Wings Over Sakishima
  The "History of the Air War at Sakishima Gunto" is the true story about the Military action taken by the US and their Allies against the Japanese Army and Navy who were defending two small islands in a region of the Ryukyu Islands called Sakishima Gunto in late 1944 and 1945.  The two islands, Miyako and Ishigaki Jima with their five operational airfields were the Japanese launching points for their Taiwan (Formosa) based Special Forces, known to the Allies as "Kamikazes".  Kamikazes made their final no return flight from these two islands to die while crashing their airplanes into the American and Allied ships during the battle at Okinawa.

The USS Shipley Bay and her attached Fishhook Squadron (VC-97) launched strikes against these airfields. Fredio R. Samples provides a detailed accounting of those operations including the tragic loss of VC-97 crew members.   On 15 April 1945, LT.Vernon Tebo, Robert Tuggle Jr., AOM 1/c and Warren Loyd ARM 1/c were shot over Ishigaki, captured, tortured and executed.  The "Bilingual Memorial Monument" on Ishigaki Island honors these three servicemen.  On 15 June 1945, Lieutenant (jg) William F. Waters and his FM-2 fighter was hit by anti aircraft fire, burst into flames and was seen crashing into buildings and trees near a runway on the Ishigaki airfield.

  If you have questions or would like to order a copy of this book, contact Fredio Samples directly using the Order Form provided on the left.  


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