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Supporting the mission: 611th ASUS ensures island functions
Hand-drawn lettering reading “98 US PW 5-10-43” marks a coral head near the shoreline of the Wake Island lagoon in the mid-Pacific. American forces on the island, led by the U.S. Marine Corps 1st Marine Defense Battalion and aircraft from Marine Attack Squadron 211, held out against Japanese assaults for 15 days. Nearly 1,200 civilian workers, racing to develop the island’s airfield in the closing months of 1941, were on the island and participated in the battle. The Americans surrendered on December 23 and 98 of the civilian workers of Wake were kept on the island to aid the Japanese with heavy equipment operation. The “98” were executed by the Japanese on October 5, but an unknown worker escaped and inscribed the event in rock before he was recaptured. The final member of the 98 was personally executed by Japanese Rear Admiral Shigematsu Sakaibara, who was later convicted of and hanged for war crimes in a 1947 tribunal. (U.S. Air Force photos/1st Lt. Michael Trent Harrington)

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Photo by: Air Force 1st Lt. Michael Trent Harrington |  VIRIN: 160602-F-BC061-013.JPG