- Discover essay samples

Wake Island

4.9 of 5.0 (145 reviews)

921 words

Wake Island Page 1
Wake Island Page 2
Wake Island Page 3
Wake Island Page 4
Wake Island Page 5
The above thumbnails are of reduced quality. To view the work in full quality, click download.

Wake Island

When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, America was at last forced to officially enter World War II. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt officially declared war on the Japanese and in his famous radio address to the American people, he professed that December 7 was a day that would live in infamy. Americans and Japanese alike, still remember Pearl Harbor Day, but how many remember the gallant, fighting Marines who served on a tiny atoll in the Pacific by the name of Wake Island?

Prior to the war, Wake Island, located 2300 miles west of Honolulu, was an unincorporated territory of the United States, which was placed under the jurisdiction of the Navy in 1934. It was also a Clipper stop on Pan American Airlines' famed Trans-Pacific run, and in 1939, the U.S. Navy began construction of an air and submarine base, which was half completed at the time of the attack. Because of the construction of the base, approximately 1200 civilians were on the island, working for the American construction firm, Morrison-Knudsen, in addition to the Navy personnel and Marines who had been sent to defend the island.

The first attack came at noon on December 7, 1941, when 36 Japanese

bombers initiated the first bombing of the island. The bombings by the Japanese continued until December 23, when under continuous shelling, the Americans, under U.S. Navy Commander Winfield Scott Cunningham, were finally forced to surrender. Although the Japanese finally took the island, they incurred heavy losses. Three cruisers and one transport sustained heavy damage, two destroyers and one patrol boat were sunk, while 820 Japanese soldiers were killed, with another 333 wounded. In contrast, American military casualties included 120 killed, 49 wounded, with two missing in action.

Initially, Japanese strategists assumed that the tiny island would be overwhelmed in a matter of hours. However, they underestimated the fighting spirit of the military personnel and civilians stationed on the island. For sixteen days these brave men fought against overwhelming odds, but demonstrated both to the Japanese and to their fellow Americans back at home that the Americans could and would put up a courageous fight.

During the first air raid, Pan American's facilities were destroyed, and ten civilian employees of the airline were killed. When the assault on the island was first launched, the Americans had twelve aircraft. By December 21, they were down to two planes and by the 22nd of December, none was left in the fleet. In addition, the Japanese used the technique of pattern bombing which caused heavy damage to practically every installation on the island. On the final day of the siege, over 1000 Japanese went on shore and the fighting that ensued continued for six hours.

The Marines' struggle to hold on to Wake Island came at a time when American installations in the Pacific were being both attacked and captured and the heroics of the fighting Marines on Wake did much to lift the spirit of the American people. Even when it looked as though America's chances of winning the battle for Wake were few, it has been said that when asked by radio if there was anything they wanted, the Marines replied: 'Yes, send us some more Japs.' This became a popular slogan during the war, much like 'Remember the Alamo'.

After the surrender, the Japanese rounded up all of the civilians and enlisted men and forced them to march to the airfield. There they were stripped and bound with wire and made to stand in the hot sun for two days with no food and very little water. Back on the homefront, besides worrying about the safety of their loved ones, the families of the civilians were left without the regular financial support that the construction crew had been sending prior to their unintended involvement in the war. Twenty-six civilians died during the sixteen-day siege of Wake.

On January 12, 1942, approximately 1200 American prisoners of war were loaded on board the Japanese passenger ship, the Nitta Maru, for the twelve-day voyage to China. Twenty of the wounded passengers were dropped off in Japan while five of the Americans were beheaded while aboard ship. The prisoners arrived at Shanghai on January 24 and were immediately taken to Woosung camp, twelve miles away. On December 5, 1942, they were transferred to Kiangwan War Prisoners Camp, four miles

from Woosung, where they were forced into hard labor. Several of the prisoners died as a result of the harsh treatment in the camp.

The Japanese retained 98 of the civilians at Wake to operate heavy equipment, but it was later learned that these civilians were executed on October 7, 1943, when it was thought by their captors that they had been in radio contact with U.S. naval forces. After the war, Admiral Sakaibara, who had ordered the execution, was himself hung on the island of Guam, on June 18, 1947.

In May of 1945, the prisoners were sent to Fengtai camp outside of Peking and were then moved to Fusan, Korea for eventual shipment to Hokkaido, Japan. It was here that the 1st Cavalry Division of the United States Army liberated them, 44 months after they were first captured. Two hundred and thirty-one Americans either died in the camps or on board ship.

The Japanese who remained on Wake Island after the Americans' surrender endured hardships of their own, as American attacks on the Japanese fleet in the Pacific, as well ...

You are currently seeing 50% of this paper.

You're seeing 921 words of 1842.

Keywords: wake island ww2, wake island waterpark, wake island map, wake island movie, wake island flag, wake island time, wake island battlefield, wake island rail

Similar essays

Tattoo history

Society has developed many different ways to identify who a person is or where they may come from. Some distinctions are by a skin color, or by the way a person speaks. Many years ago and even to this day tattoos have been distinguishing who a person is. Tattoos have been put onto both sexes to decorate, enhance, and modify the skin given to...

90 reviews
Personal Seat Licenses

The cost of building a state-of-the-art facility has grown dramatically over the past decade. As the pressure rises on intercollegiate athletic programs to raise as much money as possible, universities have been depending increasingly on high-cost amenities such as luxury boxes, personal seat licenses and club seating. Luxury seating includes...

189 reviews
Bilnigual education

Imagine being brought up in a family speaking only one language for your entire life and then you had to move to a foreign land where the language is different. If you had a choice of progressively learning this new language over the course of six to nine years or being put into a classroom and have to virtually teach yourself the language by...

34 reviews
Quit smoking

YOU CAN QUIT SMOKING Dr.Sayeed Akhtar Chief Medical Officer. Central Institute of Psychiatry. Ranchi Cigarettes are full of poison. Tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals as well as tar and nicotine, There is also the gas carbon monoxide, ammonia and arsenic. At least 43 of the chemicals in tobacco smoke are known to...

132 reviews
Pride -- (war Essay) --

The soldiers of my army were pounding at the walls of the enemy base, ramming into the thick stone and metal with tanks and bulldozers. There was little left on the interior of those walls, having been blown away by mortar shells or destroyed by howitzer fire. The few buildings that retained anything more than a foundation were scarred black and...

5 reviews
Describe and evaluate two expl

Describe & Evaluate Two Explanations of the Behaviour of Crowds When people are alone, their behaviour can be different to when they are part of a crowd, and sometimes this change in behaviour can even lead to violence. When you consider that crowds exist in nearly all walks of life, such as work, sports and general social life, this can b...

70 reviews
The Maori Of New Zealand

The Maori people, the natives of New Zealand, have played a strong part in the development and success of the small island nation. Their ferocity and determination won the respect of the colonizing English, and to this day they are esteemed members of the society. They hold positions in their government and are in control of their own destinies. Th...

186 reviews
Mental Training sports

Mental Training-sports Motivate Yourself! Metal preparedness is almost as important as physical training. To be mentally trained most closely means to be psychologically ready for the physical act of. Mental training includes several steps which include aquainting ones self with the event, setting a goal, finding out secret techniques or disc...

173 reviews
Why kids join neo nazi

Why kids join neo-nazi WHY KIDS JOIN NEO-NAZI GANGS In most cases the reason why kids join any gang is the result of trouble at home. If you interview a child from a skinhead gang they came from a family with one or more of the following factors: divorce, separation, physical and or sexual abuse and disfunctional parents. These condi...

67 reviews
Advertising 2

The main purpose of advertising is to sell a certain product of send a message to a certain group of people. Advertisements can be found anywhere from billboards on the highway to banners on the Internet. Some advertisements try to sell a certain product and make people aware of their presence. Other advertisements are there to deliver a cer...

211 reviews
Us vs

. microsoft The article in which I am doing my article review on is entitled, "Microsoft Lawyers Meet With U.S. Government, States" by David Lawsky. I found this article in Yahoo!News on the internet. In this paper, I will discuss the court case of the U.S. vs. Microsoft. Some of the legal issues I will discuss and illustrate are monopolies,...

127 reviews
IQ Testing

"The score on an intelligence test does predict one's ability to handle school subjects, though it foretells little of success later in life."(Gardner) Intelligence by definition is the capacity to understand and apply knowledge. Honestly, how can that be tested? What happens if the test taker is sick or he/she is answering the questions stup...

203 reviews
Elektrolux the acquisition and

The acquisition of different companies always indicates a change for both the acquiring and the acquired organisation and the people within. To successfully combine and integrate Elektrolux and Zanussi it is essential to consider both organisations' formal and informal structures which are heavily influenced by their culture. Culture develops o...

46 reviews
Filing for a Quick Divorce

Filing for divorce has become a simple and quick process with the release of self-help kits. In the past a simple divorce would cost an average of fifteen hundred to two thousand dollars and take about six months to complete. Now for a fraction of the cost and time you can file for a divorce without hiring an attorney. For thirty-five doll...

170 reviews
Atsisiųsti šį darbą