Lat 27° 4' 0N Long 142° 12' 30E Chi Chi Jima is roughly five miles by three miles in size, part of the Bonin Islands (Ogasawara Islands) in Ogasawara Subprefecture off Japan. Also spelled "Chichi Jima". Also known as "Father Island" or "Ogasawara". Located roughly 600 miles off Japan and 150 mles to the south-southwest is Iwo Jima. Borders Chi Chi Jima Harbor and the smaller island of Ari Jima.
During the 1930's the Japanese began
to fortify Chi Chi Jima that served as an important radio relay link. By the end of the war, defended by approximately 25,000 Japanese troops. During 1944-1945 American aircraft began bombing the island to neutralize its defenses.
Shortly after bombs began, all but a small handful of
the civilian population was evacuated to Japan.
American missions against Chi Chi Jima (Chichi Jima)
August 12, 1944 - June 4, 1945
In total, twenty-two American aviators bailed out or ditched near Chichi Jima. Eight Americans became Prisoners Of War (POW) and executed with some eaten by high ranking Japanese officers as part of Bushido warrior indoctrination.
ARM2c Lloyd Richard Woellhof gunner SB2C 01169 POW 7-4-44, executed 8-7-44
Unknown, radioman POW 7-4-44, executed 8-7-44
AOM3c Grady Alvan York gunner TBM Avenger 22904 POW 2-18-45, executed 2-23-45
ARM3c James Wesley Dye, Jr. radio TBM Avenger 22904 POW 2-18-45, executed 2-25-45
AOM2c Glenn J. Frazier, Jr. gunner TBM 23637 POW 2-18-45, executed 2-18-45
ARM3c Marvelle "Marvie" William Mershon radio TBM 23637 POW 2-18-45, executed 2-22-45
Ensign Floyd Ewing Hall pilot TBM 23637 POW 2-18-45, executed 3-9-45
2nd Lt Warren Earl Vaugn pilot F4U 82356 POW 2-23-45, executed 3-15-45
In December 1945
U. S. Marines occupied the Bonin Islands including Chi Chi Jima and destroyed
and burned all equipment and buildings of military value to demilitarize the island. During 1946, a US Navy facility was established on the island and operated until the 1960s.
During 1947 a war crimes trial on Guam prosecuted by USMC Colonel Presley M. Rixey tried those responsible for these crimes, but received little press in the United States. The Japanese found guilty were hanged and buried in unmarked graves on Guam. Executed were Japanese Army General Yoshio Tachibana and Major Sueo Matoba who ordered the executions. Lt. Col. Kikuji Ito and Captain Noburu Nakajima who executed prisoners were executed.
Others were given prison sentences including Lt. Morishita who beheaded a prisoner.
During the 1980s, Chi Chi Jima was returned to Japan. Today, the island is a resort area for divers and vacationers from Japan.
Chi Jima Airfield)
Japanese airfield, disused since the war.
P-51D Mustang Serial Number 44-63458
Zellweger MIA June 2, 1945 over Chi Chi Jima
Yoake and Mount Asahi Radio Stations
Mount Yoake and Mount Asahi are the two two highest peaks on Chi Chi Jima. The Japanese Navy
built an array of short and long range radio receivers and transmitters
at the summit of each mountain defended by anti-aircraft guns. These communications facilities were used to relay
messages and eavesdrop on American communications. Although targeted by American
aircraft, the facility was never substantially damaged. On September 2, 1944 TBM
Avenger 46214 piloted by Lt(jg) George H. W. Bush was damaged and crashed offshore. In 1946, American occupation forces dynamited the roof the the radio facility, collapsing it.
Sunk August 4, 1944 roughly fifty miles off Chi Chi Jima
John LaPlant's Chichi Jima Bonin Islands Website
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October 23, 2019