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    Kiribati (Gilbert Islands)  

Location
Kiribati is located in the central Pacific and was formally known as the Gilbert Islands.

Wartime History
Tarawa was occupied by the Japanese during their initial advances into the Pacific in December 1941. Although the islands were deemed "nonessential territories" by Japanese Imperial HQ, they were awaiting reinforcements. The two most Westerly islands, Makin and Tarawa were invaded by the US 5th Amphibious Corps on November 20, 1943. A heavy naval and aerial bombardment of Tarawa preceded the landing of 5,000 men of the 2nd Marine Division. Tarawa was the scene of one of the major battles of the South Pacific campaign. Close to 1,000 Americans were killed, and over 2,000 wounded during the operation.

Tarawa
Atoll (Beito)
 Heavily defended islands where USMC landed
 Lagoon where the USMC landing occurred
 The international airport and US built airfield
 Occupied by USMC for artillery support on Beito
 The final battle of the Tarawa campaign occurred here
Maiana
Atoll
  Island and Atoll to the south of Tarawa
Apemama
Atoll
  Island to the south-east of Maiana and Tarawa
Gilbert
Islands
  Formally know as Makin Island, site of USMC landing.
  Japanese seaplane base and USMC landing area
  Site of Marine Raider attack and US airfield
  Small island 300 km east of Nauru
Phoenix
Islands
 US Aircraft ferry point during WWII
Line
Islands
 US Aircraft ferry point during WWII

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Last Updated
May 22, 2017

 

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