Battle on Kwajalein: First foothold in the Pacific
July 28, 2010
- Commanding General Lt. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon and his senior staff were whisked back to early February 1944.
- Operation Flintlock, on Kwajalein, was the first territory taken from the Japanese and spearheaded the U.S. drive across the Pacific.
- On the heels of high casualties suffered at the invasion of Tarawa, the U.S. Army and Marines quickly put into practice lessons learned.
- Operation Flintlock also held some other firsts.
Kwajalein consists of a group of 90 coral islets that surround the third largest lagoon in the world. The total land area is 6.2 square miles and the atoll is 78 miles long. The islets of Kwajalein and Roi-Namur were the first of the Marshall Islands captured by U.S. troops in World War II. The atoll serves as a seaport, air stop and U.S. military missile testing site.