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.

Boyd Wagner and his squadron mates flying P-40 fighters held the line for a time in the Philippines.

Pacific Theater

Boyd Wagner: Early American Ace

By Sam McGowan

Common wisdom has long held that Japanese pilots and aircraft, particularly their fighters, were superior to the American, Australian, and British counterparts they faced in combat in the Philippines and Southeast Asia in the opening months of U.S. Read more

Pacific Theater

Island-Hopping at Tarawa

By John Walker

Rear Admiral Keiji Shibasaki, commander of the elite Japanese garrison entrenched on tiny Betio Island in the central Pacific Ocean, boasted in mid-1943 that his heavily fortified island redoubt could hold out “against a million Americans for a thousand years.” Read more

General Douglas MacArthur, leader of the allied campaign in the Southwest Pacific, commanded an amphibious drive to the Philippines and beyond.

Pacific Theater

General Douglas MacArthur’s Navy

by Glenn Barnett

In November 1941, the U.S. Asiatic Fleet weighed anchor in Shanghai, China, for the last time. Alarmed by the growing hostility and aggressiveness of the Japanese, Admiral Thomas Hart ordered the outnumbered and outgunned American vessels moved to the relative safety of Manila Bay in the Philippines. Read more

Pacific Theater

Fateful Decision: The Dropping of the Atomic Bomb

By Flint Whitlock

On August 7, 1945, the day after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, President Harry S. Truman announced, “The force from which the sun draws its power has been loosed against those who brought war to the Far East. Read more

Pacific Theater

Hell’s Own Cesspool: Okinawa in WWII

By John Walker

On Easter morning, April 1, 1945, the Pacific island of Okinawa trembled beneath an earthshaking bombardment from American combat aircraft overhead and ships steaming offshore in preparation for an amphibious landing of unprecedented magnitude. Read more

Pacific Theater

Ernie Pyle: Fated at Ie Shima

by Roy Morris Jr.

Ernie Pyle did not want to go to Okinawa. He was too old, too tired, and—some said—too jaded for yet another American invasion of ferocious enemy territory. Read more

Pacific Theater

The Marine Corps’ Ka-Bar Fighting Knife

by Mike Haskew

When Private Clarence Garrett of the 28th Regiment, 5th Division, United States Marine Corps, clung to the loose black volcanic sand on the sloping beach of Iwo Jima on Feburary 19, 1945, he probably had no idea that his photograph was being taken. Read more

William Nolan, an American prisoner Of The Japanese, endured unspeakable hardships during the Bataan Death March and as a POW.

Pacific Theater

The Tokyo War Crimes Trials

by Roy Morris Jr.

When the Tokyo War Crimes Trials opened in the former hilltop headquarters of the Japanese military at Ichigaya on May 3, 1946, American-born chief prosecutor Joseph Keenan faced a difficult task. Read more

Pacific Theater

Fire Control at the Battle of Surigao Strait

by David Alan Johnson

One of the main reasons for the success of the battleships West Virginia, Tennessee, and California at Surigao Strait was their Mk 8 fire control radar, which was used in conjunction with the Mk 8 rangekeeper computer. Read more

One of the places U.S. Marine forces lost their good fortune in Okinawa was Sugar Loaf Hill, a small mound of dirt bearing a fairytale name.

Pacific Theater

Sugar Loaf Hill Survival: U.S. Marines in the Okinawa Campaign

By John Wukovits

The grimy, weary Marines heard with little emotion the instructions shouted by their officer. He wanted them to mount yet another charge to the top of the nondescript hill blocking their way, another collection of rock housing an enemy that tried to halt their advance. Read more