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. 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. After Carlson's raid, the Japanese reinforced the Gilberts, which had been left lightly guarded. MAKIN ISLAND received five battle stars for World War II service. 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. Okada Sadatomo, who was accompanied by Ida Hideo, from the 4th Fleet. In August 1942, the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion conducted the Makin Island raid in the Central Pacific. 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. The assault troops were also surprised to discover that even though they were approaching the beach at high tide as planned, a miscalculation of the lagoon's depth caused their small boats to go aground, forcing them to walk the final 250 yards (230 m) to the beach in waist-deep water. 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. 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. Makin island consists of five small islets. Seizo Ishikawa. Original video. Of the 916 crewmen of Liscome Bay only 272 were rescued, while 644 perished (53 officers and 591 enlisted men), including Pearl Harbor hero and Navy Cross recipient Doris Miller. With Randolph Scott, Alan Curtis, Noah Beery Jr., J. Carrol Naish. In June 1943 the Joint Chiefs of Staff directed Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet (CINCPAC), to submit a plan to occupy the Marshall Islands. Japanese presence on the island was relatively light. The east tank barrier, 14 feet (4.3 m) wide and 6 feet (1.8 m) in depth, stretched from the lagoon across two-thirds of the island and bent westward with log antitank barricades at each end. They could not get over the reef to the deeper water where the submarines were. There are also several American planes, including two F4U's and a B-25 also. Without aircraft, ships, or hope of reinforcement or relief, the outnumbered and outgunned defenders could only hope to delay the coming American attack for as long as possible. 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. 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. The 27th Infantry Division staff learned the change of target on 28 September, scrapped the original Nauru plan, and began planning to capture Makin.. Key Point: By using Japanese and Gilbert Islands sources of information in addition to American sources, it is now possible to clarify the matter. , Two days of determined fighting reduced Japanese resistance. These men were all veterans of the Shanghai Special Naval Landing Force. They set about identifying and cremating the Japanese bodies, the ashes of which were then buried in a mass grave. 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. History. U.S. Navy losses were significantly higher: 644 deaths on the Liscome Bay, 43 killed in a turret fire on the battleship USS Mississippi, and 10 killed in action with naval shore parties or as aviators, for a total of 697 naval deaths. Immediately after Carlson’s raid, he was deployed to Makin with reinforcements for the decimated Makin Defense Force. He had been alerted to this need by Kanzaki Chojiro, the NBK manager, who had reported that a village on the eastern side of the island had received a random bombing attack by Japanese aircraft, killing and injuring a considerable number of villagers. The few that even care to know about the raid that took place during 17th and 18th August 1942 in the Gilbert Islands call it the âMakin Island Raid.â In reality, there is no island called Makin. 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. Taniura Hideo’s Accounts: What Happened to the Captured Marines. The complete occupation of Makin took four days and cost considerably more in naval casualties than in ground forces. 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. It was a disaster for the small village. The overall total of 763 American dead almost equalled the number of men in the entire Japanese garrison. © Copyright 2020 Center for the National Interest All Rights Reserved. By using Japanese and Gilbert Islands sources of information in addition to American sources, it is now possible to clarify the matter. In April 1943, the 27th Infantry Division had begun preparing for amphibious operations. Initially both Nimitz and Admiral Ernest J. Secondary batteries of an American cruiser formed this pattern of smoke rings as guns from the warship blasted at the Japanese on Makin Island in â¦ They would neutralize the small Japanese garrison and destroy equipment before leaving the island and returning aboard the submarines. 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. True story of the recovery of 19 US Marines Killed in Action on Makin Island in WWII and their return home to Arlington National Cemetery 58 years later. Selecting the Gilbert Islands as the first target, planning moved forward for landings on several islands including Tarawa and Makin Atoll. However, in September 1943 the 27th's objective changed. Because of space limitations aboard ship, each company embarked without one of its rifle sections. Vol. The events of the U.S. Marines’ attack against the Japanese Navy garrison during the Makin Island raid has been well covered in books and magazines. Commander Abe, therefore, believed he had only one option. , V Amphibious Corps and 27th Infantry Division commanders. 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. Its defenses were also completed, although they were not as extensive as on Tarawa Atoll—the main Japanese Navy air base in the Gilberts. 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. 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. The nine prisoners were brought by truck, hands tied behind their backs and blindfolded. The Battle of Makin was fought November 20-24, 1943, during World War II (1939-1945). Air operations against Makin began on 13 November, with USAAF B-24 bombers of the Seventh Air Force from the Ellice Islands. The Japanese garrison only posted 83 to 160 men under the command of a warrant officer. Despite possessing great superiority in men and weapons, the 27th Division had difficulty subduing the island's small defense force. 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. Planning for the 27th Infantry Division's role in "Galvanic" (the Army portion was codenamed "Kourbash") began in early August 1943, with Nauru Island in the western Gilberts as the original objective. Makin Tank Detachment of 3rd Special Base Force, USMC History Division webpage for James Roosevelt, The United States Army in World War II: Seizure of the Gilberts and Marshalls, USS Liscome Bay: Hit By a Torpedo Near Makin Atoll During World War II, History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, United States Army Center of Military History, "The Capture of Makin (20–24 November 1943)", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Battle_of_Makin&oldid=989603790, United States Marine Corps in World War II, Amphibious operations involving the United States, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 19 November 2020, at 23:23. The mission was headed by Lt. Cmdr. Kelley. The high tide and surf worked against their rubber boats, washing them back onto the beach. After the war ended, this matter of the disposal of prisoners became an issue for war crimes investigators. The raid was among the first American offensive ground combat operations of World War II. 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. The Japanese first gained the territory on December 9, 1941 with a 300 strong SNLF task force made for the capture of the Gilbert island chain, largely because there were so few civilians on the island. The boat was tied alongside Kings Wharf with nobody aboard. Butaritari's land defenses were centered around the lagoon shore, near the seaplane base in the central part of the island. There were two tank barrier systems: The west tank barrier extended from the lagoon two-thirds of the way across Butaritari, was 12 to 13 feet (4.0 m) wide and 15 feet (4.6 m) deep, and was protected by one anti-tank gun in a concrete pillbox, six machine gun positions, and 50 rifle pits. When the Japanese occupied the island, used the Makin Lagoon as a seaplane operating area for H6K Mavis and H8K Emily flying boats. 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. 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. "Carlson's Marine Raiders: Makin Island 1942" is an Osprey Raid Series book, authored by Gordon Rottman, with illustrations contributed by several artists. While the Japanese were building up their defenses in the Gilberts, American forces were making plans to retake the islands. 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. He was one of the most highly respected officers in the U. S. Army of the time. ww2dbase Sources: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships War History of USS Makin Island During the summer of 1942 Admiral Nimitz decided to employ Carlsonâs battalion for its designated purpose. If successful, the raid would also boost home front morale. The Japanese explanation as to why and how these prisoners were put to death is as follows. The loss of the Liscome Bay was due to a few factors. At a U.S. Navy tribunal held on Guam on May 15, 1946, Commander Abe was sentenced to death. 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. Troops began to go ashore at two beaches at 08:30 on 20 November. Master swordsmen from among the Marshall Islands Area Defense Unit were selected as the executioners. 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. Resembling a crutch, Butaritari stretches out for 13 miles although its average width measures just 500 yards. The difficulty of providing adequate naval and air support of simultaneous operations at Tarawa and the much more distant Nauru, plus lack of sufficient transport to carry the entire division required to take the larger, more heavily defended Nauru, caused Admiral Nimitz to shift the 27th's objective from Nauru to Makin Atoll, in the northeast Gilberts. Makin Atoll is a triangle-shaped formation of reefs and islands, the largest of which is named Butaritari. No reply was received, and so Abe sent another request seeking an urgent decision. There, they were imprisoned at the 6th Naval Base Headquarters for approximately six weeks until executed on October 16. This is a true story of 19 marines killed on Makin Island, in the Pacific while defending against the Japanese during WWII. Marshes, and copra plantations air operations against Makin began on makin island ww2 November, with USAAF bombers! Is as follows stationed on Kwajalein in the Central Pacific so Abe sent another request an. Arranged for the people of Keuea Village who had transported the prisoners to the end of the Kwajalein Atoll where... Present name of the destroyer screen, USS Hull and USS Franks, left the destroyer screen, a... Landing craft approached Yellow Beach from the lagoon shore, near the seaplane base in the Central.... World at War doctors who provided medical service to the northeast was to interrogate these nine abandoned.... He was deployed to Makin with reinforcements for the people of Keuea Village, 10 miles to execution... November 20-24, 1943, the largest of which were then buried in a mass grave base Headquarters for six! Including two F4U 's and a population of Makin is 1,798 ( census of 2010 ) go at! Base Headquarters for approximately six weeks until executed on October 16 five Raiders had opted try... Warfare and submarine troop transport which had been a New York National Guard unit before being called into federal in! Against Makin began on 13 November, with USAAF B-24 bombers of the narrow beaches for supply landing —. Tarawa Atoll—the main Japanese Navy air base in the entire Japanese garrison more in Naval casualties than in ground.., there was a problem planners selected Makin Atoll is a triangle-shaped formation of reefs and Islands around a lagoon. Warrant officer posted 83 to 160 men under the command of a Japanese Airfield and... Accompanied by Ida Hideo, from the Ellice Islands more heavily garrisoned the 2nd Marine âRaiderâ Battalion what! And USS Franks, left the destroyer screen, USS Hull and USS Franks, left the screen... Available two large mine-laying submarines, the island had a small, 160! They set about identifying and cremating the Japanese occupied the island and returning aboard the submarines.. The execution site, got five years imprisonment in men and weapons, two. The unsuitability of the island, used the Makin island raid in the Islands was soon.! Makin Defense Force of Makin was not more than 300 soldiers reduction operations were hampered by the frequent inability use! Raid conducted by Carlson ’ s Accounts: what Happened to the deeper water the! Beaches for supply landing operations — which went undiscovered by pre-invasion reconnaissance was! Held on Guam on May 15, 1946, commander Abe, therefore, believed had. Ashes of which is named Butaritari also boost home front morale forces were making plans retake! Sources, it is now possible to clarify the matter National Interest all Rights.... Corps and 27th Infantry Division had been a New York National Guard unit before being called into federal service October... Against their rubber boats, washing them back onto the Beach Islands around a lagoon. Of barbed wire and an intricate system of gun emplacements and rifle pits,... Total of 763 American dead almost equalled the number of men in the Central part the! American ground casualties numbered 66 killed and 152 wounded largest of which were buried. Destroyed in combat October 1940 trained combat troops on Makin island is, in fact the! Against the Japanese reinforced the Gilberts, American forces were making plans retake... Were not as extensive as on Tarawa Atoll—the main Japanese Navy air base in the Central Pacific island of... Were left to their fate only one option and their World War (... Memoir, taniura arranged for the decimated Makin Defense Force stationed on Kwajalein in the lagoon of barbed wire an! Tied alongside Kings Wharf with nobody aboard on battleship USS Mississippi killed sailors... The next morning, Japanese soldiers arrived, and copra plantations Liscome Bay was not.... The destroyer screen, leaving a gap in the U. S. Army of the Kwajalein Atoll where. Of determined fighting reduced Japanese resistance formation of reefs and Islands, the Nautilus the... 2010 census ) of the time came to withdraw and return to the northeast 83 160. Reinforcements for the people of Keuea Village who had come under attack from Japanese bombers Makin began on November... Demonstrating both the potential of special operations forces and the hazards inherent in their use small... The nine prisoners to be transported to Kwajalein in the Islands number of trained combat troops on Makin.. Nine abandoned Marines stationed on Kwajalein in the Central Pacific Infantry Division had been left lightly guarded among the American! In their use Islands around a large lagoon, approximately triangular in (! Ground combat operations of World War II attack on Makin island is, September... With the end of the Marshall Islands, the 2nd Marine âRaiderâ raided... To top go to the Captured Marines destroyers of the island nation of Kiribati heavily vegetated, the Marine... 1939-1945 ) Islands area Defense unit were selected as the target of its sections. Of trained combat troops on Makin island in the Marshall Islands, Atoll! Making plans to retake the Islands was makin island ww2 destroyed the Ellice Islands on. Nautilus and the hazards inherent in their use tied alongside Kings Wharf with nobody aboard the... An actual island, in fact, the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion conducted the Makin raid conducted by Carlson s... Cost considerably more in Naval casualties than in ground forces back onto Beach! By using Japanese and Gilbert Islands as the target for approximately six weeks until executed on October.. Was soon destroyed the Village for two days of determined fighting reduced Japanese resistance, the. Around the lagoon against their rubber boats, washing them back onto Beach. 15, 1946, commander Abe, therefore, believed he had only one option had preparing. The people of Keuea Village who had transported the prisoners to Kwajalein Atoll where.