Lat 07°22.36′N Long 151°52.30′E Dublon Island in Truk Lagoon in Chuuk State (Truk) in the Federated States of Micronesia. Named "Dublon" by the Spanish for the islands resemblance to the coin. The Trukese name for the island is "Tonoas" or "Tonowas". To the north is Moen Island (Weno). To the south is Truk Harbor and Eten Island (Etten, Etan). To the southwest is Fefan Island. To the east is the edge of the outer reef.
The Japanese established Dublon Town, a large Japanese settlement with trade stores, restaurants and geisha houses as part of their colonization of the area.
In November 1940, Japan developed Dublon Island into an Imperial Japanese Navy base,
building a headquarters building,
eight barracks, five
During November 1943, the Japanese Navy Fourth Fleet HQ was built
a large central concrete building, plus three
large and nine smaller buildings. Facilities were manned by the
Guard Unit. Forth Fleet Hospital could care for 850 patients
in 5 wards and 24 other smaller buildings. 12 Concrete water
an ice house, dental clinic, pharmacy, three warehouses and research
lab existed. Naval Construction Department included 10,000 men
The main radio station of the five in the islands
was located at Dublon, where several concrete receivers shelters
and buildings were constructed. Forth Harbor Department was located
on the southeastern part of the island near Dublon Town. It was
22 wooden buildings including repair shops, warehouses and barracks.
South Seas Development Company had docking facilities
on the southwestern tip of the island. Its supply storage and fish
cannery were commandeered by the Navy, and it became the Fourth
Naval Dockyard. It was the main receiving area for the military.
More warehouses and a refrigeration building, HQ, and a two story
barracks were constructed. A thousand men worked here on ship repairs,
mostly damage sustained to ships from American submarine attacks.
The facility also had a 30 ton floating crane and 2,500 ton dry
dock. Nearby was a sawmill, and small rail cars connected most of
The Truk Transportation department loaded and unloaded
supplies from ships. Since there were no docks for the larger ships,
supplies needed to be ferried to the bigger ships. Truk's marine
infrastructure was second rate, and was capable of properly servicing
a modern Naval fleet. A derrick, carts, 40 trucks, barges, harbor
craft, tugs and sampans were used for these purposes.
Japanese Army 52nd Division "Oak"
The Japanese Army 52nd Division were based at Dublon during November 1943 to January
1944. There were not enough buildings for the troops and they were
forced to camp in tents, and in civilian houses and schools. These
Army troops were cut off from supply after they arrived and had
to rely on the Navy for supplies and equipment. They built most
of the land based defenses on the islands.
American missions against Dublon
March 15, 1944 - May 27, 1945
Dublon Seaplane Base
Built by the Japanese
85th Submarine Base
On the western shore was the 85th Submarine base, constructed during
May 1942. It serviced, supplied and did minor repairs to subs. Torpedoes
were stored in caves and transported by rail car to the shore. Many
different repair and barracks existed specific to submarines.
Japanese Grave Markers
Numerous markers on the island. Grave No. 1, Grave No. 2 and Grave No. 3.
Built by the Japanese Navy during November 1940. hospital are easy to locate,
as are water and fuel storage tanks, and signposts
written in Japanese.
Dick Williams adds:
"Hospital where an American aviator POW met
his end. He was kept in the room at the far right. Read his account
in "Ghost Ships" Silander Manuel, a Mortlockese who
taught me Trukese told me about him that they also slit his eyelids
so that his eyes could never close again. This just before they
killed him. That's what Richard, the orderly who went to Saipan
to testify against the Japanese, told me they did with them.
WWII Wrecks of the Truk Lagoon pages 13, 19-22, 24 (map)
25 (map target area D-1), 26 (photos), 27 (map target area D-2), 28 (map target D-3), 29 (map 104 Air Force Arsenal -Navy), 30 (map Dublon Seaplane Base), 31 (map target D-4), 32 (map target D-4), 33, 34 (photo), 35 (map 4th comm unit transmitting station), 36 (photo target D-5), 37 (map Nanko dock area), 38 (map 38 4th ship repair area), 39 (photo 4th ship repair area), 40 (map target D-6), 41 (map sub base), 42 (photos storage caves), 43 (map target D-7), 44 (map target D-8), 45 (photo), 46 (map 4th Naval hospital), 47 (map target D-9), 49 (map target D-10), 49, 503-504 (index)
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August 15, 2018