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History Presentation and F3-A Corsair Flight Demonstration
The Battle of Okinawa: The Kamikaze Threat
Saturday, July 30th
Museum Opens at 8:00AM—Presentation Starts at 9:30
As the tide of war turned against Imperial Japan, the need for a large base from which to launch a final assault on the Japanese home islands arose. U.S. military planners identified Okinawa as the base of operations for the assault. To secure Okinawa, the U.S. launched the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific theater of World War II.
On April 1, 1945, the U.S. 10th Army, a force of over 183,000 soldiers, marines and sailors, faced off against a Japanese defense force of 116,000 Japanese and Okinawan defenders. A U.S. naval armada of 261 ships started the assault, along with over 3,000 military aircraft of all types. Within days of the initial assault, it became evident that the largest threat to the Allied invasion force was the Japanese Kamikaze, or “Divine Wind”, aircraft piloted by Japanese aviators who would intentionally crash into ships and other high value targets on a suicide mission.
Museum docent and U.S. Marine Corps aviation veteran Arnie Easterly will describe the origins and tactical deployment of this desperate but extremely effective suicide program launched against the Allied armada. Also discussed will be the U.S. responses to the Kamikaze, including the use of the Marines’ Vought F4U Corsair.
The presentation will be followed by a flight demonstration of the museum’s F3A Corsair, weather permitting.
8:00 am Doors Open
9:30 am Presentation
10:00 am Walk-Around, Special Cockpit Photo Opportunity, and Start-Up
10:30 am Flight Demonstration
Standard admission prices are in effect. Advance on-line tickets is encouraged. Advance ticket prices are:
Child (4-12) $11
Senior and Military $13
WWII Veterans Free Admission
The National Museum of World War II Aviation
775 Aviation Way, Colorado Springs, 80916