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    Okinawa Island 沖縄本島 Okinawa Prefecture Japan
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6th Mar Div April1, 1945

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USN April 1945
Location
Lat 26° 20' 15N Long 127° 48' 9E  Okinawa Island is the largest island in the the Okinawa Island Group (Okinawa Island) in the Ryukyu Islands (Nansei Shoto) of Okinawa Prefecture in Japan. Also known as Okinawa-hontō, Okinawa Jima or simply Okinawa. Borders the Philippine Sea to the east and East China Sea to the west. Roughly 700 miles to the south is the Philippines, and only 300 miles to the north is the southern tip of the mainland of Japan. To the northwest is Ie Shima.

Wartime History
On April 1, 1945 at 08:30am L-Day American forces land at Hagushi beaches on the western coast of Okinawa including U. S. Marines (USMC) III Amphibious Corps and U. S. Army XXIV Corps over a wide area spanning from Bolo Point (Cape Zanpa) to the north past Kadena to Camp Foster to the south. Today, there is a commemorative marker for the invasion located at Chatan-cho. Meanwhile, the 2nd Marine Division conducted a feign landing off Minatoga to the southeast to deceive the Japanese.

By the end of the day 60,000 Americans were ashore and met little resistance but suffered 28 casaulties mostly due to friendly fire. Offshore, the U. S. Navy warships and transports were targeted by Japanese kamikaze aircraft.

The Battle of Okinawa began on April 1, 1945 with the initial landings and lasted 82 days until declared secure on June 22, 1945.

American and Japanese missions against Okinawa
October 10, 1944 - May 14, 1945

The Battle of Okinawa resulted tremendous casaulties on both sides. The Americans lost 12,520 KIA and 38,000-55,000 WIA. The defending Japanese lost between 77,166 KIA (US estimated 110,000 KIA) and more than 7,000 captured as POWs. The civilian population of Okinawans and Japanese suffered between 40,000 to 150,000 killed, committed suicide or went missing.

Postwar
Okinawa remained under U. S. military control until 1972 when returned to Japan.

Okinawa Island Locations
Naha (Nawa, Nafa)  located in the southwestern corner of Okinawa, largest city includes Naha Airfield.
Shuri (Shui, Syuri)  located in the center of southern Okinawa, site of Shuri Castle.
Moshinawa (Machinato)  located in the center of the western coast of Okinawa, Moshinawa Airfield.
Awacha 安波茶 (Ahacha, Afuwacha)  located to east of Moshinawa (Machinato) in southern Okinawa.
Sobe (Subi, Suhi)  located on the western coast toward the center of Okinawa includes Yontan Airfield.
Kadena (Katena)  located on the western coast toward the center of Okinawa includes Kadena Airfield.
Itoman (Ichuman)  located in the southern Okinawa including Buckner Monument and Peace Memorial Museum.
Yonabaru (Yonahara, Yunabaru, Yonawa)  located on the eastern coast of southern Okinawa.
Chimu (Kin, Kinmu, Chin, Kimmu, Kimu)  located on the eastern coast of southern Okinawa.
Urasoe  located to the north of Naha includes Kakuazu Ridge.
Kakazu 嘉数 (Kakuazu) located
Maeda 前田 (Meida, Meda) located
Cape Zanpa (Bolo Point)  located on the western coast of Okinawa.
Chatan  located on the western coast includes commemorative marker for the April 1, 1945 invasion beaches
Minatoga (Minatogawa)  located on the southeast of Okinawa 2nd Mar Div feign landing
Tomori (Tomoi, Tomui, Domui, Tumui)  located on the southern coast of Okinawa.
Nakagusuku Bay (Buckner Bay)  located on the southeastern coast of Okinawa.
Hagushi Bay (Hagushi Anchorage)  located off Yomitan (Yontan) off the mouth of the Bishi River (Hija River).

Okinawa Island Airfields
Naha Airfield (Oroku)  still in use today as Naha Airport
Bolo Airfield  located at Bolo Point on the western coast of Okinawa.
Moshinawa Airfield (Machinato)  located near Naha.
Yontan Airfield (Yomitan, Yonzan)  located near Sobe on the western coast of Okinawa.
Kadena Airfield (Kadena AFB)  located at Kadena near Yontan on the western coast of Okinawa.
Yonabaru Airfield (NAS Yonabaru)  located near Yonabaru on the eastern coast of the southern Okinawa Island.
Motobu Airfield  located on the Motobu Peninsula on the western coast of Okinawa.
Futema Airfield located on the eastern coast of Okinawa.
Awase Airfield  located on the eastern coast of Okinawa.
Chimu Airfield  located on the eastern coast of Okinawa.
Chimu Seaplane Base  established by the USN in July 1945 until hit by typhoons in September-October 1945

References
The New York Times "1945: The Battle of Okinawa Ends" June 22, 1945

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Last Updated
December 1, 2020

 

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Okinawa Prefecture
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