At the top.
Mt. Tapochao (pronounced Top-a-chow) is the highest point on Saipan at 1525 feet. By standing on the peak you can take a visual tour of the entire island. Each time I visit Tapochao I can't help but think what it would have been like to watch the Battle of Saipan unfold from that vantage point. Mt. Tagpochau (another spelling) played an uneventful role during the battle. Several Marines scaled the cliff on the front side of the mountain on a recon mission to find out how well fortified the top was. It turned out that the Japanese defenders moved down the back side of the mountain to join in on the battle at Death Valley. Thus, Mt. Tapochao was captured.
Tinian Island in background.
Lau Lau Bay.Kagman.
Looking up from the East.
Looking up from the South.
Mt. Tapochao from the plane.
This hand grenade was found on Purple Heart Ridge just below Mt. Tapochao.
In the jungle.
WWII trash cans left behind with "USN" on the bottom.
In the last few days of WWII an American B-29 made a landing approach at Isley Field. The bomber could not land on the initial approach due to bad weather and was forced to circle around for another attempt. It crashed on the west side of Mt. Tapochao killing the entire crew.
This is one of it's four engines.
The twisted props of another engine.
This WWII truck is hanging over the side of a high cliff on Mt. Tapochao. Why is it here? Perhaps at the end of WWII they tried to push it off the side but it got stuck.
My exploring buddy Stewie stands watch over some WWII artifacts we found in a cave on Mt. Tapachao in Saipan. Caves in this area of Saipan were not only occupied by Japanese soldiers but Japanese civilians and locals as well. When the shelling of the town of Garapan started everyone ran to the hills with what they could carry. This looks like their best dishes. They lived in these caves for three weeks until the intense battle ended.
Here comes a storm from the top of Mt Tapochao Video
WWII B-29 crash site video.
WWII Civilian Cave.