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Pacific Theater - Relics and Battlefields from the Marianas Campaign

Article about: Hello friends, First forum post - I hope this is the right area. I've recently moved to the Marianas Islands in the Western Pacific, and for the first time ever have an opportunity to pick o

  1. #21

    Default Re: Pacific Theater - Relics and Battlefields from the Marianas Campaign

    Very good and interesting thread, The majority of this type of thread on the site seems to involve the European theatre. It is really of interest to see photos from the Pacific. I especially like the background photos which show the areas in which the relics are situated. I look forward to more photos from you.

  2. #22

    Default Re: Pacific Theater - Relics and Battlefields from the Marianas Campaign

    Awesome set of photographs, thanks very much for showing!

    Thanks

    Danny

  3. #23

    Default Re: Pacific Theater - Relics and Battlefields from the Marianas Campaign

    Great tour with photos !!!!!
    Thanks for Sharing these with us.


    John
    I specialize in M1 carbines and Lugers.

  4. #24
    ?

    Default Re: Pacific Theater - Relics and Battlefields from the Marianas Campaign

    Its great to see such things are still around to see, just laying there.

  5. #25

    Default Re: Pacific Theater - Relics and Battlefields from the Marianas Campaign

    IMPRESIVE AMAZING photos.thanks for posting them

  6. #26

    Default Re: Pacific Theater - Relics and Battlefields from the Marianas Campaign

    Thank you so much for sharing. My Grandpa fought on Tinian, along with Saipan, Eniwetok, Tarawa, and Okinawa so this is especially interesting to me.

  7. #27

    Default Re: Pacific Theater - Relics and Battlefields from the Marianas Campaign

    Those are some great photos. If you haven't seen the YouTube channel yet, check this one out. This gentleman does a lot of exploring and documenting the area you are in and I would imagine may entertain meeting up to show you around some. Saipan Pictures - YouTube Been following his videos for a long time now.

  8. #28

    Default Re: Pacific Theater - Relics and Battlefields from the Marianas Campaign

    Hello again folks! Thanks for the feedback.

    I was going to post these earlier, but I couldn't find some of the artifact photos I was looking for - I thought I had accidentally deleted them. Most people aren't terribly interested in looking at my excessive photographs of "rusted old war junk" so they tend to remain un-shared and I forget where I put them.

    This post features the tiny island of Rota - also in the Marianas chain, south of Tinian and Saipan and Aguijan but north of Guam. It used to be the site of a Japanese sugar cane plantation and though no major battles were fought here, it was fortified by the Japanese as their closest territory to Guam prior to the war. There are also local rumours of a Japanese submarine base concealed and lost along the coastline somewhere.

    Rota is a WONDERFUL example of what the islands were like way back in the day - the population is growing smaller every year, and tourism is dwindling. I visited over Thanksgiving and promptly fell asleep on the beach for 3 hours and did not see another person. As you drive round the island and you pass another vehicle, it is proper etiquette to wave to each and every car you pass. In any event, without further ado... (Again, please forgive the artsy scene photographs, there ARE relics).

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    Arrival on Rota is via light aircraft from Guam. In this case, it was being served by this twin engine Piper Navajo. Rota is an island about half the size of Guam but lacking the hustle and bustle of the tourist/military mess.

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    The main village, Songsong, is on a small isthmus between what’s known as Wedding Cake Mountain and the mainland. There are a few shops, one or two restaurants, and a few hotels. Most of the businesses are closed.

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    During the 40 year Japanese occupation of Rota they engaged in lots of sugar cane farming. The fields were linked to the mill by rail and old steam engine trains. During the taking of Rota by the Americans in WWII, the mill was bombed and shot to heck.

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    Indeed, there are several coastal defense guns around the island. Some kept up as a local landmark and others forgotten to the jungle.

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    I met a local Chamorro family who own a piece of property with a huge limestone cave that they’ve filled with relics they’ve found. When all the local families find interesting things on their properties, they bring them to the cave to add to the collection.
    The cave in the image below is actually much larger than it appears. Beyond the old glass fishing floats, the floor to ceiling height is well over 30 feet.

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    Out front they have this antiaircraft gun they’ve salvaged. Whatever minimal restoral they’ve done, all of the gears and moving parts moove smoothly.

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    Shells recovered in the jungle.

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    A rusting Japanese helmet, light bulbs and some insulators.

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    Rifles and grenades found in the jungle, along with some civilian weapons.

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    Mounted machine guns recovered.

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    More of the piles of collected artifacts.

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    And a medium sized Coconut Crab. They live in burrows and their pinchers are strong enough to cleave coconut husks which they rend to consume the meat. They can also just as easily cleave fingers.

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    On the way back the flight was fully booked up so they asked if I’d mind riding in the co-pilot’s seat (since there was no co-pilot). Best airline inconvenience I’ve ever experienced. From the cockpit, with the lights of Guam in the background.

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    Anyway, later I'll have some interesting Saipan finds as soon as I scrounge together the photos.

  9. #29

    Default Re: Pacific Theater - Relics and Battlefields from the Marianas Campaign

    FALguy - I don't know the gentleman, but I have been following the Saipan Pitctures Youtube channel for years! You're right, I should have contacted him before I headed up to Saipan. Some of the advice from his channel was helpful to me though - such as the proper and respectful way to handle the human remains (such as piling bones together for ease of collection during the Japanese gov't visits).

  10. #30

    Default Re: Pacific Theater - Relics and Battlefields from the Marianas Campaign

    DOHCdude - Being someone of the younger generation for whom WWII kind of holds a "mythical" status in my mind, it has been an amazingly sobering experience meeting with the people who fought/lived through these things, and visiting the sites I grew up watching footage of on the History Channel. I hope you are/were able to listen to some amazing first hand accounts from your grandfather?

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