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    Truk (Chuuk) Chuuk State (Truk) Federated States of Micronesia

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USN February 17, 1944

Location
Truk Lagoon is located in Chuuk State (Truk) in the Federated States of Micronesia. Also known as "Chuuk". Truk consist of eleven major islands and many smaller islets within a forty mile wide lagoon surrounded by a protective reef. To the southeast is Kuop Atoll (Neoch Atoll).

Wartime History
Truk was considered the Japanese "Gibraltar of the Pacific" the seemingly impregnable base for its combined and Fourth Fleets. It was also used as a ferry point for aircraft from factories in Japan to theaters of operation in New Guinea and the Solomons. Five wartime airstrips and seaplane bases were built during the war. For Japanese aircraft, it was an important way point for flights from Japan to other South Seas bases. Aircraft carriers occasionally ferried planes through the Truk strips.

The area was heavily defended with anti-aircraft guns, coastal guns and later in the war defenses were bolstered with additional submarine nets placed in the water along with more mines and even rocket launchers. There were over eighty 25mm anti-aircraft guns and 12cm guns in emplacements along with many smaller guns. Kaiten units of manned suicide torpedoes were assembled to the outer islands and Daihatsu landing craft were converted into torpedo boats. Mine fields in the passes and lagoon along with beach defenses were the main defenses against any attempted Allied landing.

Allied missions against Truk
January 15, 1941 - June 30, 1945

Operation Hailstone
On February 17, 1944 during the morning, U. S. Navy (USN) carrier aircraft from USS Intrepid CV-11 and USS Essex conducted a surprise attack against Japanese ships anchored in Truk Lagoon, dropping 400 tons of bombs and torpedo. Attacks continued February 18, 1944. In total, forty ships were sunk and thousands of Japanese died. Ten weeks later, a second raid sank more ships. Truk was strategically bypassed and neutralized by island hopping and aerial attack by Allied aircraft.

Postwar
For more than two years after the Pacific War, oil from the sunken ships covered the beaches and reefs.

Truk Atoll
Truk (Chuuk)  includes eleven major islands and many smaller islets.
Truk Lagoon (Chuuk Lagoon)  large anchorage forty mile wide surrounded by coral reef used by the Japanese.
Reef Islands  located at the center of Truk Lagoon.
South Pass (South Passage)  located at the southern entrance to Truk Lagoon.
Faichuk Islands
Tol Island  located in Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses.
Polle Island  located in Truk Lagoon
Pata Island  located in Truk Lagoon
Ulalu Island  located in Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses and RDF station.
Udot Island  located in Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses.
Ollan Island (Onnang)  located in Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses.
Nomoneas Islands
Moen Island (Weno)  located near the center of Truk Lagoon with two airfields and seaplane base.
Moen No. 1 Airfield (Moen 1, Harushma, Chuuk Airport)  located at the northwestern tip of Moen Island.
Moen No. 2 Airfield (Moen 2)  located at the southwestern corner of Moen Island.
Moen Seaplane Base  located at the southwestern corner of Moen Island.
Dublon Island (Tonoas, Tonowas)  large island in Truk Lagoon with seaplane base and defenses.
Dublon Seaplane Base  located on Dublon Island using Truk Lagoon as an operating area.
Fefan Island  located in Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses.
Eten Island (Etan, Etten)  located in Truk Lagoon includes Eten Airfield.
Eten Airfield  located on Eten Island in Truk Lagoon.
Uman Island  large island in Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses.
Param Island (Parem)  located in Truk Lagoon with Param Airfield.
Param Airfield  located on Param Island in Truk Lagoon.
Tarik Island (Totiw)  located to the south of Param in Truk Lagoon.
Eniganimu Island (Eni Kanibu)  located on the northeast side of Truk Lagoon with gun emplacements.
Mesegon Island (Megeson)  located in Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses.
Megeson Airfield (Megeson)  under construction during 1944, never completed.
Otta Island (Ocha)  located in Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses.
Faleu Island  located in Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses.
Northeast Island  located in Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses.
Eot Island  located in Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses.
Yawata Island (Yawata Shima)  located in Truk Lagoon with wartime defense.
Mor Island (Moch)  located in Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses.
Salat Island  located in Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses.
Tonelik Island  located in Truk Lagoon with wartime defenses.

 

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Last Updated
September 24, 2017

 

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