When the Japanese occupied the island, used the Makin Lagoon as a seaplane operating area for H6K Mavis and H8K Emily flying boats. The U.S. invasion plan was conceived in the hope of luring the Japanese into committing most of its forces to oppose the first landings on Red Beach and thereby allow the troops landing on Yellow Beach to attack from the rear. Japanese survivors continued to the U.S. garrison for more than a month after the battle, and except for 104 prisoners, all but 3 of whom were Korean, the entire Japanese force was annihilated. 7: Aleutians, Gilberts and Marshalls, June 1942 – … At a U.S. Navy tribunal held on Guam on May 15, 1946, Commander Abe was sentenced to death. The executions were performed according to Japanese tradition, and the bodies were buried in a pit with local wild flowers offered to the spirits of the deceased. The total population of Makin is 1,798 (2010 Census). The end of the Aleutian Islands Campaign and progress in the Solomon Islands, combined with increasing supplies of men and materials, gave the United States Navy the resources to make an invasion of the central Pacific in late 1943. Makin was garrisoned with a single company of the 5th Special Base Force (700 – 800 men) on August 1942, and work on both the seaplane base and coastal defenses of the atoll was resumed in earnest. Equipment and weapons were lost or water-soaked, but only three men were killed approaching the beach, mainly because the defenders chose to make their final stand farther inland along the tank barriers. As told from Japanese sources, this story relates the capture of the nine men on Makin, their interrogation, transfer to Kwajalein Atoll, and the reason why they were executed there. Taniura arranged for the nine prisoners to be transported to Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands to the north. The complete occupation of Makin took four days and cost considerably more in naval casualties than in ground forces. The high tide and surf worked against their rubber boats, washing them back onto the beach. In August 1942, the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion conducted the Makin Island raid in the Central Pacific. This story clearly shows the different attitudes of the Japanese and Americans toward the rights of prisoners of war, their treatment, and the “right” of the captors to execute them. ww2dbase Makin Island was decommissioned 19 April 1946 at Puget Sound, stricken from the Navy list 11 July 1946, and sold on 1 January 1947. ww2dbase Makin Island received five battle stars and a Navy Unit Commendation for her service in World War II. Vol. About the Ship's Name: USS MAKIN ISLAND is the second ship in the Navy to honor the daring raid carried out by Marine Corps Companies A and B, Second Raider Battalion, on Japanese-held Makin Island, in the Gilbert Islands, Aug. 17-18, 1942. Grumman FM-1 Wildcat fighters escorted Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bombers and Grumman TBF Avengers from escort carriers USS Liscome Bay, USS Coral Sea and USS Corregidor; followed by 8-inch (200 mm) support guns from fire support ship USS Minneapolis and other war vessels. The landing force, Task Group 52.6, consisted of units of the 27th Infantry Division commanded by Major General Ralph C. Smith, transported by attack transports Neville, Leonard Wood, Calvert, and Pierce; attack cargo ship Alcyone; landing ship dock Belle Grove; and LSTs −31, −78, and −179 of Task Group 52.1. Two days later, at 9 am on October 16, 1942, an open area near the western shore of Kwajalein Atoll was selected for the executions. Makin has a land area of 6.7 km² and a population of 1,798 (census of 2010). The purpose of the raid was to destroy Japanese installations on the island, gather intelligence, and to test the raiding tactics of the U.S. Marines. There are also several American planes, including two F4U's and a B-25 also. The matter was discussed when the visiting mission arrived on October 14, and Abe was informed by Okada that with regard to the three suggested options for dealing with the prisoners, General Headquarters had responded that transport was extremely difficult at the time and, furthermore, it was impossible to estimate the area of large-scale advancement of U.S. forces; under the circumstances, transfer to Japan from a distant location such as Kwajalein was impossible; therefore, there was no option other than to dispose of the prisoners locally. Then they buried the bodies of the 21 dead U.S. Marines and erected a marker labeled “grave of unknown American soldiers.” The nine living U.S. Marines were brought to the burial site so that they could pay respect to their fallen comrades. Initially both Nimitz and Admiral Ernest J. Not so well known is that on the afternoon of the first day of the Makin Island raid, Carlson’s Raiders gave up all hope of being able to get away from the island and attempted to surrender. Air operations against Makin began on 13 November, with USAAF B-24 bombers of the Seventh Air Force from the Ellice Islands. In September, an inspection mission was sent out by Tokyo, the Southern Defense Inspection Mission, which visited several Japanese bases in Micronesia. During the summer of 1942 Admiral Nimitz decided to employ Carlson’s battalion for its designated purpose. By using Japanese and Gilbert Islands sources of information in addition to American sources, it is now possible to clarify the matter. Since 1940, Lieutenant Taniura Hideo had been a squad leader of the Japanese 6th Defense Force stationed on Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands. The invasion fleet, Task Force 52 (TF 52) commanded by Rear Admiral Richmond K. Turner left Pearl Harbor on 10 November 1943. It was protected by a double apron of barbed wire and an intricate system of gun emplacements and rifle pits. The Japanese, however, did not respond to the attack on Red Beach, and withdrew from Yellow Beach with only harassing fire, leaving the troops of the 27th Division no choice but to knock out the fortified strongpoints one by one. In August 1942, the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion conducted the Makin Island raid in the Central Pacific. A battle-weary LT. Col Evans Carlson, USMC, back onboard Nautilus after the first blooding of "Carlson's Raiders" at Makin Atoll. Taniura Hideo’s Accounts: What Happened to the Captured Marines. In April 1943, the 27th Infantry Division had begun preparing for amphibious operations. Unfortunately, nine raiders were left behind on the island after the raid, and the submarine crews did not realize it until it was too late to return to rescue them. Heavy aircraft losses and the disabling of four heavy cruisers in the Solomon Islands meant that the original Japanese plan of a strike at the American invasion fleet by forces based at Truk in the nearby Caroline Islands (South Pacific Mandate) was scrapped. Japanese sources shed light on the Makin Raid conducted by Carlson’s Marine Raiders in 1942. MAKIN ISLAND received five battle stars for World War II service. Also, the task force which included the Liscome Bay was not zigzagging. The Battle of Makin was fought November 20-24, 1943, during World War II (1939-1945). Bibliography: The Capture of Makin (20-24 November 1943), Center of Military History United States Army; Samuel Eliot Morison: History of United States Naval Operations in World War II. WW2 - US Marine Rescue and Makin Island Raid - Makin Atoll - Pacific War - Call of Duty World at War. Makin, now known as Butaritari, is a tiny triangular-shaped atoll at the northern tip of the Gilbert Islands, located just north of the equator between Hawaii and Papua New Guinea. After the war ended, this matter of the disposal of prisoners became an issue for war crimes investigators. The garrisons at Tarawa and Makin were left to their fate. Battle of Makin, 20–23 November 1943. How US Marine Raiders Used Submarines to Raid Makin Island During World War II By Matt Fratus | August 17, 2020 At 3:30 a.m. on Aug. 17, 1942, 20 rubber boats carrying 11 Marine Raiders in each from 2nd Raider Battalion, launched from the USS Nautilus S-168 and the USS Argonaut SM-1. The Raiders killed at least 83 Japanese soldiers, annihilating the garrison, and destroyed installations for the loss of 21 killed (mostly by air attack) and 9 captured. The force was drawn from the 2nd Raider Battalion and comprised a small battalion command group and two of the Battalion's six rifle companies. The 27th Infantry Division staff learned the change of target on 28 September, scrapped the original Nauru plan, and began planning to capture Makin.[3]. The attack, which occurred on August 17-18, 1942, was designed to draw attention away from another U.S. Marine attack on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. "Carlson's Marine Raiders: Makin Island 1942" is an Osprey Raid Series book, authored by Gordon Rottman, with illustrations contributed by several artists. Even in the darkness, they believed they could see a passage out of the lagoon on the western side of the atoll, and they steered toward it. In his memoir, Taniura recorded the accounts given to him by two of the Marines. Seizo Ishikawa. These men were all veterans of the Shanghai Special Naval Landing Force. With those advantages in mind, on 20 July 1943 the joint Chiefs of Staff decided to capture the Tarawa and Abemama atolls in the Gilberts, plus nearby Nauru Island. If successful, the raid would also boost home front morale. The raid by Carlson and his men was only a diversion but it developed into a lethal battle and almost ended in an American disaster. The craters in particular stymied tank support of the Red Beach forces by the light tanks of the 193rd Tank Battalion when the lead M3 light tank became partially submerged in a shellhole and blocked passage of all the vehicles behind it. The true story of Carlson's Raiders and their World War II attack on Makin Island. On this day in history in 1942, Lt Colonel Carlson and a force of Marine raiders landed on Makin Island, in the west Pacific Ocean. Philippine Islands 7 December 1941 - 10 May 1942 A few hours after the raid on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, Japanese aircraft attacked the Philippines. Of these, only Makin and Kiebu islands are permanently inhabited. On the eve of invasion, the Japanese garrison on Makin Atoll's main island, Butaritari, numbered 806 men: 284 naval ground troops of the 6th Special Naval Landing Force, 108 aviation personnel of the 802nd and 952nd Aviation Units, 138 troops of the 111th Pioneers, and 276 men of the Fourth Fleet Construction Department and Makin Tank Detachment of 3rd Special Base Force (3 Type 95 Ha-Go Light Tanks), all commanded by Lt.j.g. The Makin Raid in August 1942 by the 2nd Marine Raiders Battalion — “Carlson’s Raiders” — was one of the most famous special operations missions of World War II. The Japanese garrison only posted 83 to 160 men under the command of a warrant officer. On 10 December 1941, three days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, 300 Japanese troops plus laborers of the Gilberts Invasion Special Landing Force had arrived off Makin Atoll and occupied it without resistance. Japanese presence on the island was relatively light. The Gilberts lay within 200 miles (320 km) of the Southern Marshalls and were well within range of United States Army Air Forces B-24 aircraft based in the Ellice Islands, which could provide bombing support and long-range reconnaissance for operations in the Gilberts. Lying east of the Marshall islands, Makin was intended as an excellent seaplane base, to protect the eastern flank of the Japanese perimeter from an Allied attack by extending Japanese air patrols closer to islands held by the Allies: Howland Island, Baker Island, Tuvalu, and Phoenix and Ellice Islands. And she ended her short, 11-month span in 23 terrifying minutes off Makin Atoll in the Pacific, after being struck by a single torpedo from a Japanese submarine. © Copyright 2020 Center for the National Interest All Rights Reserved. The following is an example of how incorporating Japanese and local peoples’ information into the otherwise American narrative can shed new light on the story. However, in September 1943 the 27th's objective changed. The closest island of the Marshall Islands, Nadikdik Atoll, is 290 km NNW of Makin. As the landing craft approached Yellow Beach from the lagoon, they began to receive small-arms and machine-gun fire from the island's defenders. The attack had come on the morning of August 18, after the Americans had escaped on the yacht from the area around Butaritari Village, the main settlement on Makin. No reply was received, and so Abe sent another request seeking an urgent decision. Islets and Villages. The present name of the island is Butaritari in the island nation of Kiribati. The 27th Infantry Division was tasked to supply the landing force, with one regimental combat team (the 165th Infantry Regiment, the famed "Fighting 69th" of the New York National Guard), reinforced by a battalion landing team (the 3rd Battalion, 105th Infantry Regiment), supported by the 105th Field Artillery Battalion and the 193rd Tank Battalion, under Major General Ralph C. Smith, a veteran of World War I, who had assumed command in November 1942. [4][5] The number of trained combat troops on Makin was not more than 300 soldiers. After Carlson's raid, the Japanese reinforced the Gilberts, which had been left lightly guarded. The island that is referred to as Makin Island is, in fact, the island of Butaritari. They would neutralize the small Japanese garrison and destroy equipment before leaving the island and returning aboard the submarines. Although the raiders had lost 30 men, they had killed approximately 46 Japanese. Admiral Chester Nimitz had argued for this invasion earlier in 1943, but the resources were not available to carry it out at the same time as Operation Cartwheel, the envelopment of Rabaul in the Bismarck Islands. Taniura dispatched two military doctors who provided medical service to the village for two days. The Battle of Makin was an engagement of the Pacific campaign of World War II, fought from 20 to 24 November 1943, on Makin Atoll in the Gilbert Islands. Two destroyers of the destroyer screen, USS Hull and USS Franks, left the destroyer screen, leaving a gap in the screen. It was transferred to Hawaii and remained there for 1½ years before being chosen by Lt. Gen. Robert C. Richardson Jr., U.S. Army Commanding General in the Central Pacific, for the Gilbert Islands invasion. During the war, at least four seaplanes were sunk in the lagoon. Executions on the Western Shore of the Kwajalein Atoll. Under cover of darkness, they took the small trading yacht Kariamakingo, owned by the local branch of the NBK (Nanyo Boyeki Kabushiki Kaisha, or South Seas Trading Company), which was the only Japanese trading company operating in the Gilbert Islands in prewar times. In 1942 the island had a small, roughly 160 man garrison, and was the site of a Japanese Airfield. The overall total of 763 American dead almost equalled the number of men in the entire Japanese garrison. Immediately after Carlson’s raid, he was deployed to Makin with reinforcements for the decimated Makin Defense Force. The mission was headed by Lt. Cmdr. Makin island consists of five small islets. Makin, now known as Butaritari, is a tiny triangular-shaped atoll at the northern tip of the Gilbert Islands, located just north of the equator between Hawaii and Papua New Guinea. Their progress off the beach was slowed only by an occasional sniper and the need to negotiate their way around the debris and water-filled craters left by the air and naval bombardment. Against an estimated 395 Japanese killed in action during the operation,[9] American ground casualties numbered 66 killed and 152 wounded. Two companies of Raiders traveled eight days by submarine from Pearl Harbor to Makin, then made one of the most daring attacks of World War II. 3, page 8). 27th Division World War Two. According to Taniura’s record, four of the raiders had thought surrender would be their best option, and they had done so by making their way to the lagoon shore and waving to a Japanese seaplane that was anchored in the lagoon. Because of space limitations aboard ship, each company embarked without one of its rifle sections. The nine prisoners were brought by truck, hands tied behind their backs and blindfolded. By July 1943 the seaplane base on Makin was completed and ready to accommodate Kawanishi H8K "Emily" flying boat bombers, Nakajima A6M2-N "Rufe" floatplane fighters and Aichi E13A "Jake" reconnaissance seaplanes. The attack on the Liscome Bay accounted for the majority of American casualties in the Battle of Makin. Each one could carry a company of raiders. It was a disaster for the small village. While the Japanese were building up their defenses in the Gilberts, American forces were making plans to retake the islands. The initial landings on Red Beach went according to plan with the assault troops moving rapidly inland after an uneventful trip on the ocean side of the island. By 1942, much of the garrison established on Makin was moved out because of little Allied threat leaving the Japanese garrison on the island with a small seaplane base, weather … The 27th Infantry Division had been a New York National Guard unit before being called into federal service in October 1940. The Battle of Makin was an engagement of the Pacific campaign of World War II, fought from 20 to 24 November 1943, on Makin Atoll in the Gilbert Islands. Considering these drawbacks and the limited combat experience of the U.S. forces, King and Nimitz decided to take the Marshalls in a step-by-step operation via the Ellice and Gilbert Islands. Okada Sadatomo, who was accompanied by Ida Hideo, from the 4th Fleet. back to top go to the end of the page. During the bombardment, a turret explosion on battleship USS Mississippi killed 43 sailors. The loss of the Liscome Bay was due to a few factors. The Japanese expected the invasion to come on the ocean side of Butaritari, following the example of Carlson's raid in 1942, and established their defenses two miles (3.2 km) from where the raid had taken place. King, the Chief of Naval Operations, wanted to attack right into the heart of the Japanese outer defense perimeter, but any plan for assaulting the Marshalls directly from Pearl Harbor would have required more troops and transports than the Pacific Fleet had at the time. They completed inspections at various islands, including Wake Island, Truk, and Tarawa, before reaching Kwajalein on October 14, two days before the execution of the nine prisoners. Its defenses were also completed, although they were not as extensive as on Tarawa Atoll—the main Japanese Navy air base in the Gilberts. American ground casualties numbered 66 killed and 152 wounded Naval base Headquarters for approximately six weeks until executed on 16... 19 Marines killed on Makin island determined fighting reduced Japanese resistance Islands area Defense unit were selected the! The Argonaut use heavy support weapons, including two F4U 's and a also. 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