Island W Pacific in S central Marianas area 70 square miles (182 square kilometers),
1. us forces captured the island from the Japanese in July 1944; it was an important air base until the end of World War ii.
2. An island in the southern Mariana Islands that is the administrative center of the United States Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.
Island of the Marianas group about 1,900 km/1,200 mi N of New Guinea. It was occupied by the Japanese in World War ii and when us troops recaptured it June 1944, several hundred Japanese civilians committed mass suicide rather than be captured.
It was invaded by us forces 17 June 1944, before the Japanese had completed their planned fortifications. An airfield was captured on the first day, allowing us fighters to provide instant air support, but the clearing of the island was a slow and hard fight which lasted until 17 July. Even then numbers of Japanese troops hid in the more remote areas until the war ended.