National Geographic : 1945 Nov
Victory's Portrait in the Marianas v .aluonai ueograpnic society Oil Painting by Lt. William F. Draper, USNS That B-29's May Shatter Japan, an American Marine Pays a Price with Blood Tenderly lifted from an alligator to an LST, he is one of 20,000 Americans wounded during the Marianas campaign in the summer of 1944. Some 5,100 like him gave their lives. Japan's total casualties, nearly all dead, were 55,000. Their number was but a fraction of the millions killed, injured, or dispossessed in Japan as a consequence of losing the Marianas. Victory gave the United States three potential aircraft carriers-Saipan, Guam, and Tinian. Bulldozers covered them with 8,000-foot runways. Hundreds of Superfortresses came in to roost. By mid-1945 they had reduced the enemy's industrial cities to panic and ruin. Meanwhile the Marianas conquest led to Iwo Jima and Okinawa, still closer to Japan. From them our flying raiders cut Nippon's mari time lifeline to a stealthy trickle of ships. Lt. William F. Draper, a Navy combat artist, depicts the Marianas victory with this series of paintings, his fourth in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE.