It is June 15th!

It is June 15th, 2015. It was 71 years ago on June 15th, 1944 that Admiral Turner, Commander of the Expeditionary Force of Operation Foreger ordered: “Land the Landing force.” The time was 0542. H-Hour (the time the 1st wave of amphibious vehicles was scheduled to hit the beaches) was 0830. The place was the island of Saipan.It was WWII.
Assault elements of the 2nd and 4th Marine Divisions were carried in 34 LSTs (Landing Ship Tanks) to a place about 4000 yards from the shore of the island. That place would be “the line of departure.” 12 more LSTs carrying artillery were right behind the 34.

At H-Hour minus 90 minutes Naval gunfire which had been pounding the island was lifted to allow the air operations to strafe the beaches. Naval support opened up again from as close as 2500 yards from the beaches for 30 minutes and just prior to the time the gunboats would leave the live of departure for the beaches. The 1st to go would be 24 LCI-Gs (Landing craft Infantry Gunboats) they were fitted with rockets, guns and mortars. They would lead and provide close support for the Marine and Army LVT-As (Landing vehicle Tracked Armed) when they headed toward the beaches. Following them would be 700 LVTs (Landing Vehicle Tracked) carrying 24 men each, or in some cases 4,500 pounds of cargo. They were followed by DUKWs commonly known as “ducks” and they would carry 25 men or 5,000 pounds of artillery and or supplies. PFC Carl Johnson, my uncle, was one of the duck drivers that landed on Saipan on the morning of June 15th, 1944. 20,000 Marines would land on Saipan that day, and about 2,000 would be casualties. Carl made it, and the story is in this book: Pain and Purpose in the Pacific.

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