Pacific Wrecks
Pacific Wrecks    
  Missing In Action (MIA) Prisoners Of War (POW) Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)  
Chronology Locations Aircraft Ships Submit Info How You Can Help Donate
    Chi Chi Jima (Father Island, Ogasawara) Ogasawara Subprefecture Japan

Lat 27° 4' 0N Long 142° 12' 30E  Chi Chi Jima is roughly five miles by three miles in size, part of the Bonin Island Group (Bonin Islands). Located roughly 600 miles off Japan and 150 due north of Iwo Jima. Also know as "Chichi Jima", "Father Island" or "Ogasawara". Borders Chi Chi Jima Harbor and the smaller island of Ari Jima.

Wartime History
During the 1930's the Japanese began to fortify Chi Chi Jima that served as an important radio relay link. By the end of the war, defended by approximately 25,000 Japanese troops. During 1944-1945 American aircraft began bombing the island to neutralize its defenses. Shortly after bombs began, all but a small handful of the civilian population was evacuated to Japan.

American missions against Chi Chi Jima (Chichi Jima)
August 12, 1944 - June 4, 1945

In total, twenty-two American aviators bailed out or ditched near Chichi Jima. Eight Americans were taken prisoner, executed and some eaten by high ranking Japanese officers as part of Bushido warrior indoctrination. During 1947, a war crimes trial on Guam prosecuted by USMC Colonel Presley M. Rixey tried those responsible for these crimes, but received little press in the States. The Japanese found guilty were hanged and buried in unmarked graves on Guam. Executed were Japanese Army General Yoshio Tachibana and Major Sueo Matoba who ordered the executions. Lt. Col. Kikuji Ito and Captain Noburu Nakajima who executed prisoners were executed. Others were given prison sentences including Lt. Morishita who beheaded a prisoner.

ARM2c  Lloyd Richard Woellhof, gunner SB2C 01169 POW 7-4-44, executed 8-7-44
Unknown, radioman POW 7-4-44, executed 8-7-44
AOM3c Grady Alvan York, gunner TBM Avenger 22904 POW 2-18-45, executed 2-23-45
ARM3c James Wesley Dye, Jr., radio TBM Avenger 22904 POW 2-18-45, executed 2-25-45
AOM2c Glenn J. Frazier, Jr. gunner TBM 23637 POW 2-18-45, executed 2-18-45
ARM3c Marvelle "Marvie" William Mershon radio TBM 23637 POW 2-18-45, executed 2-22-45
Ensign Floyd Ewing Hall, pilot TBM 23637 POW 2-18-45, executed 3-9-45
2nd Lt Warren Earl Vaugn, pilot F4U 82356 POW 2-23-45, executed 3-15-45

During December 1945 US Marines occupied the Bonin Islands including Chi Chi Jima and destroyed and burned all equipment and buildings of military value to demilitarize the island. During 1946, a US Navy facility was established on the island and operated until the 1960s.

During the 1980s, Chi Chi Jima was returned to Japan. Today, the island is a resort area for for skin divers and vacationers from Japan.

Okimura (Oki)
Town located on the west central portion of Chi Chi Jima

Susaki Airfield (Chi Chi Jima Airfield)
Japanese airfield, disused since the war.

P-51D Mustang Serial Number 44-63458
Pilot Zellweger MIA June 2, 1945 over Chi Chi Jima

Mount Yoake & Mount Asahi Radio Stations
These are the two highest peaks on the island, the Japanese Navy had built an array of short and long range radio receivers and transmitters on their summits, these communications facilities were used to relay messages, and eavesdrop on American communications. Targeted by American aircraft, this facility was defended by a concentration of anti-aircraft batteries. It was never substantially damaged, although in 1946 American occupation forces dynamited the roof. Over this target, future US President George H. W. Bush's TBM Avenger 46214 was damaged and crashed offshore on September 2, 1944.

Sunk August 4, 1944 roughly fifty miles off Chi Chi Jima

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

Last Updated
February 4, 2018


John Laplant Chi Chi Jima Website
  Discussion Forum Daily Updates Reviews Museums Interviews & Oral Histories  
Pacific Wrecks Inc. All rights reserved.
Donate Now Facebook Twitter YouTube Google Plus Instagram