Coordinates : 3°09′00″N 172°50′00″E / 3.15000°N 172.83333°E / 3.15000; 172.83333
MAKIN ISLAND RAID
Part of the Pacific Theater of
World War II
U.S. Marines return to
DATE 17–18 August 1942
RESULT U.S. tactical victory
COMMANDERS AND LEADERS
211 2nd Marine Raider Battalion 2 Officers, 69 other ranks, 2 civilians attached 13 aircraft 3 small ships
CASUALTIES AND LOSSES
19 killed 9 captured (executed later) 2 missing 17 wounded 46 killed 2 flying boats destroyed 2 small boats sunk
* v * t * e
The MAKIN ISLAND RAID (occurred on 17–18 August 1942) was an attack
* 1 Preparations and organization * 2 Execution of the raid
* 3 Evacuation of the Raiders
* 3.1 Casualties
* 4 Conclusions * 5 Bioarchaeological recovery * 6 See also * 7 Notes * 8 References * 9 External links
PREPARATIONS AND ORGANIZATION
The raid was among the first American offensive ground combat operations of World War II. The force was drawn from the 2nd Raider Battalion and comprised a small battalion command group and two of the Battalion's six rifle companies. Because of space limitations aboard ship, each company embarked without one of its rifle sections. Battalion headquarters, A Company and 18 men from B Company—totaling 121 troops—were embarked aboard the submarine Argonaut and the remainder of B Company—totaling 90 men—aboard Nautilus . The raiding force was designated Task Group 7.15 (TG 7.15).
The Makin Atoll garrison was formed in 1942 as part of the Marshall
Islands garrison and called the 62nd Garrison Force. At the time of
the Makin raid the total force opposing the American landings
consisted of 71 armed personnel of the Japanese seaplane base led by
Warrant Officer (Heisouchou) Kyuzaburo Kanemitsu of the
EXECUTION OF THE RAID
Makin as seen by USS Nautilus.
The Marine Raiders were launched in LCRL rubber boats powered by small, 6 hp (4.5 kW ) outboard motors shortly after 00:00 (midnight) on 17 August. At 05:13, Companies A and B of the 2nd Raider Battalion—commanded by Lt. Col. Evans Carlson —successfully landed on Makin. The landing had been very difficult due to rough seas, high surf, and the failure of many of the outboard motors. Lt. Col. Carlson decided to land all his men on one beach, rather than two beaches as originally planned. At 05:15, Lt. Oscar Peatross and a 12-man squad landed on Makin. In the confusion of the landing, they did not get word of Carlson's decision to change plans and land all the Raiders on one beach. Thus, Peatross and his men landed where they originally planned. It turned out to be a fortunate error. Undaunted by the lack of support, Peatross led his men inland.
At 07:00, with Company A leading, the Raiders advanced from the beach across the island to its north shore before attacking southwestward. Strong resistance from Japanese snipers and machine guns stalled the advance and inflicted casualties. The Japanese then launched two banzai charges that were wiped out by the Raiders, thus killing most of the Japanese on the island. At 09:00, Lt. Peatross and his 12 men found themselves behind the Japanese who were fighting the rest of the Raiders to the east. Peatross's unit killed eight Japanese and the garrison commander Sgt. Major Kanemitsu, knocked out a machine gun and destroyed the enemy radios; but suffered three dead and two wounded. Failing to contact Carlson, they withdrew to the subs at dusk as planned.
At 13:30, 12 Japanese planes—including two flying boats —arrived
over Makin. The flying boats—carrying reinforcements for the
Japanese garrison—attempted to land in the lagoon, but were met with
machine gun, rifle and
Boys anti-tank rifle
EVACUATION OF THE RAIDERS
At 19:30, the Raiders began to withdraw from the island using 18 rubber boats, many of which no longer had working outboard motors. Despite heavy surf seven boats with 93 men made it to the subs. The next morning several boatloads of Raiders were able to fight the surf and reach the sub; but 72 men, along with just three rubber boats, were still on the island. At 23:30, the attempt by most of the Raiders to reach the submarines failed. Despite hours of heroic effort, 11 of 18 boats were unable to breach the unexpectedly strong surf. Having lost most of their weapons and equipment, the exhausted survivors struggled back to the beach to link up with 20 fully armed men who had been left on the island to cover their withdrawal. An exhausted and dispirited Carlson dispatched a note to the Japanese commander offering to surrender, but the Japanese messenger was killed by other Marines who were unaware of Carlson's plan.
At 09:00 on 18 August, the subs sent a rescue boat to stretch rope from the ships to the shore that would allow the remaining Raiders' boats to be pulled out to sea. But just as the operation began, Japanese planes arrived and attacked, sinking the rescue boat and attacking the subs, which were forced to crash dive and wait on the bottom the rest of the day. The subs were undamaged. At 23:08, having managed to signal the subs to meet his Raiders at the entrance to Makin Lagoon, Carlson had a team, led by Lt. Charlie Lamb, build a raft made up of three rubber boats and two native canoes, powered by the two remaining outboard motors. Using this raft, 72 exhausted Raiders sailed 4 miles from Makin to the mouth of the lagoon, where the subs picked them up.
USMC casualties were given as 18 killed in action and 12 missing in
action . Of the 12 Marines missing in action, one was later identified
among the 19 Marine Corps graves found on Makin Island. Of the
remaining eleven Marines missing in action, nine were inadvertently
left behind or returned to the island during the night withdrawal.
They were subsequently captured, moved to
Carlson reported that he had personally counted 83 Japanese bodies and estimated that 160 Japanese were killed based on reports from the Makin Island natives with whom he spoke. Additional Japanese personnel may have been killed in the destruction of two boats and two aircraft. Morison states that 60 Japanese were killed in the sinking of one of the boats. Japanese records are however more precise and the entire garrison casualties were 46 killed of all ranks (not including the purported large casualties Carlson reported for the boats he had sunk). This was confirmed when supporting Japanese forces returned to the island and found 27 Japanese survivors of the raid.
This is a plaque commemorating the Makin Island Raid in 1942. This plaque is located on the island of Kwajalein.
Marine Raiders succeeded in annihilating the Japanese
garrison on the island, the raid failed to meet its other material
objectives. No Japanese prisoners were taken, and no meaningful
intelligence was collected. Also, no significant Japanese forces were
diverted from the
In 2000, 58 years after the raid, the remains of 19 Marines were found on Makin Island through bioarchaeological excavation and recovery, then sent to the Defense Department's Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii, where they were identified. Six of these Marines were returned to their families for private burial ceremonies. The remaining 13 were buried with full honors at Arlington National Cemetery after a funeral service at Fort Myer Chapel at which the Marine Commandant General James L. Jones spoke. The remaining eleven Marines have not yet been located.
* ^ (Morison, Coral Sea, Midway, and Submarine Actions, p.
* ^ Rottman (2005), pp.59–60.
* ^ 第62警備隊
* ^ p. 27 Wiles, Tripp Forgotten Raiders of '42: The fate of the
Marines Left Behind on Makin Potomac Books, Inc., 31/03/2007
* ^ Pacific Wrecks website
* ^ Leatherneck forum
* ^ Frank and Shaw, q. "Victory and Occupation". History of U.S.
Marine Corps Operations in World War II. History Branch, U.S. Marine
Corps. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
* ^ Missing Marines Website
* ^ Sato Kasumasa, "Gyokusai no Shima," Kojinsha Press, Tokyo,2004,
* Hough, Frank O.; Verle E. Ludwig; Henry I. Shaw Jr (1958). Pearl
Harbor To Guadalcanal, History Of The Marine Corps Operations In World
War II, Volume I. Washington, D.C.:
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