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At 0400 hours (4:00 am standard time), the crew of the USS Angler was startled by a scraping sound, then an alarm. The crew ran for the lifeboats. They all knew that rescue was close to hopeless. It was 1945 and WWII was coming to a close. The Angler was going deep into Japanese territory, far past the point of no return (as it had become known to sailors). As the sailors got up on deck, they noticed the outline of an island in the fog. Most came to the conclusion that they had run aground. Others were panicking and couldn’t think at all. The deck gradually got less and less crowded as the lifeboats departed and made a bolt for the island.
On shore, the crew made several campsites and started to gain a foothold. It wasn’t until 0900 hours that a flurry of movement at one of the camps, along with a tremendous amount of gunfire that the American forces figured out that the Japanese were on this island in numbers greater than the American forces by tenfold. When this realization occurred, the American forces packed up and went deeper into the forests of the island and dug in. They set up machine gun nests with overlapping fire on the perimeter, and dug out a bunker where their officers could plan an offensive with the limited numbers of Marines that were available. The deepest place they dug was the radio room, so they might have a chance to be rescued. The wires were fished up through the dirt so a signal could be received.
At 1400 (2:00 pm standard time) two recon teams were sent to investigate what was so important about this island. One reported back that it was a command base and legions of Japanese soldiers were stationed there. The other didn’t report back. Command had to assume the worst. They had no idea what “the worst” was. After 3 hours a plan was created based on existing information about the island. The only option was guerilla tactics. Hit and run. Four squads would skim the perimeter of the Japanese camp and pick off any soldiers that weren’t watching. They would do this for several days to ensure maximum damage. At the same time, a force of 60 Marines would storm the smaller camp sites and capture supplies. Essentially island hopping, just without the ocean.
The first part of the plan went off without a hitch. For several days, 4 squads patrolled the perimeter of the campsites and picked off stragglers. However, 60 people who had assaulted the smaller campsites were overrun at the first one. In their final pleas for reinforcements they noted that they had come across a research facility of some sort. The decision was made to stay away from the research facility until reinforcements arrived. Reinforcements. The Marines scoffed at the thought of command issuing reinforcements to the Island. Command didn’t even know where they were!
If the commanding officer of the Marines had been thinking, they would have thought to scout the island for a submarine base, which would have saved him and his men. All of them knew it, some refused it, but they were fated to die on that island. Further defenses and perimeter patrol guards were created to ensure the marines were safe.
After the fourth day, the squads of Marines patrolling the main Japanese base had picked off 77 people total. One of the Marine squads did not reply though. By now, the American forces had been withered down to 212 men. Their morale was dwindling. The CO foolishly decided to start mortar shelling the Japanese base. He did not think about the possibility of triangulating the mortar’s angle and finding the US base. There was no hope now.
The Japanese attacked the US base at 1921 (7:21 pm standard time) on the ninth day of hell on that island. The machine gun nests were taken out first, then the mortars. They stormed the command room and the radio rooms, killing everyone inside. One surviving squad made it out of the base and snuck away. They wandered the island for days, eating any fruit they could find. Eventually they came upon an abandoned outpost. There was a radio inside. There was an American who sounded very worried saying “Is anyone out there from the USS Angler? Please respond!”
A soldier picked up the microphone and said into it “Yes! We ran aground and made it to an island. We got overrun by at 4,000 Japanese soldiers and my squad is the only one left! We need extraction ASAP!”
“You’re breaking up – did you say four Thousand?”
“A fleet is being sent to extract you.”
“I’m sorry, did you say fleet?”
There was no reply.
The squad holed up for 4 days in that bunker while battalions of Japanese troops scoured the island looking for survivors. Eventually, the island started to be bombarded by gigantic naval guns and bombed by fighter planes. The soldiers were flagged to the coast by a radio signal and told that a dingy would be there waiting for them. They eventually made it to the coast and found the boat. As they sped away, a two tone, earth shattering noise (that sounded like a the empire state building falling over in an earthquake and crushing half of Manhattan) came from under the island. It sounded over and over again for about 30 seconds. When they made it to a battleship they were hoisted up in one of the lifeboat lifts. The sound had stopped but now there was a bigger problem: A giant wall of water speeding for the ship. The island itself was a super weapon! Water engulfed the ships and sank each and every one of them. After 1700 hours, no further contact was made with the battle group.