Thursday, July 1, 2010

Battle of Saipan

The Battle of Saipan took place between 15 June and 9 July 1944. The following are photos of the Battle of Saipan from the museum’s collection.

Clambering down a loading net, Marines leave a troop transport to board landing craft bound for the Saipan beachhead.

The first wave of Marines to hit the Saipan beach take cover behind a sand dune while waiting for supporting waves to land and start the drive inland.

When the Marines hit the beach at Saipan, many ammunition cases were broken open in the ensuing action and their contents scattered on the beach. These Leathernecks are salvaging belts and cartridges of thirty and fifty caliber sizes.

Two Marines run for cover after setting off a charge of high explosives in a Japanese dugout position during mopping up operations on Saipan.

Marine corporal Doris E. Bankhead of Roscoe, Texas, proudly displays a Japanese light machine gun that he found intact on Saipan.

Saipan souvenirs have been the best yet and these Marines boast the largest Japanese flag in captivity, 11 feet wide by 17 feet long, discovered when they took refuge in a Japanese garrison barracks during an artillery barrage at Tanapag Harbor.

Marines and Navy corpsmen give first aid to a Japanese girl who suffered a slight leg wound during the battle of Saipan.

Marine First Sergeant Neil I. Shober of Fort Wayne, Indiana, shares the spoils of war bananas with a native goat, one of the few survivors of the terrific naval and air bombardment in support of the Marines hitting the beach on the Japanese-mandated island of Saipan.

Marines found the body of Lieutenant General Yoshige Saito in a cave above Tanapag on Saipan and gave him a funeral with full military honors in accordance with Geneva Convention code. Here, Leathernecks prepare to lower the flag-draped coffin into its resting place.