American Civilians murdered on Wake Island
5th October 1943: The arrival of a US Navy Task Force to bombard the Japanese forces occupying Wake Island results in a massacre of civilian detainees
The day following its strike against German shipping in Arctic waters, the US Navy demonstrated its global reach and the tremendous growth in its power with another carrier-based attack on the other side of the world.
Wake Island, a remote mid-Pacific atoll that served as a staging post for the US military before the war, had fallen to the Japanese in February 1942. From that time until the end of the war, a series of US air and sea raids bombarded the occupiers. The largest raid by far was a two-day attack by the largest US Navy carrier force yet assembled on the 5th-6th October 1943.
Over two days Task Force 14’s carrier-based aircraft flew 510 sorties, dropping 340 tons of bombs, while fleet units bombarded the island with 3198 rounds of 5" and 8" projectiles.
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