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Memorial Miniature Golf and Museum: Hole 16 – Pacific Island Hopping Campaign
Hole 16 is sponsored by:
Unlike the war in Europe that centered around long battle lines and grand offensives, the campaign against Japan became characterized by a strategy of “island hopping,” and would continue on until August 1945. Island hopping was utilized to capture airfields from which to bomb Japanese-held territory, and later to bomb Japan directly without having to refuel with formations of B-29 bombers.
Another defining characteristic of the war in the Pacific was the brutality of the Japanese. Indoctrinated into the “Bushido Code,” Japanese troops largely fought to the death and refused to surrender. The basic strategy for conquering Japanese-held islands consisted of close cooperation between the Marines on the ground, and Naval forces. After a preliminary Naval and Aerial bombardment, infantry stormed the beaches in landing craft and began to push inland. Island hopping began with the successful capture of Guadalcanal after six months of hard fighting early 1943, followed up by attacks on Tarawa, and the Solomon islands.
In 1944, the stubbornly held islands of Peleliu and Saipan were taken. On Peleliu, the Japanese began perfecting their defensive tactics, resulting n the highest casualty rate amongst US forces in an amphibious operation during the Pacific War. The battle for Saipan was equally brutal, and with much of the Japanese defenders and local civilians choosing suicide from the island’s cliffs rather than facing American capture.
That autumn, US forces recaptured the Philippines as the Japanese began preparing for the onslaught that awaited their final possessions in 1945. In order to secure air bases from which to bomb Japan, Marines assaulted Iwo Jima in February 1945. As a result of ingenious underground Japanese defenses, losses were high, with nearly 7,000 Marines losing their lives.
The culmination of the Island Hopping Campaign took place at Okinawa, which would be the largest and bloodiest battle fought by the Americans against Japan. Landing on the island on April 1st, fighting did not cease until June, resulting in 50,000 American and 110,000 Japanese casualties. The state was set for the final push into mainland Japan, but American scientists had other plans for the Empire of the Rising Sun…(continued on hole #18).
Vocabulary Word: Bushido Code – the Bushido Code harkened back to the samurai era, and instilled in Japanese soldiers the belief in absolute loyalty to the Emperor. Most importantly Bushido regarded surrender as the ultimate form of shame, which explains why the majority of Japanese soldiers fought to the death or committed ritual suicide rather than surrender.Memorial Miniature Golf and Museum
This hole is dedicated to Captain Robert D. (Bob) Dilworth USN
In 1942, after flying anti-sub patrols in a PBY Catalitna in the North Atlantic, Cpt. Dilworth was transferred to the Pacific theater and commanded his own “Black Cat” PBY. The PBY’s were painted black for special night operations against Japanese airfields, merchant vessels and various Imperial Naval craft. The Black Cat PBY’s were outfitted with either two torpedoes or eight 250 pound bombs. Cpt. Diworth’s PBY was involved in numerous bombing and strafing missions, sinking a Japanese Destroyer in Nov. 1943 and a Japanese troop Carrier in Dec. 1943. In the month of December 1944, Dilworth’s “Cat” Squadron (VPB52) sank or damaged two Japanese cruisers, three destroyers, two submarines and 76,000 tons of merchant shipping. These numbers would be far surpassed – but not before a legendary raid by Dilworth and his crew.
On the night of February 11, 1944, Dilworth was approaching the air base at Wowak on Japanese-held New Guinea. Using rain squalls to cover his approach, he dropped down out of the clouds and found himself in the middle of a group of enemy fighters. By sheer coincidence, he had blundered into a Japanese landing formation. One of the enemy pilots, possibly annoyed at being cut off, pulled alongside and flashed his lights at the darkened PBY (he was so close that Dilworth’s waist gunner could read the enemy pilot’s instrument panel). Keeping his cool, Dilworth acted as if he belonged until the unsuspecting formation neared touchdown.
At that point, he veered off towards an enemy cargo ship anchored at the end of the runway. Before the Japanese could react, he sank the ship with two bombs, demolished a lighthouse and, for good measure, strafed the shore facilities before departing the scene. Dilworth’s poise under pressure were characteristic of the best PBY crews.
For his service, Cpt. Dilworth was awarded The Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star, Air Medal, and the Presidential Unit Citation with V for Valor. After WWII, Bob continued to serve his country for 25 years in the Navy Reserve.
1916-2006Memorial Miniature Golf and Museum
This hole is broken down into “islands” of greens to represent the Pacific Island Hopping Campaign. The hole is on the very last island all the way in the back left. The edges of the islands are of the rough turf and then surrounded by blue for water meaning lots of transition changes.
Mister Mini Golf Pro Tips
It’s a pretty straight shot on this one you just have to avoid edges of the islands. There is a patch right before the cup that is good at stopping your ball. Give it a little extra oomph to overcome it!
ADA Accessibility Notes: ADA compliant pathways are installed to allow for 9 holes of accessible play.
For more details on course accessibility, always check in with a course you are visiting as they may be able to do additional accommodations. In addition, a great resource is the ADA Checklist for Miniature Golf Courses.
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-Mister Mini Golf