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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Castrioti

March 24th, 1945 - The Battle of Okinawa

Conflict: World War II

Combatants: Allies vs. Japanese

Location: Okinawa

Outcome: Allied victory


By the spring of 1945, Allied forces in the Pacific had advanced to the Sakishima Island group, just 400 miles from Kyushu. The goal was the capture of Okinawa from which the Americans and British planned to launch the invasion of Japan itself in the fall of 1945.

Between March 14 and March 31st , in preparation for the assault, British and American forces began air attacks against the Japanese throughout the Sakishima Islands. Allied fighters strafed and harassed airfields while bombers attacked industrial sites.


A6M kamikaze attacking circa 1945 by a US Navy photographer

The Japanese launched 193 Kamikazes against Allied naval forces. The Kamikazes crippled the American carrier U.S.S. Franklin and damaged the Yorktown and Wasp killing 825 sailors.


USS Franklin (CV-13) burning and listing in March 1945 by a US Navy photographer

Points of Interest:

  • All three American ships were saved using fire-fighting equipment developed by the New York fire department.

  • The island of Okinawa would not be secured until June of 1945. The Japanese suffered over 100,000 dead. It would be the last major land battle in World War II.

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Sources:


Dupuy, Trevor N., Johnson, Curt, & Bongard, David L. (1992). The Harper's Encyclopedia of Military Biography. New York: Castle Books (HarperCollins).


Dupuy, R. Ernest & Dupuy, Trevor N. (1993). The Harper's Encyclopedia of Military History. New York: HarperCollins.


Eggenberger, David (1985). An Encyclopedia of Battles: Accounts of Over 1,560 Battles from 1479 B.C. to the Present. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.


Gailey, Harry A.. (1995). The War in the Pacific. Novato, CA: Presidio Press.



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