Yes, I know, I wrote about the invasion of Okinawa on April l the last two years, and I am going to commemorate this event as long as I am able. Sixty-seven years ago on Easter morning the battle for Okinawa began with an attack by Japanese planes on the 1200 ships and other crafts of the United States and England.
The Pickens was second in line behind the USS Hinsdale, APA 120, in column of attack transports carrying the Second Marine Division. Around 5;;50 a.m. a Japanese plane hit the Hinsdale around the water line, exploding several bombs and blowing holes. Another plane headed for us but did not clear the mast of an LST, fell to the deck and exploded. We put boats in the water and picked up 735 survivors from LST's-884 and 724 and the Hinsdale.
The Battle of Okinawa has been called the largest sea-land-air battle in history. . Casualties were very high, 72 thousand for the Allies, over 100 thousand for the Japanese, and tens of thousands civilians. Suicide planes took a heavy toll of our ships and sailors and influenced President Truman to drop the atom bomb and avoid invading the homeland.