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Timeline of The War in the Pacific

January Japan invades Burma.
Malaya and the Solomon Islands fall. Rabaul, on New Britain island north of New Guinea, becomes an important Japanese base.
February In the first U.S. carrier offensive of the war, air raids are launched on Japanese bases in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands.
Japan invades Singapore; British surrender.
Japan overruns Dutch East Indies.
FDR announces that, by Executive Order, Pacific Coast Japanese Americans will be relocated to internment camps. During the course of the war, over 17,000 Japanese Americans volunteer and fight for the U.S. in Europe.
FDR orders MacArthur out of the Philippines.
Battle of the Java Sea in Indonesia: Japan destroys Dutch-American naval force.
March Japan takes Indonesia and the Dutch East Indies; Rangoon, Burma falls.
Japan invades New Guinea.
MacArthur leaves the Philippines.
April American and Filipino forces on Bataan surrender.
Bataan Death March: Over 12 days, Japanese troops force captured American and Filipino troops to walk 60 miles without food or water to prison camps. Approximately 1,000 Americans die during the march.
Surprise U.S. air raids on Tokyo led by Lt. Col. James Doolittle.
May American and Filipino forces on Corregidor in the Philippines surrender.
Battle of the Coral Sea: In the first Japanese defeat of the war, American forces sink a Japanese carrier and badly damage two others heading for New Guinea.
Japan completes capture of Burma and reaches India.
June Battle of Midway: In what is later seen as the "turning point" of the Pacific war, American carrier aircraft sink all four of the Japanese navy's major aircraft carriers along with a cruiser. (Japan faced a critical shortage of experienced pilots for the rest of the war.)
Japan invades Aleutian Islands.
Allied island-hopping operations begin.
August Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands: After the first U.S. amphibious landing of the war, American marines gain a foothold by capturing the airport.


1941 | 1942 |1943 | 1944 | 1945

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