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Japanese Commando Attack on Yontan Field

Discussion in 'Air War in the Pacific' started by bill39, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. bill39

    bill39 Member

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    Looking for anyone w/info about a Japanese commando attack on Okinawa's Yontan Airfield in May of 1945.

    My dad was a Marine radioman in the 2nd Lt AntiAircraft Artillery Battlion protecting Yontan Field on Okinwa. I've recently read some about how the Japs tried landing some commandos one night via airplanes. There is an often published photo of this attack showing the tracers being fired w/parked US aircraft in the background. (I tried attaching the photo, hope it worked OK).
     

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  2. Mark4

    Mark4 Ace

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    For a heads up you can't say "jap" "kraut" or any thing like that on post. Giretsu Kuteitai
     
  3. mikebatzel

    mikebatzel Dreadnaught

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    Unfortunately I have just a single paragraph from John Toland's The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936-1945, pg 713



    Note: It was the seventh kamikaze raid of the Okinawa Campaign, not the war


    A quick search also found the following:

    http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USMC/USMC-M-Okinawa/USMC-M-Okinawa-9.html

    Hope this helped a bit
     
  4. bill39

    bill39 Member

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    All,
    Thanks for the prompt responses!!

    I have seen some of those before and maybe there isn't too much more out there that is readily available.

    Maybe there is an outside chance of finding a detailed After-Action Report or other such document.

    Thanks again.

    Bill
     
  5. Greg Canellis

    Greg Canellis Member

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    Author Bill Sloan gives a fairly good account of this raid in his book, The Ultimate Battle: Okinawa 1945 - The Last Epic Struggle of World War II (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2007). A Japanese "Sally" bomber crash-landed on the field, on May 24, 1945. The raiders damaged nine parked US planes, many with sachel charges, before the last of them were killed.

    Greg C.
     
  6. Thurman

    Thurman Member

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    Greg - Click on the link and scroll down the page, I have a few photos of the Japanese commando landing at Yontan on the USS Hadley website. My e-mail is Jonathon17pim@aol.com I have a few more I can e-mail you.

    THURMAN

    USS Hadley Memorial Webpage
     
  7. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    I stumbled onto this while 'googling' and thought it may be of interest:

    Yontan airfield - Google Search

    There should be a few pages of links (if I did it right), most of then at Hyper-war.
     
  8. sambodidley

    sambodidley Member

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    I was there in person. Second Marine Air Wing-MAG 31- VMF 224. Saw the whole thing go down. I saw your post in a google search on Yontan and decided to reply. I am 88 years old and leagally blind so please excuse any typos.
    Sam
     
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  9. bill39

    bill39 Member

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    Mr. Sam,
    Thank you for your service.
    My father passed away years ago without ever commenting much on WWII except for some humorous things.

    Is there anything you would care to personnally describe your time at Yontan? I understand it may be difficult to express your feelings.
    Any first-hand detail would be appreciated.

    Regards,
    Bill
     
  10. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    Sam,

    Thank you for your service and welcome to the forum! If you want, feel free to post about your service in the "Honor, Service and Valor" forum that is reserved for first-hand accounts of the war from veterans (the link is http://www.ww2f.com/forum/47-honor-service-and-valor/). I know that many here - myself included - would be very interested.

    Best Regards,
    Alan
     
  11. sambodidley

    sambodidley Member

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    Bill,
    Sorry about your father. There's not many of us left now, and fewer every day. The main thing I remember about Yontan is that we didn't get much sleep. Air raids all night and work in the day. Lot's of rain and mud. We had a ring side seat to the Kamikaze aattacts on our fleet at anchor. We got it at night and they got it in the daytime. My squaddron VMF 224 moved to Chimu airfield shortly after that commando attack on Yontan. That's where we were when the surrender came. VMF 224 went on to Japan for occupation duty but I had enough points to be shipped back to the states. I was mustered out at Miramar MAS in December 1945.
    Sam
     
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  12. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

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    Sam, I would like to offer you a very warm welcome to the Forum. Please feel free to share as much of your WWII recollections and experiences as you would like, even if it may seem boring. We are very much interested in what our WWII veterans have to say.

    I took the liberty of utilizing Google myself and found a very good website for the VMF 224 Squadron. The website also has a great photo page for VMF 224.
     
  13. sambodidley

    sambodidley Member

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    Tommy,
    Yes, I'm very familiar with that web site. In fact I sent John Irish some of the photos he used on the Roi-Namur Marshall Islands page. There's one of me there standing under a shed with my hands in my pocket. I'm the one on the right. My name is under the picture. I went to a reunion of VMF 224 in Pensacola Fla. in 2003. It was great to see some of those guys again. I was assigned to VMF 224 at Roi-Namur in October 1944. I left them at Okinawa in October 1945.
    Sam
     
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  14. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

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    Ah, yes. It looks as if you are #6 in the photo. That's a great photo.
     
  15. sambodidley

    sambodidley Member

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    Tommy,
    Yes, that's the one. I was 20 years old at that time. I had my 21st birthday on Okinawa.
    Sam
     
  16. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

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    Sam, I don't know if you have noticed yet, but we have finally added the bright blue title of "WWII Veteran" under you photo. We do that out of respect for your service and so that the other members of the Forum will know that you are a WWII Veteran.
     
  17. sambodidley

    sambodidley Member

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    Tommy,
    Thanks. I also noticed that I'm no longer a conscript but a member, now.<g>
    Sam
     
  18. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

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  19. donf

    donf New Member

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    My late Uncle was a B-24 pilot with the 494th Bomb Group, 867th Bomb Squadron, 7th Air Force . He was there at the time of the attack and he told me what he saw..He led an advance group of 6 B-24s which arrived earlier than the rest of the Group. He stated that the attack occurred on the same night as his planes arrived. The planes lined upon in two rows of 3 and, on his instructions, the 50 cal machine guns were left on the planes rather than the normal routine of removing them for the night, because the situation seemed so fraught with peril. They saw the Japanese bomber landing and, at first, assumed it had been captured by Americans. Then he saw several Japanese leave the plane, all dressed in red, and carrying what he thought looked like bangalore torpedoes. The Japanese circled in a huddle like a football team, then gave a cheer, and spread out running in different directions toward parked US planes. He saw one Japanese run right into the nose of a large Navy patrol bomber and blow it up. When the Japanese ran toward the parked B-24s, 50 cal machine guns on those planes caught them in a crossfire and killed them.He saw Marines rushing toward thew downed Japanese just as the tracers were stopping.
     
  20. mac_bolan00

    mac_bolan00 Member

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    those 8 japanese commandos were something, eh?
     

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