Isley Field: Early Accommodations

My father was among the first of the USAAF personnel to arrive on Saipan. The initial accommodations were in tents since little had been built in the three months since the island was invaded by the U.S. Marines.

Tents: Click for full-size image (30K)

Existing structures on the island had been destroyed during the invasion, such as the molasses/sugar factory.

Molasses/Sugar Factory

A Japanese artillery piece

Japanese artillery piece: Click for full-size image (47K)

The fighting on the island was very difficult for the island's civilians. Most of the Japanese civilians on the island committed suicide to avoid capture. This was the first time American troops had faced a Japanese civilian population and the mass suicides were particularly shocking. The fighting also destroyed the homes of the native Chomorro civilians. These were housed at a civilian compound on the island and employed by the military.

Civilian: Click for full-size image (37K)

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