By Richard Harwood
A detailed stumble upon: The Marine touchdown on Tinian by means of Richard Harwood
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Extra info for A close encounter : the marine landing on Tinian
In his official history of the 2d Ma- rine Division, Richard W. Johnston records the reaction when news of the surrender reached the division at its base on Saipan: They looked at Tinian's clean and rocky coast, at the coral boulders where they had gone ashore, and they thought of the forbidding coasts of Japan — the coasts that awaited them in the fall. "That Tinian was a pretty good investment, I guess;' one Marine finally said. The anecdote may be apocryphal. The sentiment is historically true.
Many of them were in bad shape — hungry, wounded, ill and with few possessions be- yond the clothes they were wearing. It was estimated that about 4,000 civilians were killed in the bombard- ments of Tinian and in fighting on the island. On Saipan, Marines had been helpless to prevent mass suicides among the civilian population. They were more successful at Tinian. Un- fortunate incidents occurred— civilians, for example, dying under Marine fire after wandering into the lines at night. There were also suicides and ritual murders, as indicated in a report from the 23d Marines on 3 August: Several freak incidents occurred during the day: (1) Jap children thrown [by their parents] over cliff into ocean; (2) Efforts to prevent incidents of this kind were generally successful.
From left are RAdm Harry W. Hill; MajGen Harry Japan, a distance ideal for the B-29 with its range of 2,800 miles. Tinian became the home for two wings of the Twentieth Air Force. Three months after the conquest of Tinian, Schmidt; Adm Raymond L. Spruance; LtGen Holland M. Smith; VAdm Richmond Kelly Turner; MajGen Thomas A. Watson; and MajGen Clifton B. Cates. Marine Corps Historical Collection B-29s were hitting the Japanese main- land. Over the next year, according to numbers supplied by the Air Force to historian Carl Hoffman, the B-29s flew 29,000 missions out of the Mananas, dropped 157,000 tons of explo- sives which, by Japanese estimates killed 260,000 people, left 9,200,000 homeless, and demolished or burned 2,210,000 homes.
A close encounter : the marine landing on Tinian by Richard Harwood