The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia
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5.683S) is an atoll at the
extreme northwest end of the Ellice
Islands group and 460 miles (740 km) southeast of Tarawa. It is seven miles (11 km) long
and its small, reef-enclosed lagoon
provides no anchorage for large ships, though U.S. engineers dredged a shallow channel
for boats later in the war.
The island was occupied by 7 Marine Defense Battalion on 18 August 1943. The Japanese retaliated with air raids on 7 September and 7 November, but a 6000' (1830 meter) bomber runway with a 3000' (910 meter) fighter runway across it was ready by late September.The first raids against the Gilberts were staged through the airfield the next month.
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