Gilbert and Ellice Islands

Full Name 78 Crown Colony of Gilbert and Ellice Islands
Alliance Allies - Minor Member Nation or Possession
Possessing Power United Kingdom
Entry into WW2 8 Dec 1941

Contributor:

ww2dbaseNamed after British sea captain Thomas Gilbert and British merchant and politician Edward Ellice, the Gilbert and Ellice Islands, the two groups of islands became a British protectorate in 1892. On 12 Jan 1916, the protectorate was raised to the status of a Crown Colony with capital established on Banaba Island. In 1937, the Phoenix Islands were added. Some of the islands were seized by the Japanese in the opening chapters of the Pacific War, and the subsequent late 1943 campaign to conquer the islands by the United States Marines became well known largely for the actions at Tarawa Atoll and Makin Atoll, both characterized by fierce Japanese defenses. After the war, in 1947, the capital was moved to Betio of Tarawa Atoll; later, the capital was moved to Bairiki, another island in the same atoll. The Gilbert and Ellice Islands were granted self rule in 1971. In 1974, ethnic differences between the peoples of the two island groups led to the separation of their internal governments in 1975. On 1 Jan 1976, the British Crown Colony was officially disbanded, setting the two island groups on the path to independence. On 1 Oct 1978, the Ellice Islands was granted independence, forming the new nation of Tuvalu. The Gilbert Islands followed suit on 12 Jul 1979, forming the new nation of Kiribati.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Update: Jul 2013

Events Taken Place in Gilbert and Ellice Islands
Makin Island Raid17 Aug 1942 - 18 Aug 1942
Gilbert Islands Campaign13 Nov 1943 - 24 Nov 1943


Weather

WW2-Era Weather Data for Gilbert and Ellice Islands

Photographs

An OS2U Kingfisher float plane being towed ashore at Funafuti, Ellice Islands, mid to late 1942. Note the extremely oversized insignia on the wings.1Lt Charleton 1Lt Louis Zamperini, bombardier of this B-24D Liberator 1Lt Louis Zamperini, bombardier of this B-24D Liberator
See all 56 photographs of Gilbert and Ellice Islands in World War II

Maps

Map of Makin Atoll (now Butaritari Atoll)Map of the Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands



Gilbert and Ellice Islands in World War II Interactive Map




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Gilbert and Ellice Islands in World War II Photo Gallery
An OS2U Kingfisher float plane being towed ashore at Funafuti, Ellice Islands, mid to late 1942. Note the extremely oversized insignia on the wings.
See all 56 photographs of Gilbert and Ellice Islands in World War II




Famous WW2 Quote
"The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years."

James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945