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.
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.
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.
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.)
A training film titled 'The Kwajalein Operations' on the operations of U.S. forces on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands during World War II. A map locates islands in the Pacific Ocean. Animation depicts the area invaded by U.S. forces. The Gilbert Islands, the Solomon Islands, Midway Island, Tarawa and other islands located on the map. U.S. lines of communication on various islands. Kwajalein Atoll on the map. The atoll is selected as a base for U.S. forces. It is selected because of various benefits which would prove useful during the invasion of the Marshall Islands. Bases and installations on Kwajalein Atoll.
Invasion of Tarawa. LST (Landing Ship, Tank) underway at sea. Marines in full combat gear wade ashore. Beach area of Tarawa. Landing craft in the foreground.