Pratas (116.719E 20.707N) is an atoll in the the northern part of the South China Sea, about 150 miles (240 km) southeast of Hong Kong.
It has a single large island, which is about 2 miles (3 km) long and 1 mile (1.6 km) wide. The Japanese occupied Pratas and established a weather station and fuel station here, but did not complete an airfield. The island was evacuated early in 1945, just prior to being bombarded and occupied by the crew of submarine Bluegill, which, unacquainted in some of the finer points of geography and international relations, raised an American flag and claimed this historically Chinese territory as Bluegill Island. The island was duly returned to the Kuomintang after the war and renamed Tungsha Chuntao (Dongsha Qundao).
The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia © 2011 by Kent G. Budge. Index