Pacific Theater WWII

Pacific Theater

The Pacific Theater during World War II is generally regarded as the area of military confrontation between the Allied powers and Imperial Japan. The Pacific Theater consists of the entire operational expanse of the war from the Aleutian Islands in the north to Australia in the south, including island chains such as the Solomons, Gilberts, Marshalls, and Marianas. The China-Burma-India (CBI) Theater is also considered a major component of the Pacific Theater.

Pacific Theater

The Men Against the Bomb

By Andrew J. Rotter

The men and women who imagined and then built the atomic bomb thought they were doing something different from what makers of “conventional” weapons did. Read more

Pacific Theater

LIFE Photographer Ralph Morse’s War

By Susan Zimmerman

In an age before television and instant communications, Americans wanted to see what was going on in the world’s “deadliest conflict in human history,” and LIFE magazine was making a name for itself as THE war magazine during World War II. Read more

Pacific Theater

The Amazing Voyages of the USS O’Brien

By Eric Niderost

At exactly three o’clock in the afternoon on February 25, 1944, a crowd gathered at the Boston Navy Yard for the commissioning ceremony of the USS O’Brien (DD725), a destroyer of the Sumner class. Read more

Pacific Theater

Shootout in Kula Gulf

By John Damagalski

The island of Guadalcanal loomed in the distance as the warships of Task Force 36.1 approached the waters of Iron Bottom Sound on July 5, 1943. Read more

Pacific Theater

A Company K in the Pacific: From Guadalcanal to Peleliu

By Jason Abady

In April 1942, a group of young Marines, having recently graduated from Officers Candidate School, arrived at New River, North Carolina, a sprawling tent city that stretched over a vast area and would eventually become known as Camp Lejeune. Read more

Pacific Theater

The OSS and the Fourth Dimension of Warfare

By Bob Bergin

Major General John K. Singlaub was a young airborne lieutenant when he took up an offer from the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) to become engaged in “hazardous duty behind enemy lines.” Read more

Pacific Theater

Pearl Harbor: The Sleeping Giant Awoken

By Flint Whitlock

It was, as the phrase goes, another perfect day in paradise. As the sun rose above the Pacific in the clear, cloudless sky east of the Hawaiian Islands, on December 7, 1941, the giant U.S. Read more

Pacific Theater

Japanese Attack on the Philippines: The “Other” Pearl Harbor

By Sam McGowan

While the surprise Japanese attacks against U.S. military bases in the Hawaiian Islands on December 7, 1941, are certainly the best-known aspect of the opening of hostilities between the two aLess well known today were the Japanese attacks on Clark Field and Iba Field on the opening day of hostilities in the Philippines. Read more

Pacific Theater

Helldiver Lieutenant Klenk

By Robert F. Dorr

Lieutenant William A. “Bill” Klenk, piloting a Curtiss SB2C-3 Helldiver, bristled at the “clawing, miserable weather,” with inverted pyramids of cloud hanging from a low ceiling and gray murk everywhere. Read more

Pacific Theater

Oahu’s Museums and Memorials

By Flint Whitlock

There are few places on earth that have as many World War II museums, memorials, and monuments located in such a small area as the island of Oahu. Read more

Pacific Theater

4 Unsolved Mysteries of the Jimmy Doolittle Raid on Tokyo

By Susan Zimmerman

April 18, 1942, will forever live in American military glory as the date of the Jimmy Doolittle Raid on Tokyo––a gutsy, never-before-attempted combat mission to fly North American B-25 Mitchell bombers off the deck of an aircraft carrier and attack an enemy capital. Read more

Pacific Theater

From the Philippines to Borneo: A PT Boat Skipper’s Life

By John Niesel

When the four members of the Japanese surrender delegation climbed aboard the deck of PT-375 on September 8, 1945, the boat’s skipper, Lieutenant Henry “Hank” Blake, directed the men to an open area on the forward deck where the Japanese could be closely watched for any signs of treachery. Read more