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    Republic of Nauru (Nauru, Nauru Island)  

Located in the south-western Pacific Ocean, about 2,580 miles southwest of Hawaii. Oval in shape, it has a circumference of 12 miles and an area of 8 square miles, near the equator. Nauru's capital is Yaren administrative center Nauru is the smallest republic in the world and has no capital.

In 1947 the island was placed under United Nations Trusteeship and Australia resumed administration on behalf of the three partner governments: Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain. Nauru became an independent republic on 31 January 1968.

Nauru existed as an independent island society until it was annexed by Germany in 1888 as part of the Marshall Islands Protectorate. In 1900 a British company discovered phosphate on the island and negotiated with Germany for mining rights. In November 1914 Nauru was seized by Australian troops and remained in British control until 1921. At the end of the war, a League of Nations mandate was granted to Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain. The three countries provided for an Administration and set up the British Phosphate Commissioners (BPC) to run the phosphate industry.

Wartime History
During World War II, the island had the distinction of being attacked by Germany, Japan and the United States. During December, Komet and Orion sank five Allied merchant ships off Nauru. On December 27, 1940 German Raider Komet bombarded the phosphate mine.

Occupied by the Japanese in late 1942, the garrison was commanded by Takeuchi. 1,200 Nauruans were deported to Truk in September 1943. The garrison officially surrendered on September 13, 1945 aboard HMAS Diamantina (K377). Postwar, only 700 Nauruans survivors returned to the island.

German, Japanese and American missions against Nauru
December 27, 1940 - December 8, 1943

Japanese bunkers and trenches
Nauru Island has extensive wartime bunkers and trenches. At least one 80mm coastal gun remains in a bunker. All other weapons were dumped into the sea in 1945.

Japanese Type 89 (1929) 127mm Naval Gun
Emplaced on Nauru.

Japanese 150mm Coastal Gun
Emplaced on Nauru. View of barrel and view of breech.

Unexploded Munitions
Frequently, unexploded ordnance (UXO) is discovered when new construction is undertaken or by excavation by the Nauru Phosphate Corporation occasionally dig up unexploded munitions including a Japanese 60kg aerial bomb and a American 500 pound bomb, a sight to walk down a trail and suddenly it stops where a 1,000 pounder exploded.

Nauru Airfield
Built by Japanese, still in use today

Nauru Military Museum
Collection of artifacts, weapons guns and aircraft wreckage

F6F-3 Hellcat Bureau Number 26088
Pilot Smith crashed December 8, 1943

B-25G "Coral Princess" Serial Number 42-64977
Pilot James crashed June 29, 1944

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Last Updated
October 2, 2017


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