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9-10 June 1945:9-10 June 1945: Minami Daito Shima and the following island south of Minami are small islands with airfields and both were bombed on these days. These islands can be found southeast of Okinawa (See Map Insert).



Minami Daito  - is the largest of the Daito Islands located in Shimajiri District, Okinawa, Japan.The island is in the subtropical zone and was formed out of coral reef. With the exception of neighboring Kita-daito, there is no inhabited land within 400km of Minami daito.
 
Oki-Daito- The island was exploited for phosphate ore for a long period in the 20th century.The island became uninhabited since 1945. From 1956, the island is used as a bombing and shooting range of the United States Navy. Because of the usage, the island now lacks any trees.

9 June 1945
     Sunrise 0524  Sunset 1849
     1200 Position 24-08 N N  133-05 E

Weather – High overcast most of day with lower scattered to broken clouds 3/10-7/10 cumulus, 4/10-8/10 altostratus clouds. Ceiling unlimited early in period, between 1700 and 8000 (?) rest of period. Visibility ranging from 4 miles in heavy drizzle to 12 miles occasionally. Winds generally easterly, 5-12 knots, slight sea. Flying conditions generally average, occasionally undesirable.

General – Fueled ship. At 0719 8 VF were launched at a target CAP flew over Minami Shima. The purpose of this patrol was to determine whether the airfield was operational and to further neutralize it by bombing and strafing. The field was reported non-operational and 8-500 bombs, 4 of which hit the runway were dropped on the island. At 1446 a strike of 3 VF, one VF(P) with escort, 11 VB, and 12 VT was launched against Minami. The VF carried napalm tanks and the VB and VT fragmentation bombs with VT fuses. TICONDEROGA planes had as their target area the northeast quadrant of the island and the purpose of the mission was further neutralization of the target and a test of the napalm tanks and VT fuses. A substantial number of hits were obtained in the target area. Two VT planes received moderate damage from accurate automatic anti-aircraft f ire. A detailed report on the functioning and damaging effect of the ordnance equipment appears in Part IV, paragraph 8, of this report. 24 CAP including 12 over TG 30.4, a bombardment group of battle cruisers shelling Okino Shima, 4 DADCAP and 3 ASP were also flown.



10 June 1945- Kita Daito Shima.(Map insert)
(Conditions similar to above)
     1200 Position 3-32 N   131-37 E


Weather - (Summary) Flying conditions generally average, occasionally undesirable.

General– At 0658 a strike of 8 VF planes carrying napalm tanks, and 11 VB and 10 VT carrying 260 pound fragmentation and 500 pound G.P. bombs with VT fuses was launched. This strike had been briefed on Minami but was diverted to Kita Shima by the Target Coordinator after it was airborne. This strike as the one of the previous day was intended to neutralize the island and as a further test of napalm tanks and VT fuses. A detailed account of their performance appears in Part IV, paragraph 8, of this report. Meager but accurate heavy anti-aircraft fire and automatic Anti-aircraft fire which caused slight damage to one VF was encountered. 36 CAP including 24 CAP over TG 30.2, a bombardment group of battleships shelling Minami, and 4 DADCAP were also flown. At about 2200 in accordance with ComTHIRDFleet 100019, TF 38 took departure for San Pedro Bay, Leyte. During the day conducted gunnery exercises at towed sleeves.

While this Action Report continues to 13 June 1945 and gunnery exercises were conducted on the way to Leyte. This report also contains some final notes on photography, photos of the bombing and Part IV, all of which were not included for brevity. There are three reports that cover the July and August time period. These are the USS Ticonderoga Action Report, LogBook and War Diary. Essentially they all contain similar information, but I have extracted parts related to Air Group 87.


Commander Paul Brehm
participated in these and other actions as a member of VB-87. Commander Brehm preserved the 'ticker tape-dope' pictured above.

SB2C Helldiver
diver bomber model is a replica of those flown by members of the Ticonderoga bombing squadrons and nicknamed 'The Beast'.




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