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  1. On Dec. 11, 1941, the small Marine and Navy force on the strategic American outpost of Wake Island had repulsed an attempted Japanese amphibious assault, sinking two Japanese destroyers. The gallant success and temporary victory electrified the nation.

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  3. Cunningham sent a message to Pearl Harbor: “Enemy on island; issue in doubt.” The report convinced Vice Admiral William C. Pye, the newly appointed Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet, to abandon an attempt then under way to relieve Wake.

  4. When Pye received the message, “Enemy on island, issue in doubt” from Commander Cunningham, he came to the bitter conclusion that Wake could not be relieved.

  5. Dec 21, 2016 · After Wake fell, most of the men on the island were sent to camps in China or Japan, under horrific conditions. Hundreds died in captivity or escape attempts. Many survived until the end of the war as Prisoners of War.

  6. May 30, 2024 · Winfield Scott Cunningham, USN, commander of the Wake Island garrison, sent tis terse message: “Enemy on island. Issue in doubt.” By mid-afternoon, the defenders were crushed.

  7. At 5 am, Cunningham radioed back: “Enemy on islandissue in doubt.” The Fall of Wake Island Dawn found Wake encircled by warships, now staying prudently out of range of the defenders’ 5-inch guns, not that many of them were still manned anyway.

  8. Jun 12, 2006 · The fight for Wake Island had cost them two destroyers and one submarine sunk, seven additional ships damaged, 21 aircraft shot down and almost 1,000 men killed. Enraged by their losses, the Japanese treated their prisoners–military and civilian–brutally.

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