Parker Ranch & Camp Tarawa

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This stone honors the heroic Marines and Sailors of the 2d Marine Division, who endured the pioneering amphibious assault on Betio in the Tarawa Atoll, November 20-23, 1943. Tarawa was a savage and bloody battle that tested and shaped amphibious doctrine - doctrine that would ultimately bring victory and peace in the Pacific. Following their success at Tarawa, the Division traveled to an unfinished camp located at Parker Ranch. While refitting and recuperating, the 2d Marine Division completed work on the camp. It was later named Camp Tarawa in their honor. On February 12,1944,Marines were invited to compete with local paniolos in a grand rodeo. More than 10,000 spectators witnessed the friendly competition. This event lifted the spirit of the U.S. Marines for the Duration of their training. The 2d Marine Division departed Camp Tarawa that Spring to participate in the Invasions of Saipan and Tinian.

"Tarawa will loom in history as the beginning of the end of the war against Japan."
  General A.A. Vandergrift,
Commandant of the Marine Corps (1944 - 1947)