The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia
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Nukufetau (178.375E 8.064S) is an atoll in the Ellice Islands group northwest of Funafuti. It is nine miles (14 km km) long and five miles (8 km) wide. Its reef-enclosed lagoon has just two passes on the northwest, of which the larger is Teafua Pass. Deafatule Pass to its north is narrow and tortuous. The lagoon is too shallow for large ships and supplies had to be brought in by landing craft from Funafuti. The largest islet, Motolalo, was swampy and heavily vegetated.
The island was occupied by 2 Marine Airdrome Battalion on 27 August 1943. Within a month a 3500' (1070 meter) fighter runway was ready on 9 October, and a 6100' (1860 meter) bomber runway was completed later in the month.
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