Pacific Wrecks
Pacific Wrecks    
  Missing In Action (MIA) Prisoners Of War (POW) Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)  
Chronology Locations Aircraft Ships Submit Info How You Can Help Donate
 
    Okinawa Island 沖縄本島 Okinawa Prefecture Japan
Click For Enlargement
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) in Okinawa Prefecture in Japan. Also known as Okinawa-hontō, Okinawa Jima or simply Okinawa. Borders the Philippine Sea to the east. Borders the 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 American forces including U. S. Marines and U. S. Army landed on the western shore of Okinawa. In the south of Okinawa, Japanese forces had defenses in depth anchored around three defensive lines with hidden guns, machine guns and bunkers. Soldiers on the ground fought a grueling battle to occupy the island. Offshore, U. S. Navy warships and vessels were targeted by kamikaze aircraft. The Battle of Okinawa lasted 83 days from the landing on April 1, 1945 until the official end of the campaign on June 22, 1945 when the island was declared secured.

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

The Battle of Okinawa resulted in 40,000 American casualties with 7,600 dead or missing. Of the 120,00 Japanese defenders, only 10,000 surrendered the rest fighting to the death. On Okinawa, an estimated 200,000 were killed, including many Japanese civilians caught in the battle, died with the military or committed suicide.

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

Okinawa Island
Naha (Nawa, Nafa)  located in the southwestern corner of Okinawa, largest city includes Naha Airfield.
Urasoe  located to the north of Naha includes Kakuazu Ridge.
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.
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.
Nakagusuku Bay (Buckner Bay)  located on the southern coast of Okinawa.
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 eastern 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.

Contribute Information
Do you have photos or additional information to add?

Last Updated
June 6, 2019

 

Map
Map
Dec 31, 1945
  Discussion Forum Daily Updates Reviews Museums Interviews & Oral Histories  
 
Pacific Wrecks Inc. All rights reserved.
Donate Now Facebook Twitter YouTube Google Plus Instagram