Made in 1945, ACTION AT ANGUAR documents the invasion and capture of Angaur Island in the Palau group by the 81st ("Wildcat") Infantry Division in its first battle. The film begins in July 1944 as the troops relax at Honolulu and on Waikiki Beach. It then shows troops boarding transports and shows activities aboard a troop transport, including a wild Neptune ceremony at the Equator, en route to Guadalcanal for a practice landing in August. On Sept. 17, 1944 after a bombardment by ships and carrier planes the division begins a landing. The film contains many scenes of U.S. troops burning and blasting Japanese soldiers from their cave emplacements. Explains the tactics for securing "Suicide Hill." Shows Gen. Robert Richardson. The film ends with images of U.S. wounded being evacuated and receiving medical treatment, and shell-shocked soldiers (at 26:30) taking some r&r from combat.
The Battle of Angaur was a battle of the Pacific campaign in World War II, fought on the island of Angaur in the Palau Islands from 17 September—22 October 1944. This battle was part of a larger offensive campaign known as Operation Forager which ran from June 1944 to November 1944 in the Pacific Theater of Operations, and Operation Stalemate II in particular. Bombardment of Angaur by the battleship Tennessee, four cruisers, and forty Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bombers from the aircraft carrier Wasp began on 11 September 1944. Six days later on 17 September, the U.S. 81st Infantry Division—commanded by Major General Paul J. Mueller—landed on the northeast and southeast coasts. Both RCTs were counterattacked during the night. Both RCTs linked up the next day. By the end of the third day, 19 Sept., the main area of Japanese resistance was to the northeast around Romauldo Hill, so the 323rd RCT was sent to Ulithi. Resistance stiffened as the Americans advanced on "the Bowl", a hill near Lake Salome in the northwest of the island where the Japanese planned to make their last stand, after the rest of Angaur and Saipan town were taken. There was another small position where the Japanese had about 400 soldiers in a defense at the southeast corner of the island, around Beach Green, that was neutralized on September 20 after 2 days of harsh fighting and about 300 U.S. casualties. From 20 September, the 322nd Infantry Regiment repeatedly attacked the Bowl, but the 750 defenders repulsed them with artillery, mortars, grenades and machine guns. Gradually, hunger, thirst, and American shellfire and bombing took their toll on the Japanese, and by 25 September the Americans had penetrated the Bowl. Rather than fight for possession of the caves, they used bulldozers to seal the entrances. By 30 September, the island was said to be secure although the Japanese still had about 300 more soldiers in the Bowl and surrounding areas that held out for almost four more weeks. Toward the end of the first week of October, 1944, the protracted conflict had degenerated into minor patrol action with sniping, ambushing, and extensive booby-trapping employed by both sides.
The island's defense commander, Major Goto was killed on 19 October fighting to keep possession of a cave. The last day of fighting was October 22 with a total of 36 days of fighting and blasting the Japanese resistance from their caves with explosives, tanks, artillery and flamethrowers. The 81 Infantry Division had finally taken the whole of Angaur, albeit suffering more casualties than they had inflicted.
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com