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

Storming the Point at Peleliu

 By Dick Camp

By the summer of 1944, the United States was advancing on Japan’s Home Islands in a two-pronged attack through the Central and Southwest Pacific theaters. Read more

Pacific Theater

Japan’s Road to War

By Eric Hammel

Japan’s road to World War II was a long one. Throughout the late 19th century, the island nation broke out of its feudal past on a path to modernity with a ruthlessness and singlemindedness that would have scared Western nations had they been paying attention. Read more

Pacific Theater

The USO Turns 75: American soldiers’ “Home Away From Home”

By John Provan

Almost every American veteran has fond memories of a Track-Side Free Canteen, or a USO center at some train station or airport situated at locations around the world, or a “USO Camp Show” that provided entertainment close to the front lines, during every conflict since World War II. Read more

Pacific Theater

National Museum of the Pacific War

By Mason B. Webb

The small (population 12,000), central-Texas town of Fredericksburg, about an hour’s drive west of Austin and a little more than that northwest of San Antonio, may seem an odd location for the National Museum of the Pacific War until one realizes that Fredericksburg is the hometown of Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz––the Eisenhower of the Pacific Theater. Read more

Pacific Theater

A P-38 Pilot Describes the Attack on Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto

By Robert F. Dorr

When American air ace Major John Mitchell led 16 Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighters on the longest combat mission yet flown (420 miles) on April 18, 1943, Mitchell’s target was Isoroku Yamamoto, the Japanese admiral considered the architect of the Pearl Harbor attack. Read more

Pacific Theater

The Japanese Army’s “Rape of Nanking”

By Walter Zapotoczny Jr.

On August 15, 1937, the Japanese Imperial Army bombed Nanking, the capital of China. These raids were unrelenting until December 13, when Japanese troops entered the conquered city. Read more

American paratroopers of the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment descend from their Douglas C-47 transport aircraft toward the airstrip at Nadzab, New Guinea, on September 11, 1943. Another battalion is coming down in the distance behind the protective cover of a smokescreen.

Pacific Theater

Baptism for Pacific Paratroopers

By Gene E. Salecker

In March 1942, the Japanese juggernaut that had steamrolled across the Pacific during the early months of the war landed at Lae village at the southwestern corner of the Huon Peninsula of Papua New Guinea. Read more

Pacific Theater

The RAF’s Wooden Wonder Plane

By Michael D. Hull

Of the many highly successful fighter planes and bombers in the Allied arsenal during World War II, none was more versatile or singular than the Royal Air Force’s de Havilland Mosquito. Read more

Troops of the U.S. Army’s 306th Regimental Combat Team, 77th Infantry Division, come ashore at tiny Geruma Shima, one of the Kerama Retto group of islands near Okinawa, during Operation Iceberg, March 26, 1945.

Pacific Theater

Kerama Retto: Key to Victory at Okinawa

 By Pierre V. Comtois

Close to the northern end of the island of Tokashiki, the largest member of a tiny group of islands called Kerama Retto, located 15 miles west of Okinawa and hardly 400 miles from the Japanese home islands, Corporal Alexander Roberts and the rest of the 306th Regimental Combat Team rested for the night beneath the starry skies of the northern Pacific. Read more

Pacific Theater

USS Seawolf at the Battle of Christmas Island

By John Domagalski

The early months of 1942 were dark days for the United States Asiatic Fleet. Much smaller than the Pacific Fleet, and equipped with mostly outdated surface ships, the fleet was in no way capable of winning a serious confrontation with the Imperial Japanese Navy. Read more

Pacific Theater

Combat Horror On Saipan

By David H. Lippman

In the high summer of 1944, the United States was coiling a massive fist in the Central Pacific aimed directly at the Mariana Islands, specifically Saipan, Tinian, and Guam. Read more

Pacific Theater

Demise of the Japanese Navy

By Christopher Miskimon

The Japanese superbattleship Musashi was steaming east along with a fleet of other battleships, cruisers, and destroyers on their way toward what was expected to be a climactic battle at Leyte Gulf. Read more