Death from the Sky: This Is What It Was Like to Survive a Kamikaze Strike

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August 11, 2018 Topic: Security Region: Asia Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: World War IIImperial JapanOkinawaWorld War II HistoryKamikaze

Death from the Sky: This Is What It Was Like to Survive a Kamikaze Strike

On May 11, 1945, the destroyer USS Hugh W. Hadley survived a series of Kamikaze attacks off Okinawa but was shattered in the process.

Perhaps, though, in summing up the superhuman effort of his crew, Commander Mullaney paid greater tribute to the ship and her complement than any medal or other acknowledgment could.

“No Captain of a man of war ever had a crew who fought more valiantly against such overwhelming odds,” Mullaney wrote. “Who can measure the degree of courage of men, who stand up to their guns in the face of diving planes that destroy them? Who can measure the loyalty of a crew who risked death to save the ship from sinking when all seemed lost? I desire to record that the history of our Navy was enhanced on 11 May 1945. I am proud to record that I know no record of a Destroyer’s crew fighting for one hour and thirty-five minutes against overwhelming enemy aircraft attacks and destroying twenty-three planes. My crew accomplished their mission and displayed outstanding fighting abilities. I am recommending awards for the few men who displayed outstanding bravery above the deeds of their shipmates in separate correspondence. Destroyer men are good men, and my officers and crew were good destroyer men.”

Originally Published December 22, 2016

This article by Michael E. Haskew originally appeared on the Warfare History Network.

Image: Wikimedia Commons