Battleship Wisconsin (BB-64) - WW II - page 5

bb64 Wisconsin ultimately put into Leyte Gulf and dropped anchor there on 18 June for repairs and replenishment. Three weeks later, on 1 July, the battleship and her consorts sailed once more for Japanese home waters for carrier air strikes on the enemy's heartland. Nine days later, carrier planes from TF 38 destroyed 72 enemy aircraft on the ground and smashed industrial sites in the Tokyo area. So little was the threat from the dwindling Japanese air arm that the Americans made no attempt whatever to conceal the location of their armada which was operating off her shores with impunity.

On 16 July, Wisconsin fired the 16 inch (406 mm) guns at the steel mills and oil refineries at Muroran, Hokkaido. Two days later, she wrecked industrial facilities in the Hitachi Miro area, on the coast of Honshu, northeast of Tokyo itself. During that bombardment, British battleships of the Eastern Fleet contributed their heavy shellfire. By that point in the war, Allied warships were able to shell the Japanese homeland almost at will.

Task Force 38's planes subsequently blasted the Japanese naval base at Yokosuka, and put the former fleet flagship Nagato out of action, one of the two remaining Japanese battleships. On 24 July and 25 July, American carrier planes visited the Inland Sea region, blasting enemy sites on Honshu, Kyushu, and Shikoku. Kure then again came under attack. Six major fleet units were located there and badly damaged, marking the virtual end of Japanese sea power.

Over the weeks that ensued, TF 38 continue its raids on Japanese industrial facilities, airfields, and merchant and naval shipping. Admiral Halsey's airmen visited destruction upon the Japanese capital for the last time on 13 August 1945. Two days later, the Japanese surrendered. World War II was over at last.

Wisconsin, as part of the occupying force, arrived at Tokyo Bay on 6 September, three days after the formal surrender occurred on board the battleship Missouri (BB-63). During Wisconsin's brief career in World War II, she had steamed 105,831 miles (170,318 km) since commissioning; had shot down three enemy planes; had claimed assists on four occasions; and had fueled her screening destroyers on some 250 occasions.

Text provided by Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS), Vol. VIII, pp. 433-37.

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