- Historical event:
- 11 May 1945
- Japanese kamikazes attacked the aircraft carrier near the island of Okinawa. There were two kamikazes, and they flew Mitsubishi A6M "Zeros" (a long-range fighter aircraft).
On this day two Japanese kamikazes attacked the U.S. aircraft carrier USS Bunker Hill.
It was an Essex-class aircraft carrier, about 266 meters long, with a 150,000-horsepower propulsion plant. It could accommodate about 2,600 officers and sailors.
The U.S. Navy used 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers during World War II.
Japanese kamikazes attacked the carrier near the island of Okinawa. There were two kamikazes, and they flew Mitsubishi A6M “Zeros” (a long-range fighter aircraft).
These fighter aircraft are probably the most famous Japanese military aircraft. The Japanese produced nearly 11,000 fighter aircraft during the war.
The first kamikaze attacked the carrier, threw a 250-pound bomb, and hit the parked aircraft, which were being refueled and equipped with ammunition. A large fire broke out.
The bomb came through the landing strip of the aircraft carrier, and went through the broadside before it exploded.
Only thirty seconds later, Kiyoshi Ogawa threw a 250-pound bomb, and hit the conning tower. This bomb penetrated into the interior of the ship and exploded.
There were many victims – 346 people were killed. About 43 victims were never found. 264 people were injured.
“USS Bunker Hill” was badly damaged due to the attack, and the Americans couldn’t use it anymore. It was the flagship of Vice Admiral Marc Mitscher, who survived the attack.
The aircraft carrier was never used for military operations again (it was sent to a U.S. port).