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)",, 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. 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. The garrisons at Tarawa and Makin were left to their fate. 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. The true story of Carlson's Raiders and their World War II attack on Makin Island. Its defenses were also completed, although they were not as extensive as on Tarawa Atoll—the main Japanese Navy air base in the Gilberts. No reply was received, and so Abe sent another request seeking an urgent decision. They set about identifying and cremating the Japanese bodies, the ashes of which were then buried in a mass grave. 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. 27th Division World War Two. The Japanese submarine I-175 approached the task force undetected and fired a spread of torpedoes through the gap in the anti-submarine screen, one of which struck and sank the Liscome Bay.[8]. The overall total of 763 American dead almost equalled the number of men in the entire Japanese garrison. 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. There is still some uncertainty over how the surrender overture was delivered to Japanese military forces and how they responded. 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. 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. By using Japanese and Gilbert Islands sources of information in addition to American sources, it is now possible to clarify the matter. 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. There are several gaps through which a small boat may pass to gain access to the ocean, all of them on the western side of the atoll. America�s meager air power in the islands was soon destroyed. The present name of the island is Butaritari in the island nation of Kiribati. The remaining five raiders had opted to try to escape. 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. 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. Seizo Ishikawa. In the early hours of 24 November, the escort carrier USS Liscome Bay was sunk by the Japanese submarine I-175, which had arrived at Makin just a few hours before. They would neutralize the small Japanese garrison and destroy equipment before leaving the island and returning aboard the submarines. Butaritari's land defenses were centered around the lagoon shore, near the seaplane base in the central part of the island. Reduction operations were hampered by the frequent inability to use heavy support weapons, including tanks, because of the danger of cross-fire. [4][5] The number of trained combat troops on Makin was not more than 300 soldiers. Despite possessing great superiority in men and weapons, the 27th Division had difficulty subduing the island's small defense force. 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. Because of space limitations aboard ship, each company embarked without one of its rifle sections. 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. 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. 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. 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. One objective of the raid was to confuse the Japanese about U.S. intentions in the Pacific, but it had the effect of alerting the Japanese to the strategic importance of the Gilbert Islands and led to their further reinforcement and fortification. 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. The plan was to approach the Japanese home islands by "island hopping": establishing naval and air bases in one group of islands to support the attack on the next. The Gilbert Islands were the first step in this chain. 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. The Japanese moved their prisoners to Kwajalein Atoll, where they were later beheaded. During the war, at least four seaplanes were sunk in the lagoon. In August 1942, the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion conducted the Makin Island raid in the Central Pacific. 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. Original video. WW2 - US Marine Rescue and Makin Island Raid - Makin Atoll - Pacific War - Call of Duty World at War. With the end of the fighting on Guadalcanal, Allied forces began planning for a march across the Pacific. At a U.S. Navy tribunal held on Guam on May 15, 1946, Commander Abe was sentenced to death. The raid was among the first American offensive ground combat operations of World War II. 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 Atoll is a triangle-shaped formation of reefs and islands, the largest of which is named Butaritari. The Battle of Makin was fought November 20-24, 1943, during World War II (1939-1945). 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. 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. Planners selected Makin Atoll in the Gilbert Islands as the target. The Japanese garrison only posted 83 to 160 men under the command of a warrant officer. During the bombardment, a turret explosion on battleship USS Mississippi killed 43 sailors. 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. These men were all veterans of the Shanghai Special Naval Landing Force. 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. But there are also many places where the reef is close to the surface with insufficient depth of water for a boat to clear it. 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. About this time, Taniura arranged for medical care for the people of Keuea Village who had come under attack from Japanese bombers. Initially both Nimitz and Admiral Ernest J. A battle-weary LT. Col Evans Carlson, USMC, back onboard Nautilus after the first blooding of "Carlson's Raiders" at Makin Atoll. 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. Vol. Key Point: By using Japanese and Gilbert Islands sources of information in addition to American sources, it is now possible to clarify the matter. Pre WWII Service: In 1912 the New York State National Guard was organized into a Divisional format, which meant that groups of its regiments would be placed together under a larger organized unit, in a manner similar to that of the regular army. The Japanese record of Carlson’s raid begins after most of the raiders were on their way home to Hawaii, believing they had lost 30 men in battle and that all of them had died on Makin Island. In August 1942, the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion conducted the Makin Island raid in the Central Pacific. ww2dbase Sources: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships War History of USS Makin Island 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 Chitose and 653rd Air Corps were detached and deployed here. ", On 4 September the U.S. 5th Fleet's amphibious troops were designated the V Amphibious Corps and placed under Marine Corps Major General Holland M. Smith. They made available two large mine-laying submarines, the Nautilus and the Argonaut. 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. 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. 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. Selecting the Gilbert Islands as the first target, planning moved forward for landings on several islands including Tarawa and Makin Atoll. 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. Of these, only Makin and Kiebu islands are permanently inhabited. 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. The 27th Infantry Division had been a New York National Guard unit before being called into federal service in October 1940. 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. Japanese planes had bombed and strafed Keuea Village, 10 miles to the northeast. When the Japanese occupied the island, used the Makin Lagoon as a seaplane operating area for H6K Mavis and H8K Emily flying boats. 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. Air operations against Makin began on 13 November, with USAAF B-24 bombers of the Seventh Air Force from the Ellice Islands. 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. 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. 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. There are also several American planes, including two F4U's and a B-25 also. The V Amphibious Corps had the only two divisions, the 2nd Marine Division based in New Zealand, and the U.S. Army's 27th Infantry Division based in Hawaii. The boat was tied alongside Kings Wharf with nobody aboard. The nine prisoners were brought by truck, hands tied behind their backs and blindfolded. Taniura Hideo’s Accounts: What Happened to the Captured Marines. On 17 August 1942, 211 Marines of the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion under command of Colonel Evans Carlson and Captain James Roosevelt[1] were landed on Makin from two submarines, USS Nautilus and USS Argonaut. The invasion fleet, Task Force 52 (TF 52) commanded by Rear Admiral Richmond K. Turner left Pearl Harbor on 10 November 1943. At dawn on November 20, 1943, off Makin Atoll in the Gilbert Islands, a task force of U.S. Navy battleships, cruisers and destroyers moved into position for pre-invasion bombardment while transports carrying soldiers of the 165th Regimental Combat Team (RCT) sailed quietly into their assigned areas off Makin’s main island, Butaritari, at the southern edge of the atoll. 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. The closest island of the Marshall Islands, Nadikdik Atoll, is 290 km NNW of Makin. They left the wharf in the yacht. Unlike the other objectives, Nauru was an actual island, much larger in size and more heavily garrisoned. 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 … 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. 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 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. There, they were imprisoned at the 6th Naval Base Headquarters for approximately six weeks until executed on October 16. But when the time came to withdraw and return to the waiting submarines, there was a problem. 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 … 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. Taniura’s next task was to interrogate these nine abandoned Marines. Two destroyers of the destroyer screen, USS Hull and USS Franks, left the destroyer screen, leaving a gap in the screen. Japanese sources shed light on the Makin Raid conducted by Carlson’s Marine Raiders in 1942. A single torpedo, launched as part of a torpedo spread by I-175, detonated the Liscome Bay's aircraft bomb stockpile, causing an explosion which engulfed the entire ship, causing it to sink quickly. Although the raiders had lost 30 men, they had killed approximately 46 Japanese. The complete occupation of Makin took four days and cost considerably more in naval casualties than in ground forces. 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. 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. The island that is referred to as Makin Island is, in fact, the island of Butaritari. Kelley. Three days later Japanese troops landed on Luzon. 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. 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. 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 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. Executions on the Western Shore of the Kwajalein Atoll. 3, page 8). Makin Airfield (Butaritari, Antakana, Starmann) Troops began to go ashore at two beaches at 08:30 on 20 November. A series of strongpoints was established along Butaritari's ocean side, with 8-inch (200 mm) coastal defense guns, three 37 mm anti-tank gun positions, 10 machine gun emplacements and 85 rifle pits. They ran aground on such a patch of reef and abandoned ship, swimming and wading until they made it to shore. 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. MAKIN ISLAND received five battle stars for World War II service. Each one could carry a company of raiders. Uchiki, who had transported the prisoners to the execution site, got five years imprisonment. 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. The next morning, Japanese soldiers arrived, and they were captured. It was protected by a double apron of barbed wire and an intricate system of gun emplacements and rifle pits. 7: Aleutians, Gilberts and Marshalls, June 1942 – … The mission was headed by Lt. Cmdr. Makin atoll is an irregular formation of reefs and islands around a large lagoon, approximately triangular in shape (Map No. Directed by Ray Enright. With Randolph Scott, Alan Curtis, Noah Beery Jr., J. Carrol Naish. The commander of the 165th Infantry Regiment, Col. Gardiner Conroy, was killed in action by a Japanese sniper on the afternoon of the first day and was succeeded by Col. Gerard W.