Mariana and Palau Islands campaign, also known as Operation Forager, was an offensive launched by United States forces against Imperial Japanese forces in the Mariana Islands and Palau in the Pacific Ocean between June and November 1944 during the Pacific War. The United States offensive, under the overall command of  Chester Nimitz, followed the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign and was intended to neutralize Japanese bases in the central Pacific, support the Allied drive to retake the Philippines, and provide bases for a strategic bombing campaign against Japan.
Beginning the offensive,
United States Marine Corps and United States Army forces, with support from the United States Navy, executed landings on Saipan in June 1944. In response, the Imperial Japanese Navy's Combined Fleet sortied to attack the U.S. Navy fleet supporting the landings. In the resulting aircraft carrier Battle of the Philippine Sea (the so-called "Great Marianas Turkey Shoot") on 19–20 June, the Japanese naval forces were decisively defeated with heavy and irreplaceable losses to their carrier-borne and land-based aircraft.
U.S. forces executed landings on
Guam and Tinian in July 1944. After heavy fighting, Saipan was secured in July and Guam and Tinian in August 1944. The U.S. then constructed airfields on Saipan and Tinian where B-29s were based to conduct strategic bombing missions against the Japanese mainland until the end of World War II, including the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
In the meantime, in order to secure the flank for U.S. forces preparing to attack Japanese forces in the Philippines, in September 1944, U.S. Marine and Army forces landed on the islands of
Peleliu and Angaur in Palau. After heavy and intense combat on Peleliu, the island was finally secured by U.S. forces in November 1944.
Following their landings in the Mariana and Palau Islands, Allied forces continued their ultimately successful campaign against Japan by landing in the
Philippines in October 1944 and the Volcano and Ryukyu Islands beginning in January 1945.
D'Albas, Andrieu (1965). Death of a Navy: Japanese Naval Action in World War II. Devin-Adair Pub. ISBN . 0-8159-5302-X
Denfeld, D. Colt (1997). Hold the Marianas: The Japanese Defense of the Mariana Islands. White Mane Pub. ISBN . 1-57249-014-4
Drea, Edward J. (1998). "An Allied Interpretation of the Pacific War". In the Service of the Emperor: Essays on the Imperial Japanese Army. Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press. ISBN . 0-8032-1708-0
Dull, Paul S. (1978). . Naval Institute Press. A Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1941–1945 ISBN . 0-87021-097-1
Gailey, Harry (1988). The Liberation of Guam 21 July–10 August. Novato, California, U.S.A.: Presidio Press. ISBN . 0-89141-651-X
Gailey, Harry (1984). Peleliu: 1944. Nautical & Aviation Pub Co of Amer. ISBN . 0-933852-41-X
Goldberg, Harold J. (2007). D-day in the Pacific: The Battle of Saipan. Indiana University Press. ISBN . 978-0-253-34869-2
Hallas, James H. (1994). The Devil's Anvil: The Assault on Peleliu. Praeger Publishers. ISBN . 0-275-94646-0
Hornfischer, James D. (2016). The Fleet at Flood Tide: The U.S. at Total War in the Pacific, 1944-1945. Random House Publishing Group. ISBN . 978-0345548726
Morison, Samuel Eliot (2001) . . New Guinea and the Marianas, March 1944–August 1944 History of United States Naval Operations in World War II. Vol 8 (reissue ed.). Champaign, Illinois, US: University of Illinois Press. ISBN . 0-252-07038-0
O'Brien, Francis A. (2003). Battling for Saipan. Presidio Press. ISBN . 0-89141-804-0
Ross, Bill D. (1991). . Random House. Peleliu: Tragic Triumph ISBN . 0-394-56588-6
Rottman, Gordon (2004). Saipan & Tinian 1944: Piercing the Japanese Empire. Campaign 137. illustrated by Howard Gerrard. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN . 1-84176-804-9
Moran, Jim; Rottman, Gordon (2002). Peleliu 1944: The Forgotten Corner of Hell. Campaign 110. illustrated by Howard Gerrard. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN . 1-84176-512-0
Sloan, Bill (2005). . Simon & Schuster. Brotherhood of Heroes: The Marines at Peleliu, 1944: The Bloodiest Battle of the Pacific War ISBN . 0-7432-6009-0
Smith, Douglas V. (2006). Carrier Battles: Command Decision in Harm's Way. U.S. Naval Institute Press. ISBN . 1-59114-794-8 Wright, Derrick (2005). To the Far Side of Hell: The Battle for Peleliu, 1944. Fire Ant Books. ISBN . 0-8173-5281-3
Chen, C. Peter, "The Marianas and the Great Turkey Shoot", World War II Database , retrieved May 31, 2005
Dyer, George Carroll, , United States Government Printing Office – via Hyperwar Foundation The Amphibians Came to Conquer: The Story of Admiral Richmond Kelly Turner
Chapin, John C. (1994), , Marines in World War II Commemorative Series, History and Museums Division, USMC Breaching the Marianas: The Battle for Saipan
Hoffman, Major Carl W., USMC (1950), "Saipan: The Beginning of the End", USMC Historical Monograph, Historical Branch, United States Marine Corps – via Hyperwar Foundation CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list ( link)
Anderson, Charles R. (2003). . U.S. Army Campaigns of World War II. Western Pacific United States Army Center of Military History. CMH Pub 72-29 . Retrieved . November 3, 2004
Lodge, O.R. (1954), "USMC Historical Monograph: The Recapture of Guam", Historical Branch, United States Marine Corps
O'Brien, Cyril J. (1994), "Liberation: Marines in the Recapture of Guam", Marine Corps Historical Center, Marines in World War II Commemorative Series, United States Marine Corps
Hoffman, Carl W. (1951), "USMC Historical Monograph: The Seizure of Tinian", Historical Branch, United States Marine Corps
Chen, C. Peter (2007), "Palau Islands and Ulithi Islands Campaign", World War II Database , retrieved October 19, 2007
Gayle, Gordon D. (1996). "Bloody Beaches: The Marines at Peleliu". Marines in World War II Commemorative Series. Marine Corps Historical Center . Retrieved . December 19, 2006
Hough, Frank O. (1950), "The Assault on Peleliu (The Seizure of Peleliu)", USMC Historical Monograph, Historical Branch, G-3 Division, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps , retrieved – via Hyperwar Foundation December 19, 2006
Smith, Robert Ross (1996), "The Approach to the Philippines", United States Army in World War II: The War in the Pacific, United States Army Center of Military History – via Hyperwar Foundation "G-3 journal : Expeditionary Troops Task Force 56 : Forager. S.l.", Fleet Marine Force. G-3 Section, United States Marine Corps, 1944 , retrieved March 8, 2016