Naval History and Heritage Command

National Museum of the U.S. Navy

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Okinawa Campaign:  U.S. Naval Gunfire Support:  April-June 1945

During the Okinawa Campaign, the U.S. Navy regularly delivered supplies and naval gunfire support.   Each regiment had two ships assigned to it, including a destroyer for star-shell illumination at night.   A battleship, or cruiser, supported each division.   Each corps had one or two battleships, or cruisers, on call.   The warships fired almost 300,000 rounds of five-inch or larger shells.  The warships were aided in bombing efforts by the aerial squadrons of Task Group 58.  Task Force aircraft flew over 40,000 sorties and dropped 8,500 tons of bombs and fired approximately 50,000 rockets.   The Japanese, with Operation Ten-Go, tried to suppress this support with the use of Kamikazes (suicide planes) to damage the warships from April to June 1945. 

Image:  80-G-K-5751:  Okinawa Campaign:  Naval Gunfire Support, March-April 1945.  USS Idaho (BB-42) fires on Japanese positions.   Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.