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".
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."
Built by the Americans used as a base for USAAF and USMC.
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.
There's a miniature wooden Shinto shrine located on
the northwestern coast.
Markers honoring fallen Japanese soldiers.
17 (DD-340) USS Perry
Sunk 700 yards south by mine on September 14, 1944
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May 22, 2017