#MilitaryMonday: June 1944 – Invasion of Saipan

Saipan Invasion, 15 June 1944. LCVPs approach the landing beaches on “D-Day,” 15 June 1944, National Archives photograph, 80-G-231821.

Saipan Invasion, 15 June 1944. LCVPs approach the landing beaches on “D-Day,” 15 June 1944, National Archives photograph, 80-G-231821.

On June 15, 1944, following intensive naval gunfire and carrier-based aircraft bombing, the Fifth Fleet’s Task Force 52 lands the Marines on Saipan, which is the first relatively large and heavily defended land mass in the Central Pacific to be assaulted by US amphibious forces. Among the ships firing gun support were battleships USS Tennessee (BB-43) and USS California (BB-44). 

The island is secured on July 9.

Inching In (The Beach at Saipan, June 1944) Robert Benney #13 Oil on canvas Gift of Abbott Laboratories 88-159-AR Courtesy of the Navy Art Collection.

Inching In (The Beach at Saipan, June 1944)
Robert Benney #13
Oil on canvas
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-AR
Courtesy of the Navy Art Collection.

Saipan Invasion, 15 June 1944. Marines take cover on the beach while awaiting the arrival of following waves, during the initial assault, 15 June 1944. Note LVT at left. This view is also available from the U.S. Marine Corps as USMC 81716. National Archives photograph, 80-G-234712.

Saipan Invasion, 15 June 1944. Marines take cover on the beach while awaiting the arrival of following waves, during the initial assault, 15 June 1944. Note LVT at left. This view is also available from the U.S. Marine Corps as USMC 81716. National Archives photograph, 80-G-234712.

USS Tennessee (BB-43). Underway in Puget Sound, Washington, on 12 May 1943, after modernization. Note the greatly increased beam that was one element of this work. Tennessee provided gunfire support for the Saipan invasion. Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives, 19-N-45071.

USS Tennessee (BB-43). Underway in Puget Sound, Washington, on 12 May 1943, after modernization. Note the greatly increased beam that was one element of this work. Tennessee provided gunfire support for the Saipan invasion. Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives, 19-N-45071.

Saipan Invasion, 15 June 1944. 5”/38 guns of a covering Naval ship point toward Mount Tapotchau during landing operations on “D-Day, National Archives photograph, 80-G-231837.

Saipan Invasion, 15 June 1944. 5”/38 guns of a covering Naval ship point toward Mount Tapotchau during landing operations on “D-Day, National Archives photograph, 80-G-231837.

Saipan Invasion, 15 June 1944. USS Lexington (CV-16) SBD Dive Bombers fly over the invasion of fleet off Saipan, on “D-Day.” National Archives Photograph, 80-G-236958.

Saipan Invasion, 15 June 1944. USS Lexington (CV-16) SBD Dive Bombers fly over the invasion of fleet off Saipan, on “D-Day.” National Archives Photograph, 80-G-236958.

USS California (BB-44). Underway at eight knots in the Straits of Juan de Fuca, Washington, on 25 January 1944. The ship is painted in camouflage Measure 32, Design 16-D. USS California provided gunfire support for the Saipan invasion. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives, 80-G-211831.

USS California (BB-44). Underway at eight knots in the Straits of Juan de Fuca, Washington, on 25 January 1944. The ship is painted in camouflage Measure 32, Design 16-D. USS California provided gunfire support for the Saipan invasion. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives, 80-G-211831.

USS Lexington (CV-16). Photographed from USS Cowpens (CVL-25) during raids in the Marshalls and Gilberts Islands, November-December 1943. She is painted in camouflage Measure 21. In June 1944, she participated in the Saipan Invasion. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives, 80-G-K-102 (Color).

USS Lexington (CV-16). Photographed from USS Cowpens (CVL-25) during raids in the Marshalls and Gilberts Islands, November-December 1943. She is painted in camouflage Measure 21. In June 1944, she participated in the Saipan Invasion. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives, 80-G-K-102 (Color).

Saipan Invasion, 15 June 1944. USS Lexington (CV-16) SBD Dive Bomber flies over Tanapag Harbor, Saipan, during the “D-Day” landings. Maniagassa Islet is in lower right, National Archives Photograph, 80-G-236951.

Saipan Invasion, 15 June 1944. USS Lexington (CV-16) SBD Dive Bomber flies over Tanapag Harbor, Saipan, during the “D-Day” landings. Maniagassa Islet is in lower right, National Archives Photograph, 80-G-236951.

Crash

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