Tinian is a central island in the Marianas Island Group, approximately 39 square miles in size located 80
miles north of Guam, and 5 miles from Saipan.
Tinian was claimed by the Spanish and Germany. After World War I, it became a protectorate
of Japan. Under Japanese administration, Tinian
was planted with sugar cane and plantations.
By July 1944, the island was occupied by a 9,000 man Japanese garrison
commanded by Admiral Kakuda. Softened up by a 13-day naval and aerial bombardment. On July 24, 1944 After a fierce bombardment. U. S. Marines (USMC) 4th Division from Saipan landed at Unai Chulu.
The Japanese were taken by surprise, and the offensive was regarded
as one of the best-executed amphibious operation of the war. On July 26, 1944 the
2nd Marine Division also landed. The island
was declared secure by August 1, 1944 with 328 Marines killed and 1,571 wounded. The Japanese lost 5,000 dead.
During the inital landing, 1,500 U. S. Navy (USN) Seabees landed to begin repairing Ushi Point Airfield, even before the fighting had ended.
and shape as Manhattan, and when US forces occupied it during the
they laid out a system of roads with the same general plan and
orientation as Manhattan. The main north-south road, is 'Broadway',
and it runs parallel to the other main north-south road, 8th Avenue.
During the war six air strips were constructed on Tinian and two
more on Saipan to accommodate B-29s.
the entire northern end of the island was occupied
runways, nearly 11 miles of taxiways and the airfield
area, designed to accommodate an entire 313th Bombardment
Bruce Petty adds: "People I interviewed on Tinian,
who were relocated there from Yap, told me that they didn't have to
farm or do work of any kind for the first two years because the military
left entire warehouses full of everything imaginable from food, brand
new uniforms, and even ice cream makers. Anybody who wanted a vehicle
could just go pick one up and drive it until it fell apart, than
go get another one."
Tinian Town (San Jose Village)
The successful invasion of
Tinian hinged on a fake landing staged near "Tinian
Town" (presently known as San Jose village) on July 24th. While
the 2nd Marine Division pretended to ready an attack on the southern
of the island, even going so far as to lower boats and men into the water,
the 4th Marine Division was launching a full-blown invasion on Tinian’s
White 1 and White 2
These were the landing beaches on Tinian used by the Marines. There
are Japanese bunkers on White 1, and a pillbox on White 2.
Northern most point on the island.
North Field (Ushi Point Airfield)
Originally built by
the Japanese, B-29 bomber base near the northern tip of the island
West Field (Gurguan Point Airfield)
Originally built by
the Japanese, occupied by Americans, still in use today
In 1953, Japanese soldier Murata Susumu was captured. He was living
in a small shack near a swamp since the war.
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May 22, 2017