Okinawa Campaign: April 1- June 21, 1945
Under heavy naval gunfire and aircraft support on April 1, 1945, U.S. Forces invaded Okinawa, Japan. This landing had the codename of "Operation Iceberg" and was the last major amphibious assault of World War II. To Japan, the islands were the barrier to a direct invasion of its homeland. To the Allies, once the island was under their control, it would clear the path for the final invasion of Japan. Admiral Raymond A. Spurance, USN, Commander Fifth Fleet, led the invasion onboard USS Indianapolis (CA-35). Joint Task Force, TF-51, was led by Vice Admiral Richmond K. Turner, USN, with Lieutenant General Simon B. Buckner, USA, commanding the landing troops. The U.S. Navy lost 32 ships and craft, mostly by kamikaze attacks, and 368 ships and craft were damaged. Seven-hundred and sixty-three aircraft were lost with over 4,900 sailors killed or missing in action, with an additional 4,824 being wounded. Okinawa was declared secure on June 21.
Image: 80-G-313055: Invasion of Okinawa, April 1, 1945. Landing craft heading towards the beach. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.