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Lat N 24°16' Long E 154°00' Marcus Island is a small island located in the northwest Pacific Ocean, the most easterly island of Japan. Located 1,148 miles east of Tokyo. The nearest land is East Island in the Maug Islands in the Mariana Islands. In Japanese, known as "Minamitorishima", "Minami Tori Shima" or "Minami-Tori-shima" meaning Southern Bird Island.
On July 19, 1898 Marcus Island was initially claimed by Japan. In 1935, the Japanese Navy established a meteorological station on the island, and built the airfield. A channel was cut through the reef on the northwest side of the island.
At the start of the Pacific War the garrison included the 742 man Minamitorishima Guard Unit, under the command of Rear-Admiral Masata Matsubara and the 2,005 man 12th Independent Mixed Regiment, under the command of Colonel Yoshiichi Sakata.
At the height of the war, over 4,000 Japanese soldiers were stationed on the island. Defended by trench system and beach defenses around the perimeter of the island plus light and heavy anti-aircraft batteries.
Between March 1942 until July 1945 Marcus Island was attacked by American carrier aircraft and bombers and was bypassed, leaving the garrison isolated and cut off from resupply, aside from submarine or rescue.
American missions against Marcus
At the end of the war, the surviving garrison officially surrendered on August 31, 1945 to US Army General Whiting.
In 1968, Marcus was returned to Japan. Today. the island is administratively considered part of Ogasawara, Tokyo.
Marcus Airfield (Minamitorishima Airfield)
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