In September 1944 the natives living on the tiny islands
The seaplane tender CUMBERLAND SOUND (AV-17) supported a squadron of long-range
surrounding Ulithi lagoon awoke to discover a vast assemblage
PBM Mariner patrol planes from the Ulithis anchorage
of ships anchored in their front yard. The few hundred natives
who had not been taken away as forced laborers by the Japanese
were rounded up and taken to Fassarai Island and placed under
the care of Navy doctors and nurses. Fassarai, an object of
great curiosity to the sailors because of its abundance of native
women, was strictly off limits to all but VIPs.
850 miles east of the Philippines, Ulithi Atoll provided the Navy and
anchorage as the U.S. Fleet fought its way ever closer to Tokyo Bay. This partioal
of the fleet at anchor was taken late in 1944 when Ulithi saw its optimum use. A few
months later the world's largest naval facility became a ghost town.
More Ulithi Pictures