Pacific Wrecks Pacific Wrecks - preserving the legacy of World War II and Korean War Non-profit 501c3 charity devoted to sharing Pacific history and news

501c3 non-profit charity
All donations are
100% tax deductible
  Search Forum Areas Aircraft Ships MIAs People Reviews Help  
    Marcus Island (南鳥島, Minamitorishima)  Japan

Click For Enlargement
c1987

Location
Lat N 24°16'  Long E 154°00'  Small island located in the northwest Pacific Ocean, the most easterly island of Japan, 1,148 miles east of Tokyo. The nearest island is East Island of the Maug Islands in the Mariana Islands. In Japanese, known as "Minamitorishima" or "Minami Tori Shima" (Southern Bird Island).

History
On July 19, 1898 Marcus Island was initially claimed by Japan. In 1935, the Japanese Navy established a meteorological station on the island, and built the airfield. A channel was cut through the reef on the northwest side of the island.

Wartime History
At the start of the Pacific War the garrison included the 742 man Minamitorishima Guard Unit, under the command of Rear-Admiral Masata Matsubara and the 2,005 man 12th Independent Mixed Regiment, under the command of Colonel Yoshiichi Sakata.

At the height of the war, over 4,000 Japanese soldiers were stationed on the island. Defended by trench system and beach defenses around the perimeter of the island plus light and heavy anti-aircraft batteries.

The island was attacked by American aircraft and bypassed, leaving the garrison isolated and cut off from resupply, aside from submarine or rescue.

American missions against Marcus
March 4, 1942 - July 4, 1945

At the end of the war, the surviving garrison officially surrendered on August 31, 1945 to US Army General Whiting.

Today
In 1951, the Treaty of San Francisco placed the island under American jurisdiction. In 1964 the U. S. Coast Guard opened a LORAN-C navigation station on Marcus, whose mast was until 1985 one of the tallest structures in the Pacific area. In the 1980s the Loran station was maintained by twenty-three US Coast Guard personnel.

In 1968, Marcus was returned to Japan. Today. the island is administratively considered part of Ogasawara, Tokyo.

Marcus Airfield (Minamitorishima Airfield)
Japanese built airfield that spanned the length of the island.

 

Contribute Information
Do you have photos or additional information to add?

Last Updated
January 8, 2014

 

Pacific Wreck Database
Pacific Wrecks Incorporated is a non-profit charity 501(c)(3)  Donate Now

All rights reserved