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August 4, 2015

Rare Color Photographs of American Troops on Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands During World War II

During the World War II, the American troops on Tarawa atoll in the Gilbert Islands of the Pacific Ocean were hopping one island at a time all the way to Japan.

The Battle of Tarawa was bloody in every manner but these photos, captured in its aftermath, shows a life out of a movie.

American ground crew doing maintenance work on a bomber during WWII.

American soldiers manning gun nests protecting the island shore during WWII.

Comical sign reading TARAWA NATIONAL PARK on Tarawa during WWII.

Group of servicemen (?) gathered in front of a photo processing lab on an island base during WWII.

Natives carrying supplies into a quonset hut on Tarawa Island.

American sailors building furniture and a white picket fence on Tarawa during WWII.

American troops on Tarawa playing softball during WWII.

Group of local women being trained as nurses on Tarawa during WWII.

American servicemen and women relaxing on a boat ride along the shores of the Tarawa Atoll during WWII.

US sailor looking at sea shells he has collected while posted on Tarawa during WWII.

American servicemen relaxing in a quonset hut being used as a library on an island base during WWII.

American servicemen waiting to get haircuts at a makeshift island barber shop during WWII.

American sailors working in an artificial harbor on Tarawa during WWII.

Two groups of American servicemen chatting on Tarawa during WWII.

Local native people playing a game during WWII.

US Navy band playing small concert for servicemen and curious locals during WWII.

Men preparing grave markers while another finishes an ornate sign to adorn a US Marine 2 Div. graveyard on Tarawa during WWII.

Small group of servicemen getting medals at an airstrip ceremony during WWII.

American servicemen searching the shoreline near a rusted Alligator LVT on Tarawa during WWII.

Airstrip on Tarawa during WWII.

US sailor gazing at the sea from the Tarawa atoll during WWII.

Group of American soldiers tending to a graveyard on Tarawa during WWII.

Young military cook on Tarawa during WWII.

Guard on duty beneath a NO SMOKING sign on Tarawa during WWII.

Natives carrying boxes at an American island base during WWII.

American base on the Tarawa atoll during WWII.

Soldier using a makeshift shower on Tarawa during WWII.

Group of American soldiers peering from a reinforced bunker on Tarawa during WWII.

Native men ironing GI clothes on Tarawa during WWII.

New building under construction at an American airbase on Tarawa during WWII.

American servicemen building a breakwater on Tarawa during WWII.

US servicemen enjoying a drink in an Officer's Club on Tarawa during WWII.

Trumpet playing Nvay seabee taking part in an impromptu concert for the troops stationed on the island during WWII.

Trio of American servicemen taking a break from gathering lumber during WWII. (note sign on truck naming it the TARAWA LUMBER CO.)

Pair of servicewomen in front of an Army Air Corps. Air Transport Command plane.

(Photos by J. R. Eyerman, via LIFE archives)




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