Tarawa (Betio) today.

Honza

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I've just been looking at Betio Atoll on Google Earth. It is a sea of buildings. The whole atoll is covered from tip to toe. It seems a little sad really.

Okinawa is totally built up too. These 'sacred' battlefields are nothing more than residential suburbs now.

All the heroism is far far away....... :OHNO:
 

Del

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I've just been looking at Betio Atoll on Google Earth. It is a sea of buildings. The whole atoll is covered from tip to toe. It seems a little sad really.

Okinawa is totally built up too. These 'sacred' battlefields are nothing more than residential suburbs now.

All the heroism is far far away....... :OHNO:
My mother visited Tarawa and Kiribati regularly throughout the 1990's helping plan and build causeways (courtesy of the Australian government). Betio is totally urban now, but the houses are built over the old runways, and most of the bunkers are there still, usually built on and around, as there was no way of removing them after the war. The "Singapore Gun" emplacements are there still, as were several rusting alligators in the lagoon.

Mind you, given the rising sealevels, it is probably a case of "see it now, before it's gone" as most of Kiribati is less than an meter above sealevel, and the precious fresh water supplies are very vunerable.
 

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I watched the Pentagon channel viewing a documentary about discovering some more remains on the atoll after a few "builders" un-covered an unmarked burial mound.

The forensics experts were able to determine that some Marines were buried in this area, as well as many Japanese. The bones still had uniform fabric covering some of them.
 

Honza

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I'm not sure I'd like to live on the site of an old battlefield. I'd be aware that many people died on the land where my house is. Bad energy.
 

jpellam

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Mind you, given the rising sealevels, it is probably a case of "see it now, before it's gone" as most of Kiribati is less than an meter above sealevel, and the precious fresh water supplies are very vunerable.
Eh:rolleyes: Your joking about the rising sea levels right? You didn't get the fake e-mail about global warming?
 

Kevin Kenneally

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Eh:rolleyes: Your joking about the rising sea levels right? You didn't get the fake e-mail about global warming?
No joke on the sinking of certain island chains....

The Seychelles in the Indian Ocean, most of the low lying islands in the Pacific (island with elevations of les than 30 feet above sea level).

Even the Pentagon channel documentary spoke about this.
 

witchbottles

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I've just been looking at Betio Atoll on Google Earth. It is a sea of buildings. The whole atoll is covered from tip to toe. It seems a little sad really.

Okinawa is totally built up too. These 'sacred' battlefields are nothing more than residential suburbs now.

All the heroism is far far away....... :OHNO:

Marines who had the ability to actually read ( yes, there were / are a finite few of us :)....), are aware that in 1964 Sugarloaf was razed by a complete demolitions set works in order to clear the approaches for the new Helo runways into the bases. The US Army Corps of Engineers removed 28 feet from the top and leveled it completely. The dust and debris was collected and used for concrete revetment and runway pourings on Kadena in the mid 60s, and the now leveled top has a thriving subdivision on it.


Wake is probably one of the "best preserved", in that the beach bunkers created by the IJA troops are still there intact, the causeway still lies partially above and partially submerged between Wake and Wilkes Islets, and the POL storage still sits on the northern tip, with coralized concrete revetments that were built by Deveraux's men in Nov 41. ( the lagoon, however, has been hopelessly contaminated by these POLs.), and the Pan - Am Clipper dock is still there, maintained by the USAF, and used to tie up the kats the garrison guys use for "entertainment".

Most of the rest, for failure to recognize them of any "value" historically, are long since gone / abandoned. From Attu to the Rock, and from Midway to Corregidor. ( The 5" Howe Battery, along with the wreck of the S-9 are still on and just offshore of Grande Island, RP, however, in Subic Bay. I have a full panoramic photo spread of Battery 3 in 35mm negatives.)

just my $.02

Jon H
 

Kevin Kenneally

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I've just been looking at Betio Atoll on Google Earth. It is a sea of buildings. The whole atoll is covered from tip to toe. It seems a little sad really.

Okinawa is totally built up too. These 'sacred' battlefields are nothing more than residential suburbs now.

All the heroism is far far away....... :OHNO:
Welcome to the world of "progress".
 
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