Naval History and Heritage Command

National Museum of the U.S. Navy

Okinawa Land Campaign: The Long Battle: April-June 1945

On April 1, 1945, Task Force 51, led by Vice Admiral Richmond K. Turner, USN, landed U.S. Soldiers and Marines from four divisions to go ashore on Okinawa after neutralizing the heaviest gunfire.   For this invasion, the landing was the easy part of the campaign.   One-hundred thousand Japanese had concentrated in the extensive and well-armed natural and manmade defenses on the southern half of the island.  By April 18, the northern and central portions of the Okinawa were secured, but the American troops were merely on the outskirts of a formidable defensive bastion.   The struggle to oust the Japanese from their citadel at the southern end of Okinawa took two months.   During this campaign, the Japanese lost 89,000 and 11,000 enemy men became prisoners, as well as 24,000 civilians dead.   The U.S. Tenth Army counted 7,600 dead, 31,800 wounded with 26,000 non-battle casualities. 

Images:  NH 104963:  Okinawa Campaign, Okinawa, aerial view, October 1944.  During the campaign, this area encompassed landing beaches Yellow 1 and Purple 2.   Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.