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Jaluit


Digital relief map of Jaluit Atoll

Aerial photograph of Jaluit in 1978

Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands Archive

Via Wikipedia Commons

Jaluit (169.606E 5.787N) is a large (about 30 miles or 50 km long) atoll in the Marshall Islands group. The town of Jabor (169.642 5.921) was one of the largest settlements in the Marshalls. The atoll possessed a sizeable lagoon, with room for 1500 ships, which could be reached by four passes up to 9 fathoms deep. However, its suitability for a major naval base was reduced by the lack of any land mass large enough for an airfield capable of supporting military aircraft. Prior to war, the Japanese established Imiage Naval Seaplane Base on the southeast rim of the atoll, with a few seaplanes (4 F1M2 Pete and 2 E13A Jake) and a squadron of Mavis flying boats (11 H6K) from Yokohama Air Group. The atoll was garrisoned by 51 Guard Force just before war broke out. However, the Japanese did little further development of the base.

Jaluit was the primary target of Fletcher's Task Force 17 (Yorktown) during the Marshalls raid of 1 February 1942. The Jaluit strike encountered horrible weather and several aircraft never found a target, and the remainder inflicted only light damage on transport Kanto Maru (8900 tons).

Jaluit was bypassed by the Kwajalein invasion of December 1944. An aerial mining strike on 4 January 1945 led the Japanese to close the base permanently.

References

Lundstrom (2006)

Miller (1991)

Morison (1951)

Myers and Peattie (1984)

Rottman (2002)



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