1994 29¢ U.S. Troops Clear Saipan
World War II – 1944: Road to Victory
Issue Date: June 6, 1994
City: Washington, DC
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Lithographed and engraved
Throughout 1944 American troops continued to advance on two fronts in the Pacific Theatre. While MacArthur fought his way across New Guinea toward the Philippines, Admiral Nimitz’s amphibious forces leapfrogged from island to island toward Japan. After successfully capturing the Marshall Islands, they jumped north to their next target - the Mariana Islands. On June 15th, just nine days after Eisenhower’s successful Normandy landing, U.S. Marine divisions landed on the coast of Saipan.
The Japanese put up a fierce resistance and bitter fighting ensued. But in the end American forces dealt Japan a serious blow - destroying its navy and crippling its air force. On July 9, 1944, after more than three weeks of savage fighting, Saipan was declared under American control. So ominous was the defeat that on July 18th, Japan’s Prime Minister Tojo resigned.
Within a week, American troops also occupied Guam and Tinian. Nimitz was now within striking distance of Tokyo and on November 24th, the first force of B29s took off from Saipan to bomb Japan. Using submarine and air bases on Saipan, Nimitz was eventually able to launch the assaults on Iwo Jima and Okinawa that led to the inevitable defeat of Japan.