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    Angaur Island (Ngeaur)  Palau (Republic of Palau, Belau, Pelew)

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USN September 17, 1944

Location
Angaur Island is the southernmost island in the Palau Island Group, about 500 miles east of Mindanao. The island has only one village and just over 200 people. Also known as "Ngeaur".

History
The Germans began mining phosphate from the island in 1909, and the Japanese continued the operation until the war. The island's monkeys descend from a pair of brought over in the early 1900s to monitor air quality in the island's phosphate mines. Heavily defended by the Japanese, Angaur Island's lone village overlooks the harbor on the western coast. The harbor's, which is nearly enclosed, has water's so calm one would think it was a giant swimming pool. Instead of their tunnels, though, you're more likely to see the green ponds that have formed in the pits, now home to a small colony of crocodiles.

During "Operation Stalemate II" Angaur and Peleliu were assaulted by a force comprising the First Marine Division (Reinforced) and the U. S. Army 81st Division "Wildcat". The 81st's 321st and 322nd Regimental Combat Teams were landed on Angaur on September 17, 1944. On the morning of September 20, 1944, Division Commander Maj. Gen. Paul J. Mueller announced that the island was secure.

Orin Whitman 1st Marine Division recalls:
"1st Marine Division hit Peleliu 15th sept 1944, we were held in reserve one day, 17th we landed on Angaur and 22nd. The Marines called for help, [on Peleliu] on 23rd and [from Angaur] we relieved some of the marines they were shot up bad."

Angaur Airfield
Built by the Americans used as a base for USAAF and USMC.

Japanese Lighthouse
North of town, there's an old Japanese lighthouse hidden by a jungle on a hill. It takes a sharp eye to find it, but you'll enjoy a great view from the top if you take the trouble.

Shinto Shrine
There's a miniature wooden Shinto shrine located on the northwestern coast.

Buddhist Memorial
Markers honoring fallen Japanese soldiers.

DMS 17 (DD-340) USS Perry
Sunk 700 yards south by mine on September 14, 1944

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Last Updated
July 6, 2017

 

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