WWII Japan Timeline

By LukeC_
  • Bataan Death March

    Bataan Death March
    Allied POWs with hands tied behind their backs pause during the Bataan Death March. About 76,000 prisoners including 12,000 Americans were forced on the 60 mile march under a blazing sun without food or water toward a new POW camp in the Philippines. Over 5,000 Americans died on the march which began April 10, 1942, and lasted six days for some and up to twelve days for others.
  • Doolittle Raid

    Doolittle Raid
    With only 450 feet of 'runway,' one of sixteen Army B-25 Mitchell bombers takes off from the deck of the USS HORNET on its way to take part in the Doolittle Raid, the first U.S. bombing raid on Japan. The all volunteer strike force, trained and led by Lt. Col. James Doolittle, flew 800 miles then bombed Tokyo and 3 other cities without opposition. The raid inflicted little damage but gave a big boost to Allied morale in the face of the seemingly unstoppable Japanese. April 18, 1942.
  • Corregidor

    U.S. troops surrender to the Japanese at Corregidor in the Philippine Islands, May 6, 1942. A total of 11,500 Americans and Filipinos became POWs, including the commander, Lt. Gen. Jonathan Wainwright. POWs from Corregidor and Bataan were among the worst treated. May 6, 1942.
  • Solomon Islands

    Solomon Islands
    Landing operations on Rendova Island in the Solomon Islands. Attacking at dawn in a heavy rainstorm, the first Americans ashore huddle behind tree trunks and any other cover they can find. June 30, 1943.
  • Kwajalein

    A Japanese torpedo bomber blown out of the sky after a direct hit by 5 inch shell from the U.S. Aircraft Carrier YORKTOWN which it attempted to attack, off Kwajalein. December 4, 1943.
  • Solomon Islands

    Solomon Islands
    In an underground surgery room behind the front lines on Bougainville in the Solomon Islands, an American Army doctor operates on a U.S. soldier wounded by a Japanese sniper. December 13, 1943.
  • Gilbert Islands

    Gilbert Islands
    A 165th Infantry assault wave attacks Butaritari, Yellow Beach Two, finding it slow going in the coral bottom waters while Japanese machine gun fire from the right flank makes it even more difficult. Makin Atoll, Gilbert Islands. November 20, 1943.
  • Cape Gloucester

     Cape Gloucester
    Marines hit three feet of rough water as they leave their landing ship to take the beach at Cape Gloucester, New Britain. December 26, 1943.
  • Wake Island

    Wake Island
    American Army troops of the 163rd Infantry Regiment storm the beach during the invasion of Wake Island, New Guinea. May 17, 1944.
  • Saipan

    A Marine patrol on Saipan found this Japanese family hiding in a hillside cave. The mother, four children and a dog had taken shelter from the fierce fighting in that area. June 21, 1944.
  • Guam

    Just 8 minutes after U.S. Marines and Army assault troops landed on Guam, two U.S. officers plant the American flag, using a boat hook as a mast. July 20, 1944.
  • Peleliu Island

    Peleliu Island
    Taking time out for a cigarette while mopping up on Peleliu Island are Marine Pfc. Gerald Churchby (left) and his buddy Pfc. Douglas Lightheart, who cradles his 30-cal. machine gun in his lap. September 14, 1944.
  • Lingayen Gulf

    Lingayen Gulf
    Landing barges sweep through the waters of Lingayen Gulf carrying the first wave of invaders to the beaches of Luzon following a naval bombardment of Japanese shore positions. January 9, 1945.
  • U.S.S. Hornet Tokyo

    U.S.S. Hornet Tokyo
    40mm guns of the USS HORNET fire at Japanese suicide dive bombers, the Kamikazes, as the carrier's own planes were raiding Tokyo, February 16, 1945. By the end of the war, Japan will have sent an estimated 2,257 Kamikazes. "The only weapon I feared in the war," Admiral Halsey said.
  • Tokyo

    Pilots aboard a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier receive last minute instructions before taking off to attack industrial and military installations in Tokyo. February 17, 1945.
  • Iwo Jima

    Iwo Jima
    Marines of the 5th Division inch their way up a slope on Red Beach No. 1 toward Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima, defended by seven Japanese Battalions. By nightfall, 566 Marines were killed and 1,854 wounded. February 19, 1945.
  • Iwo Jima

    Iwo Jima
    Five Marines and a Navy hospital corpsman raise the flag on Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima, using a piece of Japanese pipe as a mast, February 23, 1945. Three of the flag raisers were later killed as the fighting raged on. By March 16, when Iwo Jima was declared secured, 6,821 Americans and 21,000 Japanese (the entire force) had died. The flag raising photo and subsequent statue came to symbolize being a Marine.
  • Okinawa Wounded

    Okinawa Wounded
    Transfer of the wounded from the USS BUNKER HILL to the USS WILKES BARRE, off Okinawa. May 11, 1945.
  • Kyushu

    USS BUNKER HILL hit by two Kamikazes in 30 seconds off Kyushu, resulting in 372 dead and 264 wounded. May 11, 1945
  • Okinawa

    A member of the Marine 1st Division draws a bead on a Japanese sniper with his tommy-gun as his companion ducks for cover while his division works to take Wana Ridge before the town of Shuri, Okinawa. The ferocious hand to hand fighting on Okinawa resulted in 12,281 Americans and 110,000 Japanese killed by June 21, 1945. The suicidal dedication of the Japanese defenders indicated an invasion of Japan itself would be costly, with estimates of at least 500,000 potential Allied casualties.
  • Hiroshima

    Col. Paul W. Tibbets, pilot of the B-29 Superfortress ENOLA GAY, waves from the cockpit just before taking off from Tinian Island to drop the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima. The 9,000 lb. bomb was dropped from 31,600 feet and detonated at 8:15 a.m., August 6, 1945, about 1,900 feet above the center of Hiroshima. The Japanese estimated 72,000 were killed and 70,000 out of 76,000 buildings in the city were destroyed.
  • Nagasaki

    A Roman Catholic cathedral on a hill is all that remains in this section of Nagasaki following the dropping of the second Atomic Bomb from a B-29 flown by Major Charles W. Sweeney, August 9, 1945. The Japanese estimated 25,680 were killed and 44 percent of the city was destroyed.
  • Guam Surrender

    Guam Surrender
    Japanese POWs at Guam, with bowed heads, after hearing Emperor Hirohito announce Japan's unconditional surrender. August 15, 1945.
  • Yokohama Freed

    Yokohama Freed
    Allied POWs at Aomori camp near Yokohama cheer their U.S. Navy liberators, waving flags of the United States, Great Britain and Holland. August 29, 1945.
  • Surrender Ceremony

    Surrender Ceremony
    Gen. Douglas MacArthur signs as Supreme Allied Commander during formal surrender ceremonies on the USS MISSOURI in Tokyo Bay. September 2, 1945.
  • Tapal Massacure

    Tapal Massacure
    The Tapel Massacre of July 1, 1945. Pedro Cerono, the man who discovered the group of 8 skulls is shown. Philippine Islands, November 23, 1945.