From the April 26, 1945 Edition of Stars and Stripes

GUAM, April 25 (ANS)—U.S. Seventh Div. Infantrymen, seizing high ground near the village of Ishin, today threatened the eastern flank of the strongly defended Japanese defensive wall on southern Okinawa.

Capture of the elevation was the first marked change in the fiery front since the beginning of the all-out attack last Thursday, when three divisions of Maj. Gen. John R. Hodge’s 24th Army Corps gained up to 800 yards.

Navy Hammers Defenses

Since then fighting has been a slow and methodical job of digging Japanese from caves, blockhouses and pillboxes in their elaborate interlocking defense belt, which extends four miles south of the capital city of Naha.

As Nimitz’ communique reported continued heavy fighting along the entire front, with the big guns of battleships, cruisers and destroyers pouring hundreds of tons of shells into enemy defenses.

Nimitz, after a personal inspection of the island, said the enemy’s defense on southern Okinawa, where the bulk of the Japanese garrison of 60,000 or more has concentrated, appeared to be “as strong as and perhaps stronger than any we have tackled before.”

Marines of the Third Amphibious Corps, who overran northern Okinawa against little opposition, landed yesterday on three more offshore islands—Yagachi, Heanza, and Eouri—virtually completing the cleanup of the islets around Okinawa. 


96th Division soldiers advance towards Big Apple Hill in June 1945

For Further Reading Check Out:

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

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