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    Nanumea Island  Tuvalu (Ellice Islands)
Lat 5° 40' 0S Long 176° 7' 60E  Nanumea Island is located in Tuvalu (Ellice Islands). Borders Nanumea Lagoon at the northwest corner, and borders the smaller islands of Temotufoliki Island and a number of smaller islands inside the coral area. Nanumea is 295 miles from Funafuti, and accessible only by sea.

Wartime History
During August 1943, U. S. Marines occupied Nanumea Island. Between August 18-28, 1943 elements of the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) 7th Air Force (7th AF) plus a battalion of U. S. Navy (USN) Seabees, from USS Independence and USS Princeton, occupied Nanumea. When the American forces arrived, the islanders were ordered to move to Lakena.

Japanese Air Raids
Several Japanese air raids from Kiribati targeted Nanumea. In August 1943 the ship John Williams was attacked while it was unloading supplies for coastwatchers.

Nanumea Airfield
Completed by US Navy Seabees in October 1943. Used as a fighter and bomber base.

Nanumea Lagoon
Much surplus wartime equipment was dumped into the lagoon. There is the wreckage of several US landing craft.

Wreck of John Williams
The wrecked American cargo ship, near the main settlement on the island.

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Last Updated
October 23, 2019


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