Isley Field: Remnants of a World War 11 airport

SAIPAN—Beyond the paved roads bordered by the flame trees and hidden from view by the thick tangan-tangan jungles outside the Saipan International Airport are relics of the World War 11—remnants of important structures that played big roles during the bloody war in a site that not everyone knows about.

If you drive straight past the Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting headquarters, take the first left fork in the road leading to a grassy patch and you will see the first World War 11 relic in full view—a rusty Japanese tanker still with parts intact. Don’t make the mistake of turning back after you see the tanker because there is more to see beyond.

This is the As Lito or Isely Field and you will see more structures scattered around—ruins of old buildings that used to house the power station, headquarters of the Japanese soldiers, hospitals, repair shops, bunkers and tankers that have been preserved, and machine guns.

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Walk deeper into the cleaning and you will see a row of Japanese navy design air raid shelters. If you are daring enough, try to get into one of the air raid shelters to get a feel of what it is inside. There are more air raid shelters but a lot of them have been covered with thick shrubbery.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is remnants-WW2-airport-IMG_7754-2.jpg

An interpretive marker put up by the Historic Preservation Office tells the story about the Isley Field including how it was developed into the principal Japanese air base in the Marianas as the threat of war increased in 1934.

The story is translated from English into Chamorro, Carolinian and Japanese.


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