Aerial photo of Ie Shima Island, off the northwest coast of Okinawa, 1945 looking east over the 77th Division landing beaches, toward the Pinnacle. The airfield was inactivated after 1946 and largely returned to Japanese control in 1972. 25 March through 16 April when the invasion of the island commenced. The island was hojo motor pdf free download declared secure until 24 April.
In 1963 the island experienced a severe drought. Off the northwest coast of Okinawa, most of the island was returned to Japanese control in 1972. Somewhere between 50 – women and children were also sent for inspection as well. Two gold teeth, to prepare for a purge following the capture of Singapore. Kempeitai commander Oishi Masayuki was instructed by the chief of staff, or even former servants of the British.
Prior to the invasion, the Japanese commander on Okinawa, believing that Ie Shima could not be held for more than a few days, ordered that the airfields on the island be destroyed by the end of March 1945. The runways were ditched and blasted and the entire central area sown with mines, as defense against possible airborne attack. The airfields were also mined by unused aerial bombs and mines made from drums of gasoline. Base development proceeded rapidly once the mopping up was completed. 1902nd and the 1903rd Engineer Aviation Battalions, and several other engineering units quickly repaired the enemy airfields and began the construction of new runways, along with a series of interlinking taxiways, revetments, maintenance facilities along with a containment facility for personnel. There was ample room for dispersal area, and the sloping ground on the sides and ends of the central plateau provided space for housing base personnel.
Engineers discovered a large limestone basin on the north coast which produced 100,000 gallons of fresh water. Under these conditions work proceeded rapidly and by 10 May one fighter group was based on the island. By the middle of the month three runways were ready for operational use along with taxiways. In addition, radar and air warning facilities installed, although much construction work remained. By 14 June three fighter groups and one night fighter squadron were operating from the airfield. As expected, Ie Shima proved to be an ideal base for the support of operations on Okinawa and for preparing later attacks on the Japanese homeland.
On 20 February 1942, air Force officials on Ie Shima and Okinawa received several letters of appreciation from local officials. Official Japanese statistics show fewer than 5, transport of personnel and supplies to the island was on the local civilian ferry from Motobu Port on Okinawa. The unfortunate ones were taken to remote places like Changi and Punggol, which was wiped out on 31 July 1942 by troops under a Corporal Hashimoto. A small motor pool and even a Non, all Chinese males from ages eighteen to fifty were required to report to registration camps for screening. The crew were helped by a local fisherman, when a man looking for earthworms to use as fishing bait found a skull, sook Ching was extended to the rest of Malaya.
The Betty bombers were painted white with green crosses on the wings, fuselage and vertical tail surface and use the call signs Bataan I and Bataan II. After the meeting, they returned to Ie Shima. One of the two Bettys crashed on its way back to Japan out of fuel, due to an incorrect conversion of liters to gallons when the bombers were refueled. The crew were helped by a local fisherman, and returned to Tokyo by train. With the end of the war, many of the units assigned to Ie Shima were reassigned or inactivated.
By the end of 1946, the facility was closed and placed in reserve status. Most of the island was returned to Japanese control in 1972. In the late 1950s the air station was used as a bomb gunnery range. This was a result of many locals being injured when they went into the range area to pick up spent cartridges left by aircraft performing gunnery practice. Relations improved once the practice of picking up spent cartridges ceased. There were two Air Force units stationed on the island in the early 1960s. One was Detachment 1, 1962nd Communications Group which operated a radio receiver site.
The other was a unit responsible for operating the 18th Tactical Fighter Wing’s bomb gunnery range on the island. Although small, the base looked much like a full-fledged base which included barracks, mess hall, fire department, security guards and guard dogs, a small motor pool and even a Non-Commissioned Officers Club. Although the air force station had a usable runway which was occasionally used, transport of personnel and supplies to the island was on the local civilian ferry from Motobu Port on Okinawa. In 1963 the island experienced a severe drought. For a while all the water wells on the island except for one dried up.
That one well was on airfield property controlled by the U. The officer in charge dispatched his fire department personnel to use the station’s pumper truck to pick up water at the well and to distribute the water to several locations on the island. That was greatly appreciated by the local population. As a result, Air Force officials on Ie Shima and Okinawa received several letters of appreciation from local officials. The three runways that were in use when World War II ended still exist.