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Battle of Tinian July 1944, LVT Museum

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Visited 2-11-11

Tinian and the Marianas

LVT with Marines, enroute to Tinian

LVT with Marines, en route to Tinian. National Archives photo.

Held by the Japanese, the Marianas were of strategic importance because they were located only 1,200 nautical miles from Japan, and within striking distance of the Japanese mainland by B-29 Superfortress bombers. Tinian was one of the islands in the chain.

Troops, Guns on Tinian

There were 8,900 Japanese combat troops and approximately 18,000 civilians on Tinian, under command of Colonel Ogata. The Japanese also had ten 140mm coastal guns, ten 120mm dual-purpose guns and three 6 inch British naval guns which were mainly located in the southern part of the island.1 Preparations to invade Tinian began after the islands of Saipan and Guam were under Allied control.

The D-Day Assault on Tinian - July 24, 1944 1

 • The 2nd and 4th Marine Divisions were called into action for the assault. 453 cargo LVTs were distributed among four battalions that would make the landings.

 • The 2nd Amtrac Battalion landed the 24th Marines over Beach White 1 in 136 cargo LVTs.

 • The 534th Amtrac Battalion landed the Arm's 773rd Battalion and the 25th Marines over White Beach 2.

Marine Corps documentary report on the WWII Battle of Tinian in the Marianas in 1944. Thirty-two minutes.

 • The 5th, 10th, and 715th Amtrac Battalions, remain ed in reserve. "C" Company of the 2nd Armored Amphibian Battalion lead the assault ashore.

 • At 0600 the amphibious LVTs were launched for the assault run.

 • 13 artillery battalions on Saipan began pounding Tinian, as eight LVTs of the 2nd Amtrac Battalion landed on Beach White 1.

 • Twenty-six minutes later the Regiment's 1st Battalion landed and by 0925 the 3rd Battalion was moving inland.

• At the end of the day, the beachhead was 3,000 yards wide and 1,500 yards deep, at the cost of 15 dead, 225 wounded, of which 7 dead and 31 wounded were amtrackers. Twenty-one Amtracs were lost, 3 to mines and the rest to coral damage and mechanical failure.

Casualties at Tinian


By the time Tinian was secured on August 1, there were 760 casualties, (105 killed) for the 2nd Marine Division, and 1,100 casualties (212 killed) for the 4th Marine Division. Japanese dead numbered 5,000 with several thousand more presumed dead in caves and underground strongholds. Sources vary as to the number of prisoners taken, ranging from 250 to 400. 2

Enola Gay and Bockscar - Tinian's Role in the Use of the Atomic Bomb

On August 6th and 8th, 1945, the B-29 Superfortresses, Enola Gay and Bockscar, took off from a North Field airbase on Tinian to drop the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Emperor Hirohito announced the surrender of Japan on August 15.

Amphibian units ~ Battle of Tinian: D-Day 24, July 19441

2nd Amphibian Tractor Battalion Reinforced (96) LVT-2s & (40) LVT-4s
10th Amphibian Tractor Battalion Reinforced (104) LVT-2s & (32) LVT-4s
708th Amphibian Tank Battalion, US Army (18) LVT-A1s
773rd Amphibian Tractor Battalion, US Army (92) LVT-2s
773rd Amphibian Tractor Battalion Reinforced, US Army (44) LVT-4s
534th Amphibian Tractor Battalion, US Army (22) LVT-2s

1 Information from sign at the WWII Korean LVT Museum at Camp Del Mar Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California.

2 Richard Harwood. A Close Encounter: The Marine Landing on Tinian. Washington, D.C. : Marine Corp Historical Center, 1994, pgs. 29-30.