The Makin Raid of 1942 and the Recovery of the Marines Lost After the Battle

In August 1942 the 2nd Marine “Raider” Battalion raided what was then called Makin Island in the Gilbert Archipelago of the South Pacific.  The present name of the island is Butaritari in the island nation of Kiribati.

In 1942 the island had a small, roughly 160 man garrison, and was the site of a Japanese Airfield.  The raid was conceived as a way for the Marines to gather intelligence on what and how many Japanese forces were stationed in the Gilbert Islands.  The plan was for 211 men from companies A and B of the 2nd Marine “Raider” Battalion led by LTC Evans Carlson to land on the island under cover of darkness, neutralize the small Japanese garrison and ransack the island for anything of intelligence value before destroying the facilities and leaving the island.  The Marines would land from two submarines the USS Nautilus and USS Argonaut using small rubber boats equipped with outboard motors.

View of Makin Island from the Periscope of the USS Nautilus Before the Raid
View of Makin Island from the Periscope of the USS Nautilus Before the Raid

More after the Jump…

Book Review: Nightfighter: Radar Intercept Killer by Mark A. Magruder

[FULL DISCLOSURE: I received my copy of this book free from the author. I was not paid for this review and the opinion expressed is purely my own] Every time I think that nothing more can be written about WWII that is both interesting and informative a book like this one makes an appearance.  I will even be upfront and admit that I don’t normally go in for biographies or autobiograhies of famous people, much less someone who is not a household name.  Nightfighter: Radar Intercept Killer by Mark A. Magruder has caused me to reevaluate both opinions. This book is the story of USMC COL Marion Magruder, one of the … More after the Jump…

Book Review: Helmet for my Pillow by Robert Leckie

When I was in the hospital earlier this year for back surgery I had nothing better to do for three days than lay in my bed so I had my wife bring my laptop and the DVD’s for The Pacific and Band of Brothers. After watching the series I decided to order Leckie’s book and rad it to see how faithful to his memoirs they kept his part of the story. I had read E.B. Sledge’s With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa when I was in high school and so just pulled it off the bookshelf and reread it. Helmet for my Pillow is somewhat like With the … More after the Jump…