83184 “THE NAVAL GUN AT OKINAWA” RESTRICTED 1946 U.S. NAVY REPORT ON EFFECTIVENESS OF NAVAL GUNFIRE

Made in 1946 by the Jam Handy Organization for the U.S. Navy, this black & white film “The Naval Gun At Okinawa” looks at the effectiveness of ship based artillery weapons against land targets. This film was originally classified restricted. Copyright 1946.

Opening title: U.S. Navy presents The Naval Gun At Okinawa (:07-:45). Map of Japan and China. Okinawa, Japan. Hagushi Bay and the beach. April 1945, U.S. beach landing at Okinawa. Hagushi bay was the primary unloading point for American supplies during the invasion. (The bay was the dividing line between the First and Sixth US Marine divisions, which landed on the beaches to the north, and the Seventh and Ninety-sixth Infantry Divisions of the US Army which landed south of the river’s mouth). Amphibious ships and LSTs. LST 952 (1:34), an LST-542-class tank landing ship.. Shipboard observers use binoculars to spot enemy strong points. (2:09) USS Eldorado (AGC-11) was a Mount McKinley-class amphibious force command ship. Animation shows how the troops moved across the island. Bulldozers and tanks advance (:46-2:50). Animation shows advancing U.S. troops and how the advance halted as they met Japanese resistance. Ground battle between U.S. and Japanese troops. U.S. troops move forward, fire machine guns. Troops radio in request for naval gunfire. Artillery and tanks also respond (2:51-4:34). Jeeps, tanks, and trucks go through mud. Ammunition ships. Battleships, cruisers and other warships fire salvos toward Naha. U.S. Battleships and cruisers surrounded the island and fired from many different directions. Ships fire from the sea; a floating Japanese mine is shown (6:20). The ships at sea had to deal with floating mines, suicide boats, Baka bombs (6:26) and Kamikaze pilots. Diagram shows how ships and land forces compliment one another. Enemy targets assigned to appropriate ship. Zones made depending on which group of landing forces. Animation shows U.S. firepower versus the forces on the island. Ships fire guns at the island (6:21-8:12). Animation shows how coordinated fire was used against enemy emplacements. Marines advance as the battle continues. Explosions as shells find their targets. Troops call in more support (10:00) on radio phone. Guns fired at the island (8:13-10:19). Destruction of enemy emplacements and pillboxes (10:27). Animation shows warships directing fire at caves. Battleships fire their guns. Land forces shown via animation. The Japanese had 483 large caliber artillery pieces which had to be located and dealt with. Plane flies over the island. Tanks and ground troops move forward. Naval gunfire (10:20-12:20). Damaged artillery pieces on the island (12:26). Cruiser USS Tuscaloosa (CA-37), a New Orleans-class cruiser, shown in action. The ship stood on duty for the entire operation and prevented at least one Kamikaze attacks. At (12:48) shell hit aftermath on board U.S. ship. The troops continue to move forward. Battleship fire helped. U.S. troops enter a city that is all rubble. Ships continue to fire at the Japanese (12:21-14:39). Remains of city of Shuri and Shuri castle fortification. Ships continue to fire on Naha. LSM(R)-199, a LSM(R)-188 class Landing Ship Medium (Rocket) fires its rocket launchers (15:00). Animation shows how the ships fired repeatedly at the Japanese forces (14:40-16:21). U.S. Navy ships fire rockets and mortars. Animation shows U.S. and Japanese guns firing at one another. Night time battle (16:22-17:38). Animation shows U.S. ships surrounding islands and continuing to fire. Battleships, cruisers, and destroyers continue to fire. Sailors on the ship receiving messages at the communication center (19:34). Coastline on the island reveals heavy damaged (17:39-19:08). U.S. warships at sea. Guns are fired by Navy ships. (19:09-20:12). End credits (20:13-20:20).

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