Marines watch as a flame-throwing amphibious tractor fires at caves in the mountainous areas used by the Japanese during the fight for the Pacific island of Peleliu. The lowlands and the airport were quickly captured, but the Umurbrogol massif—a series of limestone and choral ridges rising as high as 300 feet took much longer. A moonscape of sinkholes, canyons and cliffs further fortified by Japanese engineers, the “Umurbrogal Pocket,” and the island, was finally declared secure 73 days after the Marines had landed.

Pacific War

Savage Struggle for Peleliu

By Joshua Shepherd

Amphibious landing craft carrying U.S. Marines plunged through heavy surf toward the beaches of Peleliu Island, a formerly inconspicuous tropical paradise in the Palau Islands. Read more

In this painting by artist John Hamilton, the Japanese cruisers Mogami and Mikuma writhe under heavy American air attack on the last day of the Battle of Midway. Mikuma was sunk, but the seriously damaged Mogami managed to limp away to safety.

Pacific War

Mogami: Japan’s Luckless Cruiser

By David H. Lippman

She was the lead ship of her class, built under the 1930 London Naval Treaty, which imposed limits on cruiser, destroyer, and submarine tonnage for the United States, Great Britain, and Japan. Read more

Pacific War

Death of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto

By Phil Zimmer

Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, commander of the combined Fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy, intended to press ahead with his morale-boosting visits to forward units in the South Pacific in April 1943, despite dire warnings from subordinates of possible enemy ambushes. Read more

Pacific War

VP-16 and Operation Forager

By Bruce Petty

A great deal has been written about the Battle for Saipan, including the Battle of the Philippine Sea, remembered today as having included “The Great Marianas Turkey Shoot.” Read more

U.S. troops storm ashore during an amphibious landing on Japanese-held Saipan. Navy combat artist William Draper painted the image and titled it The Landing.

Pacific War

The Battle of Saipan

By Al Hemingway

Peering through his binoculars, Vice Adm. Chuichi Nagumo was in awe of the nearly 800 ships from Vice Adm. Read more