Northern Mariana Islands

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  • Day88

    American Memorial Park - Saipan

    January 5, 2020 on the Northern Mariana Islands ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    I visited the American Memorial Park here in Saipan today.
    Over the years, I have read most of the history of the US Marine Corps, including Saipan . . . but just like visits to Iwo Jima, Incheon, and Belleau Wood, until you actually walk the ground, it is hard to get the full picture. Historically, Saipan was a key location during WWII. Saipan had been granted to Japan by Germany in 1914, and was considered part of the Japanese homeland by the 1920s, with nearly 30,000 Japanese civilians immigrating and living here. By 1939, Japan realized its strategic location, and had stationed 30,000 troops here for defense. The Marines landed on 15 June 1944, suffering over 2000 casualties the first day. After 3 weeks of bitter fighting, the island was taken and the US Flag was risen on 9 July. To the south of Saipan, is Tinian, also a very historical and key island, The battle of Tinian occurred from 24 Jul to 1 Aug 1944, and soon became the largest US airbase in the Pacific (and the world at that time). This would become the primary base for the new B-29s that could reach the main islands of Japan, and later launched the Enola Gay and Bockscar, that dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki . . . thus ending the war in the Pacific.

    Additional pictures are from the northern end of the island. Looking down from Suicide Cliffs (the final stand of the Japanese troops) looking down on the old runways (and the National Military Cemetery), a view of the Suicide Cliffs, and a photo at the cemetery).
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    This is looking down from Suicide Cliffs, at the old runways on the northern end of the island. Also pictures is the National Military Cemetery.


    Looking up at Suicide Cliffs


    The National Military Cemetery.

    2 more comments
  • Day55

    Saipan 4 some sightseeing

    January 2, 2020 on the Northern Mariana Islands ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    Had to sleep in yesterday.... mellow day but I did get to see some manta rays at the beach!! Saipan is an interesting place...still checking it out... unfortunately I think it’s rough for snorkeling or scuba right now...kinda reminds me of Kailua bay winter. So here’s a little bit of photo fun!Read more

    Josephine Welsh

    This is Suicide cliff also known as Laderan Banadero. A part of Saipan history when the Japanese and some civilians were trapped during WW2 by oncoming American soldiers, many chose to jump off the cliff rather than be captured. It now holds a memorial at the top.

    Patricia Welsh

    Looks a lot like Hawaii 😊


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