YANKS CAPTURE HALF OF NAHA ’S AIRDROME ON OKINAWA

From the June 6, 1945 Edition of Stars and Stripes

GUAM, June 5 –U.S. forces won half of the valuable Naha airdrome on Okinawa’s west coast today, while to the east other American troops secured most of the Chinen peninsula and swept down over much of the small Jap-held tip of the island in advance of up to three miles, greatest in the 66-day-old campaign.



okinawa naha

US Marines fighting on Okinawa.

As Tenth Army and Marine units expanded their holds on Okinawa’s east and west coasts and rampaged down the last miles to its southern beaches, Adm. Nimitz congratulated Lt. Gen. Simon B. Buckner, Tenth Army Commander for the manner in which his troops “are exploiting the results of the destruction of the enemy’s principal forces and defensive positions on Okinawa.”

Nimitz reported little opposition to most U.S. thrusts today, but dispatches from the field said that Sixth Div. Marines, who crossed Naha Harbor in an amphibious maneuver and landed on Oruku peninsula, ran into heavy mortar fire before winning the northern half of the airfield. Correspondents at the front said also that there were indications the enemy had a fairly large number of troops at the southern end of the field.

(The Associated Press reported that U.S. troops fighting for the airdrome were moving so swiftly they had to be supplied by parachute. Another AP report said the Naha airfield, which has three runways each at least a mile long, will be enlarged and become an important long-range U.S. bomber base. The field is 325 miles from the Japanese mainland and about 800 miles from Tokyo.)

Chinen peninsula, which juts out from the east coast below Yonabaru and which was isolated yesterday by Seventh Div. infantry, was believed also to hold a pocket of Japanese.



45 Jap Planes Downed

An official communique mentioned U.S. Gains southward, but there was no report of any unit actually reaching the island’s southern beaches. Americans on the east flank of the battleline were reported 500 yards away yesterday.

Nimitz reported that 45 Japanese planes had been shot down Sunday in enemy air counter-attacks against U.S. ships. One light naval unit was damaged, he said.

(In Washington, the Navy Department announced the loss of the destroyer Morrison and Luce—off Okinawa “with heavy casualties.” The AP said each was a 2,050-ton vessel and carried crews of more than 200 officers and men.)



For More Reading About Okinawa Check Out:

The Ultimate Battle: Okinawa 1945–The Last Epic Struggle of World War II


The Battle For Okinawa




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One thought on “YANKS CAPTURE HALF OF NAHA ’S AIRDROME ON OKINAWA

  • Bill Getz says:

    I landed a C-45 (Beech 18) at Naha in early 1947 when I ferried the plane solo from Manila to Tachikawa, Japan. I may have flown into Naha again in 1949 in a C-54 I was piloting, but would have to look it up in my logbook. Don’t remember much of the airfield. In and out (not a hamburger stand).

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