Volcano and Ryukyu Islands campaign

The Volcano and Ryūkyū Islands Campaign was a series of battles and engagements between Allied forces and Imperial Japanese forces in the Pacific Ocean campaign of World War II between January and June 1945.

The campaign took place in the Volcano and Ryukyu island groups. The two main land battles in the campaign were the Battle of Iwo Jima (February 16-March 26, 1945) and the Battle of Okinawa (April 1–June 21, 1945). One major naval battle occurred, called Operation Ten-Go (April 7, 1945) after the operational title given to it by the Japanese.

The campaign was part of the Allied Japan campaign intended to provide staging areas for an invasion of Japan as well as supporting aerial bombardment and a naval blockade of the Japanese mainland. The dropping of atomic weapons on two Japanese cities and the hammer-blow Soviet invasion of Japanese Manchuria, however, caused the Japanese government to surrender without an armed invasion being necessary.

Volcano and Ryukyu Islands Campaign
Part of World War II, the Pacific War
Ww2 158

Two U.S. Marines advance on Wana Ridge during the Battle of Okinawa.
Date19 February – 21 June 1945
Result Allied victory
 United States
 United Kingdom
Commanders and leaders
United States Chester W. Nimitz
United States Douglas MacArthur
United States Holland Smith
United States Simon B. Buckner 
United States Roy Geiger
United States Joseph W. Stilwell
United States Ray Spruance
United States Marc A. Mitscher
United States William Halsey, Jr
United Kingdom Sir Bernard Rawlings
United Kingdom Sir Philip Vian
United Kingdom Bruce Fraser
Empire of Japan Tadamichi Kuribayashi 
Empire of Japan Mitsuru Ushijima 
Empire of Japan Isamu Cho 
Empire of Japan Hiromichi Yahara (POW)
Empire of Japan Seiichi Itō 
Empire of Japan Minoru Ota 
Empire of JapanKosaku Aruga 
Empire of Japan Keizō Komura
Casualties and losses
27,113 dead or missing,
74,501 wounded,
79 ships sunk and scrapped,
773 aircraft destroyed
98,811–128,375 dead or missing,
17,000 wounded,
7,216 captured,
21 ships sunk and scrapped,
3,130 aircraft destroyed,
75,000–140,000 civilians dead or missing

The Campaign

Iwo Jima's strategic importance was debatable. The Japanese had a radar station and airstrips to launch fighters that would pick off B-29s raiding the Japanese mainland. If captured by the Americans, it could provide them with bases for fighter escorts to assist the B-29 bombers in raiding the Japanese mainland, as well as being an emergency landing strip for any damaged B-29s that could not return to the Marianas.

The operation to take Iwo Jima was authorized in October 1944. On February 19, 1945, the campaign for Iwo Jima was launched. The island was secure by March 26. Only a few Japanese were captured, as the rest were killed or committed suicide as defeat befell them. However, the Americans suffered a heavy toll in casualties in their initial landing, as opposed to the main fighting. Fighters began operations from March 11, when the airfields were secured, and the first bombers hit the home islands.

Okinawa was right at Japan's doorstep, providing the springboard for the Allies to invade the Japanese mainland. Meanwhile, on Okinawa 131,000 Japanese soldiers dug in for similar resistance as compared to Iwo Jima, trying to mow down the Americans as they disembarked from their landing vehicles. Gen. Mitsuru Ushijima made sure that the Americans would not even come close to the beaches, using kamikazes under Soemu Toyoda to stem the tide. This was the greatest effort by the suicide bombers of legend, sinking 34 ships, damaging 25 beyond economic repair, and 343 were damaged to varying degrees.[1] On the land campaign, 48,193 military personnel were killed, wounded, or missing in the campaign to secure the island. By the end of the battle, three-quarters of the Japanese officers were killed or had killed themselves. Only a handful of officers survived the battle, although more soldiers capitulated. On April 7, the great Japanese battleship Yamato was commissioned and sent out to use a kamikaze method, codenamed Ten-Go, but was sunk. The Vice-Admiral Seiichi Ito and the commander of the battleship, Kosaku Aruga, were killed in the fatal mission, and the battleship was destroyed before it could engage the US navy. Control of the Volcano and Ryukyu Islands enabled the US Army Air Forces to conduct missions against targets on Honshu and Kyushu, with the first raid occurring on Tokyo, from March 9–10.

See also


  1. ^ HP Willmott, Robin Cross, Charles Messenger: World War II (2004)
  • Drea, Edward J. (1998). "An Allied Interpretation of the Pacific War". In the Service of the Emperor: Essays on the Imperial Japanese Army. Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0-8032-1708-0.
  • Dyer, George Carroll. "The Amphibians Came to Conquer: The Story of Admiral Richmond Kelly Turner". United States Government Printing Office. Retrieved October 20, 2006.

Further reading

2nd Marine Logistics Group

The 2nd Marine Logistics Group (2nd MLG) is a logistics unit of the United States Marine Corps and is headquartered at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. 2nd MLG was formerly known as 2nd Force Service Support Group (FSSG), reorganized with its sister FSSGs into Marine Logistics Groups in 2005. The 2nd MLG is composed of approximately 8,000 Marines and Sailors.

Arthur W. Radford

Arthur William Radford (27 February 1896 – 17 August 1973) was a United States Navy admiral and naval aviator. In over 40 years of military service, Radford held a variety of positions including Vice Chief of Naval Operations, commander of the United States Pacific Fleet and later the second Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

With an interest in ships and aircraft from a young age, Radford saw his first sea duty aboard the battleship USS South Carolina during World War I. In the inter-war period he earned his pilot wings and rose through the ranks in duties aboard ships and in the Bureau of Aeronautics. After the U.S. entered World War II, he was the architect of the development and expansion of the Navy's aviator training programs in the first years of the war. In its final years he commanded carrier task forces through several major campaigns of the Pacific War.

Noted as a strong-willed and aggressive leader, Radford was a central figure in the post-war debates on U.S. military policy, and was a staunch proponent of naval aviation. As commander of the Pacific Fleet, he defended the Navy's interests in an era of shrinking defense budgets, and was a central figure in the "Revolt of the Admirals," a contentious public fight over policy. As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, he continued to advocate for aggressive foreign policy and a strong nuclear deterrent in support of the "New Look" policy of President Dwight Eisenhower.

Retiring from the military in 1957, Radford continued to be a military adviser to several prominent politicians until his death in 1973. For his extensive service, he was awarded many military honors, and was the namesake of the Spruance-class destroyer USS Arthur W. Radford.

Asiatic-Pacific Theater

The Asiatic-Pacific Theater, was the theater of operations of U.S. forces during World War II in the Pacific War during 1941–45. From mid-1942 until the end of the war in 1945, there were two U.S. operational commands in the Pacific. The Pacific Ocean Areas (POA), divided into the Central Pacific Area, the North Pacific Area and the South Pacific Area, were commanded by Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Commander-in-Chief Pacific Ocean Areas. The South West Pacific Area (SWPA) was commanded by General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Allied Commander South West Pacific Area. During 1945, the United States added the United States Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific, commanded by General Carl A. Spaatz.

Because of the complementary roles of the United States Army and the United States Navy in conducting war in the Pacific Theater, there was no single Allied or U.S. commander (comparable to General Dwight D. Eisenhower in the European Theater of Operations). There was no actual command; rather, the Asiatic-Pacific Theater was divided into SWPA, POA, and other forces and theaters, such as the China Burma India Theater.

Commanders of World War II

The Commanders of World War II were for the most part career officers. They were forced to adapt to new technologies and forged the direction of modern warfare. Some political leaders, particularly those of the principal dictatorships involved in the conflict, Adolf Hitler (Germany), Benito Mussolini (Italy) and Emperor Hirohito (Japan), acted as supreme military commanders as well as dictators for their respective countries or empires.

George Philip Jr.

George Philip Jr. (14 April 1912 – 16 June 1945) was a United States Navy Commander and recipient of the Navy Cross and Silver Star. He died during a kamikaze attack while commanding USS Twiggs (DD-591). The Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS George Philip (FFG-12) was named in his honor.

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List of Pacific War campaigns

This is a list of campaigns during the Pacific War.

Flags indicate the country, or countries, winning the offensive.

List of World War II battles involving the United States

This is a list of all battles involving the United States during World War II.

List of theaters and campaigns of World War II

The List of theaters and campaigns of World War II subdivides military operations of World War II and contemporary wars by war, then by theater and then by campaign.

Military history of the United States during World War II

The military history of the United States in World War II covers the war against the Axis powers, starting with the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. During the first two years of World War II, the United States had maintained formal neutrality as made official in the Quarantine Speech delivered by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937, while supplying Britain, the Soviet Union, and China with war material through the Lend-Lease Act which was signed into law on March 11, 1941, as well as deploying the U.S. military to replace the British invasion forces in Iceland. Following the "Greer incident" Roosevelt publicly confirmed the "shoot on sight" order on September 11, 1941, effectively declaring naval war on Germany and Italy in the Battle of the Atlantic. In the Pacific Theater, there was unofficial early U.S. combat activity such as the Flying Tigers.

During the war some 16 million Americans served in the United States Armed Forces, with 405,399 killed in action and 671,278 wounded. There were also 130,201 American prisoners of war, of whom 116,129 returned home after the war. Key civilian advisors to President Roosevelt included Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, who mobilized the nation's industries and induction centers to supply the Army, commanded by General George Marshall and the Army Air Forces under General Hap Arnold. The Navy, led by Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox and Admiral Ernest King, proved more autonomous. Overall priorities were set by Roosevelt and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, chaired by William Leahy. Highest priority went to the defeat of Germany in Europe, but first the war against Japan in the Pacific was more urgent after the sinking of the main battleship fleet at Pearl Harbor.

Admiral King put Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, based in Hawaii, in charge of the Pacific War against Japan. The Imperial Japanese Navy had the advantage, taking the Philippines as well as British and Dutch possessions, and threatening Australia but in June 1942, its main carriers were sunk during the Battle of Midway, and the Americans seized the initiative. The Pacific War became one of island hopping, so as to move air bases closer and closer to Japan. The Army, based in Australia under General Douglas MacArthur, steadily advanced across New Guinea to the Philippines, with plans to invade the Japanese home islands in late 1945. With its merchant fleet sunk by American submarines, Japan ran short of aviation gasoline and fuel oil, as the U.S. Navy in June 1944 captured islands within bombing range of the Japanese home islands. Strategic bombing directed by General Curtis Lemay destroyed all the major Japanese cities, as the U.S. captured Okinawa after heavy losses in spring 1945. With the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Soviet invasion of Manchuria, and an invasion of the home islands imminent, Japan surrendered.

The war in Europe involved aid to Britain, her allies, and the Soviet Union, with the U.S. supplying munitions until it could ready an invasion force. U.S. forces were first tested to a limited degree in the North African Campaign and then employed more significantly with British Forces in Italy in 1943–45, where U.S. forces, representing about a third of the Allied forces deployed, bogged down after Italy surrendered and the Germans took over. Finally the main invasion of France took place in June 1944, under General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Meanwhile, the U.S. Army Air Forces and the British Royal Air Force engaged in the area bombardment of German cities and systematically targeted German transportation links and synthetic oil plants, as it knocked out what was left of the Luftwaffe post Battle of Britain in 1944. Being invaded from all sides, it became clear that Germany would lose the war. Berlin fell to the Soviets in May 1945, and with Adolf Hitler dead, the Germans surrendered.

The military effort was strongly supported by civilians on the home front, who provided the military personnel, the munitions, the money, and the morale to fight the war to victory. World War II cost the United States an estimated $341 billion in 1945 dollars – equivalent to 74% of America's GDP and expenditures during the war. In 2015 dollars, the war cost over $4.5 trillion.

Robert Edward Weaver

Robert Edward Weaver (1913–1991) was an American regionalist artist, and illustrator. He was professor emeritus of art at the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis, Indiana. Weaver earned a BFA from the Herron School in 1938. Weaver grew up in Peru, Indiana, winter home of many of the circuses that traveled the country at the later part of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The circus performers that frequented his father's general store influenced his creative senses.

Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr.

Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr. ( SY-mən BOL-i-vər BUK-nər; July 18, 1886 – June 18, 1945) was a lieutenant general in the United States Army during World War II. He served in the Pacific Theater of Operations and commanded the defenses of Alaska early in the war. Following that assignment, he was promoted to command the Tenth Army, which conducted the amphibious assault on the Japanese island of Okinawa on April 1, 1945. He was killed during the closing days of the Battle of Okinawa by enemy artillery fire, making him the highest-ranking U.S. military officer lost to enemy fire during World War II.Buckner, Lesley J. McNair, Frank Maxwell Andrews, and Millard Harmon, all lieutenant generals at the time of their deaths, were the highest-ranking Americans to be killed in World War II. Buckner and McNair were posthumously promoted to the rank of four-star general on July 19, 1954, by a Special Act of Congress (Public Law 83-508).

USS Hornet (CV-12)

USS Hornet (CV/CVA/CVS-12) is an Essex-class aircraft carrier built for the United States Navy (USN) during World War II. Completed in late 1943, the ship was assigned to the Fast Carrier Task Force (variously designated as Task Force 38 or 58) in the Pacific Ocean, the navy's primary offensive force during the Pacific War. In early 1944, she participated in attacks on Japanese installations in New Guinea, Palau and Truk among others. Hornet then took part in the Mariana and Palau Islands campaign and most of the subsidiary operations, most notably the Battle of the Philippine Sea in June that was nicknamed the "Great Marianas Turkey Shoot" for the disproportionate losses inflicted upon the Japanese. The ship then participated in the Philippines Campaign in late 1944, and the Volcano and Ryukyu Islands campaign in the first half of 1945. She was badly damaged by a typhoon in June and had to return to the United States for repairs.

After the war she took part in Operation Magic Carpet, returning troops to the U.S. and was then placed in reserve in 1946. Hornet was reactivated during the Korean War of 1950–1953, but spent the rest of the war being modernized to allow her to operate jet-propelled aircraft. The ship was modernized again in the late 1950s for service as an anti-submarine carrier. She played a minor role in the Vietnam War during the 1960s and in the Apollo program, recovering the Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 astronauts as they returned from the Moon.

Hornet was decommissioned in 1970. She was eventually designated as both a National Historic Landmark and a California Historical Landmark, and she opened to the public as the USS Hornet Museum in Alameda, California, in 1998.

USS PCS-1379

USS PCS-1379 was the fourth of twelve patrol craft sweepers constructed by Wheeler Shipbuilding Corporation, Whitestone, Long Island, New York.

She was one of a total of 59 of this type to be delivered to the Navy by various shipyards. PCS-1376 through 1387 were designed as submarine chasers, but were launched after the need for coastal escorts had passed.

PCS-1379 spent much of World War II in the Pacific Theater. She was one of thirteen PCS vessels converted to a PCS(C) for control of landing craft with the aft 40 mm mount replaced by a small deckhouse.

USS San Diego (CL-53)

The second USS San Diego (CL-53) was an Atlanta-class light cruiser of the United States Navy, commissioned just after the US entry into World War II, and active throughout the Pacific theater. Armed with 16 5 in (127 mm)/38 cal DP anti-aircraft guns and 16 Bofors 40 mm AA guns, the Atlanta-class cruisers had one of the heaviest anti-aircraft broadsides of any warship of World War II.

San Diego was one of the most decorated US ships of World War II, being awarded 18 battle stars, and was the first major Allied warship to enter Tokyo Bay after the surrender of Japan. Decommissioned in 1946, the ship was sold for scrapping in December 1960.

Volcano and Ryukyu Islands campaign


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