The perimeter of Milli Island, especially the ocean side, bristled with guns, which were a mixture of British and Japanese manufacture: 8 6" and 3 x 14cm coastal defense guns, 4 x 127mm dual purpose guns, 2 x 10cm mortars, 35 heavy and over 70 light anti-aircraft guns as well as an assortment of small arms.
During late November 1943 "Operation Galvanic" USS Plunger SS-179 performed lifeguard duty off Mili and rescued Lt(jg) F. G. Schwartz near Knox Island.
By 1943, supply lines to Mili were cut off, and the Japanese garrison was left to starve. Over eighteen months, Mili was the target of US aircraft. The garrison of 5,100 Japanese (2,600 Navy and 2,500 Army,) only 2,500 (50%) survived. Casualties occurred from air raids, diseases, accidents, and suicides, but mainly from starvation.
American missions against Mili
On August 22, 1945, the Japanese garrison on Mili was the Pacific island to surrender, eleven days before the formal surrender of Japan.
P-39Q Airacobra 42-19469
B-25D Mitchell 41-30613
SBD-5 Dauntless 36540