Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Photos: The Pacific in WWII

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December 7, 1941: This picture, taken by a Japanese photographer, shows how American ships are clustered together before the surprise Japanese aerial attack on Pear Harbor, Hawaii, on Sunday morning, Dec. 7, 1941. Minutes later the full impact of the assault was felt and Pearl Harbor became a flaming target.

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December 7, 1941: The battleship USS Arizona belches smoke as it topples over into the sea during a Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The ship sank with more than 80 percent of its 1,500-man crew. The attack, which left 2,343 Americans dead and 916 missing, broke the backbone of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and forced America out of a policy of isolationism. President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced that it was "a date which will live in infamy" and Congress declared war on Japan the morning after.

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December 7, 1941: Heavy damage is seen on the destroyers, U.S.S. Cassin and the U.S.S. Downes, stationed at Pearl Harbor after the Japanese attack on the Hawaiian island.

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The shattered wreckage of American planes bombed by the Japanese in their attack on Pearl Harbor is strewn on Hickam Field, Dec. 7, 1941.

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June 1942: The USS Lexington, U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, explodes after being bombed by Japanese planes in the Battle of the Coral Sea in the South Pacific during World War II.

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August 3, 1942: After hammering Port Moresby for two days, Japanese bombers finally sank this Australian transport which sends up a cloud of smoke. She drifted onto a reef and heeled over. Flaming oil can be seen at left. The men in a small boat, foreground, are looking for victims.

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Aug. 29, 1942: After landing in force, U.S. Marines pause on the beach of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands before advancing inland against the Japanese during World War II.

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Aug. 1942: U.S. Marines, with full battle kits, charge ashore on Guadalcanal Island from a landing barge during the early phase of the U.S. offensive in the Solomon Islands during World War II.

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Oct. 29, 1942: U.S. Marines man a .75 MM gun on Guadalcanal Island in the Solomon Islands during World War II.

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Nov. 3, 1942: Pushing through New Guinea jungles in a jeep, General Douglas MacArthur inspects the positions and movements of Allied Forces, who would push the Japanese away from Port Moresby and back over the Owen Stanley Mountain range.

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Nov. 4, 1942: Two alert U.S. Marines stand beside their small tank on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands during World War II. The military tank was used against the Japanese in the battle of the Tenaru River during the early stages of fighting.

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January 1943: The bodies of three American soldiers, fallen in the battle for Buna and Gona, lie on the beach of the island in the Papua New Guinea region during World War II.

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January 1943: Two American soldiers of the 32nd Division cautiously fire into a Japanese dugout before entering it for inspection during a drive on Buna, which resulted in a defeat of Japanese forces in the Papaun peninsula of New Guinea during World War II.

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May 11, 1943: American invasion troops of the 7th Infantry Division approach a landing area code-named Beach Red in the western arm of Holtz Bay, on Japanese-occupied Attu island in Alaska.

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August 1943: Wounded American soldiers are seen as they lie aboard a lighter onshore at Munda Point, New Georgia island.

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Sept. 11, 1943: After three days of fighting on the front lines on Munda, a Marine's tank crew take a rest, during which their machine guns are overhauled. This platoon wiped out 30 Japanese pill boxes. Left to right are: Pfc. Arnold McKenzie, Los Angeles, Calif.; Joseph Lodico, Sharon, Mass.; Pvt. Noel M. Billups, Columbus Ohio; and Staff Sgt. Douglas Ayres, Los Angeles.

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November 1943: As the invasion at Empress Augusta Bay gets under way on Bougainville, U.S. troops are seen climbing over the side of a Coast Guard-manned combat transport to enter the landing barges.

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November 20, 1943: Under attack from Japanese machine gun fire on the right flank, men of the 165th Infantry are seen as the wade through coral bottom water on Yellow Beach Two, Butaritari, during the assault on the Makin atoll, Gilbert Islands.

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Dec. 1943: American Navajo Indians from Southwest United States, members of the 158th U.S. Infantry, are seen on a beach in the Solomon Islands. They are in their traditional dress for a tribal ceremony at Christmastime. From left to right are, Pfc. Dale Winney, Gallup, N.M; Pvt. Perry Toney, Holbrook, Ariz.; Pfc. Joe Gishi, Holbrook; and Pfc. Joe Taraha, Gallup.

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Dec. 26, 1943: U.S. Marines march ashore as they arrive in six landing crafts at Cape Gloucester on the northwestern coast of New Britain Island, New Guinea. The Allied forces made a second big invasion operation of the Japanese occupied island in an attempt to capture the big air base of Rabual, on the southwestern coast of the island.

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May 1944: The first wave of U.S. Infantrymen leave their higgins boats and race through the surf for the beach during the invasion of Wakde Island, Dutch New Guinea during World War II.

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June 1944: A Japanese bomber is shot down as it attempted to attack the USS Kitkun Bay, near the Mariana Islands.

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July 1944: U.S. Army reinforcement troops are seen as they disembark from LST's in the background and proceed across the coral reef toward Saipan beach, Mariana Islands.

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Nov. 1944: American soldiers take cover from fire of a Japanese machine gun in the Philippines during World War II. The troops are part of the first wave to land on Leyte Island in the Philippine invasion.

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November 1944: Ground crew members prepare bombs to be loaded into the racks of the waiting B-29 Superforts, at a U.S. airbase on Saipan, in the Mariana Islands.

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November 1944: Two Coast Guard-manned landing ships open their jaws as U.S. soldiers line up to build sandbag piers out to the ramps, on Leyte island, Philippines.

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December 12, 1944: After being hit in a Japanese air raid, a B-29 Superfortress explodes in ball of fire, while crewmen of the U.S. air base try to fight the inferno on Saipan, Mariana Islands.

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Feb. 1945: U.S. paratroopers of the 503rd Paratroop Regiment float to earth on Corregidor, a rocky island strategically located at the entrance of Manila Bay on Luzon Island, Philippines during World War II.

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Feb. 19, 1945: In the Pacific theater of World War II, U.S. Marines hit the beach and charge over a dune on Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands during the start of one of the deadliest battles of the war against Japan.

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Feb. 25, 1945: U.S. Corpsmen carry a wounded Marine on a stretcher to an evacuation boat on the beach at Iwo Jima while other Marines huddle in a foxhole during invasion of the Japanese Volcano Island stronghold in World War II. The U.S. invasion fleet can be seen offshore.

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March 1945: U.S. Marines prepare graves in the cemetery of the third and Fourth Marine Divisions for their buddies who died in taking the island of Iwo Jima, Japan, during World War II.

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April 1945: White markers designate the final resting place for hundreds of Third and Fourth Marine Division fighters, who died during the invasion of Iwo Jima in World War II, in this cemetery located near the beach where the U.S. Marines first established a beachhead. In the background, an American flag flies at half staff in tribute to the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who died in Warm Springs, Ga., on April 12.

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April 21, 1945: A B-29 Superfortress rests on a dirt mound after it crash landed with two engines working at Iwo Jima, Japan during World War II. The U.S. Air Force plane was damaged in a raid over Tokyo.

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March 19, 1945: The USS Santa Fe lies alongside the heavily listing USS Franklin to provide assistance after the aircraft carrier had been hit and set afire by a single Japanese dive bomber, during the Okinawa invasion off the coast of Honshu, Japan.

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May 11, 1945: While supporting the Okinawa invasion, the USS Bunker Hill is hit and severely damaged by two Japanese Kamikaze planes off the coast of Kyushu, Japan. The ship suffered 372 dead and 264 injured.

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Aug. 6, 1945: This picture made from the town of Yoshiura on the other side of the mountain north of Hiroshima, Japan, shows the smoke rising from the explosion of the atomic bomb at Hiroshima. It was picked up from an Australian engineer at Kure, Japan. Note the radiation spots on the negative caused by the explosion of the A-bomb, almost ruining the film.

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August 10, 1945: An arrow marks the spot where the A-bomb struck at Nagasaki, Japan. Much of the bombed area is still desolate, the trees on the hills in the background remained charred and dwarfed from the blast and little reconstruction, except of wooden shacks as homes, has taken place.

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August 14, 1945: A sailor and a nurse kiss passionately in Manhattan's Times Square, as New York City celebrates the end of World War II. The celebration followed the official announcement that Japan had accepted the terms of Potsdam and surrendered.

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September 2, 1945: F4U and F6F fighter planes are flying in formation over the USS Missouri, while the surrender ceremonies to end World War II take place aboard the U.S. Navy battleship.

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September 2, 1945: Gen. Douglas MacArthur signs the Japanese surrender documents aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. Lt. Gen. Jonathan Wainwright, left foreground, who surrendered Bataan to the Japanese, and British Lt. Gen. A. E. Percival, next to Wainwright, who surrendered Singapore, observe the ceremony marking the end of World War II.

WWII photos hidden in a trunk for 71 Years

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