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    Island X (Un-named Island)  Palau (Republic of Palau, Belau, Pelew)

Location
Small island located off Orange Beach 3 near Peleliu. Known as "Un-named Island" by the USMC. The 1st Bn., 7th Marines War Diary refers to it as "Island X" because it was in target square 122-X on the official target grid (artillery) map of Peleliu.

Japanese 75mm Gun
The Japanese emplaced a 75mm gun and had perfect enfilade fire down the beach. This islet was surveyed by myself specifically for Japanese gun positions and to see if the main gun was still intact and why the US Navy could not knock out the weapon during the pre-invasion bombardment. My answer came easy when I learned that the cannon was set up on the reverse
slope of a coral hill making it impossible to neutralize by naval gunfire. After securing the beach, tanks, firing opposite the position, finally knocked it out.

Today the gun position is still intact but the cannon is gone. A stack of 75mm rounds are scattered around the position and a cave that sheltered the gun crew is cut into the small ridge. Several other caves are located nearby and it was easy to see why a sniper (or snipers) could wreak havoc on the Marines establishing a beach head.

There is a classic archival aerial showing several landing vehicles burning off of Orange Beach 3 that were disabled by the gun. Many artifacts can be found near the blast wall of the gun position including mess kits, eating utensils and four Model 97 hand grenades.

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Last Updated
January 11, 2018

 

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