465th Fighter Squadron
Activated on 12 Oct 1944. Inactivated on 24 May 1946.
Assignments. 507th Fighter Group, 12 Oct 1944-24 May 1946.
Stations: Ie Shima, 24 Jun 1945; Yontan, Okinawa, 29 Jan-24 May 1946.
Photos from the scrapbook of Sgt. George J. Maher - 465th Fighter Squadron - Okinawa.
Japanese Surrender Delegation arriving at Ie Shima
On August 19, 1945, two B-25Js of the 345th Bombardment Group and 80th Fighter Squadron P-38 Lightings escorted two Japanese Mitsubishi G4M "Betty" bombers. The Japanese aircraft carried a delegation from Tokyo en route to Manila to meet General MacArthur's staff to work out details of the surrender.
The Betty bombers were painted white with green crosses on the wings, fuselage and vertical tail surface and use the call signs Bataan I and Bataan II. After the delegation landed at Ie Shima, they boarded a C-54 Skymaster and were flown to Manila. After the meeting, they returned to Ie Shima. One of the two Bettys crashed on its way back to Japan out of fuel, due to an incorrect conversion of liters to gallons when the bombers were refueled. The crew were helped by local fisherman, and returned to Tokyo by train.
Ernie Pyle memorial on IE Shima
On April 18, 1945, Pyle died on Ie Shima, an island off Okinawa, after being hit by Japanese machine-gun fire. He was travelling in a jeep with Lieutenant Colonel Joseph B. Coolidge (commanding officer of the 305th Infantry Regiment, 77th Infantry Division) and three other men. The road, which ran parallel to the beach two or three hundred yards inland, had been cleared of mines, and hundreds of vehicles had driven over it. As the vehicle reached a road junction, an enemy machine gun located on a coral ridge about a third of a mile away began firing at them. The men stopped their vehicle and jumped into a ditch. Pyle and Coolidge raised their heads to look around for the others; when they spotted them, Pyle smiled and asked Coolidge "Are you all right?" Those were his last words. The machine gun began shooting again, and Pyle was struck in the left temple (however, the Ernie Pyle State Historic Site in Dana, Indiana, contains a telegram from the Government to Pyle's father stating Pyle was killed by a sniper). The colonel called for a medic, but none were present. It made no difference - Pyle had been killed instantly.
He was buried with his helmet on, laid to rest in a long row of graves among other soldiers, with an infantry private on one side and a combat engineer on the other. At the ten-minute service, the Navy, Marine Corps, and Army were all represented. Pyle was later reburied at the Army cemetery on Okinawa, then moved to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific located in Honolulu. When Okinawa was returned to Japanese control after the war, the Ernie Pyle monument was one of only three American memorials allowed to remain in place. Pyle was among the few American civilians killed during the war to be awarded the Purple Heart.