Kamikaze Hits Ship

Missouri opens fire on low flying suicide planes. Despite the curtain of shells and Missouri scoring many hits, a Japanese pilot came through crashing just below the main deck on the starboard side near turret three. The enemy’s body smashed into a floater net storage on the shield of a 40 mm gun mount, while parts of his plane scattered Missouri’s starboard side. One of the wings was thrown forward, inboard of 5 inch mount #3 where a gasoline fire started. Damage was superficial and alert action brought the fire under control. Missouri keep on firing and a second kamikaze was knocked out of the sky. Seconds before 2400, Missouri shot down a twin engine bomber. (Additional notes: The crash of the Kamikaze on the Missouri April 11, 1945 was just aft of 5 inch mount 7about 3 feet below the main deck. One wing went across the top of mount 7 and left a black tire skid mark and hit the side of mount 5 – 5inch [ not mount 3 ]. The wing was on fire. By the way, the tire on the wing was a Firestone. Guess the Firestone tires peeled rubber in those days too. A machine gun from the plane was jammed between two barrels of the quad 40mm mount just outside of mount 7 upper handling room. The skidding of the wing across the top of mount 7 saved damage to the 20mm’s that were between mount 7 and 5. The reason I know those things was because I was a GM 2nd and my battle station was mount 7. Bob Bishop). (That Kamikaze that hit us at Okinawa landed just aft of my battle station. My group of corpsmen recovered the body and took it down to the sick bay. I was one of the pallbearers for the burial next day. We did not like it, but those were our orders. Steve Cromwell) Carriers Enterprise and Essex were damaged, also by suicides. Additionally, USS Bullard (DD-660), USS Hale (DD-642), USS Hank (DD-702), USS Kidd (DD-661), USS Manlove (DE-36) and USS Miles (DE-183) were damaged by suicides.

Some USS Missouri signalmen stay up most of the night sewing together a Japanese flag, to be used in a military burial, at sea, for the Japanese pilot. (This may be conjecture since the flag does not appear in photos.) The ceremony was held after breakfast, with Hospital Corpsmen as pallbearers. The Chaplain said simply, “We commit this body to the deep”.)