World Battlefronts, THE WAR: Guesses & Explosives

At Okinawa, where they lost 4,072 planes in 86 days, did the Japanese "shoot the works?" Had they thrown (and thrown away) their entire air force at the U.S.

fleet? Air admirals like Aubrey Fitch, back in Washington from the Pacific, flatly said "yes." But from the Pentagon across the Potomac, Under Secretary of War Robert Patterson said "no" — the Japs' failure to retaliate against Admiral Halsey's Third Fleet and the Superfortresses merely meant that they were hoarding "plenty" of planes against invasion. Another air admiral, DeWitt Clinton ("Duke") Ramsey, new Fifth Fleet chief of staff, defined "plenty." He...

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