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Archives Branch: Campaign Collections

Official records documenting the Marine Corps' involvement in various campaigns.

Tarawa (Gilbert Islands)


Official Documents from Tarawa 


Collection consists of 7 boxes (3.5 linear feet) of official records.  Documents include operation plans, operation orders, field orders, intelligence reports, action reports, administrative orders, captured Japanese documents, official correspondence, field messages, studies, and memoranda concerning operations on Tarawa, Mille, Makin, and other islands in the Gilberts chain.

The bulk of the documents were produced by the V Marine Amphibious Corps (V MAC), as well as action reports from multiple US Navy vessels (including the USS Heywood, the USS Sheridan, and the USS Harry Lee, among others) during Operation Galvanic.

If you have any questions about these collections, please contact the Archives at (703) 784-4685 or



Index to Tarawa Personal Papers Collections


This index highlights collections found in the Archives Branch concerning Marine Corps involvement the attack on the Tarawa Atoll (20 - 23 November 1943) during Operation Galvanic, the US invasion of the Gilbert Islands. The criteria for selecting collections for inclusion in this index is limited to those personal papers that contain pertinent materials.

Collections in this index are comprised of official Marine Corps records, documents, and publications; letters and correspondence; manuscripts; photographs; maps; memoirs and reminiscences; clippings and articles; oral histories and interviews; and realia and ephemera.


Tarawa Photographs

The Archives Branch maintains a Flickr page dedicated to showcasing photographs found in our collections. 
Photographs relevant to the study of the Tarawa Atoll campaign during World War II include images of Marines approaching the island on D-Day; Marines wading ashore; and scenes from Red Beach 3, among others.
Please note that some of the photographs found on our Flickr pages are considered public domain and have been cleared for release. While some imagery is public domain, any use of such imagery from this site must be attributed to the U.S. Marine Corps, or the individual photographer. Photographs may not be used to deface the reputation of the Marine Corps, its personnel, or policies.  Additionally, some imagery on this site may fall under copyright protection, such as imagery from personal photo collections donated to the Archives. Please contact us for more information regarding proper use of and/or copyright restrictions for these images.

Monographs and publications from the Marine Corps History Division

Available as full-text, searchable PDFs from the Government Publishing Office.

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