“The US naval base at Ulithi was for a time the world’s largest naval facility.” (George Spangler, Warbird Information Exchange)

Sixty years ago, in September of 1944, the U.S. landed at a remote volcanic atoll called Ulithi, part of the Caroline Islands archipelago in the western Pacific. Its mission: to “provide a fleet anchorage and an air base to support half of a night fighter squadron, a light inshore patrol squadron, a pool for a maximum of 150 carrier replacement aircraft, a utility squadron, and staging facilities for transport aircraft.” (ibiblio.org) Facilities to support the fleet were included in the overall plan.

As the buildup began for the invasion of Okinawa (April 1, 1945), the tiny atoll’s population swelled to include a massive fleet. The images on this page are but a small sample of several fascinating photos documenting the year-long occupation of Ulithi by George Spangler. (Click on the photo below to see all of the pictures with some brief narrative.)

ulithi Sailors2

Here is a brief war report on Ulithi:


Thanks to Marine Corps veteran David for the tip.


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