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Japanese surrender in Yap. 1945.
Japanese Related Information about Yap Island during WWII

Discovered by the Spanish in 1791, Yap was sold to Germany in 1899. It became part of the Japanese-mandated area of the Pacific under the League of Nations in 1920 and fell to U.S. forces in 1945 during World War II. In World War II, Japanese-held Yap was one of the islands bypassed in the US "island-hopping" strategy, although it was regularly bombed by US ships and aircraft, and Yap-based bombers did some damage in return. At the end of World War II, Yap was occupied by the U.S. military.

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NEW UPDATE: Interview with Mr. Kawanabe (Japanese AA Officer Stationed on Yap) by Mr. Yamashita from Japan
Japanese Interviews about flyers lost over Yap:
POST article titled, "MISSION OVER YAP-After the fortieth daily raid, the Japs wished the 13th Air Force would forget about Yap. Here is raid No. 41." Dated 6 January 1945
Yap Island: When the Japanese got here
Japanese maps of Yap Island showing defensive positions
Pictures of Japanese Planes: Japanese Planes Removed from Yap and Restored:
  • Kugisho D4Y1 "Suisei" Type 11 (JUDY), s/n 4316:
    In 1972, three D4Y were discovered in the jungle of the runway side. In 1980, these were carried to Japan and restored to one D4Y1 using each part. "4316" is exhibited by Yasukuni Jinja from 5 April 1981. Probably, these "JUDY"s was 503 Ku (Kogeki 107).
    Yokosuka D4Y1 JUDY recovered from Yap in 1980 and restored in Japan

  • Mitsubishi A6M5 ZEKE:
    Mitsubishi A6M5a Rei-Sen Type 52 Ko (ZEKE), s/n 4708 - manufactured by Mitsubishi. Mitsubishi A6M2b Rei-Sen Type 21 (ZEKE), s/n 91518 - manufactured by Nakajima. Mitsubishi A6M5 Rei-Sen Type 52 (ZEKE), s/n 1593 - manufactured by Nakajima. Mitsubishi A6M2b Rei-Sen Type 21 (ZEKE), s/n 92717 - manufactured by Nakajima. These were carried to Japan in 1984. "4708" is kept at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industry from 1990.
    Mitsubishi A6M5 ZEKE recovered from Yap in 1984 and restored in Japan

Information about Japanese Execution of Yapese, American Flyers, Jesuits, and others:


Micronesian Seminar Documents in a PDF File format:

Pacific Magazine article about the search for the grave site on Palau of the executed Airmen, Jesuits, and Philippine family from Yap:

The following documents have been reprinted with the permission of the Micronesian Seminar at

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Click on the thumbnail images below to view the full-sized image.

BOMBING: LIBERATOR OVER YAP - A U.S. Army 13th Air Force Consolidated B-24 Liberator is shown withdrawing from Yap Island after the formation bombed the strip, equipment, fuel dump and personnel areas during the first daylight raid on the Japanese strongh

The grave of an unknown American flier downed on Yap. 1945. Naval Historical Center.

Fr. Bernardo Espriella standing inside the church in Wanyan, Gagi. Wanyan, Gagil, Yap. 1937.

Fr. Bernardo Espriella outside the church in Wanyan, Gagil. Wanyan, Gagil, Yap. 1937.

Fr. Bernardo de la Espriella and Fr. Carlos Faber on ship. 1926.

Fr. Hernandez, Jesuit killed in Palau in 1944. 1944. Yap.

Fr. Espriella in his bicycle. Yap. 1930.

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Japanese Interviews about flyers lost over Yap:

Japanese Interviews about flyers lost over Yap
(pdf file 4.2 MB)

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Japanese maps of Yap Island showing defensive positions:
Click on the following thumbnail images to enlarge:

The following Japanese maps of Yap Island are courtesy of Yukitoshi Yamashita from Japan.

The maps show the defensive positions on Yap in preparation for an US invasion that never came. The US decided to go around Yap and invaded Sapian and Guam. The pictures are from the out-of-print book, "Senshi-Sousho vol.13."

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Japanese Wrecks on Yap:

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Japanese Garrisons on Yap in 1944-45:

IJA (Imperial Japanese Army)

  • 49th Independent Mix Brigade (4,066 men)*, Colonel Daihachi Itoh
    • Brigade HQ
    • 323th to 330th Independent Infantry Battalions
    • Artillery Unit (8 Type 95 75mm Field Guns, 14 Type 91 10cm Howitzers)
    • AA Gun Unit (4 Type 88 75mm AA Guns)
    • Engineer Unit
    • Signal Unit
    • Special Field Hospital
    • Total: 4,423 men
* 49th Independent Mix Brigade was reorganized in May 1944, from the 4th Detachment Unit (from 12th Division) on Yap Island.

IJN (Imperial Japanese Navy)

  • 46th Guard Unit (1,000 men), Captain Masamichi Tanaka
  • 205th Construction Unit (1,000 men)
  • Total: 1,494 men


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Research by Pat Scannon about Americans captured on Yap by the Japanese:

I recently found a book written by Mr.SUMI, Mineo who had been recided in Yap before the war and later involved into IJA unit on Yap in 1944. He could speak native's language. He remembers some Americans captured on Yap during the war. SUMI wrote: It was June or August 1944, A B24 invaded over Yap, it was flying around over the islands at the altitude of 500-700 meter from NE Yap-RUMON I. - TOMIRI I.-GIRIPESU I.

The Libarator was escorted by two fighters. When these Americans planes made a steep turn over OKAO, the only Japanese fighter at the URURU a/f (south tip of the island) attacked the Americans. At the same time, flaks exploded near the enemy formation. Two enemy fighters few away and the B24 was leaning in the air. An open parashute popping out from the southbound bomber was seen.

The crewmenber of B24 was just slightly wounded when landing and was handed over to the Brigade HQ. The American flier was questioned by 2LT KAMISHIRO (a finance officer) and 1Lt TANAKA for Infantry Artllery. He told them that the objective of his flight was a picture recon for gun position and harbor on the Yap, also adding that he flew from the Admiralty. He kept on saying "No,No,No" when he was asked if the US had planed an invasion on Yap. He was an Officer but Mr. SUMI did not write his name. After sending this AAF officer to Palau, the Japanese captured 3 frogmen this time. Three Marine frogmen landed on Yap to collect information for landing and demolition operation in future.

CONCLUSION: Totally unknown B24 sortied from the Admiralties (probably 13th AAF) lost over Yap at an unknown date (before 10AUG44) with one unknown POW officer who was sent to Palau.


I checked Imperial Army's documents in the West Caroline Islands today and found two facts. The documents I saw yesterday was written by garrison commanders after Army soldiers on Yap and Palau returned Japan from these islands after the war (in 1946).

  1. 2nd Lt. SUDO, Ki'ichiro for Independent Inf. 330th Battalion/Palau, wrote that they downed a B24 and captured a comissioned officer in the sea on may 3 1945. The prisoner was sent to the HQ. [NOTE: LT Wallace Kaufman - see ATTACHMENT II]
  2. Major OKAYAMA, Takeichi for Ind. inf. 324th Bn/ Yap, wrote that a B24 was shot down 1500 meter off of the Yap harbor which the battalion guarded. The crew of the liberator balied out and the Battalin tried to capture the American fliers but an engeneer battalion captured three prisoners in the sea for they had (a) Type 95 light boat(s). The date is not described. On the map in the file of document, the Yap harbor is lower SE of the island.

CONCLUSION: Item 2- Another B-24 lost off Yap, date unknown, with three POWs, names unknown.

While either may not be specific to your interests, at a minimum, previously unknown American MIAs are emerging from this research. Is this of interest to you? It also may suggest search locations - the Yapese should be able to transliterate the Japanese names for the Yap locations mentioned.

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Pictures taken of wrecks on Yap in 1965:

The following pictures have been reprinted with the permission of Earl Rouse.

Earl Rouse was station on Loran Station on Yap from March 1966 through March 1968.

Click on the following thumbnail images to enlarge:



Appears to be Ki-61 TONY
Appears to be Ki-61 TONY

Japanese 105mm Howitzer, Type 91 Howitzer















Appears to be Ki-61 TONY


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