In the only land battle of World War II to take place on incorporated U.S. territory, American forces began the invasion of Attu, in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, to dislodge occupying Japanese Forces on May 11, 1943.
U.S. FORCES BLAST JAPANESE FROM ATTU [ETC.], 1943
From the “United News” Newsreels series from the Office of War Information
Captured Japanese photograph. U.S. soldiers and sailors surrendering to Japanese forces at Corregidor, Philippine Islands, 05/1942
On May 6, 1942, 11,000 U.S. and Filipino troops surrendered on the island fortress of Corregidor, known as the Gibraltar of the East. This marked the final Japanese conquest of the Philippines. U.S. and Filipino forces would recapture the island in 1945.
70 years ago on April 18, 1943, a squadron of American P-38 Lightnings intercepted and shot down a flight carrying Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, commander of the Imperial Japanese Navy and planner of the attack on Pearl Harbor. In an intelligence coup, U.S. Naval Intelligence had earlier decrypted Japanese transmissions detailing Yamamoto’s travel plans to the Solomon Islands. The P-38 Lightning was selected as one of the few fighter aircraft capable of making the 1000 mile roundtrip intercept mission.
Lt. Woody J. Cochran holding a Japanese flag, New Guinea, 04/01/1943
A Cherokee from Oklahoma and a bomber pilot, Lieutenant Cochran earned the Silver Star, Purple Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross, and Air Medal.
The Battle of Bismarck Sea, March 2, 1943
Japanese attempts to check Allied advances in New Guinea during World War II were frustrated when their convoy of reinforcements was intercepted and destroyed by coordinated air assaults by American and Australian forces.
From: APPOINTMENT IN TOKYO
“Five Sullivan Brothers - They Did Their Part”
The five Sullivan brothers (Albert, Francis, George, Joseph, and Madison) served together as shipmates aboard the cruiser USS Juneau after requesting special permission from the Secretary of the Navy. The Juneau was sunk on November 13, 1942, off the island of Guadalcanal by Japanese submarine I-26.
On 12 November 1942 three days of fighting began, in what came to be known as the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. The battle began with Japanese air attacks on American ships which had just landed reinforcements, including units from the US Army’s Americal Division (learn more here). Over the course of the next three days, the battle would evolve into a monumental engagement between battleships, cruisers, and destroyers in the narrow confines of Iron Bottom Sound.
In this photo, USS President Jackson (AP 37) maneuvers while under Japanese air attack off Guadalcanal on 12 November. In the center background is smoke from an enemy plane that had just crashed into the after superstructure of USS San Francisco (CA 38), which is steaming away in the right center. National Archives image 80-G-32366.
The Battle of Santa Cruz - October 26, 1942
A Japanese bomb splashes astern of a U.S. carrier as the enemy plane pulls out of its dive above the carrier. In the center is another enemy plane that has made an unsuccessful dive. Battle of Santa Cruz., 10/26/1942
A tactical victory for the Japanese, sinking the USS Hornet and severely damaging the USS Enterprise, the battle left their naval air forces decimated and ineffective in the South Pacific.
The Naval Historical Foundation is looking for some help identifying a few of the ships shown here:
Looking for Assistance on World War II Ship Recognition at Ulithi Atoll
We recently received an inquiry about some well known photographs from World War II. The images depict a vast fleet of U.S. Navy warships at anchor at Ulithi Atoll, on 8 December 1944, nicknamed “Murderer’s Row.” A group of model builders is working to recreate the images in question, using 1/2400 scale ship models. The aircraft carriers in the top image (National Archives photo 80-G-294131) are clearly identifiable: from the front, Wasp (CV 18), Yorktown (CV 10), Hornet (CV 12), Hancock (CV 19) and Ticonderoga (CV 14). In the bottom photo (National Archives photo 80-G-294129), taken just seconds apart from the first, carrier Lexington (CV 16) is also visible.
Torpedoed Japanese destroyer photographed through periscope of U.S.S. Wahoo or U.S.S. Nautilus., June 1942
Sources indicate this was likely taken through the periscope of the Narwhal-class submarine USS Nautilus after it torpedoed and sank the Japanese Destroyer Yamakaze on June 25, 1942.