Aerial view from fairly high altitude, shows convoy of American warships underway in the Pacific in 1943. Nearest ship seen is an aircraft carrier. Illustrated globe and animated map show a Naval Task Force headed through the Gilbert and Marshall Islands. Three U.S. Navy Douglas Dauntless dive bombers seen flying in formation with an aircraft carrier steaming in the background. Glimpse of more aircraft carriers. Sailors in the powder handling room of the Cruiser USS Chicago (CA-29) carrying cylinders of powder for her 8-inch guns. Sailors, stripped to the waist, in one of her gun turrets, load an 8-inch shell and powder charges into the breech of one of Chicago's guns. Interesting view from below, as they close the breech and step back as the gun fires. Glimpse of Naval guns firing from a U.S. warship. Another view of sailors loading an 8-inch gun on the USS Chicago. (Note: The USS Chicago was lost between Rennel Island and Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands on 30 January, 1943.) A Baltimore Class Cruiser firing its guns. Flashes from naval guns firing from several American warships in close succession. Fire directed at the shore of a Japanese held island. Gun camera footage from a U.S. warplane strafing Japanese aircraft on the ground at an enemy air base. More gun camera footage of strafing and bombing. Closeup of a U.S. Army Air Forces B-26 Liberator bomber in flight, with others in the background. Views from U.S. Aircraft as their bombs strike Japanese targets on the ground below. A U.S. Navy TBF Avenger aircraft flying overhead as viewed from a landing craft. View from inside a landing craft full of U.S. troops heading toward an amphibious landing. Closeup glimpse of Coxswain in landing craft and troops aboard behind him. Amphibious landings being made under fierce friendly and enemy fire. U.S. troops leaving their landing craft under enemy fire. Marines firing small arms, machine guns, and using hand grenades, in sand of Tarawa. Views of fallen Japanese defenders on Tarawa. Closeup of Marine smoking a cigarette. Another is binding shoulder wound of a buddy. American flag raised on one of the few still standing palm trees. American Marines saluting the flag. Bodies of fallen American marines floating at the shore and on the sands of Tarawa. Marines departing Tarawa. Scene shifts to Chinese KMT leader Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek, seated with President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill at Cairo, Egypt on 25 November, 1943. Leading Allied military leaders sit at a table to hammer out details of postwar plans. American officers present include U.S. Army Chief of Staff George Marshall and Chief of the Army Air Forces, General Henry H. ("Hap") Arnold.
The Battle of Tarawa between U.S. and Japanese forces during World War II. U.S. Task Force ships head for Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands. U.S. officers confer aboard a ship. A stick points out the location of Tarawa on a map of the Pacific Ocean. U.S. soldiers bow their heads in prayers aboard the ship. U.S. naval guns are fired at coastal targets. U.S. Marines in landing crafts head for Tarawa. Smoke rises from artillery shell attacks on the island. The Marines use hand grenades to destroy Japanese pillboxes and machine gun nests. Reinforcements arrive and U.S. Marines advance inland after heavy fighting. Abandoned coastal artillery guns and dead Japanese soldiers on the island. The island after the battle. Forced Korean laborers on the island. A U.S. medic giving first aid to a Korean laborer. U.S. Navy CBs (Construction Battalion) make reparations and construct an airstrip on Tarawa.
U.S. Marines boarding troop transport ships in World War 2. A line of the transport ships underway in the Pacific, en route to Tarawa, Gilbert Islands. The Destroyer, USS Frazier (DD-607) seen close to port, astern, with a line extending to the transport ship. A sealed packet of orders for the transport and the Marines is delivered over the line. Scene shifts to an officer briefing marines with help of a large relief map of Betio in the Tarawa atoll. The map is complete, in every detail, down to models of structures there. Marines are seen belting machine gun ammunition and test firing their weapons. Marines on deck exercise doing calisthenics. Officer briefing Coast Guard and Navy coxswains who will be operating landing craft during the amphibious assault. Religious service being conducted on deck by a military Chaplains, on evening of November 19, 1943. Catholic chaplain, Father Francis W. Kelly, Chaplain, U.S.N.R. saying Mass, for marines. (Narrator comments that many of these Marines were killed the next morning.)
Scene is dawn viewed from deck of a troop transport ship off the coast of Tarawa, Gilbert Islands, on D-day (November 20, 1943) for the amphibious assault by U.S. marines against the Japanese- held atoll, in World War 2. Marines loaded into a Higgins boat at the side of the transport ship. Several such landing craft maneuvering off the ship's bow. Benson-class destroyer bombarding the coast. Closer view of the destroyer with landing craft nearby. Glimpse of Japanese Aichi D3A (Val) dive bomber above. Two bombs exploding in water near the camera ship. U.S. Navy F4F aircraft flying low bombing and strafing. Glimpse of Navy warships bombarding after Navy planes depart. Then many landing craft are seen, some from the USS Sheridan (APA-51). Mixture of quick views showing naval gunfire, Marines in landing craft (including closeup of two marines looking out from inside one). U.S. Naval aircraft bombing inland, close to the shoreline. A derelict Japanese ship, displaying battle damage is seen in the surf. (Narrator notes that Japanese machine guns were set up and fired at landing craft from this hulk.) Closeup of radio operator on deck of invasion vessel. Views of amphibious landing vehicles tracked (LVT) moving toward shore. All American Higgins boats and LVTs subject to heavy Japanese machine gun and mortar fire, as well as bombing by Japanese Aichi D3A dive bombers. Burning landing craft in the surf. Landing craft arriving at the beach under heavy fire. One is marked, "KA 20-11" indicating it is from the USS Virgo (AKA-20). Long shot of Marines strung out on section of beach. Closeup of marines wading ashore from wrecked LVT. Several marines move along a concrete pier. Many marines are hunkered down behind it. Various views of marines pinned down on the beach. Some sheltered behind an LVT.
U.S. Navy World War II battleship, destroyers, heavy cruiser and light cruiser bombard the Island of Tarawa in Pacific Theater, in November 1943. Smoke rises from the beach. A 16" gun on board USS Maryland (BB-46) bombards Tarawa. Shells burst in air and island obscured by smoke. Depth charges explode in water as light cruiser continues to bombard the island. Ship at timecode 2:34 and 3:10 is a heavy cruiser of the Portland or Northhampton class, based on catapults with sea planes located at mid ship. Based on ship assignments and locations at that time, this would make it either the USS Chester (CA-27), the USS Portland (CA-33), or the USS Indianapolis (CA-35).
A training film titled 'Tarawa operations' about Allied invasion of Tarawa during World War II. A map of the Pacific region depicts the location of the Gilbert Islands. A map of the Gilbert Islands including Tarawa. Animated map of Tarawa depicts the area of the atoll. A map of Betio island depicts its area. Animation depicts wind direction that helps in anchoring of landing crafts.