PACIFIC ISLAND TERRITORIES
Baker Island |
Howland Island |
Jarvis Island |
Kingman Reef | Palmyra Atoll | Wake Island
Bora Bora Island | Canton Island | Christmas Island | Clipperton Island | Cocos Island
Enderbury Island | Galapagos Islands | Marcus Island | Nicaragua | Nuku Hiva Island
Marshall Islands | Micronesia | Palau
American WWII wartime defenses that were established in several South Pacific island groups
after May 1942 are not listed here, and are beyond the scope of this website.
The Japanese Outer Islands (Bonin Is., Volcano Is., Daito Is., Ryukyu Is., and Parece Vela I.)
occupied by the U.S. Navy after WWII (1945 - 1972) are also not included on this website.
WAKE ISLAND (U.S. Military Reservation) (United States)
(1898, 1939 - 1945/present)
The atoll was first claimed by the U.S. in 1840, and reclaimed in 1898 by U.S. Marines on their way to the Philippines. It was formally annexed by the U.S. in 1899. A commercial seaplane base was established in 1935 on Peale Islet. The U.S. Navy built an airstrip on Wake Islet in 1939. Total land area of Wake Atoll (Wake, Peale, Wilkes Islets) is three square miles. The island is currently a subpost of the U.S. Army Strategic and Missile Defense Command's Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site at Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands (see link below). Restricted access is by USAF military aircraft only. See also 1975 Vietnam Refugee Camp.
History and Info from Jane Resture.com
The U.S. Marines hastily defended the atoll in August 1941 with six 5-inch naval guns, twelve 3-inch anti-aircraft guns, eighteen .50-cal. AA machine guns, thirty .30-cal. AA machine guns, and five searchlights. There were no sound locators available. Two planned radar sets (SCR-268 and SCR-270) never arrived from Hawaii before the war started, and a relief ship with reinforcements and spare parts and other equipment was turned back in late December 1941. The 5-inch naval guns were emplaced in pairs, one on Wilkes Islet at Kuku Point (Battery C), one on Peale Islet at Toki Point (Battery B), and the other on Wake Islet at Peacock Point (Battery A). The 3-inch AA guns were emplaced in quads, one set on each islet (Batteries F, D, E respectively). A single 3-inch AMTB gun was emplaced on Wake Islet at the end of the runway on the southern shore. The Marines were encamped at Camp One on the western tip of Wake Islet. The civilian contractors were encamped at Camp Two on the northern tip of Wake Islet. The Wake Island Marine defenders have the distinction of being the only coastal defense force, among all combatants, ever to have held off an enemy amphibious landing during WWII. The Japanese were, however, successful on their second attempt two weeks later.
To Hell and Back: Wake During and After WWII by Dirk H.R. Spennemann
The Japanese defended the atoll (captured in December 1941 after an intense 16-day campaign, and renamed Otori Shima) with four 203mm (British 8-inch) and four 150mm coast defense guns, eight 127mm twin-mount dual-purpose (coast and AA) guns, one 80mm dual-purpose gun, nine 75mm anti-aircraft guns, twelve 37mm anti-tank guns, twenty-four 25mm twin-mount anti-aircraft guns, and other assorted smaller guns. The four 203mm guns were left abandoned in situ for decades, two at Toki Point, and two at Peacock Point (now since removed as of December 2009). All the large American guns were evidently removed and scrapped by the Japanese. Two American 3-inch AA guns still exist - one displayed outside the air terminal and one displayed beside the road from the terminal to the site of the bridge to Peale Islet. The atoll was not reclaimed by the United States until after Japan's surrender. The island is claimed by the Marshall Islands as Eneen Kio.
(some info provided by Philip Sims and Dirk H.R. Spennemann of the Coast Defense Study Group)
(thanks also to John Eckersley of the CDSG for additional info)
JOHNSTON ATOLL (United States)
(Johnston Island National Wildlife Refuge)
(1934 - 1949/2002)
Johnston Atoll was formally claimed by the U.S. in 1858. The U.S. Navy established an air station (seaplanes) in 1934, and was defended by a U.S. Marine Defense Battalion beginning in March 1941. The atoll, originally known as Kalama Island, was ommitted from the Hawaii Statehood bill in 1959, and thus became a separate U.S. territory. Johnston Atoll (originally only two islets: Johnston and Sand) had a combined land area of less than one square mile. Akau and Hakina Islets were man-made in the 1960's, and have increased the total atoll land area to about 1.7 square miles.
The Navy built a 5700-foot runway on Johnston Islet in 1941. In December 1941 the Marines emplaced two 5-inch naval guns (Battery Devereux) on concrete mounts, four 3-inch AA guns (Battery Godbold), eight .50-cal. AA MG, and eight .30-cal. AA MG on Johnston Islet. There were numerous Japanese attacks on the atoll that month, but none thereafter. In 1942 another two-gun 5-inch gun battery (Battery Potter), and a four-gun 3-inch AA battery (Battery Seabee), was emplaced on Johnston. In 1943 Battery Godbold was rearmed with four 90mm guns, Battery Seabee was reduced to two guns, and Battery Lewis (four 90mm) was built on Sand Islet. There were also four 40mm AA, eight 20mm AA, nine .50-cal. AA MG, and twenty-one .30-cal. AA MG emplaced in various positions in 1944. An SCR-268 (later an SCR-584) radar was located on Sand Islet. An SCR-270 (later an SCR-271) early warning AA radar was on Johnston. The Naval base was closed in 1949 and turned over to the Air Force as a nuclear weapons support facility. Later the DOD established a chemical weapons incinerator here. A Coast Guard LORAN station was here in 1957 - 1992. Military operations ceased in 2002, and the island is currently managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a National Wildlife Refuge. No public access.
(info provided by John Bennett of the Coast Defense Study Group)
PALMYRA ATOLL & KINGMAN REEF (United States)
(Palmyra Island National Wildlife Refuge)
(1940 - 1947)
Palmyra, part of the Line Islands, was once a part of the Kingdom of Hawaii after 1862. It was annexed by the United Kingdom in 1889, but was not recognized by the United States. It came under jurisdiction of the U.S. in 1898, and formally became an incorporated territory of the U.S. in 1912. A U.S. Naval Air Station was established in 1940 on Cooper Islet with a 6100-foot runway (named Lowe Field in 1943). A second strip was built on Menge Islet, and a third strip was built on Sand Islet. Land area of Palmyra Atoll (a group of 52 islets) is two square miles.
Beginning in March 1941 Palmyra was defended by a U.S. Marine Defense Battalion, which initially had only four 5-inch naval guns emplaced in pairs, four 3-inch AA guns, eight .50-cal. AA MG, and eight .30-cal. AA MG. By the beginning of 1942 there were also twelve 20mm AA, twenty 40mm AA, sixteen more .50-cal. AA MG, thirty more .30-cal. AA MG, and other various weapons. Two additional 5-inch guns were added, as well as four 3-inch naval guns, and four additional 3-inch AA guns. The 5-inch guns were emplaced on Janey Islet (Battery A), Home Islet (Battery B), and Eastern Islet (Battery C). The 3-inch guns were emplaced on Janey, Home, Eastern, Bird (Battery D), and other islets. Twelve 90mm AA guns were later emplaced in four triplets to replace all the 3-inch guns. The Army garrison left in 1944. The Naval base was closed in 1947, and the island reverted back to private ownership. The Nature Conservancy obtained the island in 2003 and cleared the overgrown Cooper Islet runway. The concrete gun emplacements and other runways are overgrown and eroding away. The island is today managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a National Wildlife Refuge. Public access is allowed only by Special Use Permit.
(info provided by John Bennett and Al Grobmeier of the Coast Defense Study Group)
Kingman Reef, the northern-most of the Line Islands, was claimed by the U.S. in 1860, formally annexed in 1922, and had no military use. Used as a commercial seaplane stopover in 1937-38. Mostly submerged, total land area is less than one-half square mile. Public access by Special Use Permit. Kingman Reef National Wildlife Refuge
JARVIS ISLAND (United States)
Jarvis Island National Wildlife Refuge
Another of the Line Islands group, claimed by the U.S. in 1857, annexed by the U.K. in 1889, and reclaimed as a U.S. territory in 1935 (by Hawaiian settlement). It was abandoned by 1941, and had no military use. Land area is 1.6 square miles. Public access by Special Use Permit.
BAKER & HOWLAND ISLANDS (United States)
(Baker Island National Wildlife Refuge)
(1943 - 1944)
Baker Island, in the Phoenix Islands group, was claimed by the U.S. in 1857, settled by Hawaiians in 1935 (Camp Meyerton), and a U.S. territory since 1936. The undefended island was attacked by the Japanese on December 8, 1941. Abandoned by the U.S. in January 1942. Not known to have been occupied by the Japanese. Re-occupied by the U.S. Army in September 1943, and defended with one battery of four 90mm guns, eight 37mm guns, eleven .50 cal. AA MG, three 60-inch searchlights, an SCR-268 radar, and an SCR-270 early warning AA radar. A 3000-foot fighter runway was also constructed by the Army Air Force. By June 1944 the defenses were withdrawn and the island became a Coast Guard LORAN station until 1946. Land area is 0.6 square mile. Public access by Special Use Permit.
(info provided by John Bennett of the Coast Defense Study Group)
Howland Island, also claimed by the U.S. in 1857, was settled by Hawaiians in 1935. It became a commercial seaplane stopover in the late 1930's. An unpaved civilian airstrip was built in 1937 (Kamakaiwi Field), but was never used. It has since been fully overgrown. The island was bombed by the Japanese on December 8, 1941. All remaining settlers were evacuated in January 1942. The U.S. Navy and Marines occupied the island from September 1943 to May 1944 (Howland Naval Air Facility). Land area is one square mile. Public access by Special Use Permit. Howland Island National Wildlife Refuge
CANTON & ENDERBURY ISLANDS (formerly of the UK and US)
(1941 - 1946/1980)
Two small islands in the Phoenix Islands group originally claimed by the United States in 1856. Both were formally claimed by the United Kingdom in 1936, and by the U.S. in 1938. Administered jointly by the U.S. and the U.K. after 1939 as the Anglo-American Condominium. In 1980 these two islands officially became part of the Republic of Kiribati (formerly the British colony Gilbert and Ellice Islands, which had become independent in 1979).
Canton Island, also known as Kanton, Abariringa or Mary Island, the largest island in the group at 9 square km, was garrisoned and defended by the U.S. military during WWII. Commercial seaplane facilities were built in 1939. Three crushed-coral landing strips were built by the Army in 1941-1942 to provide an alternate route to Australia bypassing Midway and Wake Islands. Coastal defense was initially provided by two 75mm field guns and 12 .50-cal. AA machine guns in January 1942, augmented in February 1942 with two 155mm guns, two additional 75mm field guns, and eight more .50-cal. AA MG. Later four 4-inch naval guns were transferred from Hawaii, but were returned to Hawaii in 1943. Possibly two additional 155mm guns were sent as replacements. The two original 155mm guns were emplaced on Panama mounts in 1943. Two 7-inch naval guns were emplaced in 1942 on concrete mounts on the northwest point near the bomber airstrip. A 50-foot tall wooden tower provided fire-control. An SCR-270 early warning AA radar was emplaced on the other side of the runway in 1942. Anti-aircraft protection was provided by several .50-cal. AA machine guns, several 37mm guns (later 40mm guns), and four batteries of 90mm guns after 1943. The island was occasionally attacked by the Japanese. The coastal defenses were withdrawn in 1944. The U.S Naval Air Facility operated from 1943 to 1946. The Army Air Transport Command also left in 1946. A U.S. Coast Guard LORAN station was here in 1944-46. NASA later used the island as a tracking station until 1968. The Americans and British left for good in 1979.
(info provided by John Bennett and Glen Williford of the Coast Defense Study Group)
Enderbury Island (4 sq. miles) had a small civilian airstrip built in the late 1930's, but had no good anchorage or seaplane facilities. No known defenses. Abandoned since 1979.
BRITISH POLYNESIA (formerly of the UK)
The following island groups were administered by the United Kingdom, but had been claimed by the United States at one time per the provisions of the 1856 Guano Islands Act.
Formerly Disputed Islands
Washington (Teraina), Fanning (Tabuaeran) (15 sq. miles), Christmas (Kiritimati) (94 sq. miles), Malden (35 sq. miles), Starbuck, Filippo Reef (submerged), Caroline (6 sq. miles), Vostok (Staver), and Flint. No known American military use, except for Christmas Island. These islands became part of Kiribati upon independence in 1979.
Christmas Island, the largest atoll in the world, was claimed by the U.S. in 1857, and again in 1871. It was annexed by the U.K. in 1888 over American protest. The American military occupied the island beginning in November 1941 and built an airstrip (Cassidy Field) and emplaced coastal and anti-aircraft defenses, including two 75mm field guns, four 155mm guns, four 3-inch AA guns, and 12 .50-cal. AA machine guns. In February 1942 an additional two 155mm guns, two 75mm field guns, and eight .50-cal. AA MG were delivered. After WWII the island used by the British for atomic bomb testing in 1957-58 and again (also by U.S.) in 1962. British forces left the island in 1964.
(info provided by Glen Williford of the Coast Defense Study Group)
Birnie (1 sq. mile), Phoenix (Rawaki) (3 sq. miles), Sydney (Manra), Hull (Orona), Gardner (Nikumaroro), McKean (1 sq. mile), and Winslow Reef (submerged). No known military use. A U.S. Coast Guard LORAN station was located on Gardner Island in 1944-46. These islands became part of Kiribati upon independence in 1979.
Phoenix Islands Protected Area
SOUTHERN ELLICE ISLANDS:
Nukufetau, Funafuti (17 sq. miles), Nukulaelae, and Nurakita (Niulakita) (or Sophia). The U.S. Navy and Marines occupied these islands after October 1942. These islands became part of Tuvalu upon independence in 1978. All U.S. claims to these islands were withdrawn in 1979.
Tuvalu Tourism - History and Archaeology
Atafu (Duke of York) (1 sq. mile), Nukunono, Fakaofu, and Swains (Quiros) (1 sq. mile). No known military use. A U.S. Coast Guard LORAN station was located on Atafu Island in 1944-46. Once known as the Union Islands, administration was transferred by the United Kingdom to New Zealand in 1925, formally becoming the Tokelau Islands Territory in 1948. All U.S. claims to these islands were withdrawn in 1979. Swains Island was formally annexed by the United States in 1925 and attached to American Samoa (see also).
Fakaofu - Chiefly Island of Tokelau
NORTHERN COOK ISLANDS:
Penrhyn (Tongareva) (4 sq. miles), Rakahanga (Grand Duke Alexander) (1.5 sq. miles), Manihiki (Humphrey) (2 sq. miles), and Pukapuka (Danger Islands) (2 sq. miles). Administration was transferred by the United Kingdom to New Zealand in 1901, becoming part of the Cook Islands Territory. Penrhyn Island was occupied by the U.S. Navy and Marines after July 1942. All U.S. claims to these islands were withdrawn in 1980.
About the Northern Cook Islands
WWII Photo Album - 6th US Air Force
(1942 - 1946), Baltra Island *MAP*
The U.S. Army Air Force constructed two airfields on South Seymour (Baltra) Island (aka "the Rock") for medium-range bombers and fighter escorts to protect the western approaches to the Panama Canal. The U.S. Army emplaced a four-gun 155mm gun battery and several 37mm AA batteries to protect the base. Three SCR-271 early warning radar stations were built on Isabela (Albemarle) Island (at Albemarle Point, Webb Cove near St. John's Point, and Villamil near Tortuga Cove); a fourth was located on North Seymour Island; and one was briefly located on Española (Hood) Island. (NOTE: A sixth radar station was located on mainland Ecuador at La Puntilla at Salinas (west of Guayaquil).) The U.S. Navy established naval and seaplane bases at Aeolian Cove on Baltra Island, Wreck Bay on San Cristóbal (Chatham) Island, and Post Office Bay on Santa Maria (Charles) Island (site was surveyed but never constructed (?)).
Baltra Island, just north of Santa Cruz (Indefatigable) Island, is today an Ecuadorian Naval Base, and the major airport used by tourists to visit the archipelago. Santa Cruz Island is the main population center, and the location of the Galapagos Islands National Park visitors center.
Galapagos Islands.com || Discover Galapagos || Human History of the Galapagos
(1942 - 1945)
The U.S. Army emplaced an SCR-271 early warning radar here during WWII as part of the Panama Canal's outer defenses, a subpost of the U.S. Army's Signal Corps AWS unit on the Galapagos Islands. An air base was planned but never built. There were no other known defenses. The uninhabited island, about 18 square miles in area, is located about 340 miles southwest of the Costa Rica mainland (5° 31' 8" N, 87° 4' 18" W). The entire island became a Costa Rican National Park in 1978. An American B-24 bomber wreck from WWII is located on the slope of Mt. Yglesias (2092 feet elevation) on the western end of the island. The National Park's staff cabins are located at Wafer Bay on the north side. Public access by permission only.
Cocos Island National Park
(1942 - 1946), Corinto
The U.S. Navy established a seaplane and patrol boat base here during WWII as part of the Panama Canal's outer defenses. The U.S. Army emplaced guns (type ?) on nearby Isla El Cardón in 1943, removed in 1944, probably located near the old lighthouse (1876) at the northern tip of the island. The naval base was transferred to Nicaragua in 1946. Corinto is Nicaragua's only deep-water Pacific port.
CLIPPERTON ISLAND (France)
(1897 - 1917, 1944 - 1945)
A small uninhabited atoll, about two square miles in total land area, about 2-3 miles in diameter enclosing an 95-foot high barren rock, located about 670 miles off the southwestern coast of Mexico (10° 17' 32" N, 109° 12' 26" W). It was first discovered and used as a base (?) by English pirate John Clipperton sometime between 1704 - 1708. The island was next visited by the French in 1711, known as Île de la Passion, but was not formally claimed by them until 1858. Occupied by Mexican troops from 1897 until abandoned in 1917. A lighthouse was built in 1906. Arbitration by the King of Italy awarded the island back to France in 1931. French naval troops were posted here from 1935 - 1939. The U.S. Navy briefly occupied the island in 1944-45, building a small airstrip (never completed) and a weather station (no other known defenses). Abandoned since 1945 except for the occasional science expedition. Administered by France as an Overseas Territory (part of French Polynesia before February 2007).
Clipperton Island Pictures and History
FRENCH POLYNESIA (France)
(1813 - 1814, 1942 - 1946)
Bora Bora Island was occupied by the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy in February 1942 as a rear area supply base and naval refueling depot on the route to Australia, well away from any Japanese action. This became the first new overseas U.S. naval base authorized in WWII. A 6000-foot runway was built on Motu Mute Islet (now the present airport). A 3000-foot airstrip was also built. The base was defended by four two-gun 7-inch MKII naval gun batteries on concrete mounts, each battery with its own command post and two magazines, and one island harbor defense command post. Battery North was located at Tereia Point, Battery West was located at Pahua Point near the present-day Club Med Resort, Battery South was located on the ridge above Matira Point and the present-day Matira Hotel, and Battery East was located on Fitiiu Point. There were also sixteen 90mm AA guns and thirty-two 37mm AA guns emplaced in various positions, along with two SCR-270 early warning AA radar sets. The base was fully operational by April 1943. All 7-inch guns (tubes and carriages) still remain today in the original locations, except one gun tube of Battery North, which was relocated in 1982 to a museum in the village of Povai. The Army garrison was withdrawn in 1944. The Naval base was discontinued in June 1946, with the French military acquiring all assets left behind.
Bora Bora Information from Tahiti Guide.com || The Tahiti Traveler.com
(info provided by John Bennett and Al Grobmeier of the Coast Defense Study Group)
Nuku Hiva Island (aka Madison Island) was occupied in October 1813 by American Sailors and Marines from the U.S.S. Essex, under Capt. David Porter, as a temporary base to attack British whalers in the region. This became the United States' first overseas naval base. The Marines, under Lt. John Gamble, built Fort Madison to hold the island. Three captured British whalers, the Greenwich, Seringapatam, and the Sir Andrew Hammond, remained in port while the Essex left in pursuit of more action in December 1813, leaving behind a holding force of only 22 men. In May 1814, natives attacked the fort, were put down with help from the British POWs, the POWs then mutinied, the Marines regained control, then left for Hawai'i in the Hammond, only to be then captured by the H.M.S. Cherub. The island was later claimed by the French in 1842. The mountainous island is about 127 square miles, the largest of the group.
History of the Seabees from US Naval History and Heritage Command
Nuku Hiva Information from Tahiti Guide.com || The Tahiti Traveler.com
(1945 - 1968/1993)
Also known as Minami Torishima by the Japanese. Originally claimed by the U.S. in 1889, formally annexed by Japan in 1898. Garrisoned by 4000 Japanese troops during WWII, it was attacked by the U.S. Navy in 1942 and 1943 but was never assaulted or occupied by American ground troops. The 1951 Treaty of San Francisco awarded the island to the United States, but it was returned to Japan in 1968. A U.S. Coast Guard LORAN station was in operation here from 1963 - 1993.
(former US Trust Territory)
(1936 - 1945)
Minor Japanese bases were located on Ebon, Majuro, Utirik, Bokak, Kwajalein, Bikini, and Enewetak Islands. Major bases were on Jaluit, Wotje, Mili, and Taroa (Maloelap) Islands. Several Japanese gun types still exist on all the islands, in various stages of condition, along with concrete pillboxes and other structures. All known associated fire-control structures have been destroyed.
Digital Micronesia - Marshall Islands in World War II by Dirk H.R. Spennemann
Jaluit: originally emplaced by the Japanese were three 150mm coast defense guns, six 127mm twin-mount dual-purpose guns, four 80mm dual-purpose guns, twenty-four 75mm anti-tank guns, three 25mm twin-mount anti-aircraft guns, and other assorted smaller guns. None seem to have been presently surveyed.
Wotje: originally emplaced by the Japanese were four 160mm howitzers, six 150mm coast defense guns, five 150mm field guns, six 127mm twin-mount dual-purpose guns, two 120mm guns, two 100mm mortars, six 37mm anti-tank guns, three 25mm twin-mount anti-aircraft guns, two 20mm anti-aircraft guns, and other assorted smaller guns. All six 127mm guns still exist, and one 120mm gun still exists.
Mili: originally emplaced by the Japanese were seven 150mm and three 140mm coast defense guns, four 127mm twin-mount dual-purpose guns, four 80mm dual-purpose guns, nine 75mm anti-aircraft guns, two 37mm anti-tank guns, six 25mm twin-mount anti-aircraft guns, twenty-six 20mm anti-aircraft guns, and other assorted smaller guns. One 150mm gun still exists and one 127mm gun still exists.
Taroa: four Japanese 150mm guns and two 127mm twin guns still exist.
Roi-Namur: two Japanese 127mm twin guns (Type 89 AA) still exist.
The Marshall Islands were a German colony from 1885 until captured by Japan in 1914. The Japanese governed the islands by a League of Nations mandate from 1918 until 1936 when they withdrew from the League. Fortifications were built beginning in 1936. The United States captured the islands in stages from 1943 to 1944. Became part of the United Nations Trust Territory in 1947. During the Cold War, the U.S. used several islands for nuclear weapons testing. Independence came in 1986.
Marshall Islands Visitors Authority || History of the Marshall Islands || Nuclear Testing in the Marshall Islands || Welcome to Bikini Atoll
U.S. Army Strategic and Missile Defense Command's Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site - Kwajalein Atoll
FEDERATED STATES of MICRONESIA
(former US Trust Territory)
(1936 - 1945)
Most of the variety of Japanese guns used in the Marshall Islands were also emplaced in Micronesia. The remains of many bunkers and guns still exist here.
Chuuk (Truk): four 203mm (British 8-inch) turretted guns still exist at Sapuk Point on Moen (Weno) Island. Three 150mm guns still exist in Nefu Cave on Moen Island, four 150mm guns in caves on Fefan Island, two 150mm guns in a cave on Eot Island, four 150mm guns in a cave on Tol Island, two 150mm guns on Tonoas (Dublon) Island, two 150mm guns in a cave on Uman Island, and two 150mm guns on Yawata Reef. Two 140mm guns are in caves on Moen Island. Two 127mm twin guns are on Eten Island, and two 127mm twin guns are on Tonoas Island. Four 120mm dual-purpose guns are on Eot Island, two 120mm guns are in caves on Fefan Island, two 120mm guns are in caves on Tonoas Island, five 120mm dual-purpose guns are on Moen Island, and one 120mm gun is in a cave on Moen Island.
Digital Micronesia - Chuuk in WWII by Dirk H.R. Spennemann
Pohnpei (Ponape): two 150mm guns still exist at Sokehs Rock, two 150mm guns are at Mandolenimwh Harbor at Kupwariso, and one 150mm gun on Langer Island. Two 127mm twin guns are at Sokehs Rock.
Yap: four 120mm dual-purpose guns still existed here until recently (?).
Kosrae (Kusaie): unknown or no data.
The Spanish walled the town of Kolonia on Pohnpei in 1887 after a rebellion by the local populace. The wall still exists.
The former Caroline Islands were controlled by the Spanish from 1885 to 1899. They then became a German colony from 1899 until captured by Japan in 1914. The Japanese governed the islands by a League of Nations mandate from 1918 to 1936 when they withdrew from the League. Fortifications were built beginning in 1936. The United States captured the islands in stages from 1944 to 1945. Became a part of the United Nations Trust Territory in 1947. Independence came in 1986.
PALAU (former US Trust Territory)
(1936 - 1945)
The remains of Japanese bunkers and other structures still exist here.
Peleliu: one 200mm gun still exists in a cave above the airfield, and two 120mm dual-purpose guns are in a rock ledge at Ngesbus Island Beach. Of interest is the Peleliu WWII Memorial Museum.
Koror: one 120mm gun exists on Rock Island, one 140mm gun is on the main island, and three 140mm guns are on Ngerekebesang Island.
Babeldaob: one 120mm gun still exists in situ on the southwest coast in Aimelik State, as well as two shielded 150mm rapid-fire naval guns (British Armstrong type, 1902), and a casemated gun (size ?), on the west coast in Ngaremlengui State. Another mounted gun exists in situ on the northern tip of Urukthapel Island near the German-built coral block lighthouse (1903).
Also known as Belau, Palau was once part of the German Caroline Islands from 1899 until captured by Japan in 1914. The Japanese governed the islands by a League of Nations mandate from 1918 until 1936 when they withdrew from the League. Fortifications were built beginning in 1936. The United States captured the islands in 1945. Became part of the United Nations Trust Territory in 1947. Independence came in 1994.
Palau Visitors Authority || Palau WWII Sites
Special thanks to Dirk H.R. Spennemann of the Coast Defense Study Group for providing Japanese gun data for the former Pacific Island Trust Territories.
Thanks also to Colt Denfeld and Glen Williford of the CDSG for providing a current inventory of surviving Japanese guns. Thanks to John Eckersley of the CDSG for providing corrections and additional info.
QUESTIONS ? Please send any corrections and/or additions to this list to:
"Updates" at NorthAmericanForts.com