Baxter, William, EM1c

Deceased
 
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Last Rank
Petty Officer First Class
Last Primary NEC
EM-0000-Electrician's Mate
Last Rating/NEC Group
Electrician's Mate
Primary Unit
1943-1946, EM-0000, USS Wasp (CVS-18)
Service Years
1943 - 1946
EM-Electrician's Mate

 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
Indiana
Indiana
Year of Birth
1922
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by James Baxter-Family to remember Baxter, William, EM1c.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Terre Haute, IN
Last Address
Chicago, IL

Date of Passing
Sep 04, 2001
 
Location of Interment
Resurrection Catholic Cemetery and Mausoleums - Justice, Illinois
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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Western Caroline Islands Operation/Battle for Ulithi Atoll
Start Year
1944
End Year
1944

Description
Ulithi Atoll, also known as the Mackenzie Islands is a coral atoll in the Yap Islands, the western part of the Carolines. There are some 40 islets withn a total land area of 1.75 square miles (4.5 square km). It is located about 190 km east of Yap. The atoll’s inhabitants are probably of mixed Polynesian and Micronesian origins and speak Ulithian, an Austronesian language. It is one of the greatest natural harbors in the world. Ulithi appears to have been first sighted by Portuguese navigators (1526). No other record exists until Spanish Jesuit missionaries led by Juan Antonio Cantova landed (1731). Along with rest of the Carolines, the Germans purchased it from the Spanish and Japan seized it during World War I. After the War, the League of Nations awarded a mandate to the Japanese. The Japanese made little use of Ulithi, but did site a seaplane base there. They had a radio and weather station on Ulithi and the Imperial Navy had occasionally used the lagoon as an anchorage. The United States used it very differently. The Pacific Fleet at first avoided landinfs in The Carolines. What they wanted was the Marianas to the north wherevair bases could be used to bomb the Japanese Home Islands. Japanese garrisons in the Carlines, luke Truk, were neutralized rather than invaded, avoiding costly landings. As the Americans moved west toward the Philippines, it became obvious that a forward supply base was needed. Naval planners bgan asessing Ulithi. The Japanese who has established garison all over the Central Pacific, somehow failed to perceive the vast strategic importance of Ulithi. The atoll with its magnificent harbor was precisely what the pacific Fleet needed for its operations in the Western Pacific. The decisive Japanese defeat in the Battle of the Philippines Sea meant that the Pacific Fleet faced no naval opposition (June 1944). The Japanese withdrw to bases west of the Philippines and the Home Islands and began tom plan a naval battle to resist the anticipated American invasion of the Philippines. More surprising, the Japanese did not garrison Ulithi Atoll. A regiment of the US Army's 81st Division landed unopposed (September 23, 1944). A regiment of the US Army's 81st Division landed unopposed (September 23, 1944). They simply walked ashore and took possession of the Atoll. It was a gift of unimaginable value, a starategic prize that would play an important role in the final phase of the Pacific War. Tragically, the Americans and Japnese in the same month would fight an extended pitched battle for Pelilu in the Palaus, another chain in the Carolines of virtually no value. A battalion of Seabees followed. While a magificent natural harbor, it was totally undeveloped. The survey ship USS Sumner) assessed the lagoon and concluded it was capable of accomodating an stonishing 700 vessels. This was more than Pearl Harbor and then Majuro after the seizure of the Marshalls could handle. The Pacific Fleet rapidly turned it into the major supply base for major operations in the last year of the War (the Philippines and Okinawa). This was done with little publicity, but the Japanese eventually found out what they had conceded to the Americans without a fight. Japanese midgit subnarines attacked islamd in the harbor, but despite their success had no real impact on the supply operations there. After the War, Ulithi was used as a military radio outpost. 
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1944
To Year
1944
 
Last Updated:
Oct 19, 2019
   
Personal Memories
   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  84 Also There at This Battle:
 
  • Dawson, William L., PO2, (1942-1945)
  • Dikel, Samuel, PO2, (1942-1946)
  • Jamison, William, LT, (1941-1945)
  • McBride, Carl Edward, S2c, (1943-1947)
  • Raynor, John, PO3, (1944-1946)
  • Seamster, Wilbur Lee, S2c, (1943-1946)
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