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December 30, 1891|
|Died||January 25, 1944
Kwajalein, Marshall Islands
|Allegiance||Empire of Japan|
|Service/branch||Imperial Japanese Navy|
|Battles/wars||World War II
Battle of Kiska
Battle of Kwajalein †
Monzo Akiyama (秋山 門造, Akiyama Monzō) (December 30, 1891, Nagaoka - January 25, 1944, Kwajalein) was a Japanese Rear Admiral who served in World War II. He was killed in action during the Battle of Kwajalein.
Monzo Akiyama was born in Niigata Prefecture, Japan, in 1891. In 1912, at the age of twenty-one, he joined the Japanese Naval Academy and was a midshipman on board the Japanese battleship Kashima and later served on the Japanese Heavy Cruiser Chikuma. In 1940, he became a senior officer in the 6th Marine Regiment in Amoy in China. When the Pacific War broke out in December 1941, Akiyama was put in charge of the 17th Marine Regiment stationed in Hiroshima, and later participated in the invasion of the Aleutian Islands in the Territory of Alaska in 1943, the only invasion of a territory which would later become an American state in the war. He commanded the 5,800 occupants of Kiska Island, which was one of the Aleutians, but was given permission to evacuate it after fearing an American invasion. He was sent to the Kurile Islands after the withdrawal of the Japanese army, and the Americans found Kiska abandoned when they retook it. On October 13, he traveled to Rabaul in New Britain, where Admiral Matome Ugaki gave him command of Kwajalein, in the Marshall Islands. He had 8,700 troops under his leadership in the islands, and he immediately ordered the construction of fortifications on every one of the islands in the chain. On January 2, US bombers attacked the island with their heavy bombs, softening up the defenses of Kwajalein. Monzo Akiyama was killed by a naval shell that hit his bunker on January 25.