Wednesday, December 24, 2014

American Warships at Ulithi Atoll

Vast array of American warships just offshore of naval base on Mogmog Island in the Ulithi Atoll, part of the Caroline Islands, 1 January 1945. Ulithi Atoll itself are home to the 3rd Fleet in late 1944. The land in the foreground is one of several depot islands surrounding the anchorage. After World War II many battleships were intentionally sunk rather than taken elsewhere to disassemble. These iron bohemoths lie at the bottom of the Atoll and as they rust their iron content leaks into the seawater changing the very chemistry of the nutrient-poor tropical waters. The occupation of Ulithi by US Naval Fleets during the war changed the Islanders’ way of life dramatically. Entire islands were razed to the ground to make room for Allied Troops. Imported food, culture and language changed the traditional ways of these remote islands. After the war a surplus of boats, fuel, and new technologies like spear-guns radically altered the effectiveness of the Islanders’ fishing techniques.


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