MAY 1945 .
Germany has been defeated. Mussolini and Hitler are dead. The European war is about to
be wrapped up. Fighting continues on Okinawa, the bloodiest battle in the Pacific War.
U.S. mining makes arrival of shipping at Japanese ports problematical. Bombing brings industrial production to an equally difficult condition.
- May 1 . Berlin surrenders to Soviet forces
Final bombing mission of 15th AF in Italy.
Japanese begin withdraw from S China.
Australian troops land on Tarakan Island, Borneo.
- May 2 . Soviet soldiers hoist the red flag over the Reichstag building.
400 B-17's drop food supplies in populated areas in the Netherlands; repeat on 3rd, 5th, 6th.
- May 3 . Rangoon freed ; war in Burma is successfully concluded.
97 USAAF B-29's sow mines blockading shipping of Japan's industrial centers that continues for days.
Kamikazes sink Little (DD-803); damage 4. Suicide boat damages transport. Friendly fire kills soldiers on troop ship.
Premier Suzuki statement "Although changing situation in Europe . . . our faith in certain victory."
- May 4 . German forces in occupied countries begin to surrender.
Another big day for Kamikazes at Okinawa -- sink Luce (DD-522), Morrison (DD-560) ; damage CL, CVE, 3 DD, 3 DM, HMS Formidable (CV.67); collisions, groundings and friendly fire also result in losses.
- May 5 . Germany agrees to surrender.
Last U.S. merchant ship of the war sunk, SS Black Point, by U-853 off Port Judith, Rhode Island.
Air strikes preparatory of Australians going into Borneo.
Too many Japanese ships destroyed by various arms and areas to be reported here.
Japanese balloon bomb kills six near Lakeview, Oregon.
- May 6 . Off Okinawa, South Dakota (BB-57) is damaged by magazine explosion of five tanks of 16-inch powder.
On the Atlantic coast, U-853 sunk off Point Judith, RI. Last U-boat sunk is U-881 off Block Island.
- May 7 . Germany surrenders.
General Alfred Jodl signs unconditional surrender terms at Reims, France, ending Germany's participation in the war.
- May 8 . VE Day celebration.
At noon, every gun on Okinawa fires one round at the enemy in celebration.
In surrounding waters, every ship fires a salvo.
- May 9 . Kamikazes damage 2 DE off Okinawa and British carriers Victorious and Formidable off Formosa.
- May 10. USN land-based planes begin sinking Japanese shipping off Korea.
- May 11. Bunker Hill ( CV-17) hit by 2 kamikaze, 373 killed; also crash Evans (DD-552), and LCS-88 ; Hugh W. Hadley (DD-774) is damaged by Baka.
- May 12. Army troops land on Torishima, Ryukyus.
New Mexico (BB-40) damaged by kamikaze ; Wichita (CA-45) by friendly fire.
- May 13. Fast carrier task force begin two-day attack on Kyushu1 airfields
- May 14. Enterprise (CV-6) hit by Kamikaze.
Australian forces invade Borneo.
472 B-29's return to blast urban area of N. Nagoya in a daylight, high-level attack.
- May 15. Air laid mines take a daily toll of Japanese shipping.
- May 16. British escort carrier HMS Emperor (CVE) sight and attack Haguro (CA) heading into Malacca Strait; subsequently sunk by British destroyers.
- May 17. 470 B-29's pound urban area of S Nagoya with a night low-level attack destroying Mitsubishi Zero factory.
Other USAAF units begin daily operations against airfields on Kyushu and Shikoku from which Japanese kamikaze attacks are launched.
201st Mexican Expeditionary Squadron beings operations flying P-47 Thunderbolts from Clark Field, Philippines.2
P-47's arriving on Ie Shima3 for attacks on Japan.
Carrier aircraft attack Maloelap Atoll, Marshalls.
- May 18. Redeployment from Europe underway. Troops get 30-day leave in U.S. in-transit
B-29 atomic bomb air group arrives on Tinian.
P-47's from Ie Shima begin attacks against Kyushu.
Longshaw (DD-559) sunk by shore battery off Okinawa
- May 19. Japanese shipping continues to be destroyed.
- May 20. U.S. ground forces move on Shuri Castle, Okinawa.
- May 21. Air and kamakaze attacks damage 5 destroyer-size ships.
- May 22. Air attacks sink 2 and damage 2 Japanese patrol boats.
- May 23. Balloon borne bombing on N.America reaches peak; 9,3000 flights in two months.4
- May 23. 525 B-29's sent against Tokyo in the largest B-29 mission during World War II.
- May 24. B-29's mining of Shimonoseki Straits sinks multiple ships daily, isolating Kyushu from central Japan.
TF 58 aircraft attack airfields in Southern Kyushu, Japan.
Japanese aircraft attack U.S. positions and ships at Okinawa.
- May 25. Joint Chiefs set 1 Nov 45 for OLYMPIC, the invasion of the Japanese Home Islands.
464 B-29's pound Tokyo, 26 planes are lost, highest single-day loss.
Off Okinawa, kamikazes sink Bates (APD-47), damage 7 other ships.
- May 26. Subs, mines, aircraft continue to sink Japanese shipping.
- May 27. Adm Spruance and Halsey swap jobs : Fifth Fleet again becomes Third Fleet ; TF 58 thus becomes TF 38.
Off Okinawa kamikazes, kaiten, bombs damage 5 destroyers, 6 other ships.
Japanese escort ship Aguni heavily damaged by a "Bat" radar-guided glide bomb.
- May 28. Last strong Japanese air effort on Okinawa, hit a number of ships and sinks Drexler (DD-741).
- May 29. 100 B-24's bomb Formosa. B-25's from Okinawa hit Tokyo.
454 B-29's, escorted by 101 P-51's fire-bomb Yokohama.
10th Army capture Shusi Castle, Okinawa.
Kamikazes damage 2 destroyers.
Marshall discusses chemical weapons with Stimson.
- May 30. P-47's from Ie Shima hit shipping and lighthouse at Amami-O-Shima
Submarines and mines sink Japanese shipping.
- May 31. Four PBYs evacuate citizenry from Yukon River flood.
1 . Kyushu is the south-most of the 4 islands that are Japan.
2 . Chilean squadron flew P-47s in Italy.
3 . Ie Shima is an island off NW coast of Okinawa captured Apr 16-21.
4 . Balloons reached as far as Michigan. Six deaths. The attacks were kept secret ; hearing of no success, the attacks ceased.