Marcus Island

Photograph of Marcus Island under attack in 1943

National Archives #520944. Via Wikimedia Commons.

Cropped by author

Marcus Island (153.980E 24.295N) was occupied by the Japanese in 1899 to serve as a cable station and was later developed into a military base. It is a tiny triangular island of just 1 square mile (2.6 km2), of which a good fraction was taken up by the Japanese airfield.

Halsey raided Marcus on 4 March 1942. The island was raided again on 31 August 1943 and 19-20 May 1944.

On 9 October 1944 a bombardment was carried out by three heavy cruisers and six destroyers under Allen Smith to suggest that the next Allied move would be up the Bonins ladder. This was unsuccessful in deceiving the Japanese, in spite of the use of smoke, dummy radar target floats, and pyrotechnics to create the impression of a large invasion force.

The island was still in Japanese hands at the end of the war.


Morison (1958)

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