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

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

A Japanese balloon bomb drifted 6,000 miles to deliver a deadly blow to a party of Sunday school picnickers in Bly, Oregon.

Pacific Theater

Project Fugo: The Japanese Balloon Bombs

By Allan T. Duffin

On Saturday, May 5, 1945, three days before the end of World War II in Europe and just three months before the Japanese surrendered, spinning shards of metal ripped into the tall pine trees, burrowing holes into bark and tearing needles from branches outside the tiny logging community of Bly, Oregon. Read more

Pacific Theater

USS Murphy: Long Service in Wartime

By William B. Allmon

Eighty miles off the coast of New Jersey and 280 feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean lies the forward section of a World War II destroyer, where it came to rest more than 60 years ago. Read more

Pacific Theater

The National World War II Museum

By Peter Suciu

Opened on June 6, 2000, on the 56th anniversary of the D-Day landings, the National D-Day Museum, as it was then known, initially focused on the amphibious invasion of Normandy. Read more

Despite lacks of modern features and firepower, the 37mm cannon still served throughout the World War II.

Pacific Theater

WWII Weapons: M3 37mm Antitank Gun

By Christopher Miskimon

The men of Lieutenant Edwin K. Smith’s antitank platoon, 2nd Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division peered over the gun shields of their 37mm cannon at the column of Vichy French armored cars approaching their roadblock. Read more

Pacific Theater

Pacific Merchant Marine

By Dr. Carl H Marcoux

The American war in the Pacific proved to be largely a maritime endeavor. Fighting consisted of widespread naval battles between the two major opponents followed by American invasions of Japanese-held island bases. Read more