Okinawa Landing Page Opener
U.S. Naval Institute Photo Archive

Seventy-five years ago, the largest operation in the largest naval war in the history of the world commenced as Allied forces launched Operation Iceberg—the campaign to conquer Okinawa. The island formed the gateway to the Japanese homeland, and for the Japanese, it was to be a desperate, sacrificial effort to stave off looming defeat. Half a million Allied personnel would partake in the epic battle for Okinawa. It was the culmination of World War II’s long, bloody, island-by-island struggle across the Pacific. And Okinawa itself would prove, both in operational scope and the cold calculus of casualty numbers, to be the ultimate struggle of the Pacific war.

The Battle of Okinawa Timeline
From Naval History and Proceedings


Commander Scott's article was actually written aboard the USS Bennington (above) when the ship was a member of Task Force 58 off Okinawa in 1945. Men on the flight deck of the carrier Hornet in the foreground watch intently as the Bennington has a close call. The kamikaze hits the water between the carrier and the destroyer in the screen.

No Hiding Place—Off Okinawa

By Commander J. Davis Scott, U. S. Naval Reserve
November 1957
For more than ten years this has been an untold story. Written aboard the USS Bennington (CV-20)—by a member of Task Force 58—during the weeks when the Bennington was a ...

Hellish Prelude at Okinawa

By Colonel Joseph H. Alexander, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)
April 2005
The strategy 60 years ago is to seize Okinawa as a staging ground for the invasion of the Japanese mainland. It comes at a painfully high price.
U.S. Naval Institute Photo Archive

Japanese Success at Okinawa

By Lieutenant Commander Richard S. Lee, Chaplain Corps, U.S. Navy
June 2016
The Battle of Okinawa, the largest land battle of World War II’s Pacific theater, was the conflict’s amphibious high-water mark for the number of men landed, casualties incurred, and military ...
Captain Truman J. Hedding, kamikaze pilots

‘To Us It’s Bushido’

By Vice Admiral Truman J. Hedding, U.S. Navy (Ret.)
April 2020
During World War II, then-Captain Truman Johnson Hedding (1902–95) was at the forefront of events during the final phase of fighting in the Pacific. He got up close and personal ...
Oral Histories


Michaelis, Frederick H., Adm., USN (Ret.)

Michaelis, Frederick H., Adm., USN (Ret.)

A 1940 graduate of the Naval Academy, Michaelis reported to the fleet flagship USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) and became involved in an early installation of radar. After surviving the attack on Pearl Harbor, he went to flight training in Pensacola and qualified as a naval aviator. In the latter part of ...
Mustin, Lloyd M., Vice Adm., USN (Ret.)

Mustin, Lloyd M., Vice Adm., USN (Ret.)

This is the longest oral history, in terms of number of interviews and number of words, ever conducted by the Naval Institute. Between the two volumes, the transcript comprises nearly 600,000 words of text. The first volume begins with a discussion of the Mustin family background. The admiral’s father, Captain ...

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From the Naval Institute Press
Killing Ground on Okinawa Cover










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Chaplin on the Franklin Cover











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Leathernecks Cover











U.S. Aircraft Carriers cover