Friday, June 6, 2008

This Week In Guard History

June 5, 1945: Okinawa, Ryukyus Island Group — After almost two months of steady, often bitter fighting, sometimes including "banzai" charges and hand-to-hand combat with fanatical Japanese soldiers intent of dying for the Emperor, New York's 27th "Empire" Infantry Division is in the final stages of the climatic battle for this Japanese island.

June 5, 1945: Okinawa, Ryukyus Island Group — After almost two months of steady, often bitter fighting, sometimes including On this day, its advanced elements have finally reached the northern tip of the island, still encountering fierce resistance. The division, part of a joint Army-Marine Corps operation, landed on Okinawa on April 9. It took part in the northern operations against the outer belt of the Shuri defenses. Although subjected to tremendous naval and aerial bombardment, the Japanese dug into caves and concealed pillboxes, continuing to offer a determined defense.

With almost every position captured or destroyed, the remaining Japanese defenders surrendered on June 9. This marked the conclusion of the last major battle of World War II. The 27th Division lost 1,844 men killed and nearly 5,000 wounded in the course of this campaign.

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