Summary

Conflict Period:
World War II 1
Branch:
Navy 1
Birth:
01 Jul 1926 1
Death:
17 Apr 1986 1
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Personal Details

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Person:
Gordon Smead 1
Gender: Male 1
Social Security Number: ***-**-4444 1
Birth:
01 Jul 1926 1
Death:
17 Apr 1986 1
Cause: Unknown 1
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World War II 1

Branch:
Navy 1
Enlistment Date:
27 Jul 1944 1
Organization:
Navy 1
Organization Code:
NAVY 1
Release Date:
12 Mar 1946 1

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Gordon Smead Military Service

MILITARY SERVICE WWII

Gordon A Smead served on U.S.S. LST 1039 from 9 Feb 1945 to 9 Dec 1945.

U.S.S.LST-1039

 LST-1039 was laid down on 26 November 1944 at Pittsburgh, Pa., by the Dravo Corp.; launched on 6 January 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Jack H. Johnston; and commissioned on 9 February 1945, Lt. G. E. Paris in command.

During World War II, LST-1039 was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific theater and participated in the assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto in June 1945. Following the war, she performed occupation duty in the Far East until early April 1946. She returned to the United States and was decommissioned on 21 June 1946 and struck from the Navy list on 31 July that same year. On 2 September 1947, the ship was sold to the Columbia River Packers Association, Inc., for operation. LST-1039 earned one battle star for World War II service.

Source: DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER 805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Gordon A Smead served on U.S.S.LST 1039 from 9 Dec 1945 to 2 Mar 1946

U.S.S. LST-1088

LST-1088 was laid down on 16 December 1944 at Ambridge, Pa., by the American Bridge Co.; launched on 11 February 1945; sponsored by Mrs. A. J. Paddock; and commissioned on 27 March 1945, Lt. Sheldon Potter III in command.

Following World War II, LST-1088 performed occupation duty in the Far East until early January 1946. She was decommissioned on 29 August 1946 and assigned to the Pacific Reserve Fleet. On 1 July 1955, the ship was redesignated Pulaski County (LST-1088) (q.v.) after seven counties in the United States. She was recommissioned on 21 May 1963 for service in the Atlantic Fleet. Pulaski County later served in Vietnam. In July 1967, the tank landing ship was transferred to the Military Sea Transportation Service for operation by a civilian crew.

LST-1088 earned two battle stars for Vietnam War service.

Source: DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER 805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

 

Battle of Okinawa

It was not until 2015 that I learned that my father was on the U.S.S. LST 1039 during the battle of Okinawa. The 82-day-long battle lasted from 1 April until 22 June 1945. Okinawa was the bloodiest battle of the Pacific War with over 12,500 Americans killed or missing. Battle deaths were 4,907 Navy, 4,675 Army, and 2,938 Marine Corps personnel.

My mother told my sister that Dad used to wake up terrified of Kamakazie attacks after returning from the war. During the period 26 March-30 April, 20 American ships were sunk and 157 damaged by enemy action. For their part, the Japanese had lost up to 30 April more than 1,100 planes in the battle to Allied naval forces alone. Between 6 April and 22 June, the Japanese flew 1,465 kamikaze aircraft in large-scale attacks from Kyushu, 185 individual kamikaze sorties from Kyushu, and 250 individual kamikaze sorties from Formosa.

The Battle of Okinawa (Japanese: ???, Hepburn: Okinawa-sen?), codenamed Operation Iceberg,[16] was a series of battles fought in the Ryukyu Islands, centered on the island of Okinawa, and included the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific War during World War II being the 1 April 1945 invasion of the island of Okinawa itself.[17][18] The 82-day-long battle lasted from 1 April until 22 June 1945. After a long campaign of island hopping, the Allies were approaching Japan, and planned to use Okinawa, a large island only 340 mi (550 km) away from mainland Japan, as a base for air operations on the planned invasion of Japanese mainland (coded Operation Downfall). Four divisions of the U.S. 10th Army (the 7th, 27th, 77th, and 96th) and two Marine Divisions (the 1st and 6th) fought on the island. Their invasion was supported by naval, amphibious, and tactical air forces.

The battle has been referred to as the "typhoon of steel" in English, and tetsu no ame ("rain of steel") or tetsu no b?f? ("violent wind of steel") in Japanese.[19][20][21] The nicknames refer to the ferocity of the fighting, the intensity of kamikaze attacks from the Japanese defenders, and to the sheer numbers of Allied ships and armored vehicles that assaulted the island. The battle was one of the bloodiest in the Pacific.

The Allied forces suffered 14,009 deaths (over 12,500 Americans killed or missing) with an estimated total of more than 82,000 casualties of all kinds. This does not include several thousand who succumbed to their injuries received during the battle, but died days and even months later.

Based on Okinawan government sources,[22] Japan admittedly lost 77,166 soldiers (not including civilians and supporting naval or air forces based elsewhere) during the campaign, who either died of wounds, were killed or committed suicide during the battle. No figures are given for supporting Japanese forces killed. Allied grave registration forces counted 110,071 dead bodies. Simultaneously, some 42,000 to 150,000 local civilians (including all male citizens over 18 and both male and many female students under age 18 who were drafted to fight the invaders) who were killed or committed suicide or went missing, a significant proportion of the estimated pre-war estimated 300,000 local population.

The severity of the campaign, along with many civilians fighting, led to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki which together with the Soviet invasion of Manchuria[23][24] caused Japan to surrender less than two months after the end of the fighting on Okinawa.

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