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    Apamama Island (Abemama, Hopper)  Republic of Kiribati (Gilbert Islands)

Location
Apamama Island is divided into five segments that appear to be six islands closely joined together.

Wartime History
Occupied by the Japanese. During the Pacific War, the Americans code named the six segments: Steve, Oscar, Otto, Orson, John and Joe. Also spelled "Abemama Island" or "Hopper Island".

Wartime History
Occupied by a small Japanese force. During 1943, attacked by American aircraft.

American missions against Apamama
January 26 - November 24, 1943

On November 21, 1943 USS Nautilus (SS-168) landed a U. S. Marine Corps (USMC) reconnaissance company from the 5th Amphibious Corps on the southeast corner of Abemama. On November 24, 1943 Marines landed on Apamama and overcame minor resistance from the Japanese garrison. The next day, Apamama Island was declared secure. On November 28, 1943 the 95th Construction Battalion "Seabees" landed and began constructing Apemama Airfield.

Afterwards, Apemama was developed into a major American base. Facilities included the constructed 19 miles of coral-surfaced roads, a 12,000 barrel tank farm, a 5,000' pipeline to resupply submarines, and a causeway to serve an as access pier for unloading and making minor repair to LST’s and smaller ships. Storage was provided by six prefabricated huts with quonset huts were erected for hospital facilities, offices, and work shops. Personnel were housed in tents. The total number of natives employed at the peak of construction operations was 426.

Apemama Airfield (O'Hare Field)
Built December 1943 used as an active airfield until late 1944

 

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Last Updated
August 25, 2018

 

Map
Map 1944
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