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Marianas Creations Saipan

Seabees & Superforts at War

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Seabees and Superforts at War, written by Don Farrell, chronicles how one small island in the western Pacific contributed to the final phases of America’s war with Japan—the island of Tinian in the Mariana Islands. The book begins with the story of how the League of Nations awarded Japan with a mandate to administer the former German-controlled islands in Micronesia, including all the Mariana Islands except the U.S. Territory of Guam. Following the Mandate rules, Japan established a civilian administration and developed a successful sugar industry in Saipan and Tinian. This all changed when Japan went into war with the United States after bombing Pearl Harbor in Hawai‘i on December 7, 1941, entering World War II.

The book follows the Americans through the defensive stage of the Pacific War, then the gradual planning that led to Operation Forager, the plan to capture the Mariana Islands. A chapter on the battle for Saipan, Operation Tearaway, serves as a prelude to the battle for Tinian, Operation Tattersalls. The book’s seventh chapter chronicles the never-before-told story of the refugee camp, Camp Chulu, on Tinian. It also includes a chapter on the massive effort by the 6th Naval Construction Brigade to build what became North Field, Tinian, the largest and busiest air port in the world at that time. The rest of the book tells the story of Superfortresses on the offensive when General Curtis LeMay took command of all B-29s in the Marianas and initiated the firebombing of Japan and the aerial mining operations that established a blockade of the country. Finally, it describes the assembly and delivery of atomic bombs from North Field to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, bringing the war to a sudden and climactic end.