Saipan, Part 2

As Lito

The Japanese constructed the original facilities at As Lito Airfield.  U.S. Forces turned the airfield into a base for the B-29 bombers, along with the huge infrastructure required to support the massive air offensive against Japan.  Renamed Isely Field, this was the first of the big Pacific bomber bases to launch missions against the Japanese homeland.  After the war, it was abandoned as nearby Kobler Field was used as the island's airport.  Almost 30 years later, it was turned into Saipan International Airport.  Numerous remnants exist around the modern facility.


Japanese air raid shelters.  While they offered some protection from smaller weapons, these shelters were vulnerable, as shown below.  This damage was probably done by naval gunfire, possibly a 16-inch projectile.

 


 

Japanese Memorials


 

As Lito Airfield buildings.  Many are still in use today.

Air operations building.  The airport terminal can be seen behind this structure.

Ladder Beach

A ladder used to be the only way down to the beach.  Even though steps were built many years ago, the name remains.

As with most places away from the tourist areas, it is remains peaceful and secluded.  I remember camping here as a child and sleeping under the cover provided by these natural caves.


Obyan

Japanese blockhouse.  One of three of these structures on Saipan, it avoided major damage because the 20mm cannon it was designed to house had not been installed at the time of the invasion.

Ancient latte stone site

Obyan Beach.  Tinian can be seen in the distance.


Saipan, Part 3
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