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IJN October 1943
7th AF c1944
41st BG c1944
Lat 8° 42' 28 N Long 171° 14' 23" E Taroa Airfield is located on Taroa Island in the eastern corner of Maloelap Atoll. Pronounced "Tar-a-wa", not to be confused with Tarawa (Betio). The runway spaned the length of the island.
During December 1939, a battalion of Japanese prisoners were drafted for the construction of Taroa Airfield. The island was developed into a military airfield contrary to the rules of the League of Nations mandate for the Japanese administration of the Marshall Islands. Two runways were built spanning 4800' and 4100'. Also, two hangars and a service apron were constructed.
Japanese units based at Taroa
American missions against Taroa
The garrison had an extensive road network serviced by over 70 vehicles. Between Feb. 1942 - Aug. 1945, US aircraft dropped 3,543 tons of bombs and US ships fired 453 tons of shells at Taroa. While the first attacks were carrier-based and irregular, daily attacks were started after Majuro and Kwajalein had fallen to the US forces.
At the same time, all supply lines to Taroa were cut off, and the Japanese garrison was left to starve. Of the originally 3097 strong Japanese garrison (1772 Navy, 368 Army, 957 civilians) only 1041 (34%) survived. Several Marshallese were also killed. The survivor rate for Maloelap is the worst of all bases in the Marshalls. Death occurred from air raids, diseases, accidents, and suicides, but mainly from starvation. The Japanese evacuated on February 5, 1944.
22 Zero Manufacture Number 3621 Tail Y2-128
A6M3 Model 32 Zero 3318 Tail S-112/Y2-128
A6M3 Model 32 Zero Manufacture Number 3148
A6M3 Model 32 Zero Manufacture Number 3685 Tail
A6M2 Model 22 Zero Manufacture Number 31574
July 1, 1943
November 13, 1943
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