The 82-day Battle of Okinawa took place in April – June, 1945. It was the largest amphibious assault in the WWII Pacific Theater. Many Okinawans were conscripted into the Japanese Army and other locals were killed by coerced suicide and terrible conditions.
From here the Allied forces had a close airbase and anchorage where they could increase airstrikes and form a blockade preventing shipments of needed commodities.
The huge Okinawa Peace Park Memorial is dedicated to the 250,000 people who lost their lives in the Battle of Okinawa.
It is unique in that it honors those killed on both sides, including the Allied Troops.
Note Simon B Buckner Jr. He climaxed his career as the Lieutenant General who led the successful invasion of the Ryukyu Islands (includes Okinawa). He was the highest-ranking U.S. officer killed in WWII.
At the Himeyuri Peace Museum we learned the heartbreaking story of about 200 schoolgirls who were forced into nursing injured men in horrific and dangerous cave settings.
Our final stop was to visit the former Japanese Underground Navy Headquarters. After walking down 105 steps through narrow tunnels we saw their operations rooms.
As usual Allyn found a fun photo-op along the way.