by Robert Taylor
TOWARDS THE BITTER END
Flying from USS Bunker Hill, F4U Corsairs from VMF-221 assault Japanese positions defending the island of Okinawa, April 1945. Leading the charge, USMC Pilot Lt Dean Caswell climbs away from the target after delivering a blistering rocket attack on a coastal installation.
Following their victory at Midway, American forces had fought a long and bitter campaign to retake the Japanese held islands in the Pacific. By the end of March 1945, however, they had finally captured Iwo Jima and looked towards Okinawa, a province of Japan itself. Less than 400 miles south of its mainland, it was the place from which the Allied invasion of Japan must be launched. Supported by a huge Naval presence, including one of the largest British fleets ever assembled, the assault began on 1 April 1945 with the largest amphibious landing of the Pacific war.
The Japanese response was ferocious seeing the peak of the kamikaze scourge and while the British ships with their steel decks fared much better, the relentless attacks took their toll on the US Fleet, highlighting a conflict worse than anything seen before. The 82 day battle was one of the most severe and bloody campaigns of WWII, accounting for over 14000 Allied deaths and five times that number of Japanese soldiers.
Overall print size: 32 ¼” wide x 24” high
Image size: 25 ¾” wide x 16 ¼” high