The Foundation
Camp Tarawa Tour
2nd and 5th Division 

Camp Tarawa Detachment Marine Corps League #1255

Click for Kailua Kona, HI Forecast

Veteran's Service Records
for yourself or family member

YouTube Video - The Battle of Iwo Jima
A number of Marines describing the battle for Iwo Jima.
Warning from 27 minutes into the tape to 37.5 are very graphic descriptions of wounded and dead Marines but a very well done video.

Hawaii Under Imperial Japan – How This Could Have Actually Happened
This new report by Ewa Field historian John Bond provides additional Maui and Big Island invasion details with the alternative history of the USS Enterprise being destroyed in the Pearl Harbor entrance channel on the morning of December 7, 1941.

The Niihau Incident
Webmaster Note: I first heard about this story on the History Detectives TV show; there are a number of web sites about it and the story is a little  bit different on each site.
Video: Season 9, A Hero in Hawaii

Japanese Fighter Pilot Who, after Pearl Harbor, Crash-Landed on Hawaiian Island & Terrorized the Residents


US Marine History Down Under-New Zealand

Marine Corps League Detachment Links:
Treasure Valley 878 ID.
Ventura County 597 CA.

       Meetings held in 
       Kailua- Kona, HI
You are the 

Counter reset to zero after 10,000 visitors.
For information on the new Camp Tarawa "Boots on the Ground" tour go to Camp Tarawa Tour in the index bar at top of the page.
  Morning Colors 2nd Marine Division-Camp Tarawa 1944.
Marines and Navy Corpsman from Easy Company 2nd Battalion 28th Marines after raising the flags on Mt. Suribachi-Iwo Jima February 23, 1945.
Page updated March 26, 2023
 Our detachment short history of old Camp Tarawa is now available in PDF format and can be be downloaded to your PC or Mac. It can be printed out or read on your PC or Mac monitor. If you are interested in receiving a copy by email please contact Kathy Painton at kathypainton@hotmail.com .  

For some old Camp Tarawa History check out these pages on the index bar at the top of this page, 2nd and 5th Division for letters written by Marines that trained at Camp Tarawa, Roscoe's page for Sea Stories, and the Monument page for the history the Camp Tarawa Memorial.  

Aloha & Semper Fi

If you're a member you can go online using your computer, smartphone or iPad. Members will receive a link by email. Nothing to download; just a few clicks on a web page and you're into the meeting.

We start all our meetings with "On October 6, 2006, after more than 61 years, Marines and Navy Corpsmen have returned to Camp Tarawa."  

Our Primary Mission:  To keep alive the history of the men of the 2nd and 5th Marine Divisions who trained at old Camp Tarawa from December 1943 until the Camp was closed  in November 1945 after the invasion of Iwo Jima.  

Of the 55,000 Marines, Navy Corpsmen and Seabees who trained at Camp Tarawa, a total of  5,145 were killed in action or died of their wounds. 18,029 were wounded in action in the invasions of Saipan-Tinian and Iwo Jima.

Keeping this history alive is important because of the sacrifices they made in defense of our nation during WW II for our generation and generations to come. This is our way of thanking them!  

5th Marine Division band. Bob Crosby, Bing Crosby's brother had a small dixieland band that played for special functions.
“Here the ground sloped down toward the center of the volcanic crater, and I found that the ground line was in my way. I put my Speed Graphic down and quickly piled up some stones and a sandbag to raise me about two feet (I am only 5 feet 5 inches tall) and I picked up the camera and climbed up on the pile. I decided on a lens setting between f-8 and f-11, and set the speed at 1-400th of a second." From Joe Rosenthal.
Marines Raise the Flag on Iwo Jima
Feb. 23, 1945: It had been four days since the AP’s Joe Rosenthal landed on the Pacific island of Iwo Jima. The hail of Japanese fire had not let up. During one of the bloodiest battles of World War II, U.S. Marines captured Mount Suribachi, a volcanic peak on the southern tip of the island. Jubilant, they raised a flag.
Rosenthal trudged up the mountain. He learned that the Marines planned to substitute a larger flag that could be seen all over the island. “I thought of trying to get a shot of the two flags; but I couldn’t line it up. I decided to get just the one flag going up.” Marines milled about. Suddenly, “out of the corner of my eye … [I saw] the men start the flag up.” He swung his bulky Speed Graphic and captured the most enduring image of the war.

Whenever he was praised for his famous photo after the war, Rosenthal liked to say, “I took the picture, the Marines took Iwo Jima.”
Photo by Marine Photographer, Pfc. Bob Campbell
Photo by Marine Photographer, Pfc. Bob Campbell
Photo By AP Photographer, Joe Rosenthal 
Photo By AP Photographer, Joe Rosenthal
Photo by Marine Photographer, Richard Stotz
Joe Rosenthal, 1981, with his photo and the
trusty Speed Graphic which captured the image.
Camp Tarawa Memorial -- Parker Ranch -- The Big Island of Hawai'i
Of the 55,000 Marines, Navy Corpsmen and Seabees who trained at Camp Tarawa, a total of 5,145 were killed in action or died of their wounds. 18,029 were wounded in action in the invasions of Saipan-Tinian and Iwo Jima.

YouTube Video - Albert Torgerson USMC
Albert Torgerson USMC - He enlisted in the Marine Corps before Pearl Harbor and saw the attack on Pearl Harbor and fired on the Zeroes with a machine gun 7:57 minutes into the tape, Tarawa 44.30 in, Camp Tarawa 119.54 in, Kona 121.50 in, Saipan 122.00 in, Tinian 132.12 in, Japan 140.00 minutes into the tape.
Corporal Albert Conrad Torgerson
18th Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division.
Demolitions and Flame Thrower Team Leader.
Recipient of the Bronze Star, Purple Heart.
Albert was born on March 5th 1919 and died peacefully on January 9th 2014. He was buried with military honors at Willamette Nat'l Cemetery. He was 94.
When the 2nd Marine Division came to the Big Island in December 1943, a Marine base was established on Parker Ranch land in Waimea so the men could have a place to recuperate after the battle on Tarawa and to train for the Saipan - Tinian campaigns. They named the base “Camp Tarawa” in remembrance of the famous battle fought on the island.

After the 2nd Marine Division left, the 5th Marine Division moved from Camp Pendleton to Camp Tarawa to continue training for the assault on Iwo Jima. Camp Tarawa was located between two large volcanoes - Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea.
Camp Tarawa (note the small volcano called Buster Brown in the background) is about the same size as Mount Suribachi where the Marines raised the flag on the 5th day of the 36-day battle. The Marines of the 5th Division climbed it almost daily in training.
Waimea had a population of only 450 people in1943-1945; approximately 25,000 Marines moved next door following the battle at Tarawa, and after the 2nd Division left for Saipan and Tinian, the 5th Division arrived in Waimea with another 25,000 Marines. The Marines and Seabees brought electricity, water storage,and refrigeration giving the local kids the first ice cream they had ever had.The locals invited the Marines into their homes and gave luaus and converted some buildings into USO’s and invited them to their rodeo.
Camp Tarawa was named for the famous battle the 2nd Marine Division fought and was now training for the Saipan-Tinian battles.
YouTube Video - Iwo Jima
Countless photos, archive footage, historic facts and 5 IWO JIMA veterans have all come together in this authentic account of the Battle of IWO JIMA.
Warning:  The last few minutes of this video are VERY graphic!
Roscoe an African lion was the mascot of the 28th Regiment. Click here for story and more photos.
The Marine Corps League
All Marines, past and present, FMF Corpsmen, and FMF Navy Chaplains and family members and supporters of Marines are welcome to join us to see if you have an interest in our group.
The Camp Tarawa Detachment of the Marine Corps League is named after the Battle for Tarawa in 1943.
It took 18,000 Marines and Corpsmen only 76 hours at the cost of 1,000 Marines and over 4,700 Japanese who died, with 2,000 who were wounded for a tiny atoll two miles long and a half-mile wide. From beginning to end, the battle lasted only 76 hours. 
Attention all Big Island Marines and Navy Corpsmen - The Camp Tarawa Detachment #1255 MCL needs you to help us share the history of the 50,000 Marines and Navy Corpsmen who trained at Camp Tarawa during WWII in preparation for decisive battles on Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima. 

The April 22 meeting will be online at 12:30 p.m.; the link will emailed to you.
Please contact Brian Jordan (808) 965-0941, or Kathy Painton (808) 880-9880 for further information and to RSVP if you plan to attend the meeting.
Marine Color Guard, Parker Rodeo  1945