World Battlefronts: BATTLE OF THE SEAS: The Little Ships

The Navy last week totted up its losses off Okinawa: 4,907 men killed or missing, 4,824 wounded—nearly 20% of its total casualties in all oceans for the entire war. Okinawa was also the war's costliest operation for ships, according to the Navy's own figures: 33 ships sunk, more than 50 damaged.

One of the big reasons for this damage was finally passed by censors: the gallant little ships (destroyers, destroyer escorts, LCSs) which formed the "picket line" 25 to 50 miles above the main anchorage had been severely mauled. By staying out front, the little ships with thin hulls had...

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