Eventually this will be a graphic timeline, but for now I’ll be listing everything I have in outline form. Events will include relevant turns in the battle, ships sunk, attacks mentioned in the journal, crew transfers, and anything else I need to record in play-by-play.

Time & dates = Keep in mind any date conflicts between US records and the journal are due to the significant time difference between Japan and US EST. Washington, DC is 14 hours earlier than Japan, so many recorded dates are half a day earlier than when they actually took place in local Japan time. For instance, dawn in Japan on a Tuesday would be dusk in DC on Monday.


  • CDP journal begins.
  • Operation Iceberg; the invasion of Okinawa begins.
  • First successful suicide plane attacks today.
  • USS West Virginia (BB-48), USS Hinsdale (APA-120), USS Alpine (APA-92), USS LST-884 damaged by suicide planes.
  • Okinawa first comes into view of YMS-299.
    • YMS-299 refuels, receives water ration, anchors in early afternoon.
    • 0400, GQ sounds for raids that last until dawn.
    • At dusk, GQ sounds again.

CDP = Charles Dean Paul, “Chuck,” my grandfather and the author of the journal. For brevity, I’ll continue using his initials.

YMS = Yard Minesweeper. The YMS was built with a wooden hull, to prevent detonation of magnetic mines. “Yard” derives from the initial intent of the YMS fleet to remain within close proximity of their domestic naval base, i.e., the naval yard. In 1942, when the YMS was first used, it primarily swept U.S. waters for mines lain by enemy submarines.

GQ = General quarters. A US Naval term, when GQ “sounds,” it simply means the raid sirens are sounding throughout the ship and all hands are being called into defensive positions.

Kamikaze (suicide attacks) = Japanese military culture descended from the Bushido code of the samurai “loyalty and honor until death”, where defeat or capture brought shame upon one’s family and nation. It was better to die in a successful attack than to return unsuccessful, yet alive. It is by this that even in field combat, the Japanese were known for impaling their own stomachs with their sword/bayonet when faced with the alternative of being put into a POW camp, though they might live through the war to see their families again. It was this kamikaze attack and suicide for honor mentality that caught US soldiers most off-guard and came to be one of the biggest fears when facing a foe that apparently had nothing to lose by death.


  • 3 GQ raids before dawn.
  • Dusk brings additional GQ raids.
  • YMS-299 does very little firing; attacks focus on larger vessels.
  • GQ raids at 1830. Attack transports USS Telfair (APA-210) and USS Goodhue (APA-107) are damaged by attack of three kamikazes in rapid succession; the first is shot down, the second hits Telfair and the third hits Goodhue. In the same attack, USS Henrico (APA-45) and USS Dickerson (APD-21) are more severely crippled by kamikaze, then taken to Kerama Retto; later, Henrico is repaired to return to the U.S., while Dickerson is damaged beyond repair and sunk.


  • YMS-299 attacked by two “Tony” planes.
    • 1st Tony driven away by ack-ack
    • 2nd Tony hit and begins suicide dive at YMS-299; CDP and others fired upon it until it turned to hit LST-599 amidship, resulting in 17 casualties.
  • The escort aircraft carrier USS Wake Island (CVE-65) and high-speed minesweeper USS Hambleton (DMS-20) are damaged by kamikaze near-misses.
  • Destroyer USS Prichett (DD-561) is damaged by a 500-pound bomb to the fantail, dropped by the second of two bogies.

Ack-ack = Antiaircraft fire. The theory was to get as much metal into the air in front of the planes as possible, so they would fly into the shrapnel. “Ack-ack” included bullets, shells, flares and anything else that could be projected in the heat of battle.

LST = Landing Ship, Tank. The LST was essentially the ship’s equivalent of an over-sized cargo plane. Primarily used in amphibious operations, it was used to run aground large quantities of vehicles, soldiers and supplies. Cynics nicknamed them “Large, Slow Targets,” though in reality they fared pretty well—losing less than one in 40 to battle and less than one in 85 to typhoons, through the course of the entire war.

Tony = The “Tony” was a US War Dept. codename for both the Kawasaki Ki-100 and Kawasaki Ki-61 model planes. Ki-61 was the original model, though on January 19th, of 1945, a US bombing raid destroyed the engine factory in Akashi, Hyōgo. 275 leftover frames were converted to fit the Mitsubishi Ha-112-II radial engine and the Ki-100 was born. By April of 1945, it is unlikely many of the Ki-61 were still in operation. Instead, it was more probable the above-mentioned Tony attacks were from the Ki-100 models assembled less than two months prior, in February.

Amidship = A Naval term for the midsection of a ship or plane; between the bow and the stern.


  • Brief GQ raid at daybreak.
  • YMS-299 moves to the largest of the Okinawa islands to sweep.
    • 5 or 6 mines are swept all day by the team.
    • The YMS was close enough to shore to see batteries, but was never fired upon.
    • At dusk, returned to sea for safety.


  • At dawn, YMS-299 and the sweeping crew return to the island shore to resume sweeping.
    • No opposition is met and several mines are cut.
    • A couple sweeps have trouble with their gear, but the day was otherwise calm.


I’m experimenting with this timeline format, so ignore if it doesn’t look like much yet: