Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The beginning of the naval bombardment of Japan, 1945

In 1945, while Japan’s home islands had been subjected to U.S. Army B-29 Superfortresses heavy bombers, so far they had not seen the U.S Navy in force along their shores. However, on this date in 1945, ships from Task Force 38 of the Navy’s Third Fleet began their bombardment of the islands of Kamaishi and Muroran. Then on the 17th and 18th, both U.S. and British ships bombarded the city of Hitachi. Allied battleships, cruisers, and destroyers continued to shell cities and industrial targets on the Japanese islands through August. With Allied warships attacking off their coast, the Japanese now clearly realized their vulnerability.

One of the battleships that comprised the force that fired on the iron works at Kamaishi was the USS South Dakota. Dad did major repair work on the South Dakota in the fall of 1942 while serving on the USS Vestal.

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