Okinawan Civilians Rescued in “Operation Security”:

On April 1, 1945, the American military invaded the Island of Okinawa. Garrisoning the island were over 100,000 Japanese troops and military conscripts. The island also had a large Okinawan civilian population, the lives of whom the Americans wanted to preserve and keep away from the battle.


A member of the Japanese-American Military Intelligence Service (MIS) gives water to an Okinawan girl he rescued

With the Okinawa assault force landed 840 Army, Navy and Marine Corps personnel from the military’s Civil Affairs branch. Their mission was to collect civilians from the battle area, establish military government over them and prevent them from interfering with military operations.

The Japanese Army had warned the Okinawan population that the Americans would kill the men and torture and enslave the women. They instructed the civilians to commit suicide.

Although initially hesitant, word soon spread to many Okinawan civilians that the Americans were not the monsters the Japanese Army portrayed them to be. This prompted many to surrender.


A Marine coaxes an Okinawan women and her baby out of hiding

The Civil Affairs units provided supplies and medical care for the Okinawans. They established a structured system of government over them and helped them rebuild their lives. All while the Battle of Okinawa was raging only a few miles away.

This remarkable film captures the important, poignant and touching story of the Civil Affairs teams during the battle. It includes amazing and sometimes graphic footage from the battle.

All scenes were filmed by Marine combat cameramen of the III Amphibious Corps and the 1st and 6th Marine Divisions.

For More About the Battle of Okinawa Check out:

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


For Related Articles See:

One thought on “Okinawan Civilians Rescued in “Operation Security”

  • Bill Getz says:

    Amazing film. This should be shown to current day Okinawa citizens who are clamoring for the U. S. to go home because of the brutal rape/murder of an Okinawa girl. What will they say when China claims ownership of the Island?I say the U. S. should leave and consolidate in the Mariannas. We have long-range capabilities without Okinawa although the South China Sea is a problem.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Past and Present WWII History Posts