WAKE RAID IS REVEALED BY THE NAVY- It Followed Marcus Blow, Reported by Japs; Both Bases Hit Heavily

From the May 27, 1944 Edition of Stars and Stripes

The U.S. Navy yesterday broke its silence on recurrent Jap reports of American plane activity deep in Japanese territory and announced that aircraft from a carrier task force last Friday and Saturday dumped 148 tons of bombs on Marcus Island, 1,200 miles southeast of Tokyo.

Three days later the same force smashed at Jap-occupied Wake Island, 700 miles to the southeast, depositing 150 tons there, the Navy said. The entire operation cost Americans only four planes and three men, all lost at Marcus.

The Americans flew as they pleased both at Marcus and Wake. On the Marcus raid they spotted only two planes–one on the ground–and shot up both of them. There were no Jap aircraft around to hinder the bombing of Wake.


TBM Avengers on their way to Wake Island

Airfields Hit at Both Places

Airfield installations were the key objectives on each smash. The Americans flew 373 sorties at Marcus, with bombers and fighters wrecking ammunition and supply dumps, destroying gun positions and buildings and setting a cargo ship on fire north of the island.

Swinging on to Wake, where 354 sorties were flow, the planes destroyed 20 buildings and sank or damaged several small craft in the harbor.

Meantime, U.S. troops on Dutch New Guinea reached Maffin airfield, five miles west of the Tor River and 120 miles northwest of Hollandia, Gen. Douglas MacArthur announced.

To reach the 5,000-foot airstrip, Americans broke through Jap defenses which had subjected the bridgehead across the river mouth to heavy mortar and machine-gun fire for several days.

The Japs lost an additional 151 killed and 29 captured during the mopping up, boosting their casualties at Hollandia and Aitape to 3,222.

Claims U.S. Destroyer Hit

Japanese radio claimed that shore batteries damaged one of two American destroyers which shelled the Marshall Islands Tuesday.

In a “Navy Day” broadcast, a Jap Navy spokesman yesterday warned the home front that “the nation’s destiny is at stake.”

“Japan is confronted with a serious situation,” he said. “The enemy is bombastically stating Japan will be erased from the face of the earth. This is no mere enemy boast.”

He said that “today the whole nation must consider itself mobilized.”

For Further Reading See:

Wake Island: The Story of a Civilian POW at Niigata, Japan 1941-1945

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