The Okinawa Memorial














The Memorial 





Facts and Figures






































































Operation Iceberg

On the evening of 25th May 1945 Task Force 57 retired southwards after being at sea for 62 days (with a break of 8 days at Leyte in the Philipines) having taken part in Operation Iceberg - the invasion of Okinawa. During the invasion the British Pacific Fleet operated as TF 57,  part of the 5th Fleet.  The object set the BPF was to prevent the Japanese air force using the five airfields in the Sakishima Islands to stage aircraft through from Formosa to attack the US forces in Okinawa.

The initial assault on the island of Okinawa took place at dawn on the 1st April 1945, and on that day the BPF encountered Kamikaze attacks for the first time. At 0728 that morning a suicide bomber hit the base of the island of HMS Indefatigable. By the end of the operation, all 5 British aircraft carriers, the   Indefatigable, Formidable, Indomitable, Illustrious and Victorious  had been hit at least once by a kamikaze or bombs and the destroyer Ulster and the cruiser Swiftsure also sustained casualties.  

Many who served in the BPF at this time will probably not know that a memorial has been erected on the island of Okinawa.

"The Cornerstone of Peace" was erected to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of the Pacific War and the Battle of Okinawa to "convey to the people of Japan and throughout the world, the "spirit of peace" which has developed through Okinawa's history and culture.  It is a place to remember the 200,000 people who lost their lives in the Battle of Okinawa and other battles, to appreciate the peace in which we live today; to pray for everlasting world peace."


Among those 236,095 people listed on the memorial are the names (only) of all 82 from the original TF57 that died during the campaign. Details of the memorial and the names of those men from the BPF who are inscribed have been obtained by Mr. Stan Deighton of the HMS Illustrious Association  after a great deal of research and assistance from the U.S. and Okinawan governments. (See acknowledgement below).

It is of interest to note that the number of names inscribed are:-

Place of origin                     Number

JAPAN Okinawa                 147,731

                          USA                                      14,005                          

U.K.                                             82

Plus other  casualties making a total of 236,095

During the operation 28 USN ships were sunk and 171 damaged by Kamikaze aircraft.


According to Stan's research the number of deaths in each ship were:-

    HMS Victorious         22

    HMS  Indefatigable    20

    HMS Indomitable       10

    HMS Illustrious             9

    HMS Ulster                  4

    HMS Formidable         15

    HMS Implacable           1*

    HMS Swiftsure             1

*  S/Lt (A) P.J. Croxall is listed although HMS Implacable was not actually in the Okinawa campaign but was on passage to join the BPF at the time.


The following ex shipmates from HMS Indefatigable  are among those 82 men listed on the memorial on the Island of Okinawa.

 Allen William J.        Seaman       AB              01.04.1945    Kamikaze

Askew Albert E.        Supply         Steward       01.04.1945    Kamikaze                                                                                                               Buckingham Alfred    Supply         Steward       01.04.1945    Kamikaze

Cooper Anthony G.    894 Sqdn     S/LT (A) (P) 27.03.1945  Note (4)

Gibson William G.     894 Sqdn     S/LT (A) (P) 01.04.1945  Kamikaze                                                                                                               Heppenstall Norris V. 887 Sqdn     S/LT (A) (P) 06.041945    Note (1)

James David M.         820 Sqdn     S/LT (A) (O)16.05.1945   Kamikaze

McIntyre John A.R.   1770 Sqdn    S/LT (A) (O) 03.05.1945  Note (2)

Munro Alexander J.W. Supply       Steward 01.04.1945   Kamikaze

Onion Kenneth           Seaman      AB Radar  01.04.1945 Kamikaze

Pepper Arthur C.         Photographer               01.04.1945   Kamikaze

Quigley Norman T.      894 Sqdn    S/LT (A) (P) 01.04.1945  Note (5)

Taylor William E.        Eng             Stoker        17.02.1945  Note (3)

Teavan Harry              Seaman        AB            01.04.1945  Kamikaze

Teff Leonard A.           LT (E)           AEO          01.04.1945 Kamikaze

Thomas Wallace G.    Supply         Steward     01.04.1945   Kamikaze

Vaughan Alan M.       Medical        Surgeon LT  01.04.1945 Kamikaze

White Peter J.           Seaman        AB Radar    01.04.1945  Kamikaze

Williams Gordon H.    Seaman        AB Radar    01.04.1945 Kamikaze

Yarde Samuel C.       894 Sqdn      S/LT (A) (P) 27.03.1945 Note (4)


(1) In Seafire chasing a kamikaze, was shot down by guns of the fleet

(2) Avenger on flight deck accidentally fired into his cabin

(3) Buried in Sydney War Cemetery Australia

(4) Mid-air collision; crashed into the sea during Strike Day 2

(5) Diverted to HMS Victorious (Indefatigable’s flight deck OOA) and crashed on deck.



The painstaking investigation and research carried out by Mr. S. Deighton of the HMS Illustrious Association in obtaining the information,  passing it on and permitting it to be promulgated  is very much appreciated. Thank you Stan.

See also 

 Return to Okinawa by Les Willis


                  WGB 23/3/2010




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