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    Nanumea Island  Tuvalu

Location
Lat 5° 40' 0S Long 176° 7' 60E  The island has a large lagoon in the northwest corner, and borders the smaller islands of Temotufoliki, and a number of smaller islands inside the coral area. Nanumea is 295 miles from Funafuti, and accessible only by sea.

History
Elements of the 7th USAAF and a battalion of Seabees, from by the USN Carriers Independence and Princeton, occupied Nanumea between 18 and 28 August 1943. USMC occupied Nanumea, in August, 1943. When US forces arrived, the islanders were told to move to Lakena.

Japanese Air Raids
Several Japanese air raids from Kiribati targeted Nanumea. In August 1943 the ship John Williams was attacked while it was unloading supplies for coastwatchers.

Nanumea Airfield
Completed by US Navy Seabees in October 1943. Used as a fighter and bomber base.

Nanumea Lagoon
Much surplus wartime equipment was dumped into the lagoon. There is the wreckage of serval US landing craft.

Wreck of John Williams
The wrecked American cargo ship, near the main settlement on the island.

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

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