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War Paint ! A Pictorial History of the 4th Marine Division at War in the Pacific. Volume III: Tinian

War Paint ! A Pictorial History of the 4th Marine Division at War in the Pacific. Volume III: Tinian

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War Paint ! A Pictorial History of the 4th Marine Division at War in the Pacific. Volume III: Tinian

276 pagine
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Jul 18, 2015


War Paint: A Pictorial History of the 4th Marine Division At War in the Pacific - Volume III Tinian.

This is Volume Three of a four volume series. This volume continues where volume two left off, at the close of the battle of Saipan. Now, the 4th Marine Division will island hop to Tinian and finish their part in the Marianas Campaign. In the last volume, Volume Four, the 4th Marine Division goes to Iwo Jima. All four volumes present over 850 photographs and more than 250 artworks. These intended for a mature audience. Viewing by children is not recommended.

During the Winter of 1942, New York City based modern artist, Theo Hios, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. Soon thereafter, he found his way to other artists and the Marine Corps art program. Thus, a fully documented art movement within the ranks of the 4th Marine Division during the war in the Pacific is re-discovered.

This series will cover virtually every phase of the 4th Marine Division's history during WWII - from inception to the end of the War in the Pacific. If you are a history buff or art historian, then this series is for you.

Jul 18, 2015

Informazioni sull'autore

Military history is what I research and write about. Majored in History with a BA at The City College. Former exchange student of Chinese language at Zhongshan University in Canton, China. Earned a Masters of Science at SUNY Maritime, and wrote extensively about China's Special Economic Zones. Former shipping and transportation logistics professional worked the China - Far East Trade. Assisted starting up a freight forwarding company, a container chassis leasing firm, and later I was the Owner's Operator that initiated a bulk cargo tramp steamship company. Also worked at the World Trade Center ground zero during the post 9/11 recovery for a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contractor, and, Disaster Assistance Employee with FEMA. Much of my published work was researched at several archives, including NARA, The National Museum of the Marine Corps, The Marine Corps University, Smithsonian, Brown University and Veterans from the 4th Marine Division Association. Business and general inquiries emailed to:

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War Paint ! A Pictorial History of the 4th Marine Division at War in the Pacific. Volume III - Theo Servetas


Chapter One

Battle for Tinian Island

(July 24 - August 1, 1944)

Tinian Island:

Japan colonized Tinian Island after they captured it during World War I, and was awarded formal control by the League of Nations in 1918. Tinian was settled by ethnic Japanese, Koreans and Okinawans. Principle commodities produced were sugar, coffee, cotton and Katsuobushi, a dried fermented form of smoked skipjack tuna.

Tinian was strategically important to the Allies, it, along with Saipan and Guam, became a massive B-29 Bomber base run by the XXI Bomber Command.

At the conclusion of the Saipan operation in July, 1944, the 4th Marine Division knew by intuition that Tinian was their next objective. Clearly, Tinian Island is visible from Saipan’s southern shore by about five nautical miles. The invasion date was code named Jig Day, set on the 24th of July, 1944. The taking of Tinian was the third phase of Operation Forager, with the first two phases being Saipan and Guam, respectively. The 4th Marine Division and its support unit, the 5th Amphibious Corps were the main forces tasked to take the objective, while the 2nd Marine Division was positioned to hit the beach near Tinian Town.

Marine Corps historian Benis Frank noted a story that occurred on Saipan when it was secured. Upon that time the 4th Division staff briefed the officers about the upcoming Tinian operation. Then, the division chief of staff ordered Bill McCahill, the 4th Division PRO, to remain in his quarters, obviously fearing that McCahill would leak the story to civilian correspondents. This indicated an almost total lack of understanding regarding the release of stories, censorship, the channels of communication, and the like, for how could the civilians’ stories be released if not through official administrative channels in the first place?¹

Troop movement from Saipan to Tinian was summarized in the Muster Roll of Officers and Enlisted Men of the U.S. Marine Corps, a footnote that applied to the entire 4th Marine Division stated:

(July) 1-9, participated in battle and securing of Saipan, Marianas Islands. (July) 23, embarked aboard landing craft at Saipan, Marianas Islands. (July) 24, disembarked at Tinian, Marianas Islands. (July) 24-31, participated in battle thereafter.²

Therefore, it can be derived that the Marines of the Fighting Fourth spent a night on their respective landing crafts. During the early morning Pre-H-Hour Preparations, it rained all night while Tinian Island was bombarded relentlessly with naval gunfire. Marines were unable to find sleeping spaces below decks and had to sleep out in the elements on deck.³

WO John Link’s outfit embarked on Amtracs at the same landing beaches they hit on D-Day at Saipan. Now, on July 23rd, the 2nd Battalion of the 20th Marines spent the night on their Amtracs in the hold of an LST offshore, which transported them to Tinian. The following morning, the LST’s opened their bow doors and the Amtracs rolled off the deck and splashed and chugged their way to White Beach.

Warrant Officer John Link, Section Leader, Company E, 2nd Battalion, 20th Marines (Engineer) was tasked to clear the landing beaches, designated White Beach 1 & 2 of mines and obstacles. Those beaches were very narrow, about 60 and 85 feet wide, respectively. While underway, Link received a radio message with intelligence that the landing beaches were free of mines. Then, subsequent explosions reported, followed by an update that the beaches were heavily minded.

Meanwhile, the 2nd Marine Division was on the other side of Tinian succeeding in giving the enemy the impression that the main invasion force was to hit the beach near Tinian Town. This resulted in the Japanese placing the majority of their ground forces there, and away from the 4th Division’s landing area. The 2nd Marine Division did not land near Tinian Town, but succeeded with the 4th Marine Division’s successful landing with light resistance. The ruse worked.

Landing beaches White 1 & 2 were very narrow. WO Link was tasked with clearing White Beach 2 of horn mines, yardstick mines and tape mines. (The horn mines Link had to unscrew the horn detonator. The horn was a six inch long by 1 ¾ inch diameter lead pipe containing a glass tube with picric acid – if that vial of glass was broken, the explosive would detonate instantly. The Engineers made up a special wrench used to unscrew those nasty horns, then carry off the explosive portion out of the way. Yardstick mines were simply unearthed and moved aside) John Link did not receive any formal training in the Marine Corps to do this: He learned on the job from his teacher, Wild Bill Balano.

An Army amtrac rolled ashore, Marines disembarked and hit the beach. Then the amtrac reared itself off the shore, made a left turn and detonated a horn mine. The amtrac was flipped over, killing the driver and his assistant. According to John Link, this was the only amtrac lost on that beach.

While mine clearing operations were largely successful and rapid, the Radio Communications jeep carrying Col. Lewis Hudson of the 2nd Bn, 25th RCT hit a mine that blew the rear wheel off, and made Col. Hudson cuss some strong explicatives at WO Link, but the men continued on with the mission without further exchange on the matter.

About 300 yards inland from the beach were two Japanese Bunkers laying defensive machine gun fire down the shore. Some Japanese

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