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    Mariana Island Group (Mariana Islands)  

Location
The Mariana Islands (Mariana Island Group) include Tinian, Saipan, and Guam plus many smaller islands. Also known simply as the Marianas.

Prewar
The Mariana Islands was claimed by both Spain and Germany. After World War I, Tinian and Saipan became a Japanese protectorates. Guam was an American territory.

Wartime History
Prewar American territory was captured by the Japanese on December 8, 1941 three hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
During the war, the islands were developed into major airfields and bases.   At the height of its defense, there were 19,000 men under General Takashuina based on the island.

During June 1944, the "Great Marianas Turkey Shoot" air battle happened off the coast of Saipan and resulted in the destruction of over 300 Japanese aircraft. The same month "Operation Forager" the invasion of Saipan, Tinian and Guam began and all three islands were liberated by August 1944. Afterwards, all three islands were developed into bases to support the B-29 Superfortress strategic bombing campaign against Japan. The bombers that delivered the first atomic bombs used in combat departed from Tinian.

Today
Guam is a United States territory. The Northern Mariana Islands is a Commonwealth of the United States.

 Attacked by US forces in August 1944
 Guam's Harbor located near the center of the island's west coast
 Peninsula on the western shore and airfield
  Northern Mariana Islands

Saipan

 Strong Japanese defense turned suicidal after landings in June 1944
 Airfield complex developed by Americans for B-29's
  Japanese airfield and wrecks.
 Small island 75 miles from Saipan
 Island north of Saipan
 Island north of Saipan
 Island north of Saipan
 Island north of Saipan
 Island north of Saipan

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Last Updated
September 24, 2017

 

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