Pre-invasion Bombardment of Tarawa

Discussion in 'War Against Japan' started by Phil Scearce, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. Phil Scearce

    Phil Scearce Finish Forty and Home

    B-24s of the 11th Bomb Group struck Tarawa during the weeks prior to the Marine invasion, drawing to a close on this date in 1943. Col. David M. Shoup, leader of the Marine invasion, kept a field notebook during the planning stages of the operation. On the first page of the notebook were two entries. "Go ashore" was the first entry. The second was "Request Daisy Cutters all along Red Beach Center between airfield and north edge of island." Daisy Cutters were 2000-pound bombs which may have had devastating effects on the Japanese defenders of Tarawa, had they been used. But the request never reached the 11th Bomb Group, and no Daisy Cutters fell on Tarawa before the invasion.

    The 11th hit Tarawa with smaller bombs repeatedly before the invasion. Airmen of the 11th naively expected the Marines to walk over the island and send them a few cases of beer in gratitude. They were shocked and saddened when it didn't turn out that way.
  2. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Hi Phil, I have heard the term 'daisy cutter' in modern operations, didn't know it was in use in WW2. Thanks, you live and learn!
  3. Phil Scearce

    Phil Scearce Finish Forty and Home

    I had not heard it used in WW2 until I began researching my book. I think the term has evolved, too, meaning different things over time. It was a 15,000-pounder in Vietnam!

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