On July 28 the orders came through: The Callaghan was to proceed to radar picket
No. 5, about thirty-five miles due east of Okinawa, and to remain there until 1:30 a.m, the following day, when she would be relieved before heading east for the United States.
At 12:30 a.m. the officer of the deck called to say he had a bogie about ten miles away.
On picket duty with the Callaghan were the destroyers Cassin Young and Pritchett. Observers on the Cassia Young thought there were as many as twelve planes in the attack. The Callaghan had eyes only for one. The night was brightly moonlit, and from the Callaghan there was no problem in picking out the plane as it approached, ever so slowly.
This was no Zeke, or Val, but the oldest of fabric-covered biplanes, with Fixed under-carriage and traveling at about eighty-five miles an hour.
The 250-pound bomb she carried must have taxed all her resources.
Commander Bertholf thought the plane was going to fall well astern. He was wrong. Flying apparently unharmed through the hail of anti-aircraft fire, it passed over the stern and crashed the ship near the No. 3 upper handling room. The bomb went through the deck and exploded in the engine room, killing all hands there. "Although 1 was well forward on the bridge, the blast knocked me across the pilothouse like a feather," said Commander Bertholf. A furious gasoline fire broke out on deck. Commander Bertholf immediate thought was that about half his men would be killed.
Five minutes after the plane struck, the No. 3 upper handling room exploded, killing, injuring, and blowing over the side many of the men in the vicinity who were working on damage control. A minute later Captain Bertholf passed the word for all hands except he salvage party to prepare to abandon ship. The crew dropped into the water all available life rafts and floater nets which had not been blown to bits. They lowered the motor whaleboat with wounded, the doctor, pay records, and cash books. The Callaghan began to sink by the stern. The captain remained aboard for another hour amid furiously burning fires while more biplanes with their suicide pilots hovered overhead ready to go in for the kill if the Callaghan showed any sign of surviving.
The Callaghan lost one officer end fory-six men missing in action and two officers and seventy-one men wounded. She was the last ship to be sunk by a kamikaze plane.
After the first plane hit the Callaghan, the Pritchett and the Cassin Young closed in to pick up survivors. About an hour before dawn, a biplane made a slow dive on thePritchett. The crew saw numerous anti-aircraft hits on the plane, but all seemed to pass through the fabric covering without causing damage. The plane struck the Prirchett a glancing blow but Failed to hurt her much.
A third biplane had a go at the Cassin Young and was shot down about thirty yards off the starboard bow.
Shortly before daylight, the Pritchett and the Cassin Young Ieft for Hagushi Beach, where they transferred the wounded to a hospital ship before moving south of the entrance to Buckner Bay on patrol.
At about three o'clock next morning bogies approached from the southern coastline of Okinawa. Since a friendly also was in the area, the Cassin Young held its fire when the fire control radar picked up the approaching plane. Not until it was seen to be headed in a suicide dive did the ship's guns open fire. It was too late. The suicide plane hit close to the starboard aft whaleboat davit and exploded.
The Cassin Young survived, but she lost nineteen killed in action, with another forty-six missing. Five died later as a result of wounds. Many of the killed and wounded suffered most terrible injuries from broken steam lines.
This was the last dash for the suicide planes at Okinawa. The operation had cost the United States 12,300 killed and 36,400 wounded.
The first attack on Morrison, a main target as fighter-director ship, was a suicide run by a "Zeke". The plane broke through heavy flak to drop a bomb which splashed off the starboard beam and exploded harmlessly. Next a "Val" and another "Zeke" followed with unsuccessful suicide runs. About 08:25 a "Zeke" approached through intense antiaircraft fire to crash into a stack and the bridge. The blow inflicted heavy casualties and knocked out most of the electrical equipment. The next three planes, all old twin-float biplanes, maneuvered, despite heavy attack, to crash into the damaged ship. With the fourth hit, Morrison, heavily damaged, began to list sharply to starboard.
Few communication circuits remained intact enough to transmit the order to abandon ship. Two explosions occurred almost simultaneously, the bow lifted into the air, and by 08:40 Morrison had plunged beneath the surface. The ship sank so quickly that most men below decks were lost, a total of 152. wikepedia
After pondering deeply the general trends of the world and the actual conditions obtaining in Our Empire today, We have decided to effect a settlement of the present situation by resorting to an extraordinary measure.
We have ordered Our Government to communicate to the Governments of the United States, Great Britain, China and the Soviet Union that Our Empire accepts the provisions of their Joint Declaration.
To strive for the common prosperity and happiness of all nations as well as the security and well-being of Our subjects is the solemn obligation which has been handed down by Our Imperial Ancestors, and which We lay close to heart. Indeed, We declared war on America and Britain out of Our sincere desire to secure Japan's self-preservation and the stabilization of East Asia, it being far from Our thought either to infringe upon the sovereignty of other nations or to embark upon territorial aggrandisement. But now the war has lasted for nearly four years. Despite the best that has been done by every one -- the gallant fighting of military and naval forces, the diligence and assiduity of Our servants of the State and the devoted service of Our one hundred million people, the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage, while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interest. Moreover, the enemy has begun to employ a new and most cruel bomb, the power of which to do damage is indeed incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives. Should we continue to fight, it would not only result in an ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation, but also it would lead to the total extinction of human civilization. Such being the case, how are We to save the millions of Our subjects; or to atone Ourselves before the hallowed spirits of Our Imperial Ancestors? This is the reason why We have ordered the acceptance of the provisions of the Joint Declaration of the Powers.
We cannot but express the deepest sense of regret to Our Allied nations of East Asia, who have consistently cooperated with the Empire towards the emancipation of East Asia. The thought of those officers and men as well as others who have fallen in the fields of battle, those who died at their posts of duty, or those who met with untimely death and all their bereaved families, pains Our heart night and day. The welfare of the wounded and the war-sufferers, and of those who have lost their home and livelihood, are the objects of Our profound solicitude. The hardships and sufferings to which Our nation is to be subjected hereafter will be certainly great. We are keenly aware of the inmost feelings of all ye, Our subjects. However, it is according to the dictate of time and fate that We have resolved to pave the way for grand peace for all the generations to come by enduring the unendurable and suffering what is insufferable.
Having been able to safeguard and maintain the structure of the Imperial State, We are always with ye, Our good and loyal subjects, relying upon your sincerity and integrity. Beware most strictly of any outbursts of emotion which may endanger needless complications, or any fraternal contention and strife which may create confusion, lead ye astray and cause ye to lose the confidence of the world. Let the entire nation continue as one family from generation to generation, ever firm in its faith of the imperishableness of its divine land and mindful of its heavy burden of responsibilities, and the long road before it. Unite your total strength to be devoted to the construction for the future. Cultivate the ways of rectitudes; foster nobility of spirit; and work with resolution so as ye may enhance the innate glory of the Imperial State and keep place with the progress of the world.
Proclamation Defining Terms for Japanese Surrender Issued, at Potsdam, July 26, 1945
We-the President of the United States, the President of the National Government of the Republic of China, and the Prime Minister of Great Britain, representing the hundreds of millions of our countrymen, have conferred and agree that Japan shall be given an opportunity to end this war.
The prodigious land, sea and air forces of the United States, the BritishEmpire and of China, many times reinforced by their armies and air fleets from the west, are poised to strike the final blows upon Japan. This military power is sustained and inspired by the determination of all the Allied Nations to prosecute the war against Japan until she ceases to resist.
The result of the futile and senseless German resistance to the might of the aroused free peoples of the world stands forth in awful clarity as an example to the people of Japan. The might that now converges on Japan is immeasurably greater than that which, when applied to the resisting Nazis, necessarily laid waste to the lands, the industry and the method of life of the whole German people. The full application of our military power, backed by our resolve, will mean the inevitable and complete destruction of the Japanese armed forces and just as inevitably the utter devastation of the Japanese homeland.
The time has come for Japan to decide whether she will continue to be controlled by those self-willed militaristic advisers whose unintelligent calculations have brought the Empire of Japan to the threshold of annihilation, or whether she will follow the path of reason.
Following are our terms. We will not deviate from them. There are no alternatives. We shall brook no delay.
There must be eliminated for all time the authority and influence of those who have deceived and misled the people of Japan into embarking on world conquest, for we insist that a new order of peace, security and justice will be impossible until irresponsible militarism is driven from the world.
Until such a new order is established and until there is convincing proof that Japan's war-making power is destroyed, points in Japanese territory to be designated by the Allies shall be occupied to secure the achievement of the basic objectives we are here setting forth.
The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out and Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine.
The Japanese military forces, after being completely disarmed, shall be permitted to return to their homes with the opportunity to lead peaceful and productive lives.
We do not intend that the Japanese shall be enslaved as a race or destroyed as a nation, but stern justice shall be meted out to all war criminals, including those who have visited cruelties upon our prisoners. The Japanese Government shall remove all obstacles to the revival and strengthening of democratic tendencies among the Japanese people. Freedom of speech, of religion, and of thought, as well as respect for the fundamental human rights shall be established.
Japan shall be permitted to maintain such industries as will sustain her economy and permit the exaction of just reparations in kind, but not those which would enable her to re-arm for war. To this end, access to, as distinguished from control of, raw materials shall be permitted. Eventual Japanese participation in world trade relations shall be permitted.
The occupying forces of the Allies shall be withdrawn from Japan as soon as these objectives have been accomplished and there has been established in accordance with the freely expressed will of the Japanese people a peacefully inclined and responsible government.
We call upon the government of Japan to proclaim now the unconditional surrender of all Japanese armed forces, and to provide proper and adequate assurances of their good faith in such action. The alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction.
(The Ministry of Foreign Affairs "Nihon Gaiko Nenpyo Narabini Shuyo Bunsho : 1840-1945" vol.2, 1966)
Eight days later, May 10, 1945, she got underway with Hugh W. Hadley for a radar picket station northwest of Okinawa. During the first night on station, 10–11 May, enemy planes were constantly in evidence; more than a hundred attacked the two destroyers and the two LCSs with them. Evans fought determinedly against this overwhelming assault, shooting down many of them, but in quick succession, four kamikazes struck her. After engineering spaces flooded, and she lost power, Evans' crew strove to save her, using portable fire extinguishers and bucket brigades. They succeeded, though 32 were killed and 27 wounded, and the ship was towed into Kerama Retto on 14 May for repairs.
駆逐艦ヒューWハドリ destroyer Hugh W. Hadlley DD-774 戦死30 負傷121
In a mass kamikaze attack on May 11, 1945, the destroyer Hugh W. Hadley (DD-774) shot down 23 planes including three that crashed into the ship at Radar Picket Station #15 to the northwest of Okinawa. The number of planes shot down by Hadley's gunners was a naval record for a ship in a single action. The kamikaze attacks over a period of one hour and 40 minutes resulted in 30 deaths and 121 wounded among the Hadley crew. The destroyer Robley D. Evans (DD-552), which fought with Hadley at the same picket station, shot down another 19 Japanese aircraft during the mass kamikaze attack.
As the kamikaze with 40mm shells streaking into it dove towards the ship's deck, he released a small bomb. The bomb made a direct hit on the portside 40mm (44 mount) and the plane crashed into the deck just aft of the quad 40mm (43 mount) on the starboard side. When the bomb hit the base of the 44 mount, the entire gun just disappeared out to sea. Nothing was left of the mount or most of the men manning it. The plane penetrated the after deck house of the starboard quad 40mm and destroyed the officer quarters below. Flaming gasoline sprayed crewmen on nearby guns. Fires raged and magazines were exploding sending shrapnel through any man who was in the way.
Kamikaze Destroyer: USS Hugh W. Hadley (DD774) by Jeffrey R. Veesenmeyer Merriam Press, 2014, 320 pages
Aircraft from fast carrier task force (Vice Adm. M. A. Mitscher) bomb airfields on Kyushu, Japan. Army troops are landed on southeast coast of Panay, P. I., by naval task group (Rear Adm. A. D. Struble) under cover of cruiser and destroyer gunfire. United States naval vessels damaged: Carrier ENTERPRISE (CV-6), by horizontal bomber,off Kyushu, Japan, 30 d. 50'N., 133 d. 42'E. Carrier YORKTOWN (CV-10), by horizontal bomber, off Kyushu, Japan, 30 d. 40'N., 133 d. 49'E. Carrier INTREPID (CV-11), by suicide plane and accidentally by United States naval gunfire, off Kyushu, Japan, 30 d. 47'N., 133 d. 50'E.
Aircraft from fast carrier task force (Vice Adm. M. A. Mitscher) bomb airfields on Kyushu, and shipping at Kure and Kobe, Honshu, Japan. United States naval vessels damaged: Carrier ESSEX (CV-9), accidentally by United States naval gunfire, off Shikoku, Japan, 32 d. 10'N., 134 d. 20'E. Carrier FRANKLIN (CV-13), by horizontal bomber, off Kyushu, Japan, 32 d. 01'N., 133 d. 57'E. Carrier WASP (CV-18), by dive bomber, off Shikoku, Japan, 32 d. 16'N., 134 d. 05'E.
Marc Andrew "Pete" Mitscher (January 26, 1887 – February 3, 1947) was a pioneer in naval aviation who became an admiral in the United States Navy, and served as commander of the Fast Carrier Task Force in the Pacific during the latter half of World War II.
On 11 May 1945 Mitscher's flagship Bunker Hill was struck by kamikazes, knocking her out of the operation and causing much loss of life. Half of Mitscher's staff officers were killed or wounded, and Mitscher was forced to shift his command to Enterprise. Enterprise at that time was functioning as a "night carrier", launching and recovering her aircraft in the dark to protect the fleet against bomber and torpedo aircraft slipping in to attack the fleet in the relative safety of night. When Enterprise was struck by kamikaze attack as well, Mitscher had to transfer once more, this time to USS Randolph, the Essex-class aircraft carrier that had been damaged by a long-range kamikaze attack at Ulithi. Throughout this period Mitscher repeatedly led the fast carriers northward to attack airbases on the Japanese home islands. Commenting on Admiral Mitscher upon his return from the Okinawa campaign, said Admiral Nimitz "He is the most experienced and most able officer in the handling of fast carrier task forces who has yet been developed. It is doubtful if any officer has made more important contributions than he toward extinction of the enemy fleet.
At 0744 on 27 May 1945, BRAINE was attacked by Japanese "Val" suicide planes while on Picket Station No. 5 off Okinawa. One plane carrying a 550 pound bomb crashed into No. 2 handling room from ahead. The bomb detonated in wardroom. The bridge was seriously damaged and No. 2 handling room was ablaze. Almost simultaneously a second plane carrying a bomb crashed into sick bay. The bomb exploded in the uptake for No. 3 boiler. The after stack was blown clear of the ship and the superstructure from the galley to the torpedo workshop was demolished. Serious fire raged in sick bay. Sixty six were dead, 78 wounded.
The first step in preparing pilots was to pick the best men for the job. During the late 1930s, the Navy shifted from producing a small number of superb pilots to producing a larger number of excellent ones. Even with the slight slackening in the demands placed on Navy pilots, the bar for entry was kept high. All potential pilots had to complete at least two years of college, to prove their intelligence and provide them with a decent level of education. They had to be between 18 and 26 years old, ensuring young, healthy candidates with a long career potential. They also had to be unmarried.