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

Bloody Tarawa: Betio’s Lagoon

By John Wukovits

Colonel Merritt A. Edson, the 2nd Marine Division’s chief of staff, and Colonel David M. Shoup designed a simple plan to seize Betio—land along its northern beaches, drive straight across the narrow island, and kill the defenders. Read more

Pacific Theater

First Strike Against Japanese Industry

By Phil Scearce

Consolidated B-24 Liberator bomber crews of the U.S. 11th Bombardment Group spent the first three months of 1943 organizing on Hawaiian airfields and flying practice and patrol missions around the islands. Read more

Pacific Theater

“This is the Army”: Irving Berlin’s War

By Sheldon Winkler

The most successful and popular patriotic show of World War II and one of the most unique productions in the history of entertainment was Irving Berlin’s This Is the Army, which originally began as a Broadway musical. Read more

Pacific Theater

Submarine Special Missions in the Pacific

By Steven Trent Smith

Sunsets over Manila Bay are nothing less than spectacular. Once  the sun dips below the horizon there is a lingering illumination known as “blue hour” as the sky gradually shifts from pale azure to deep indigo before fading completely into the black tropical night. Read more

Pacific Theater

Sinking the Shokaku

By Johnd Domagalski

On the morning of June 13, 1944, the brilliant new aircraft carrier Taiho weighed anchor and slowly moved out of Tawi-Tawi anchorage in the Sulu archipelago in the southwestern Philippines. Read more

Pacific Theater

One Vote Against War

By Gary Kidney

On December 8, 1941, America was still shocked by news of war. President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared that the day before had been “a date which will live in infamy” because of the “unprovoked and dastardly attack” by Japan on Pearl Harbor. Read more

Pacific Theater

WWII Aircraft: The Douglas C-54 Skymaster

By Sam McGowan

At the beginning of World War II, the globe seemed huge—covered by thousands of miles of ocean and uninhabited land mass, but by the time it ended everything had been brought closer together, thanks largely to the four-engine transports of the United States Army Air Transport Command, particularly the Douglas C-54 Skymaster. Read more

Pacific Theater

First Casualties at Iwo Jima

By Christopher Marks

Lieutenant Harold Gilson Payne, Jr., was one of the first Americans to die at Iwo Jima. He did not fall in the carnage of the Marine invasion that began on February 19, 1945. Read more

Pacific Theater

Divine Wind Over Okinawa

By Kelly Bell

April 1, 1945, was Easter Sunday and April Fool’s Day. It was also the day the U.S. Army and Marine Corps launched Operation Iceberg, their massive amphibious assault on the Japanese island of Okinawa. Read more

Pacific Theater

M4 Sherman: “Blunder” or “Wonder” Weapon?

By Blaine Taylor

For the Allied tankers and infantrymen of the American, British, Canadian, and Free French armies battling German Panther and Tiger tanks in Normandy in the summer of 1944, the Sherman tank’s failures were glaringly evident as their own shells bounced off the hulls of the Nazi armor and they were themselves destroyed at a far greater range by the powerful German tanks. Read more