Roi-Namur explosion

I spent 18 months in the Marshall Islands on a security job, which included six months on Roi-Namur in 2018. I walked the battlefields there many times; it has a tour with signs that describe the invasion. I’ve also studied the Marshalls campaign and I operate a facebook group called “Marshall Islands: 4th Marine Div Roi-Namur & 7th Infantry Div Kwajalein.” This story basically matches my understanding of that incident, although I’d never heard or read that someone tried to warn the Marine who tossed the satchel charge inside. Regardless, it caused the highest casualties of the battle.

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3 thoughts on “Roi-Namur explosion”

    1. I Googled and found this and more at:

      The Marine Attack: Roi-Namur – National Park › usmc › pcn-190-003124-00 › sec3

      “…Amidst all of this, a Marine demolition team threw a satchel charge of high explosive into a Japanese bunker which turned out to be crammed with torpedo warheads. An enormous blast occurred. From off shore, an officer watched as “the whole of Namur Island disappeared from sight in a tremendous brown cloud of dust and sand raised by the explosion.” Overhead, a Marine artillery spotter felt his plane catapult up 1,000 feet and exclaimed, “Great God Almighty! The whole damn island has blown up!” On the beach another officer recalled that “trunks of palm trees and chunks of concrete as large as packing crates were flying through the air like match sticks . . . . The hole left where the blockhouse stood was as large as a fair-sized swimming pool.” The column of smoke rose to over 1,000 feet in the air, and the explosion caused the deaths of 20 Marines and wounded 100 others in the area…”

    2. Roger that. Some of the people who work on Roi-Namur and Kwajalein do a lot of Scuba diving on the wrecks in the area; there are numerous aircraft and ships all around there. A few years ago, they came upon one of the torpedoes off shore that had been hurled into the ocean by the explosion, and later called the EOD guys to come deal with it. There are also two huge, heavy chunks of coral on display near the site of the explosion, which had been blown up and had landed far away.

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