philippine Islands beginswith army landings on Makin and Marine land-ings on Tarawa, the keystones o Japanese de-enses in the Gilberts.
26 December
General MacArthur’s SouthwestPacic oensive to secure the western Solomons,New Guinea, and the Philippines begins withthe landings on New Britain, the largest islandin the Bismarck Archipelago.
31 January–4 February
American orces captureRoi-Namur and Kwajalein in the Marshalls.
29 February–7 March
MacArthur surprises Japa-nese by seizing the Admiralty Islands.
15 June
China-based B-29s make their rst attackon Japanese homeland. U.S. orces invadeSaipan.
17-19 June
Battle o the Philippine Sea in whichU.S. carrier-based aircrat engage and infictcrippling losses on Japanese carrier-based aircrat.
21 July
U.S. orces invade Guam.
24 July
U.S. orces invade Tinian.
15 September
U.S. orces invade Morotai andPeleliu.
20 October
U.S. orces invade Leyte.
23–25 October
Battle o Leyte Gul, the last andgreatest naval engagement o the war, results innear destruction o the Japanese Navy.
24 November
Air oensive against Japan beginswith B-29 attacks on Tokyo rom bases in theMarianas.
9 January–23 February
Reconquest o northernPhilippines begins as U.S. orces invade Luzonand occupy Manila.
19 February–17 March
U.S. Marines invade andconquer island o Iwo Jima ater bitter ghting.
9–10 March
B-29 re-bomb attack on Tokyoleaves much o the city in ashes and inauguratesa series o incendiary strikes against other Japa-nese cities.
19 March–21 June
Battle or the Ryukyu Islands,in which U. S. carrier-based planes make largescale attacks on Japanese ships and airelds inthe Ryukyus.
1 April–21 June
U.S. troops invade and captureOkinawa, main island o the Ryukyus. Japanesemilitary orces infict heavy casualties on Americantroops, but the island is nally secured.
6 August
Army Air Corps drops atomic bomb onHiroshima. A second atomic bomb is dropped onNagasaki three days later.
14 August
Japan accepts Allied unconditionalsurrender terms.
2 September
Japan signs ormal terms o sur-render.
8 March
Japanese land in New Guinea, occupyingLae and Salamaua and threatening Port Moresby,last deensive post protecting Australia.
17 March
MacArthur, who had let the Philip-pines six days beore, arrives in Australia. Herehe utters the now-amous words, “I came throughand I shall return.”
30 March
MacArthur is designated Allied Supremecommander, Southwest Pacic Areas (Australia,most o the Indies, and the Philippines); Adm.Chester Nimitz is designated Commander in Chie,Pacic Ocean Area.
9 April
Bataan surrenders. The starving U.S. andFilipino survivors begin a 60-mile death marchto Japanese prison camps.
July 28, 1944: an amphibious tractor or duck loadedwith Marines heads or the beach on Guam. A cruiseris visible close to shore.
allphotos NatioNalarchives uNless otherwise credited
President Franklin D. Roosevelt asks Congress to declarewar on Japan, December 8, 1941.US Marines hurl grenades at Japanese positions duringthe ghting on Saipan, 1944.Japanese submarine
carrying Kaiten one-mantorpedoes en-route to attack U.S. feet o Iwo-Jima,1945.Navy ocer scrambles to assist Hellcat pilot who hascrash landed on the deck o the carrier USS
,1944.U.S. Navy task group returns to anchorage or repairsand supplies ater strikes against the Japanese in thePhilippines, December 1944.Crew o carrier USS
Bunker Hill 
battles res resultingrom kamikaze attack during Okinawa campaign,1945.Japanese kamikaze pilots prepare or a mission, 1944.
22 July
Papuan Campaign begins as Japanesetroops land at Gona and Buna, 100 miles east oLae and Salamaua in northern New Guinea, andbegins an overland drive across the Owen StanleyMountains to capture Port Moresby on thesouthern coast. In the months that ollow, Aus-tralian and U.S. orces rustrate every attempt totake the port and eventually drive the Japaneseback to Gona and Buna.
7 August
U.S. Marines invade Guadalcanal inthe Solomon Islands in the rst American oen-sive o the war. Subsequent Japanese eorts todrive the Americans o the island are consis-tently unsuccessul.
Japanese Gen. Yoshijiro Umezu signs document o sur-render aboard USS
, September 2, 1945.
18 April
Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle leads 16 B-25bombers rom carrier
to bomb targets inTokyo, Yokohama Yokosuka, Kobe, and Nagoya.
7 May
Gen. Jonathan Wainwright, MacArthur’ssuccessor in the Philippines, surrenders Corregidorand all U.S. troops under his command.
4–8 May
Battle o the Coral Sea. This Japanesetactical victory but strategic deeat is the rstnaval battle in which all ghting is done by car-rier-based planes and the opposing ships neversaw each other.
3–6 June
Battle o Midway. This American victorydeals the Japanese their rst major naval deeatand proves the oensive power o aircrat carriers.
7 June
Japanese occupy Attu and Kiska in theAleutian Islands.Clark and Iba Airelds in the Philippines; invadeMalaya and occupy Thailand; and seize the inter-national settlement at Shanghai.
10 December
Japanese capture Guam and beginlandings on northern Luzon.
23 December
Wake Island is surrendered to theJapanese.
24 Decembe
r Gen. Douglas MacArthur, command-ing United States Army Forces in the Far East,begins evacuation o Manila and withdraws toBataan.
26 December
Hong Kong is lost to the Japanese.
2 January
Japanese occupy Manila.
7 January
Siege o Bataan begins. MacArthur,headquartered on Corregidor, proclaims theBataan Peninsula the center o American-Filipinoresistance to the Japanese invasion o the Philip-pines. But its jungles, swamps, and mountainsmake supply dicult, and the Bataan DeenseForce suers shortages o ood and medicinesthroughout the three-month ordeal.1
U.S. Navy launches air and suraceattacks against Japanese bases in the MarshallIslands.
15 February
Singapore surrenders.
27–28 February
Battle o Java Sea results inmost severe U.S. naval losses since Pearl Harborand leads to the collapse o organized Alliedmilitary resistance in that area.
8–9 August
Japanese navy sinks our Alliedcruisers in Battle o Savo Islands.
24 August
Battle o Eastern Solomons results insinking o one Japanese carrier by aircrat romUSS
and USS
12–15 November
The decisive American victoryin the naval battle o Guadalcanal prevents theJapanese rom landing reinorcements and makespossible the nal conquest o Guadalcanal byU.S. orces.
10 January
U.S. troops begin nal oensive toclear Guadalcanal. By February 9 organized Jap-anese resistance on the island is ended. TheAmerican victory opens the way or other Alliedgains in the Solomons.
22 January
Papuan Campaign ends in the rstdecisive land deeat o the Japanese.
2–3 March
Battle o the Bismarck Sea. U.S. andAustralian aircrat decimate a 16-ship Japanesesupply convoy bound or Lae and Salamaua,New Guinea, demonstrating the eectiveness olow-level bombing.
26 March
An indecisive naval battle o the Ko-mandorski Islands prepares the way or recon-quest o the Western Aleutians. By mid-AugustJapanese troops have been driven out o bothAttu and Kiska.
5 August
Munda Aireld, New Georgia, is cap-tured, providing Allied orces a base rom whichto bomb Japanese air and naval acilities atRabaul.
25 August
Americans overrun New Georgia,Solomon Islands, thus removing the Japanesethreat to orces on Guadalcanal.
20 November
Admiral Nimitz’s Central Pacicoensive to reconquer the Marshall, Gilbert,
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