There are also several American planes, including two F4U's and a B-25 also. Navy Commander Ohara, who was in command at the execution site, received a sentence of 10 years imprisonment, and Navy Lt. Cmdr. At dawn on November 20, 1943, off Makin Atoll in the Gilbert Islands, a task force of U.S. Navy battleships, cruisers and destroyers moved into position for pre-invasion bombardment while transports carrying soldiers of the 165th Regimental Combat Team (RCT) sailed quietly into their assigned areas off Makin’s main island, Butaritari, at the southern edge of the atoll. Pre WWII Service: In 1912 the New York State National Guard was organized into a Divisional format, which meant that groups of its regiments would be placed together under a larger organized unit, in a manner similar to that of the regular army. USS Liscome Bay: Hit By a Torpedo Near Makin Atoll During World War II She began life as a nameless Hull in the Kaiser shipyards in Vancouver, Washington, on December 12, 1942. ww2dbase Makin Island was decommissioned 19 April 1946 at Puget Sound, stricken from the Navy list 11 July 1946, and sold on 1 January 1947. ww2dbase Makin Island received five battle stars and a Navy Unit Commendation for her service in World War II. Two days later, at 9 am on October 16, 1942, an open area near the western shore of Kwajalein Atoll was selected for the executions. They left the wharf in the yacht. By July 1943 the seaplane base on Makin was completed and ready to accommodate Kawanishi H8K "Emily" flying boat bombers, Nakajima A6M2-N "Rufe" floatplane fighters and Aichi E13A "Jake" reconnaissance seaplanes. The complete occupation of Makin took four days and cost considerably more in naval casualties than in ground forces. In August 1942 the 2nd Marine “Raider” Battalion raided what was then called Makin Island in the Gilbert Archipelago of the South Pacific. There is still some uncertainty over how the surrender overture was delivered to Japanese military forces and how they responded. The loss of the Liscome Bay was due to a few factors. The Japanese garrison only posted 83 to 160 men under the command of a warrant officer. Although the raiders had lost 30 men, they had killed approximately 46 Japanese. U.S. Navy losses were significantly higher: 644 deaths on the Liscome Bay, 43 killed in a turret fire on the battleship USS Mississippi, and 10 killed in action with naval shore parties or as aviators, for a total of 697 naval deaths. On 10 December 1941, three days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, 300 Japanese troops plus laborers of the Gilberts Invasion Special Landing Force had arrived off Makin Atoll and occupied it without resistance. Taniura arranged for the nine prisoners to be transported to Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands to the north. The 27th Infantry Division had been a New York National Guard unit before being called into federal service in October 1940. The Makin Raid in August 1942 by the 2nd Marine Raiders Battalion — “Carlson’s Raiders” — was one of the most famous special operations missions of World War II. By 1942, much of the garrison established on Makin was moved out because of little Allied threat leaving the Japanese garrison on the island with a small seaplane base, weather … A battle-weary LT. Col Evans Carlson, USMC, back onboard Nautilus after the first blooding of "Carlson's Raiders" at Makin Atoll. Of these, only Makin and Kiebu islands are permanently inhabited. The boat was tied alongside Kings Wharf with nobody aboard. Unlike the other objectives, Nauru was an actual island, much larger in size and more heavily garrisoned. As told from Japanese sources, this story relates the capture of the nine men on Makin, their interrogation, transfer to Kwajalein Atoll, and the reason why they were executed there. The purpose of the raid was to destroy Japanese installations on the island, gather intelligence, and to test the raiding tactics of the U.S. Marines. There, they were imprisoned at the 6th Naval Base Headquarters for approximately six weeks until executed on October 16. They made available two large mine-laying submarines, the Nautilus and the Argonaut. While the Japanese were building up their defenses in the Gilberts, American forces were making plans to retake the islands. Each one could carry a company of raiders. The Battle of Makin was an engagement of the Pacific campaign of World War II, fought from 20 to 24 November 1943, on Makin Atoll in the Gilbert Islands. Because of space limitations aboard ship, each company embarked without one of its rifle sections. Heavy aircraft losses and the disabling of four heavy cruisers in the Solomon Islands meant that the original Japanese plan of a strike at the American invasion fleet by forces based at Truk in the nearby Caroline Islands (South Pacific Mandate) was scrapped. The garrisons at Tarawa and Makin were left to their fate. By using Japanese and Gilbert Islands sources of information in addition to American sources, it is now possible to clarify the matter. Two destroyers of the destroyer screen, USS Hull and USS Franks, left the destroyer screen, leaving a gap in the screen. Makin, now known as Butaritari, is a tiny triangular-shaped atoll at the northern tip of the Gilbert Islands, located just north of the equator between Hawaii and Papua New Guinea. The closest island of the Marshall Islands, Nadikdik Atoll, is 290 km NNW of Makin. In the early hours of 24 November, the escort carrier USS Liscome Bay was sunk by the Japanese submarine I-175, which had arrived at Makin just a few hours before. It was protected by a double apron of barbed wire and an intricate system of gun emplacements and rifle pits. The force was drawn from the 2nd Raider Battalion and comprised a small battalion command group and two of the Battalion's six rifle companies. The Japanese explanation as to why and how these prisoners were put to death is as follows. Captain James Jones (father of James L. Jones, Commandant of the Marine Corps 1999-2003), Commanding Officer of Amphibious Reconnaissance Company, VAC performed a periscope reconnaissance of the Gilberts aboard the submarine USS Nautilus, establishing accurate accounts of the beachheads for the upcoming invasion.[2]. The attack, which occurred on August 17-18, 1942, was designed to draw attention away from another U.S. Marine attack on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. Makin has a land area of 6.7 km² and a population of 1,798 (census of 2010). The executions were performed according to Japanese tradition, and the bodies were buried in a pit with local wild flowers offered to the spirits of the deceased. The Japanese, however, did not respond to the attack on Red Beach, and withdrew from Yellow Beach with only harassing fire, leaving the troops of the 27th Division no choice but to knock out the fortified strongpoints one by one. Makin Island was a high risk event, demonstrating both the potential of special operations forces and the hazards inherent in their use. The Japanese submarine I-175 approached the task force undetected and fired a spread of torpedoes through the gap in the anti-submarine screen, one of which struck and sank the Liscome Bay.[8]. The craters in particular stymied tank support of the Red Beach forces by the light tanks of the 193rd Tank Battalion when the lead M3 light tank became partially submerged in a shellhole and blocked passage of all the vehicles behind it. The plan was to approach the Japanese home islands by "island hopping": establishing naval and air bases in one group of islands to support the attack on the next. If successful, the raid would also boost home front morale. The Gilberts lay within 200 miles (320 km) of the Southern Marshalls and were well within range of United States Army Air Forces B-24 aircraft based in the Ellice Islands, which could provide bombing support and long-range reconnaissance for operations in the Gilberts. Makin, now known as Butaritari, is a tiny triangular-shaped atoll at the northern tip of the Gilbert Islands, located just north of the equator between Hawaii and Papua New Guinea. The matter was discussed when the visiting mission arrived on October 14, and Abe was informed by Okada that with regard to the three suggested options for dealing with the prisoners, General Headquarters had responded that transport was extremely difficult at the time and, furthermore, it was impossible to estimate the area of large-scale advancement of U.S. forces; under the circumstances, transfer to Japan from a distant location such as Kwajalein was impossible; therefore, there was no option other than to dispose of the prisoners locally. The difficulty of providing adequate naval and air support of simultaneous operations at Tarawa and the much more distant Nauru, plus lack of sufficient transport to carry the entire division required to take the larger, more heavily defended Nauru, caused Admiral Nimitz to shift the 27th's objective from Nauru to Makin Atoll, in the northeast Gilberts. Then they buried the bodies of the 21 dead U.S. Marines and erected a marker labeled “grave of unknown American soldiers.” The nine living U.S. Marines were brought to the burial site so that they could pay respect to their fallen comrades. In 1942 the island had a small, roughly 160 man garrison, and was the site of a Japanese Airfield. Battalion headquarters, A Company and 18 men from B Company—totaling 121 troops—were embarked aboard the submarine Argonaut and the remainder o… Makin was garrisoned with a single company of the 5th Special Base Force (700 – 800 men) on August 1942, and work on both the seaplane base and coastal defenses of the atoll was resumed in earnest. History. Makin Island Raid 17 Aug 1942 - 18 Aug 1942 Contributor: C. Peter Chen Makin Atoll, with the main island of Butaritari, was taken by the Japanese at the first phase of the quick expansion across the Pacific, two days after the Pearl Harbor attack. © Copyright 2020 Center for the National Interest All Rights Reserved. The following is an example of how incorporating Japanese and local peoples’ information into the otherwise American narrative can shed new light on the story. The mission was headed by Lt. Cmdr. Despite possessing great superiority in men and weapons, the 27th Division had difficulty subduing the island's small defense force. The high tide and surf worked against their rubber boats, washing them back onto the beach. Not so well known is that on the afternoon of the first day of the Makin Island raid, Carlson’s Raiders gave up all hope of being able to get away from the island and attempted to surrender. Okada Sadatomo, who was accompanied by Ida Hideo, from the 4th Fleet. With those advantages in mind, on 20 July 1943 the joint Chiefs of Staff decided to capture the Tarawa and Abemama atolls in the Gilberts, plus nearby Nauru Island. The assault troops were also surprised to discover that even though they were approaching the beach at high tide as planned, a miscalculation of the lagoon's depth caused their small boats to go aground, forcing them to walk the final 250 yards (230 m) to the beach in waist-deep water. Vol. The attack on the Liscome Bay accounted for the majority of American casualties in the Battle of Makin. Lying east of the Marshall islands, Makin was intended as an excellent seaplane base, to protect the eastern flank of the Japanese perimeter from an Allied attack by extending Japanese air patrols closer to islands held by the Allies: Howland Island, Baker Island, Tuvalu, and Phoenix and Ellice Islands. 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