World War II in Tuvalu
Chronology of events by the United States Air Force (Seventh
AF) in Tuvalu during World War II
Advanced HQ, , is set up on Funafuti to provide a HQ closer to tgts in the
Gilbert and Marshall Is. VII AFSC and VII BC also establish forward
echelons at Funafuti. Landing fields are being built at Baker, Nukufetau,
and Nanumea to be used, along with existing fields at Canton I and
Funafuti, as operational bases for attacks on Tarawa, Makin, Mille,
Maloelap, Jaluit, and Nauru. These operations will mark the assumption of
the offensive by and will play a conspicuous role in the invasion
and occupation of the Gilbert and Marshall Is."
Japanese aircraft bomb Nanumea, hitting A/F and destroying or damaging
several airplanes, including 1 B-24.
Air attack for GALVANIC (assault on the Gilbert Is begins. 18 B-24's from
Funafuti bomb Tarawa. 1 HB is lost.
9 B-24's from Nukufetau bomb Tarawa. 9 from Nanumea hit Mille.
20-plus B-24's from Canton and Nanumea Is bomb Jaluit, Mille, and Makin.
B-24's from Nanumea and Nukufetau bomb Jaluit and Maloelap. Single
aircraft hit Kwajalein, Little Makin, and Tarawa.
More than 20 B-24's from Funafuti and Canton Is bomb Mille, Maloelap, and
19 B-24's from Nanumea bomb Mille. 2 others hit Tarawa.
31 B-24's from Ellice Is bases hit Tarawa and Makin.
Following the 20 Nov amphibious landings on Tarawa and Makin Atolls,
resumes operations against the Marshalls, in spt of the base-development
phase of GALVANIC (Gilbert operations) and in preparation for invasion of
the Marshalls (Operations FLINTLOCK and CATCHPOLE). B-24's from Funafuti
and Nanumea bomb Nauru I.
6 B-24's from Nukufetau bomb Emidj and Jabor on Jaluit Atoll.
20 B-24's out of Nanumea bomb Maloelap Atoll, scoring hits on landing
ground and cargo vessel."
Navy Bomber Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless crash lands on
Nanumea, with the pilot escaping unhurt.
8 B-24's from Canton I and Nukufetau bomb Mille.
11 B-24's from Nanumea hit Nauru.
10 B-24's from Canton I strike Maloelap. 20 others, sent against the same
tgt from Nanumea, run into bad weather. 2 attack cargo ship and other
vessels near Maloelap, the remaining 18 return to base without attacking.
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