On the 21 June 1945 the last remnants of Japanese resistance at Okinawa fell, bringing the Battle of Okinawa to a close. The ferocious fighting had lasted for 82 days, and included the largest amphibious assault of the Pacific War, huge kamikaze attacks and an incredible number of soldiers. The Japanese surrendered less than two months after the Battle of Okinawa as Hiroshima and Nagasaki were devastated by the atomic bombings.
The photograph shows a U.S. Marine from the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines on Wana Ridge firing his Thompson submachine gun. It was taken on 18 May 1945.
If you are interested in learning more about this bloody battle take a look at Gordon L Rottman’s Campaign 96 – Okinawa 1945, with illustrations by Howard Gerrard.