Sederstrom centric account of the Battle of Okinawa And The Ryukyu
24 March 45: of Okinawa early on the afternoon of the 24th.
24-Mar - Mid April 45: "For the next three weeks, she screened and provided plane guard services for the CVE's as they supported the landings on Kerama Retto and on Okinawa.
Excerpt from duty 1 April and assigned radar picket duty off Kerama Retto. About 07:40, 4 May, Japanese suicide planes were intercepted by the combat air patrol in the vicinity of Luce http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Luce_(DD-522)
Link to brief video clip of landing on Kerama Retto http://www.criticalpast.com/video/65675053456_Rocky-shoreline_landing-vehicle_beach_top-of-mountains and http://www.criticalpast.com/video/65675053457_Rocket-barrage_Rocky-shoreline_bombardment_Landing-Ship http://www.criticalpast.com/video/65675053459_Rocket-launcher_soldier-sitting-on-a-craft_bombardment_Landing-Ship
Mid April 45, Japanese aerial resistance, particularly the kamikazes, had taken enough of a toll among the destroyer types providing antisubmarine and antiaircraft screens for the beachhead area to necessitate replacements, and Sederstrom was reassigned to this duty.
On the 22d, she was targeted by akamikaze, but her antiaircraft guns damaged the planesufficiently to cause it to crash into the water about 10 feet off the starboard bow. Gasoline and pieces of metal showered the bridge and forecastle, but major damage was avoided. One man, forced overboard during the action, was quickly recovered.
Regarding this operation per the destroyer escort historical website
5 - 12 March 1945: Iwo Jima
12 mar 1945 Join TU 51.29.19 and go back to Ulithi Atoll Carolines,
I believe following the Arkansas should be associated with same unit or group as
Western Islands Attack Group (TG 51.1) under Rear Admiral Ingolf N. Kiland with 77th Infantry Division, 17 attack and attack cargo transporters, 56 LSTs and support vessels;
What was a TU (Task Unit( This arrangement was typically abbreviated, so references like TF 11 are commonly seen. Likewise the force is broken down as following: task force, task group, task unit, and task element. In addition, a task force could be broken into several task groups,identified by decimal points, as in TG 11.2, and finally task units, as in TU 11.2.1. Individual ships are task elements, for example TE 184.108.40.206 would be the second ship in TU 11.2.1.
21 March 45: Sederstrom departed the Western Carolines for the Ryukus in the screen of the escort carriers of Support Carrier Unit 1 and arrived off the southern tip. Also present the
Memoir of commander Richmond Kelly Turner: Online Book: "Amphibians Came To Conquer"
Chapter Bookmark "Okinawa and four stars" http://archive.org/stream/amphibianscameto017723mbp#page/n471/mode/2up
THE NAVY AT OKINAWA
Maintaining the Navy afloat in the seas around Okinawa was a difficult, bloody and long protracted struggle. The amphibians did their amphibious
tasks of assault landing two corps so expeditiously and so well that the fact that these tasks had to be accomplished, if the Tenth Army was to be put
(a) COMPHIBGRP Seven (CTG 5U) Okinawa Action Report, 25 May 1945, part II,
paras 4, 7, pp. 1, 2; (b) COMPHIBGRP 12 (CTF 55) Okinawa Action Report, 31 JuL 1945,
Part II, para 2 p. 1.
Interview with Admiral John Lalie Hall, USN (Ret), 1-6 Nov. 1961. Hereafter Hall, 1084 Amphibians Came To Conquer
on a successful course, largely has been forgotten. The main naval struggle
was not between the naval amphibians and unhospitable beaches or between
Japanese dug in at the beachhead and on-rushing landing craft, but between
U. S. radar picket ships, their supporting small craft, and the fighter aircraft
on the one side and the Japanese kamikaze on the other side. As one commodore stated the case from the viewpoint of the radar picket ship:
"Never in the annals of our glorious naval history have naval forces done so much with so little against such odds for so long a period."
33 Without in any way indicating a lack of appreciation of this particularly bloody part of the Navy's Okinawa campaign, the amphibious assault landings will be described.
Below Excerpted from: http://www.desausa.org/de_task_groups_and_units.htm
Sederstrom assigned to :
TASK FORCE 51
"DETACHMENT" - Joint Expeditionary Force
CTF Vice Admiral Richmond Kelly Turner
DE Samuel S. Miles, O'Neill, Halloran, Sederstrom
DE William C. Miller
END SECTION REFERENCING SEDERSTROM BELOW OTHER 3 Joint Expeditionary Forces under
"FLINTLOCK" - Joint Expeditionary Force
DE Burden R. Hastings
TG 51.2 - Majuro Attack Group
RAdm Harry W. Hill
DE Brackett, Demspey
TG 51.8 - Majuro Defence Group
LtCdr S.A. Lief
"FORAGER" - Joint Expeditionary Force
TG 51.1 - Floating Reserve - InfDiv27
CTG RAdm W.H.P. Blandy
"ICEBERG" - Joint Expeditionary Force
CTF VAdm Richmond Kelly Turner, from 05/17/45 VAdm Harry W. Hill
DE Oliver Mitchell (04/06-04/20)
TG 51.1 - Western Islands Attack Group
CTG RAdm I.N Kiland
DE Stern (till 04/05), Swearer
CortDiv60: Abercrombie, Oberrender
Notes on abbreviations:
BB: Battleship, First Line line
OBB: Battleship, second line
CA Cruiser, First Line
CC Battlecruiser, first line
DE: Destroyer escort
TG Task Group ex: 51.29 where 29 is group and 51 is task force
TU Task Unit ex: TU 51.29.19 where 19 is unit
TU Task Unit
The invasion of Okinawa in April 1945 initiated a new and deadly facet of destroyer escort service in the Pacific. By this time, the Japanese were relying heavily on suicide aircraft known as kamikazes. These planes had been inflicting severe damage on the American fleet since the invasion of the Philippines in 1944. Kamikazes became more and more dangerous as American forces neared the Japanese home islands. Once US forces landed on Okinawa, the Japanese unleashed the full fury of their kamikaze forces. In an attempt to minimize the losses to its capital ships and amphibious fleet, the Navy sent destroyers and destroyer escorts out to picket stations around Okinawa. From these stations, the small combatants would use their radar to detect incoming kamikazes and then warn the fleet at Okinawa, which would send fighter planes out to shoot down in the incoming planes.
Once the Japanese realized what the destroyers and destroyer escorts were doing, they began targeting the ships to remove their early warning. Radar picket duty then became the deadliest job in the Navy's history. Over the next few months, more than 300 ships were hit by kamikazes at Okinawa, most of them destroyers and destroyer escorts. More than 5,000 sailors were killed during the battle, or more than the Navy had lost in every other battle in its history combined. Nevertheless, the destroyer escorts remained on station with the larger destroyers and continued to provide the early warning throughout the campaign.3
In early May, the DE escorted Arkansas out of the combat area; and, on the 18th, Sederstrom herself left the Eyukyus area. Escorting Eldorado