413th Fighter Group (SE)

Kamikaze Attack

From Parker Tyler Memorabilia
Debris from the Kamikaze shot down attacking the Kota Inten.

There is no evidence indicating what type of aircraft was piloted in the attack the Kota Inten. Craft such as the one depicted below were used during this time period in the vicinity of Okinawa.

This MXY7 Ohka ("Cherry Blossom") 1049, here on Okinawa, is now on display at The Planes of Fame Air Museum in Arizona
Rear View of the MXY7 Ohka on Okinawa
Courtesy of Ken Grantham
Cpl. Ken Grantham, 21st Squadron, on the Okha

"The Kota Inten assisted in bringing down a plane on the afternoon of May 20 at Ie Shima, and in seven minutes shot down another. The latter landed not more than 40 or 50 yards from the Inten. Parts of the plane and pilot, as well as oil and water, were scattered over the ship from bow to stern. Within five minutes, the ship probably destroyed another plane. On May 21, she shot down a plane that had friendly markings but behaved in a hostile manner. There was doubt as to the identity of the aircraft."  “Action at Okinawa.” History of the Armed Guard Afloat, World War II

Bill Schierholz remembered landing on Ie Shima on a Saturday and unloading all day Sunday. After Sunday’s unloading, and a late church service, they were waiting for dinner when the kamikaze attacked. Bill saw a plane coming and it was shot down  about 30 yards away “with parts and fuel all over our deck”. They went on unloading the next day. “It was an exciting experience”


"The afternoon of the second day at Ie was a beautiful one. Skies had been cleared by the heavy rain of the day before. At about 1600, just after the boys had returned, the alarm sounded. We ran to our quarters, put on life preservers and steel helmets and closed the stateroom portholes. No sooner had I come out of the stateroom than all the guns in the harbor seemed to go off. The familiar rat-tat-tat of the Kota’s guns sounded loudly in our ears.


Much to my surprise, the Dutch Officers didn’t close the portholes in their dining room. Matter of fact, they stayed right at the portholes, looking out. So, I, much like a turtle, sticking his head out after the first alarm, went in and looked myself. In a moment we saw a Jap plane fly into sight. The fire from our ship was leading him but low. After possibly 20 seconds more of level flight, the Jap turned and began his dive on us. He dived right into our cone of fire. It was fascinating. The most amazing part of the entire “show” was that I wasn’t a bit afraid though I knew he was coming right at us. I remained at the porthole about 15 seconds after he began his dive. Then ran into that section of the bridge deck where all of us usually stood during practice alert. Told everyone with some excitement in my voice, that “he was coming right at us”. No one responded to my announcement but remained impassive as though they hadn’t heard me. As soon as I had uttered these words, noticed there were still 4 officers standing on the port accommodation ladder (Bill, Johnny, Allen of the port company and a Dutchman). Seeing them there, even though the Jap must have come a lot nearer made me feel I’d been wrong in assuming he was diving on us. Maybe he had swerved and was heading for someone else. Started outside. Had taken only two steps when the boys turned and ran inside, almost trampling me down in their haste to get in. No sooner had they got in when a terrific “whoosh” and a spray of water covered the entire side of the ship.


Nothing further happened. There was an uncanny quiet. The guns had ceased firing. We gingerly stepped out to the accommodation ladder. Saw a piece of aluminum lying on the deck. Another piece was further down. We started picking up the pieces. Someone told me that there was some damage to the cabins on the boat deck above. Went up immediately. Found in a navy officers cabin, pieces of the Jap’s engine. Picked up a piece of cylinder wall. Dropped it fast….red hot. Did pick up a valve and other pieces of the engine. Went outside on the boat deck and there, strewn all over, were oil, gas and bits of the airplane. Hurried up to the navigation deck and met the ship’s captain. His white uniform was covered with oil and gas. He showed me a piece of the Jap's jawbone with a molar still fastened to it. This fragment had struck him in the hand. The ship’s surgeon had two Jap teeth. Went out on the navigation deck. Saw a piece of the Jap’s brain and an enormous amount of aluminum. Some parts were quite large. Picked pieces up all over the ship and took them to our stateroom. Then went down to the EM’s quarters where we discussed the attack and our reactions to it. Told them they were welcome to help themselves to a souvenir from what I’d picked up. We returned to the stateroom where they selected their momento of the occasion. All they left me was a couple of pieces of aluminum and a push button with wire attached to it. Bert got the best souvenir…a name plate in Japanese characters."  From Seattle to Ie Shima with the 413th Fighter Group (SE).