Shelling the Japanese homeland

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Thorlifter, Feb 4, 2010.

  1. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    I noticed yesterday (2/3/10) was the day in 1944 that U.S. warships shelled the Japanese homeland for the first time.

    Would anyone have any information on this? Targets? Ships involved?
     
  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    I've mentioned before that my wife's grandfather LtCol Frank Grady (USAF Ret) was a POW during WW2. He mentions in his book "Surviving the Day" that he and his fellow prisoners witnessed the shellings and bombing and even had their camp hit. I believe the POW camp he was at was just outside Tokyo.
     
  3. machine shop tom

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    Here's few instances:

    "On 16 Jul. 1945, Wisconsin again unlimbered her main battery, hurling 16-inch shells shoreward at the steel mills and oil refineries at Muroran, Hokkaido. Two days later, she wrecked industrial facilities in the Hitachi Miro area, on the coast of Honshu, northeast of Tokyo itself. During that bombardment, British battleships of the Eastern Fleet contributed their heavy shellfire. By that point in the war, Allied warships were able to shell the Japanese homeland almost at will."

    From U.S. Navy Battleships - USS Wisconsin (BB 64)

    "As a member of Task Group 38.1 Indiana operated from 1 July to 15 August supporting air strikes against Japan and bombarded coastal targets with her big guns. The veteran battleship arrived Tokyo Bay 5 September and nine days later sailed for San Francisco, where she arrived 29 September 1945."

    From: U.S. Navy Battleships - USS Indiana (BB 58)

    And:

    "Iowa arrived San Francisco, 15 January 1945, for overhaul. She sailed 19 March 1945 for Okinawa, arriving 15 April 1945. Commencing 24 April 1945, Iowa supported carrier operations which assured American troops vital air superiority during their struggle for that bitterly contested island. She then supported air strikes off southern Kyushu from 25 May to 13 June 1945. Iowa participated in strikes on the Japanese homeland 14-15 July and bombarded Muroran, Hokkaido, destroying steel mills and other targets. The city of Hitachi on Honshu was given the same treatment on the night of 17-18 July 1945. Iowa continued to support fast carrier strikes until the cessation of hostilities, 15 August 1945."

    From USS Iowa (BB-61) Battleship of World War Two

    tom
     
  4. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    I know it's just one of those coincidences, but when I was visiting my accountant yesterday I found out for the first time that he was in the US Navy in WWII serving on the cruiser St. Paul. He said, and it is widely taken as fact, that the St. Paul fired the last shot by a major surface combatant against Japan in WWII when she shelled the Japanese homeland. He went on to allude to the fact that HE actually fired the last shell himself. True or not he said that they were ordered by Halsey to back off the Japanese coast to let the surrender work out, but when Halsey was informed that the St. Paul’s guns were already loaded for he ordered them to "clear the guns" and so the last salvo was fired.

    In an aside, it is also widely accepted as fact that the St. Paul fired the last shots in the Korean war. Pretty cool huh? Sadly she was broken up in the '80's.
     
  5. proton45

    proton45 Member

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    cool...thanks for the info!
     
  6. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    A very educational thread.
    Thanks for sharing.
     
  7. JoeB

    JoeB Member

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    This was a bombardment of Paramushiro in the Kurile Islands. The old (Omaha class) cruiser Richmond led 8 DD's from Attu in the Aleutians, as TF 94.6. The bombardment damaged the merchant ship Kokai Maru. Richmond and several of the DD's were damaged by heavy seas on the way back. The surface forces in the Aleutians ran a few other bombardment missions to the Kuriles in 1944. The June 26 1944 bombardment, which included heavy cruisers Chester and Pensacola, destroyed 8 Zeroes, seriously damaged 7 others and hit 16 more, of the JNAF's 203rd Air Group on their airfield at Musashi on Paramushiro, according to Japanese accounts.

    TF 94 ops:
    Task Force 94

    [​IMG]
    USS Richmond

    [​IMG]
    probably the same Kokai Maru (there were several)

    Joe
     
  8. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Great info. Thanks guys...
     
  9. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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  10. Pong

    Pong Active Member

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    Interesting....Great info, you learn something new everyday, huh?
     
  11. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    From the following source: The Royal New Zealand Navy
    CHAPTER 24 — With the British Pacific Fleet

    "During the forenoon (of 04 May '45) the battleships and cruisers with six destroyers left the carriers and steamed in at 24 knots to bombard the airfields on Miyako Island. The four carriers, which were screened by eight destroyers, flew off an additional combat air patrol for the bombarding force, as well as aircraft for spotting its gunfire. The fleet opened fire at 12.5 p.m. While the Euryalus and Black Prince shelled the anti-aircraft batteries at Nobara airfield, the King George V and Howe bombarded Hirara airfield, 195 rounds from their 14-inch guns being fired at a mean range of 25,000 yards. The Swiftsure and Gambia concentrated on the Nobara airfield and the Uganda shelled the Sukuma airstrip at a mean range of 18,000 yards. HMNZS Gambia fired 230 rounds from her 6-inch guns. The bombardment lasted for three-quarters of an hour, and air photographs showed that it had been effective."

    The full story of the BPF (with a New Zealand bias) can be found at the following link:

    CHAPTER 24 — With the British Pacific Fleet | NZETC
     
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