I'm pleased to announce a partnership between the Missing Air Crew Project and the Yap Visitors Bureau (YVB). The two organizations have been working together over the last two years to document the history of Yap during World War II. The project goals include creating resources to document and share the history, training the Yap tourism industry on the history, setting up a WWII tour process and to create memorials to remember the lifes lost during WWII.
Yap is considered a backwater to the overall Pacific war, however, most are very surprised to find out that the US attacked Yap Island almost daily from June 1944 to August 1945 with the loss of over 35 planes and hundreds of men. Yap is strategically located between the Philippines and Guam and was at a crossroads for many of the Pacific battles. Once the US decided not to invade Yap in September 1944 they needed to insure that it was isolated from the Japanese supply chains and that it could not be used as an offensive forward operating base. This was especially important once the US occupied the nearby deep water harbor of Ulithi in the fall of 1944. Keeping Yap out of the war was key to the US success in the rest of the Pacific theatre. A variety of attacks were launched against Yap including long range B-24 bomber raids, carrier raids, ship to shore bombardments, land based Navy and Marine planes and submarines. Pat Ranfranz and the Missing Air Crew Project has spent over 20 years researching the history of Yap during WWII and has been able to share not only the military history of the actual missions but the personal stories of many of the men who were lost so that their memories can be preserved for future generations to remember.
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