Thursday, May 1, 2008

Okinawa Battle Sites Tour

As part of the SNCO Academy that I'm attending, I was fortunate enough to go on the Okinawa battle sites tour today. Here are a few pictures from the trip.

This first one is one of the countless entrances to the elaborate tunnel system that can be found atop "Hacksaw Ridge." 2,500 Marines and Soldiers lost their lives taking that ridge. Some of the tunnels went as deep as 130 feet underground.

This next picture is of a Japanese machine gun that was recently unearthed behind the Taco Bell on base (Camp Foster, to be exact). Any time that construction projects take place here, some type of war relics are usually dug up.

The next picture is of the actual Japanese flag that was flying atop Shuri Castle until it fell to U.S. forces. It was signed by various unit commanders. It, and many other artifacts, can be viewed at a historical collection on Camp Kinser. Unfortunately, the Marine Corps is doing nothing to support this historical exhibit, and it exists due to donations alone.

This last picture is taken from atop Shuri Castle. Most of what you see had to be rebuilt, due to damage sustained during the battle.

I enjoyed the tour, but a few pictures can hardly do it justice. Read up on the Battle of Okinawa; you won't be disappointed.

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