Stole, Gerald James, F1c

Fallen
 
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Last Rank
Fireman 1st Class
Last Primary NEC
F1c-0000-Fireman 1st Class
Last Rating/NEC Group
Fireman First Class
Primary Unit
1944-1945, USS Aaron Ward (DM-34)
Service Years
1942 - 1945
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Neptune Subpoena
Order of the Golden Dragon
Plank Owner
Fireman 1st Class

 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
Minnesota
Minnesota
Year of Birth
1924
 
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Casualty Info
Home Town
Crookston, Minnestoa
Last Address
Portland, Oregon

Casualty Date
May 05, 1945
 
Cause
Hostile, Died
Reason
Other Explosive Device
Location
Okinawa
Conflict
World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Okinawa Gunto Operation
Location of Interment
Lincoln Memorial Park Cemetery - Portland, Oregon
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Veterans' Lawn

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 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Golden Dragon


 Military Association Memberships
World War II Fallen
  1945, World War II Fallen

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World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Okinawa Gunto Operation
Start Year
1945
End Year
1945

Description
The Battle of Okinawa, codenamed Operation Iceberg. was fought on the Ryukyu Islands of Okinawa and was the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific War of World War II. The 82-day-long battle lasted from early April until mid-June 1945. After a long campaign of island hopping, the Allies were approaching Japan, and planned to use Okinawa, a large island only 340 mi (550 km) away from mainland Japan, as a base for air operations on the planned invasion of Japanese mainland (coded Operation Downfall). Four divisions of the U.S. 10th Army (the 7th, 27th, 77th, and 96th) and two Marine Divisions (the 1st and 6th) fought on the island. Their invasion was supported by naval, amphibious, and tactical air forces.

The battle has been referred to as the "typhoon of steel" in English, and tetsu no ame ("rain of steel") or ("violent wind of steel") in Japanese. The nicknames refer to the ferocity of the fighting, the intensity of kamikaze attacks from the Japanese defenders, and to the sheer numbers of Allied ships and armored vehicles that assaulted the island. The battle resulted in the highest number of casualties in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Based on Okinawan government sources, mainland Japan lost 77,166 soldiers, who were either killed or committed suicide, and the Allies suffered 14,009 deaths (with an estimated total of more than 65,000 casualties of all kinds). Simultaneously, 42,000–150,000 local civilians were killed or committed suicide, a significant proportion of the local population. The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki together with the Soviet invasion of Manchuria caused Japan to surrender less than two months after the end of the fighting on Okinawa.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1945
To Year
1945
 
Last Updated:
Mar 16, 2020
   
Personal Memories

Memories
The Mine Flotilla, of which Aaron Ward was a unit, arrived off Okinawa late on 22 March. The following day, the destroyer minelayer got her first glimpse of the enemy when some of his planes approached the sweep group but did not attack. More came in later, but the combined gunfire of the group dissuaded them from approaching close enough to harm the American ships. The first actual air raid occurred on the 26th, and Adams knocked the intruder out of the sky.

Aaron Ward supported minesweeping operations around Kerama Retto and Okinawa until the time of the first landings. During that period, she accounted for three enemy aircraft. On 1 April, the day of the initial assault on Okinawa, the destroyer minelayer began screening the heavy warships providing gunfire support for the troops ashore. T hat duty lasted until 4 April when she departed the Ryūkyūs and headed for the Marianas. She arrived at Saipan on the 10 April but shifted to Guam later that day. After several days of minor repairs, Aaron Ward headed back to Okinawa to patrol in the area around Kerama Retto. During that patrol period, she came under frequent air attack. On the 27 April, she shot down one enemy plane, and the next day, accounted for one more and claimed a probable kill in addition. Then she returned to Kerama Retto to replenish her provisions and fuel. While she was there, a kamikaze scored a hit on Pinkney. Aaron Ward moved alongside the stricken evacuation transport to help fight the inferno blazing amidships. While so engaged, she also rescued 12 survivors from Pinkney.

   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  904 Also There at This Battle:
  • Abbott, Earl James, Cox, (1943-1946)
  • Adams, Richard W, PO2, (1943-1947)
  • Albanesi, Thomas, PO1, (1943-1946)
  • Bagby, Henry Lawton, CAPT, (1941-1970)
  • Baldwin, Robert B., VADM, (1941-1980)
  • Barr, John Andrew, PO3, (1943-1946)
  • Baylor, Warner, LCDR, (1942-1963)
  • Beam, Joe, MCPO, (1941-2004)
  • Bell, Lloyd, PO3, (1942-1948)
  • Bibb, James, PO2, (1942-1945)
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